Georgia on My Mind

By Tina Blue
January 21, 2002

          My next-door neighbor Julie has a one-and-a-half-year-old bulldog named Georgia. 

          Don't you love it already?  A bulldog named Gorgia.

          When I asked if they chose the name because the Georgia mascot is a bulldog, I discovered that was not the reason.  Julie just liked the name Georgia.

          What I like about the name is that it is ironic, but subtly so, not blatantly, as "Princess" or something equally
would be.

          Georgia fits her name.  She really is just a sweet little girl, not the fierce killing machine she looks like. 

          Of course, bulldogs were bred for baiting bears and bulls, and they really are incredibly powerful animals.  Their short, stocky bodies are dense with muscle, and they weigh more than you'd think anything that compact could possibly weigh.

          And all that muscle translates into impact when an enthusiastic bulldog bumps into you while playing.  It's sort of like being bumped by a very short eighteen-wheeler.  If the dog gets excited enough to jump up at you, you are not likely to stay on your feet.

          Then there are those jaws, those incredible, powerful jaws, designed to latch on to the face or neck or a bear or a bull and never let go, no matter what.

          Even the sweetest, gentlest bulldog comes equipped with superjaws.

          And Georgia is the sweetest, gentlest bulldog.  But when I am playing tug-o'-war with her, and she tries to chomp up higher on the rope, I back up and let her have the darned thing.  I know she would never try to bite me, but if she chomps that rope too close to some part of my body, a piece of me might accidentally get nipped, and a bulldog's nip would be no small matter.

          When we play tug-o'-war, she always wins, of course.  She pulls and shakes with so much force that I can practically feel my shoulder getting ripped out of its socket.

          But she's such a puppy at heart, this Georgia.  All she wants to do is play, and every time she sees me outside, she gives a short, guttural "woof," inviting me to come and frolic.

          What's funny is that most people, seeing Georgia's fierce visage and hearing that low, short bark, would probably start in fear and carefully skirt her yard.  That's just as well.  If word ever got out about what a goofy, playful puppy Georgia is, Julie's yard would be full of people standing in line for their turn to frolic with this adorable, ugly-cute young dog.

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