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Bulldog Otis — ruler of the house

Dog Blog

June 11, 2010|By Pegi Lopez

While on one of my infamous walks about town looking for special animals and their owners, I came upon a young lady named Meghan McMannus who had an obvious crush on her dog, Otis. It was "Otis this, Otis that" — she could not say enough about Otis.

Otis is a vision: He is a bit tall for his breed — English bulldog. But all else fits: the jutting lower jaw and the classic bottom incisors protruding over his upper lip, the snout the that appears to have been hit by one of the many trash trucks he goes after, the tongue that does not quite fit in his mouth, and the build of a champion wrestler. It is all there and it all says "bulldog." It's his propensity for tea that makes him English.

Her search for the specimen of her dreams lasted about six months, and, just when she was about to give up — surmising that there was no such animal — she met a vacationing couple from Idaho who had just had bulldog puppies. Usually it is the tourists who bother the locals, but not this time. Meghan became an inquisitive pest. She found that it was the first time they had ever bred their male, who had been a show dog winner. She kept in close contact with the couple, continuing to be a pest until Otis was old enough to leave his mom. He will be 6 years old July 28, and I am sure that party plans are under way.

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When she finally got to meet the little man for the first time it was love at first snort. He flew all the way from Idaho and landed at John Wayne Airport in a special carrier. As a typical new owner, she placed his carrier in the back seat, and him in the passenger seat, perhaps as a relief driver, because she was sure he could do anything. Instead she doted on him at every stop. While driving, Otis climbed over the center console and onto her lap where he wedged himself in between Meghan and the steering wheel. It was snuggle at first ride. She had to put on her hazard lights and wait for traffic to go around her so she could reposition him. Needless to say, he stole her heart and they were not even home yet.

Although people always ask why Otis is his name— possibly inspired by her admiration for Otis Redding — alas there really is no explanation except that he looked like an Otis. It just fit.

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