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FROM HORSES TO BULLDOGS

image: Don and Barbara on horseback in the desert. Saguaro Saguaro Missy Missy Rebel Rebel Don Barbara     During the 1960's the Dells had a home bordering the Saguaro National Monument, north of Tucson, Arizona. They worked for the Wild Horse (dude) Ranch. The local shopping center had a neighbor with a big white Bulldog that would wander over to the parking lot on cold winter days. He would crawl up on a car hood and lay down, Bulldog fashion. Nice and warm. Such fun to sit on a bench and watch the snowbirds come out to their cars and stare. Don and Barb vowed to get one of those dogs someday.
    In the late 1960's Don went back to sea. Russ came along in '69 and they sold their home and headed to California. Don and Barb always thought "Bulldog" and would check the petshops. They knew nothing about dog clubs and couldn't care less.
    Becky joined the household in 1972. At that time the Dells had 4 dog-dogs. It wasn't until 1975 that they finally found a Bulldog they could afford - in the newspaper. Tessa died in 1977 and Don and Barb were deevastated. They had to get another Bulldog. In checking her pedigree they found a local name, Barney Barnett, and he referred them to Doris Boyd. She had a litter! One little girl was available but she really should be shown. The Dells agreed. They would promise anything to get their hands on that gorgeous little lady Bully that lived to be 11. So began the Dells dog show life. The first ribbon at a fun match guaranteed it. Don and Barb could write a book (a couple of books) on the fun times.
    The children joined 4-H and Becky went in for Dog Care and Training. The leaders felt sorry for her. Trying to train a Bulldog! By the time she was 10 she had put a CD on her first Bulldog. When Becky was 12, her second CD Bulldog was the #1 Novice Bulldog in the country. There was also lots of conformation showing and Junior showmanship.
    With the Dells sea life they were able to take 6 week vacations twice a year. They traveled everywhere they could drive and used dog shows as an excuse for a destination (including Canada). Don and Russ were professional go-fers and Becky did the handling. Barb would help in the usual mom category.
    Time passed. Youngsters went to college and got married and have their own families now. Don retired in 1996 and learned to do the showing. Although Don and Barb have bred and finished quite a few Bulldogs in conformation, those performance titles are the most satisfying.
    Years ago the Dells decided they could either retire rich or have Bulldogs. They seem to have always made the right decisions. They have two fabulous children with wonderful families and Don and Barb have a house full of Bulldogs.
Becky Barb Bill Bill Russ Don Don
Becky Becky Steve Liam Luke
Anne John Russ Russ Michelle Dana


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