How did we start the “Coeur des Prés Verts” kennel?
Long ago, we were not keen of small doggies. My favourite breed was the bouvier of Flanders, and Christiane had been raised with a German Shepherd and an Irish setter.
Still, in 1989, we held a shop in Brussels and one of our regular customer used to come with his little brindle French bulldog. He was so cute, this little big-eared fighter. While Christiane took care of our customer, I played with the dog on all fours! The breed had started its way to my heart.
Everything was getting into place to give us the possibility to have a family small-sized kennel… but at the time, we did not know it yet!
In August 1999 I travelled to Poland with a friend on a business trip. He took the opportunity of this trip to visit a friend of his, a veterinary who was also a breeder. And there, on that day, I lived my encounter of the 3rd type: a small white snowball with big bat ears rushed over me! Mika ! 2 months old..Love at first sight! And mutual!
I immediately asked the breeder to buy her.
Sorry, no, he said, this is my children’s puppy. They would be upset, but, by the end of this year, more puppies will be born and she will be older, I can bet the kids will let her down for younger cuter puppies.
If that’s okay for you…
And so, around Christmas 1999, my friend, who had been back to Poland, brought me back little Mika with a big red ribbon around her neck: My Xmas present, my little white fairy came into our life, and she is still part of our life right now.
And afterwards everything came into place: Mika was so beautiful that we registered her for various dog shows, and she won medals and cups!! Once she was grown-up, she was considered having a “puppy look”, i.e. not developed enough and a breeder friend advised to let her have a litter in order to “blossom out”. Well, we did, and she remained “puppy looking”, but that was it: we had caught the virus of bulldog breeding!
In 2001, le Polish vet who gave us Mika told us he was quitting breeding and offered his last 3 dogs (father, Tazz, mother, Figa and daughter, Piggy) at a friendly price. It was impossible to resist. And here we are!!
Our kennel, Coeur des prés verts, is of family size. We breed by hobby, not to make money. We have an average of one litter yearly, rarely two. We have always kept for ourselves one puppy of each litter.
After 3 litters our mothers become retirees but they stay in the family, because one does not ever want to separate from one’s French bulldog!
TAZZ The Pater familias
He arrived home in 2001, when 5 years old, preceded by a reputation of a snarling dog. In reality, he proved to be a delightful dog, of the ‘strong and quiet’ type, super-paternal with all the puppies he crossed.
When the new puppies had their first shots, they could at last go out in the garden and play with ‘big daddy’. Tazz was very patient. As long as he was lying, the babies may inflict him every possible impertinence, climb on his back, pull his lips and cheeks. When he was finally fed up, he would stand up and ‘tame’ the little cub simply by standing over him and resting his big head on him preventing him from moving until he was totally calmed down. A very successful technique.
Tazz left us in 2008, aged 12.
FIGA The Mater Familas
She arrived home at 6, with Tazz. She died in 2009. She was 13.
These last months, she had become blind and deaf, but she kept living her usual life, neither disturbed nor depressed.
MIKA The super-nanny
Mika has always been the second mother for all the puppies born in the house. She takes care of them, leaks them, cleans them, comfort them. During their first 5 weeks of life, she is perfect sugar-mummy. After that period, she makes it a point of duty to start their education and transform them in well-socialised doggies.
Mika has remained Felix’ sweetheart. She turned 10 this year.
COOKIE Christiane’s sweetie
She is Piggy’s daughter, and therefore the granddaughter of Figa and Tazz.
Christiane and Cookie are fond of each other and understand each other without speaking. One look or one funny face is enough.
Cookie loves water, never mind the form it takes: puddles, a mountain stream, a fountain, the water pipe when we clean the terrace, rain, snow even. We must carefully watch her, because she still doesn’t know how to swim!
DARLING ‘Little pest’ on duty.
She is the daughter of Mika
This young lady is extremely possessive and awfully jealous of other females, even her own daughters!
On the other hand, surrounded by males, look how she struts around!!
ELEKTRA The little 6-volt battery
Daughter of Cookie
‘Unfortunately’ she bears the perfect name. She is a sort of Duracell rabbit, but no switch to stop her.
This does not prevent her from being very sweet, a lovely little honeybee.
GALAK The white ‘magic ball’
Daughter of Darling
She is a small anorexic dog who a thousand times prefers cuddles to food.
She enjoys jumping! She jumps all the time and on everything. Pity we did not call her trampoline or Pogo jump stick.
GIGI (Gitane) O Gigi !! Our cute Gigi ! A Star is born.
Gigi is our star, our limelight’s freak. She is born to be alive and be snapshot! She can spot a camera and immediately sits quiet for the picture to be taken, waiting for the flashlight.
During dog shows, on the ring, she moves like a top model or a movie star.
In addition, she has a limitless admiration for Felix whom she follows with a devoted and loving stare for instant reaction at each of his wishes.
That makes her very successful in exhibits where she gets excellent results.