Once upon a time, Ed and Ann Marie Mayuga fell in love with an English bulldog named Mr. President. They had him from a puppy, and he was a “character,” Ed Mayuga says. Mr. President became a fixture in the St. Louis English bulldog meet-up groups, and everyone loved him. The Mayugas wanted Mr. President to have a friend, so they adopted a French bulldog named Popcorn.
“They were like peas in a pod,” Mayuga says.
Unfortunately, Popcorn got cancer when he was around 8 years old. The Mayugas did a lot to try to save him, but the cancer took over, and they had to put him down in September 2013.
Mr. President was lonely. He had lost his best friend.
“We knew he needed a companion,” Mayuga says. “I was on Facebook and saw that Baxter needed a foster family.”
St. Louis English Bulldog Rescue president Diana Engeszer brought Baxter over, and he and Mr. President played all afternoon. Mr. President, a senior dog by English bulldog standards, got overheated and was uncomfortable all night. The Mayugas found out the next morning that he had passed away overnight.
“We had lost two amazing dogs in 10 days,” Mayuga says.
It was a tough time for the Mayugas, but they decided to adopt Baxter. He helped them through the loss of Mr. President and Popcorn, and they even ended up adopting another bulldog: a French one named Bonaparte.
“We owe a lot to St. Louis English Bulldog Rescue,” Mayuga says. “We don’t have any children, so our dogs are our children. A lot of times, people don’t want to adopt bulldogs because they only live about 8 or 9 years and often have health problems. But we’re so grateful for ours.”
Baxter and Bonaparte are healthy and spoiled. They wear matching outfits and get to go shopping with the Mayugas. Since the couple works out of their home, the bulldogs get a lot of attention. Baxter can be a bit mischievous at times, Mayuga says.
“We have a guest bedroom with a low bed, and if the door is left open even a crack, we’ll find Baxter in there, buried under the pillows,” Mayuga says. “He makes a nest and buries himself.”
The Mayugas speak highly of bulldogs as a breed, and Ed Mayuga says they’re like “little clowns.”
“People who don’t know bulldogs often think they’re fierce,” he says. “Nothing is further from the truth. They’re sweet little lap dogs.”
Baxter certainly has his quirks. Mayuga’s parents, who are retired and live down the street, watch the dogs from time to time. Occasionally, Baxter will get to whining, and Mayuga’s parents know just what to do.
“He wants a car ride,” he says. “They’ll put him in the car and drive him in a 10-mile loop. He loves it.”
Baxter absolutely loves Ann Marie Mayuga and will follow her all over the house, her spouse says.
“If you don’t shut the bathroom door when you shower, he’ll be asleep and snoring on the bathmat when you get out,” he says.
When all is said and done, Baxter and Bonaparte make the perfect companions to the Mayugas.
“No matter how my day goes, they’re always there and so happy to see me,” Mayuga says. “Ican’t imagine life without them.”
This story was originally published at laduenews.com. Read it on LN’s website here.