When Los Angeles-based charity Road Dogs & Rescue took bulldog Quarrie in, there were immediate concerns for his future. His small size and health issues meant that there were serious doubts about his survival. However, when he opened his mouth and barked, the sound told simply warmed his carers’ hearts.
When you think of bulldogs, a certain image likely comes to mind. They’re known as big and powerful canines with trademark grumpy faces and wide, heavy bodies. However, just like humans, even strong dogs are vulnerable to genetic disorders and health problems.
For example, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals performed a study of bulldogs across 30 years. The results showed that nearly 75 percent of them tested positive for hip dysplasia. Indeed, health issues for the dogs are such a concern that the U.K. Kennel Club added new breeding regulations in January 2009.
There are also organizations across the pond in America joining the fight to help bulldogs with special needs. One of those groups is Los Angeles-based non-profit charity Road Dogs & Rescue. It explains its admirable goal to provide a better quality of life for suffering pooches on its Facebook page.
“Road Dogs & Rescue is on a mission to transform the lives of bulldogs and special needs pups in LA and spread happiness and healing,” it writes on its Facebook page. And one of the animals that it took on was little Quarrie.
Road Dogs & Rescue founder Nikki Carvey described Quarrie in an interview with The Dodo in October 2018. “He’s supposed to be an English bulldog, but he was not the right size,” she said.
“When Quarrie first came to us, he was about the size of a can of Coke,” Carvey continued. “He was pretty malnourished, very runtish. It was really like, ‘Oh my God, this guy is so tiny, is he actually even going to live?’”
But despite being sickly and tiny, Quarrie had a will to live several times his size. “Anyone who knows [him] knows what a huge spirit he’s got,” Carvey told The Dodo. Indeed, the plucky pup’s desire for life was matched only by the huge size of his personality.
Despite his small stature, Quarrie is scared of no one. While Road Dog & Rescue provided for its tiny newcomer, the charity came to realize he had no problem speaking his mind, either. And for such a little fellow, he had a large voice he used to express himself.
Carvey first noticed that as Quarrie’s diet improved, he began to vocalize a lot more. Or, as she told The Dodo, “He’s very talkative.” Furthermore, she noticed that the pup’s barking got more frequent when he found something disagreeable. And Quarrie’s a dog who knows what he wants.
Carvey continued, “He likes to complain whenever we do anything that he’s not 100 percent a fan of. The main thing he gets sassy about is food. If he’s not getting his breakfast on time, you’ll hear about it.”
But even as Quarrie’s health improved, he still suffered from one pronounced issue in particular. He still wasn’t walking properly. His legs didn’t seem to be growing as they should, which reflected in the pup’s movement.
“He kind of waddled along with [his legs] all splayed out,” Carvey told The Dodo. As such, she feared the problem might be permanent. “We thought he might be paralyzed,” she elaborated. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, but Quarrie still had a battle ahead of him.
That’s because the problem lay in little Quarrie’s leg muscles, which didn’t work properly. “It’s almost like the muscle doesn’t even know it can bend,” Carvey added. “I hated seeing him struggle, not being able to [walk] properly.”
As a result, the charity used tape in an attempt to recondition Quarrie’s legs as part of his rehabilitation. Of course, the outspoken pup disagreed with that. According to Carvey, he wasn’t shy about expressing his distaste.
“[Quarrie] wasn’t big on the leg taping, so he always had something to say,” Carvey told The Dodo. However, despite his complaints, he soon saw improvement. And it wasn’t long before he was able to use his legs a lot better.
Carvey added, “[Quarrie] was motoring within a few days. He would be up and off, exploring.” Road Dog & Rescue followed up Quarrie’s rehab with some hydrotherapy, which further improved his muscle condition. And as the pup’s recovery progressed, he became even more of a character.
Carvey told The Dodo, “I would describe Quarrie as a male diva. It’s all about what he wants to do, when he wants to do it.” That includes play-fighting with his rescuer’s other dogs who are several times his size. Thanks to the love and care Carvey’s charity provided Quarrie with, he went from strength to strength.
In fact, after Quarrie’s rehab his walk is now almost like any other dog’s. There was also more good news for the plucky pooch: he found a permanent home. Quarrie is now living with his adopted family in New Jersey, and Carvey couldn’t be happier for him.
“So many of these special needs puppies that we get, they’re written off,” Carvey concluded to The Dodo. “But their personalities are so huge, it’s almost like they have a bigger will to live. That’s the good side of rescue. Seeing the puppy that transforms from being really super tiny and you not knowing whether it’s going to live, to you know, this little guy now.”