According to Cesar Millan, bulldogs are the “silent point of view”. Bulldogs ambush. They don’t bark warnings like other breeds. That’s the way they were bred to be. It’s the way they are. They are tenacious. A more negative word for them is stubborn. I have come to think of them as “bulldoggy”.
When Stella doesn’t want to move, she doesn’t. She seemed to be aware from the get-go that I can’t shift a 50 lb. lump of anything without mammoth physical effort on my part or without help from the 50 lb. lump. So she drops to the ground and lays her chin flat on top of her paws. It’s her way of saying “Nope” from her silent bulldoggy point of view.
Sometimes it is a recurring battle in the “War for Leash Control”. We each advance and retreat over the same ground in a cycle of small victories, small defeats, and small stalemates. She points her stubby nose in her direction of choice, strains at the leash, and sets her sturdy massive shoulders. Her whole body says, “Now who’s going to make me go a different way?”
The very picture of Gibraltar. Her ancestors would be proud.
The funny thing is that her stubbornness delays her own success. She wants that special ride but won’t go out in a sprinkle of rain to use the backyard facilities so we can leave. I wanted to make some padded, insulated paw protectors for when we walk rough paths so she could enjoy short trail hikes. All I needed Stella to do was to stand on a piece of paper for about 7 seconds while I traced around her foot. She couldn’t bring herself to comply. I waited. I finally found one paw in a flat position when she was laying down and I got a tracing. Just one.
That’s when I noticed yet another similarity between us and them. Pigheadedness is not restricted to bulldogs. Or pigs. Or horses. Or mules. Or humans.
Dear Lord, did you send us bulldogs to show us how stubborn and hard to work with we can be? All the big and little complaining, all the disobedience, all the fear, all the reluctance to do what we should do willingly, even when it’s for our own good?
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. (Psalm32:9 New Living Translation)
And be not like Stella the Stubborn Bulldog who must be held by a strong hand on a leash else she pulls you down the road whithersoever she wishes to go.
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