Selected Passages from Bullmina the Courageous Bulldog to the Rescue
Published in 2004, Bullmina the Courageous Bulldog, chronicles a shameful time in Britain's history when dogs and bulls were used as entertainment in every town, village and shire. There are compelling passages that depict the horror of the dogfight pits and the miserable, filthy conditions of kennels owned by greedy, heartless breeders who exploited these dogs for their own profit.
From Chapter 2: Lady Evelyn's Crusade
It made Lady Evelyn shudder to imagine what Bullmina had suffered in the dogfight pits. She reached down and caressed Bullmina's head, gently caressing the scars where the fur no longer grew on her forehead and jowls. Then she scratched behind Bullmina's right ear. Part of it was gone, bitten and torn off in one of Roger and Rigel Neemy's dogfights. There was another massive scar on Bullmina's neck, between her shoulder blades, a medal from a match she barely won. Trevor Sheffield, Bullmina's trainer at the Neemy Kennels, now worked for the Waverlys and told Lady Evelyn that Bullmina had lost a lot of blood in that particular match. Luckily, a veterinarian had been close by to help Trevor sew up the wound; they had to work quickly or Bullmina would have bled to death.
From left: Piglet taking a snooze, Bullmina’s grandpuppies, and Ruby — one of the models for the illustrations
From Chapter 19: Cassius
Andrew Cameron, head rescue trainer, asked for a big ladle of water to quench his thirst as he waited until Lisette and Matthew were well out of sight. He threw a bit of the water on the back of his neck and mopped it off with a handkerchief. "All right, men," he exhaled deeply. "As ya can see, well 'ave ta step lively. We'll open the back gate o' the rollin' crate 'n lasso 'im with the double-choke 'n leads from behind. Once 'e's as stable as we can get 'im, I'll be wantin' a third lead on 'im as a precaution before we can take 'im out. 'E goes straight ta 'is kennel. The one in the back corner, which Trevor's presently makin' ready. Jimmy-Boy's the strongest, 'n 'e's puttin' 'is leather arm guards on. Say a little prayer, mates."
When Lady Evelyn decides to open a "no-kill" rescue shelter at Chathamworthshire, she jeopardizes more than just her marriage to the Duke. When she takes in ailing Lisette St. Germaine and wounded Matthew Connors, she infuriates her arrogant niece, Beatrice. And her gifted young trainer, Trevor Sheffield, thinks she has finally gone too far when she brings Jared McCreath's Cassius to the estate. Chaos soon erupts, and the rescuers become the rescued with strength and forgiveness coming for the most unlikely sources, and resentment giving way to a renewed sense of purpose — all inspired by the courage of an aging Bullmina, and her unforgettable legacy.
From Chapter 23: The Duke’s Wrath
Lord Anthony Charleston Waverly III burst into his wife’s bedroom, sucking in his breath with vehemence. “Well, are you finally happy now with your little experiment, my Lady?”
“Tony, you’re back,” Lady Evelyn looked up, blotting her red, puffy eyes. Sadie was lying there beside her.
“What the deuce are you doing in bed with Sadie?” he asked, surprised that his usually head-strong, stubborn wife had taken to her bed. “You should be down there nursing Bullmina with the others, not cowering in here!”
“This has been a terrible shock to all of us, and, I assure you, I’m doing the best I can, Tony.”
“Oh, and what might that be? Making plans with Lady Martha to bring a few more incorrigible monsters here?”
“Please, don’t say that,” the Duchess said softly, trying to maintain her composure. “I’m too weak and distraught to go to the chapel right now, so I’m praying for Bullmina here, with Sadie.”
“Well, all your prayers won’t do a damn bit of good this time,” snarled the Duke, his sky-blue eyes cold with fury.
“Stop it! You’re destroying me, Tony!” the Duchess gasped, flinching under the blankets.
“NO!” roared the Duke. “You’ve already done a fine job of that yourself. I knew something like this would happen some day! It was just a matter of time.”
“Tony, I’m truly sorry about –”
“NO! You’re not sorry about a damn thing! You won’t be satisfied until every ferocious mongrel in London’s been brought here! That monster broke his lead as easily as if it were one of your silk tapestry threads! And it wasn’t the fault of any of the trainers either. They tried to stop him. My God, Evelyn, Jimmy-Boy’s having his arm sawed off as we speak! And who knows how long Andrew Cameron will remain unconscious?”
The Duchess turned her face to the wall and sniffed back a few tears.
“That’s it, woman, go ahead and cry! Not one of my trainers has ever been injured like this before. Never! Our safety records have always been among the best in the entire country. A little nip here and there, but nothing like this. Two trainers seriously injured in one day!”
“This has all been sheer madness from day one!”
“But your Lordship,” her voice faltered, “as you said, it’s…it’s the first time anything like this has ever –”
“We certainly don’t need another repeat performance, do we?” the Duke quickly interrupted her. “And, by God, I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again – even if I have to shoot some of those monsters myself!”