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Cliff-Diving Dogs of Maryland: Braque du Bourbonnais

I’ve written about Brock the Braque du Bourbonnais, my Bother-in-Law’s dog before, including the repulsive way he tries to endear himself to people by making the world’s ugliest dog face.

Braque du Bourbonnais

Brock the Braque du Bourbonnais‘ “Love me?” face.

Apparently, in French, Braque du Bourbonnais means “little dog with well-deserved insecurity issues.”

We babysat Gollum’s less attractive brother over Christmas. During that magical week, we took him for a walk on a forest trail flanked by trees on one side, and a 20ft dead drop to a shallow, muddy inlet on the other.

Brock spent most of the walk ripping through the thorn-choked underbrush looking for anything that resembled a bird so he could  tear it to pieces and proudly drop it at our feet. He likes turning birds into modern art. He’s a bird Cuisinart. He once caught a bird while on the leash, until we screamed in horror and he spat  it out like a cartoon cat, feathers exploding as the shaken wren flew to safety. After that, we saw very few birds in the yard when Brock visited. Word got around.

Did I mention Braque du Bourbonnais dogs are rare? Shocking, I know.*

Anyway, on this particular walk, Brock periodically checked in with us to show off his bloodied ears and scratched sides and then went tearing into the bushes again. Brambles and pain mean nothing to dog drunk on bird pheromones,  so Brock didn’t think twice when some bird’s trail led directly off the edge of the 20 foot cliff.

Before we could scream sense into his little shedding head, Brock parachuted off the cliff like a flying squirrel.

Mike & I bolted to the edge and peered over. Hip deep in stinky black mud, freakishly long tongue lolling out, Brock stared back up at us like, “Hey! How’d you guys get all the way up there? Do you see any birds?”

The damn dog already reeked. If you sat in a room eating nothing but beans, hard boiled eggs and teenagers’ attitudes for a week, you couldn’t muster up the sheer, unadulterated stank of Brock’s toots. When he finally went home with his family I couldn’t even let Mike kiss me for a week due to the Pavlovian-vomit response I’d developed listening to the sound of Brock’s ass-lips smacking open. All week, I’d hear that little kissing noise, and then a cloud of Brock’s personal brand of mustard gas would envelop me. It’s like the Bother-in-Law brought us Pandora’s box, opened it, and tossed it into our house like a hand grenade. All the world’s evils leaked from Brock’s butt.

Braque du Bourbonnais

We found draping a blanket over Brock trapped the toots. And made him look like an old Gypsy woman, which was a HUGE bonus.

 

Now, the little bastard was covered in bay mud, which really, was like Dolce & Gabbana cologne compared to his toots, but still, not good. Plus, we feared he was stuck, which meant soon we’d be plunging off the cliff, because people get pretty judgey when you leave their dog hip-deep in bay mud for a week. Even family.

Braque du Bourbonnais

To our relief, Brock the Braque du Bourbonnais finally unstuck himself from the mud and did his best to return to us. He did this by repeatedly slamming himself into the side of the cliff and then sliiiiding, all four limbs splayed out, nails creating little furrows down the face of the wall, back into the mud. He did this… oh… maybe thirty times. It was like watching a Wile E. Coyote cartoon on infinite loop.

Finally, Brock found a slightly more manageable incline and made it back up to us and our oblivious Labradoodle, Gordon. Gordon couldn’t understand why his little cousin went plunging off a cliff when there was plenty of deer smells all over the perfectly clean trail.

We all headed for home, mud drying on Brock’s legs. He looked like an unfired clay pot by the time we reached our doorstep. We picked him up with a towel, put him in the tub, and gave him a bath.

Afterwards, Brock thanked me for his bath the only way he knew how. He walked over to where I lounged on the sofa, flipped onto his back in mid-air and slammed his skull into my face, desperately trying to push his tiny skull into my larger skull through my eye socket.

Such a cutie.


* Yes, I know Brock is unique, and a runt, and that he probably spent some time wearing his own umbilical cord as a tie. I also know not a whole lot of time was spent training him correctly to hunt. I know there are probably other excellent Braque du Bourbonnais dogs out there, so if you’re a breeder or owner, don’t bother pointing out all the charms of other Braque du Bourbonnais. Sweeping generalizations are just funnier than real life and I’m going to continue thinking Braque du Bourbonnais are what happens when cartoon dogs come to life.**

** But understand, in dog ThunderDome, Labradoodles kick Braque du Bourbonnais’ asses every time. Ever. Period.

 

Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.
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33 Responses

  1. Alinthecounty

    I love it when one dog looks at another dog like they’re a complete idiot. Hooray for Gordon the Labradoodle for telling it like it is.

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  2. Michele Drier

    Oh man, I write vampire romance novels and I HAVE to get one of these dogs! Those red, glowing eyes! Those lovely white fangs!
    This is great, thanks!
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    • Amy Vansant

      We’ve been told his submissive “smile” that looks like he’s bloodthirsty is unique to him and his mother. But I can probably get you a good deal on him…

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      • Joe

        I have two Braques that both “smile”.

        we call it the “Shark Face”

        Awesome dogs.

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  3. Terrye

    You should rent him out for children’s parties. I bet he’d be great! The only dog

    I’ve ever had that was that brand of ‘special’ was a Labraherdsky (Lab, German Shepard, Husky). The guy we got her from was teaching her to fetch on the top of a 3 story building (that was surrounded by flight line on the island of Shemya on the Aleutian Islands – hence the reason he wasn’t on the ground). The ball went over the edge and so did she. Brilliant dog. Smart as a cracked brick.
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      • Terrye

        The island is at the very end of the Alaskan Aleutian chain…it’s basically just a HUGE rock that the air force decided to put an air strip on. It’s not uncommon to go out there for what you think is a 2 week stay and get stuck there for a month because of bad weather. It can drive you crazy. :D
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      • Amy Vansant

        Oh! Is that the island that was in The Big Year about the bird watching? Sounds like it – or nearby, anyway. Ah, hold on. I hate it when people ask me things they could easily google… the movie island was Attu Island.

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  4. Judy Black

    If all Labradoodles are like the one in my dog’s obedience class they would win the dog thunderdom . I paid money to try to get something that dog already had. (We failed )You have a gift for writing , let me tell you about English Setters…. I won’t bore you with details but if I wasn’t against dog crushed birds I’d save a lot on my grocery bill.

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  5. Nina Potts

    Now I will remember to only read your blogs before midnight (because they’re like gremlins?). Actually I might wake my girlfriend and several snoring/farting dogs.

    Whenever we get a dog with a blanket/sheet/towel/washcloth over their head we nickname them Babushka. Which might be racist or something. (They can hide under washcloths because they’re chihuahuas. So many chihuahuas…). So now you have another nickname for him when he comes to visit.
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  6. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    My sister used to work at a physical therapy clinic for dogs, and I went to visit one day, and a dog there was making that crazy smile face, and I felt so bad for whatever neurological trauma she had endured, and my sister told me, no, that’s just her way of saying hi. I wonder if she had terrible toots too, like if it’s a genetic combo.
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  7. zrusilla

    My Braque du Bourbonnais is usually addressed as The Beast instead of his name. Occasionally he is Crazy Beast, Stupid Beast or Damned Beast. We love him to death anyway though.

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