Buggy, an English bulldog, suffered numerous health issues, probably the result of irresponsible breeding, according to his vet, Dr. Seth Bleakley. He was initially taken in by Leslie Bird, founder and director of NorCal Bully Breed Rescue, when he was just 4-month-old pup.
He was born with unattached luxating elbows in both front legs, making it difficult for him to walk and breathing was also a challenge due to elongated palate and only one nostril.
Luckily, this adorable dog figured out a way to cope with his problems.
“When he was a puppy at the rescue, his way of helping himself breathe with open airways was to fall asleep with a wooden object, like the bottom rung of a kitchen stool, in his mouth,” Melissa, who adopted Buggy after his rescue, told The Dodo. “If [the wood] was at his height, he would put his mouth on it and fall asleep … It is a self-soothing way to ensure that he’s breathing.”
Buggy has undergone several surgeries to help him walk and breath better, giving him a second nostril and shorter palate. But habits are hard to break.
“When Leslie from NorCal drove him to me from Sacramento, she had a giant Tupperware that she had all of his stuff in. So the day after I got Buggy, I’m emptying the bin and went to go do laundry and there was a blanket left in the bin,” Melissa shared.
“Buggy climbed into the bin, lodged his mouth on the side, and I found him sleeping like that,” she continued.
“It has become a habit. It’s comforting to him,” Melissa explained, “like the equivalent of a child falling asleep with a pacifier in their mouth.”
While Buggy may prefer his Tupperware “Buggy box,” the bulldog is always searching for a good place to rest his jaw. Now with three new rescue dogs, Buggy enjoys his own place – being in the comfort of his plastic box.
“We have Buggy boxes now all over the house; it’s what he prefers to sleep in,” Melissa shared. “If Buggy needs a break, or is tired, he seeks out the Buggy box. If Buggy wants some time to himself to just observe, it’s his office; it’s where he can oversee everyone.”
Buggy’s life is not easy but his burden becomes lighter thanks to his loving adoptive family. “People look at Buggy and they think, ‘This poor guy,’ but after the first month of getting used to the sound he makes when he breathes, I don’t see his differences,” Melissa said. “If you just see his personality, he’s strong, funny, sincere and loves having a family — and, now, he’s cuddly!”