Friday, February 2, 2007

Interview With Floyd Boudreaux

Interview With Legendary Dogman Floyd Boudreaux

How many of us can say that his daddy had bulldogs for more than 40 years? How many of us can say without exaggeration that he played an important roll in developing a line of dogs that have stood the test of time and become the backbone of some of the best performing bloodlines around these days. One of the very few that can answer these questions with a positive “Yes” is Floyd Boudreaux from Louisiana. We sat down and talked to Mr. Boudreaux about his most famous dogs. Like the BLIND BILLY dog, BOZE, ELI, OX and many more. For the first time Mr. Boudreaux tells about his friendship and relations with dogmen like Leo Kinard, George Saddler, Joe Corvino, Maurice Carver and others.

Floyd Boudreaux is without any doubt a very knowledgeable dogman and has bred, raised and handled some of the best ever to cross a pit. Stay with us and read about the living legend from Louisiana, Mr. Floyd Boudreaux.

What was your first dog and when was the first time for you to leave Louisiana with these dogs to fight into something other than local competition? I remember my first dog was a brindle female, her name was FLOSSIE. I started at a very young age but the first time for me to fight a dog in the fast –lane must have been when I took STAGGER LEE to San Antonio to one of Maurice Carver’s shows. I went into a guy named Steven and he had a dog called ROHO. We had that dog beat but he kept pushing his dog in the corner with his knees each time when it was his time to scratch. Maurice was the referee and I said: “Gentleman be sure not to push that dog anymore, you have pushed him for the last time.” If I wouldn’t have said anything that time, who knows what might have happened!

How well did you know Carver? Pretty good. I saw a lot of his shows and gave him some dogs, but I never really did much business with him. He was a nice looking man and could tell a story like no other. I remember Maurice and Mr. Jolley, from south Texas, came here one time in 1955 and they were driving a red Thunderbird convertible. You had to push the car to start it and they had a black dog named BUTCH with them. He jumped out of the car and was running to highway and we had to catch him. Maurice told me he started with the dogs in 1946, one year after I fought my first dog. He and his friend Jolley went to Louisiana to fight that WINO dog that was owned by Jolley. After the fight Jolley sold the dog over here and Maurice was so angry with him that he refused to drive back to Texas with Jolley in the same car. Maurice knew a lot of good dog people and he would watch the hot young dogs in somebody’s backyard and if you had something he liked he would try and talk you out of it and then start selling them. I saw him fight a few good ones but he never did fight many dogs and a lot of times he would come in overweight. One time he was matched into Mayfield and come in overweight. But Mayfield said he would fight anyway. Carver refused and then sold his dog. That’s how he was. Maurice was always trying to make money with the dogs. How else could he survive? He wasn’t going to work for a living.

Do you think he misrepresented those papers to keep that a secret? I’m sure he did to some degree. But in those days it was pretty much common knowledge that he did and everybody that needed to know, knew about it. I did. He bred to my BLIND BILLY dog and that’s how he got IRONHEAD, BOOMERANG and others. They came out of my stuff. He always told us that BOOMERANG was out of IRONHEAD. You see Maurice would exaggerate a lot all the time, and he was smart enough to tell you a lie. Don’t get me wrong, Maurice was a nice guy, but also a liar. He told me one time that he worked for the Mexican Government, the Border Patrol, and even told my wife he worked for the Foreign Legion. But one thing is for sure, he was a hell of a ladies man and could convince you that black was blue. He sure was a good salesman.

What was the best dog you ever owned? They ask me that all the time. It’s tough to answer, but I think I’m partial to my BOZE dog. I probably had a few that were as good, but I always liked him a lot. He won 27 rolls for me and he was always the smaller dog, but they couldn’t beat him. He also won one contracted fight. One time Jerry Clemons and Douglas Nirider brought a dog that was 19lbs bigger than BOZE and that big dog would bite through car tires. When we put them down it was a joke. BOZE was a fast, hard mouth dog. He would fight high in the shoulder and destroy a dog quick. During the day time he would usually sleep with the puppies around the house and I always thought he was a little shy, just like BLIND BILLY. One time he won a fight in just 6 minutes, that was in New Orleans. We had 10 matches that day and he beat a dog of Jerome Hernandez. He just wrecked the dog. It was no contest. BOZE was out of SCRUB and CANDY. After that fight, they claimed that their dog wasn’t conditioned. I don’t know, but mine was ready to fight. I matched against Jerome 3 times and won twice. Jerome was a dogman and hard to beat.

What was the last dog you matched? I guess that was the CACTUS dog from Grady Cummings about 15 years ago. This dog quit in 28 minutes. He had quit before, but I didn’t know that at the time and nobody told me about this until we were about to wash the dogs for the fight. Atlas Brewer came up to me and said, “Do you want to know something about that dog?” I said, “I appreciate that, but it is a little late.” We had our money up and I wasn’t trying to be rude, but if a man wants to help me then help me on the get go. I would never let a man start conditioning a dog if I knew the dog was a cur, but it happened.

Mr. Boudreaux, I want you to tell me the full story on the old ELI dog. How he was bred, his parents, his pups and so on. I will tell you the true story as it is and I have witnesses that can tell you this is the truth. If this is not right, I’m the brother of Martin Luther King. Today at least 80% of the dogs that are fighting come from ELI. It makes me mad that they got the story on him and his sons BULLYSON and ELI JR., turned around. Not for myself, I know better. I lived it, but the future generation that is coming behind us doesn’t know anything about the truth and have to rely on what they are reading. That’s why I’m so glad I can do this interview in the TIMES. It takes a small man to lie and change a story. I’m telling the truth about how them dogs are bred just like I was told before. ELI was a pretty good individual and after his match against Jack Smith in Cleveland I bought him home. We doctored him up and then a sheriff from Mississippi tried to buy him, but I wouldn’t sell him. Then the next day Raymond Holt of Texas and his wife Sharon came by to buy him, but I gave ELI to my friend Jr. Bush, from Alabama. He loaned ELI to John Cotton from Chattanooga, TN. They were friends at the time and that’s where somebody stole ELI. I gave ELI to Jr. because he is a real high-class dogman, an example for a lot of other so called dogmen. When ELI got stolen, Cotton gave Jr. $1000 and told him to go and buy another dog, and said that if there was another dog he liked that cost more he would make up the difference. There is a lot of stories about what happened after this, when ELI got stolen from Chattanooga. I think he went from Chattanooga to Memphis and from there on, I just don’t know for sure, but I feel that some of that bunch in Memphis had something to do with it. I just don’t know what happened with ELI but I feel very strong about this, and I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it myself. I truly believe that ELI was also the sire of that GR. CH. ZEBO dog.

They were too much alike not to be true.
At one time I gave a nice red puppy to Jerry Clemmons. He is a friend of mine and I still think a lot of the man. He took the pup, kept him for 6 weeks and sold the pup. He came here and I gave him another pup that I had here in the blacksmith shop. I called that pup SPOOK. She was out of a litter that killed each other when they were still very young. He kept her for about 2 months at the most when she came in season for the first time. He brought her back and I bred her to ELI. They had 4 pups, 3 black and 1 brindle. Two males and two females.

One of the black males was BULLYSON, the other was ELI JR. The brindle was BRENDY. She bit the hardest of them all and she was the biggest. She could break a dog down in less than 3 minutes. BRENDY was awesome, a bad Bulldog. As bad as a man has ever seen. She beat a dog one time like she was having breakfast. I’ve never seen anything like her again. The other female in the litter out of ELI and SPOOK was a black named LADY. She was my kind of dog and I think the best in the litter. Both BULLYSON and his brother ELI JR. were exceptional Bulldogs. They were the cream of the crop, top-notch Bulldogs and went into some tough competition to make history. BULLYSON was a good dog, but he was not as good as ELI JR. ELI JR. was a much better producer. He was just not bred to good selected bitches, but he was definitely a better dog than BULLYSON. He didn’t care if he was getting bit because he was going to bite you. Red Walling was the owner of BULLYSON when he was matched into his son BENNY BOB. Maurice conditioned him, but he was not fit to fight. This is what happened. Maurice had BULLYSON and bred him to a bitch named BETH at his place. A few weeks after that BULLYSON got bit by a rattlesnake and his head was as big as a Texas hat. Also there was this big old dog at Maurice’s place that got off the chain and BULLYSON who was in a kennel was fighting with this dog through the fence and messed up his teeth and gums. Just before the fight with BENNY BOB we checked his blood count and it was down to 33. BENNY BOB was a brindle dog and BULLYSON a black. The match was at 52lbs, but BULLYSON was only a 48 or 49 pound dog. The fight was reported in Pete Sparks’ magazine and also in the book that Mayfield had out at the time, but it was not until Mayfield wrote that little book called ‘Rednecks’ that he came out with all that nonsense about a black dog against a white dog. I think he was confused by another match between Danny Burton, who had a black 54lb dog, and Raymond Holt, who had a white dog called LIGHTNING IV, owned by a black man named Chris. ELI JR. was sold to Douglas Nirider when he was 17 months old for $400. He won his match on a broken leg in Oklahoma. If BULLYSON would have been in shape against BENNY BOB I think that would have been a hell of a fight. One time I had a dog called NAPOLEON and I rolled him with BULLYSON when he was at my place. BULLYSON was an 18lb bigger dog, but NAPOLEON held his own for a little while. It didn’t go very long because BULLYSON was coming on hard. Later I won with NAPOLEON in the same show when BULLYSON won over that SIR dog that was handled by Bert Clouse.

I remember one incident with BULLYSON when he was at my place. Jerry Clemons brought the dog to me to be tested and one day while I was cleaning up around his chain he tried to bite me. Before he could put his mouth on me I hit him hard with a shovel and knocked him out. After this happened he never, at my place, tried to bite anyone again. If a dog is a biting dog I don’t like them and if they try to bite me or my family, it’s a dead dog. Jerry had BULLYSON when he was a young dog and his dogs were always sort of hyper. It’s easy to male them that way.

On the subject of schooling. How do you go about this? I don’t think you can change a dog a whole lot after he is born. All you can do is sharpen his ability a little bit but you can’t make him game. Now people say that it is a risk to breed a young untested bitch. Well I bred SPOOK her first time in heat. She was never tried before, but she produced some exceptional dogs. I think it is like this. They have the genetic ability to produce good or they don’t know matter how they are themselves. There is just one Ace in every hundred or so and the rest are just mediocre dogs, that’s something you always have to keep in mind. What happens now is that all these fast-lane dogs, with hard mouths are doing away with all these old game dogs, going right through them. But I still prefer gameness more than anything else. Anybody can breed dogs that will bite and are rough, but it is more difficult to breed a dog that will stay. With a game dog you have a shot at the money and there is no monopoly. There is nobody that has corned the market on these dogs. Dogs are just like humans. I’ll explain that to you; you can have two brothers, one a gentleman and the other one that’s not even worth the powder to blow him up and still they both came from the same father and mother. So, with these dogs, it is the same. You are going to have dogs with each his own character and what we try to do is to get the good genes together. We would all like our sons to be President, but the chances are few. If a dog doesn’t perform at an early age there is nothing you can do about that. My dogs are basically late starters and as a rule of thump your late starters make you a better dog. I want a young dog to show a pretty strong interest in what we are doing before I start them out. This is how I schooled my dogs; they must be ready to understand what is going on and have a desire to do it. When they are willing I start to school them a few times and when I think he is ready I put everything on him. I’m serious. I put a big dog on a little one and most people will tell you I put 2 or 3 dogs on one if I want to test him. I have to see a dog to satisfy me, not please somebody else. I have used dogs that I rolled for only 8 or 9 minutes but if they give me a reason to take a longer look, I certainly will. No one knows if a dog will make one more scratch enough. You pick him up to your satisfaction and he goes like a bullet and stands the line the next shot. Who is smart enough to say, he is gambling. That’s why they call it gambling. One bit of advice to young men that start out in these dogs would have to be ‘learn to have patience’. Let your puppies grow up before you make a decision about them. You can’t expect a child to do a man’s job. You have to give them a shot.

If I was to use a dog for serious money I would wait until he is 2 or 2 ½ years old at least. I would certainly not use him sooner than that. The oldest dog I used was 9 years old. But you can use them up to 6 years old easy. They can’t win them all, but they can take so much more when they are 3 years old. To me that’s being at peak. I will give an example; my daddy had a dog called NAN. He matched him into Gaboon Trahan and he was using a dog named COUNTRY BOY which was also named PETER. COUNTRY BOY was just a young dog. In 33 minutes we beat him and he jumped the pit. I will never forget this because my dog had a broken tail. He let him get some age on him and then started to school him. When this dog matured , “Hell you couldn’t stop him anymore.” So Gaboon got his dog back again and by this time COUNTRY BOY had won several fights. One of his wins was over a good winning son of DIBO called TOPPER. He beat him in a real short time. TOPPER was owned by Bob O’Neal at that time. Eventually, COUNTRY BOY was matched into a dog called BOBTAIL and that fight went something like 2 hours. BOBTAIL broke his jaw and COUNTRY BOY probably would have won, but Gaboon offered a draw because he knew that the man who owned BOBTAIL didn’t have a lot of money and a wife and some kids. He knew that if he would take the money it would come from the farm. His reason to fight these dogs was to demonstrate that he had a better dog and he had done that already, so he offered to call it a draw. The moral of this story is that we really gave COUNTRY BOY a second chance after he had quit against NAN. Most other men would have shot him, but age really helped this dog and that’s the hardest thing to explain to a young man who is coming into the game. I’m not making excuses for a dog that quits. I’m not like Mr. Mayfield, who is a fine man and a good dogman, but he will sell you a pup for $2,000 or $3,000 and tell you to wait 4 or 5 years. A lot of dogs are retired at that age, good or bad. Maybe Mayfield hopes you will wait until the dog dies of other causes in the meantime, or that the guy who owns him gets rid of him before that and won’t ask for his money back. No, I don’t make excuses, but in turn, I had some of the best that were late starters.


When Leo Kinard started to keep dogs in Mississippi was he the first one to introduce bulldogs over there? Not really, George saddler was fighting them before Leo in Mississippi. Both Leo and George put on some big shows, but Leo’s were always a little bit better. He had a real nice place, a nice building, and he kept more bulldogs than anybody else in those days. He had about 250 dogs. Leo had a friend named Frank James and this Frank was an interesting person, he was namely brother of the notorious Jesse James. Both Frank and Jesse were well-known outlaws. Jesse was killed. Frank got amnesty and later moved to Meridian, Ms. And worked in a restaurant. Leo told me that Frank Fitzwater was a son of that “Jesse James.”

Fitzwater was a good dogman, he was a sharp man. Anyway, Leo was a special man and very good, honest dogman. His wife Sarah was sick, she had cancer and Leo took her to the best doctors in the country. They went to New York and he did anything for her, he loved her dearly. He told me he spent more than $125,000 on her without much results. When she died it broke him and then later the State bought some of his properties but they never paid him. He died broke. We sent him some money every month. I was working and he was not. The last time I saw the man he walked us to the car and shook my hand. He didn’t say much, but he was crying and so was I. He died of a heart attack. I believe he was 67 years old when he died in 1976. He left me some dogs, doghouses, some chains and etc… Leo loved to talk about dogs, from the time we got up till late at night. He was a bootlegger and always had all kinds of whiskey, champagne, cigarettes of all brands and if you were a guest, it was yours. Many times we were there and talked dogs with Jim Taylor and many others. Leo lived his life to the fullest. He had three different cars, two Cadillacs, and a truck. He would deliver the whiskey with the cars, sometimes I would go with him and often we would come home, change cars and go off again. He never had any trouble with the law until the National Guard came down on him. Leo was not a breeder as such. He bred some, but from all the good dogs he had I can’t remember one that produced something equally as good as themselves. I remember he had some pure Colby dogs that were game until the third generation, then they started to quit in the pit, but he still bred several and they were game again. Leo had full time help and that makes a difference of course, his set-up was beautiful. All fenced in and a big gate that was closed around the six bedroom house. Guard dogs were all around running loose. Leo was a great dogman. I knew him when he had $65,000 in his pocket and later when he had less than $1 to spend. It didn’t make any difference to me because he was my friend and that never changed.

From all the dogmen that you knew in those days, who was the toughest? Who was the best dogman in your time? The man I admired most was George Saddler. He too, like Leo, was from Mississippi. George taught me a great deal about conditioning. He never had many friends because he was a businessman. He had a restaurant and he never needed friends, he just went on with his business, but I thought I was his friend. One of the first things he told me was to take care of your dog and he’ll do right for you. Don’t come half drunk with some ladies to have fun and expect to do good. Stay with your dog and give him all the attention he needs. If you come, come to win. There is plenty of time to party.
Did Saddler bring his dogs in fine or dried out pretty good? Yes, he brought them in keen, always sharp and prepared for the duration.

Did he fight a basically hard biting dog, a punisher? No. I remember him winning more on the distance than on the bad dogs. My REBEL dog was a rough dog and George ran him half an hour just before he fought him because he was overweight. He fought him on Tuesday night, came in overweight and took him down the road around the river until he made weight, and still won the fight in a short time. He pretty much picked his dogs and he, just like Leo, had some help to walk the dogs. He would send somebody out to walk his dog and tell them not to come back until late at night. I learned from him that hand walking a dog will help him to stand on his feet during a long hard contest. I’m sure you can do it many other ways, but that’s how I learned it. George was a gambler. If he had seen your dog before, and you were matched into him, you were automatically at a loss. He would buy a good dog and gamble hard. He had a good eye for a bulldog. His son-in-law Curley Hayes also helped George a lot and he was a very competitive dogman himself.

Did you know Joe Corvino and Earl Tudor? Oh yes. Joe was a good man and a friend of mine. He was a short stocky man and chewed tobacco. He was a gentleman and really liked the dogs. He would come here mostly on Thursdays, a few days before the fights and he would stay here, talking dogs. He was like me, he thought that if you had gameness in your dog you had a shot, no matter what. Joe was always dressed up in a three piece suit plus watch chain. There were others that had suits on like Bob Wallace, Mr. Marshall, Leo Kinard sometimes, Cecil Collins and of course, George Saddler. Howard Heinzl always wore cowboy boots and a Texas hat. Another gentleman was Bob Hemphill, the man who had all those red nose dogs. Hemphill lived here quite a while and worked at the fire station. That was in 1927. He left from here and took two dogs with him. One was HOBO JOE, but I can’t remember the other one. Earl Tudor was more a conditioner than a breeder. He had some very good dogs like DIBO, JEFF, SPIKE, WHITE ROCK, and a dog named CRACKER. In his younger days, Earl fought a lot of dogs all the time, always looking for something to match. Back in those days, he bought a lot of dogs from other people, but later, when I knew him, he bred his own. When he was younger he had those Komosinski type dogs, not the terrier type, but more like the old Donovan type. I really don’t know where he got them, but they looked a lot like the dogs that Cockney Charlie Lloyd had and later were owned by men like komosinski and Donovan. I was lucky to get BLIND BILLY and RASCAL. I put them together with good results.

Gaboon Trahan’s RASCAL? Yes, you see Trahan never owned that dog. It should be Boudreaux’s RASCAL, like he is registered. I still have the papers here, but I don’t care if the rest of the world thinks of him as Trahan’s RASCAL. Anyway, I owned that dog and I crossed him with BLIND BILLY. Now RASCAL wouldn’t start when he was a young dog and, as a matter of fact, he was stolen one time but because he wouldn’t fight, they turned him loose. I saw him in 1957 when I got out of the service and he fought against a big black dog that was out of Cannon’s BLACK SHINE and those dogs. At the time we were all arrested, but in those days it was just a misdemeanor, there was nothing against bulldogs really. RASCAL was owned by S.P. and I traded one of RASCAL’s sons for him, a young dog called RASCAL JR. This pup only had one testicle, but S.P. took the pup and later sold him. The man that traded RASCAL to me is still alive. RASCAL produced that COUNTRY BOY dog, MARCIANO, and several other good females. As a match dog I think RASCAL was probably overrated. He was a game dog, red and white in color. He also was a bad ear dog just like COUNTRY BOY.

Is your good stock mostly Corvino? Yes. What I did…. My BLIND BILLY dog was born in 1952 and I bought him in 1953. My uncle had four Ace roosters and we traded them with Earl Tudor for BLIND BILLY. He was a son of DIBO and he wouldn’t fight until he was 2 ½ years old.

Was he blind? No, not really. His eyes had always been a little weak and in his last contest he was blind, yes. I won a real good match with him in 26 or 28 minutes. Then the second time, I was very young then, they tried to fool me. It was pretty dark in the place where the pit was set up and it was my turn to scratch BILLY. Earl Tudor jumped up out of joy when BILLY was scratching towards the other dog. He was about halfway when he turned around to look at Earl and hit the pit wall. He never stopped looking for the other dog, but he was counted out and lost the fight. We didn’t get the trophy that day, but BILLY was the best dog in the show and from then on they called him BLIND BILLY. Like I said before, his sire was the DIBO dog and I believe Howard Heinzl had something to do with that dog. DIBO was stolen when he was a young dog and sold to a black man who owned a restaurant, DIBO’S real name was RUNT and when he started at the age of four they picked him up again and matched him.

What about your dog named OX? OX was a very smart dog. He was a superb ear dog and also very game. When I turned him loose he never missed that ear. A long time ago we matched him in Mexico. He was matched for $16,000, which in those days was a lot of money. I was matched into the District-Attorney of Mexico City. He had a good little dog and he told me that his dog would break legs and said that that was going to happen to OX too. The only comment I had to make was that if OX would turn him loose he wasn’t going to break anything. OX was smart and I am convinced that he would have stayed out of trouble, the only thing OX couldn’t do was talk. That’s how smart he was. But the show never came off because of a couple of punks from California who were involved in other activities and had been followed by the authorities.

This was not just another convention, but it was going to be one of the greatest get-togethers in a long time. There were 2 or 3 super dogs to be matched. The trophy alone for the winner cost $2,000 and was made by Larry McCaw from California. Plus the fact that nobody brings a dog that far when they were not satisfied with the dog at home. After that, we sold OX because we needed money to buy a new place. He went to a man from Florida, named Bob Johnson. One week after he took him, he called and told me he had put three dogs on OX. He said he stopped the first dog in 20 minutes, the next one went a little over a half hour and the third one OX fought like he just started, so they picked him up. He told me OX was a very game dog. I told him that I assumed he was game, but didn’t realize he was that game. People don’t seem to understand that even the very best will often quit if you stress them hard enough. It’s just a matter of how much you put on them. There is no sense in killing them while testing them because there is something like a breaking point. Some dogs that have never been used because they quit at home might have been great dogs in the pit under the right circumstances. Lack of knowledge… that’s what it is! OX was a polished ear dog and he could keep himself out of trouble, but most other dogs couldn’t stand this kind of abuse. These dogs are just flesh and bone like anything else and most men don’t even recognize an Ace dog when they see one. They try to condition a dog on a treadmill when they are half drunk and watching TV. Now that I’m back on the subject of schooling; I took the DEVIL dog of Oklahoma and rolled him no more than 9 minutes and later I used him to whip Chicken Sam with a dog that I saw fight for three hours. Sometimes when you see an all beaten up dog people say: that’s a bad one! I say, No Sir! That’s a bad one that passed on him. That’s the way it goes.

Who was the best breeder in your days? Well, that’s hard to say. Breeding dogs is a heartbreaking experience because when you have something good it will practically never reproduce the same. You can raise anything easier than bulldogs. Like chickens, horses, etc… there is so much you’ve got to have in an Ace dog. You get them with talent and they are curs, you get them that are game but they can’t fight. Hitler tried to breed humans, but he also didn’t succeed. He had them built like he wanted, but they didn’t have the brains. I have never had many dogs in my life, but I did have some good ones, so I think that’s not bad. I can sure understand that when a man keeps 300 dogs or more, he comes up with some good ones. It’s like this… know what you see, know what the dog is and know an Ace dog when you see one. Only time will teach you that, only time. But also you have to have enough to select from. That’s the key too. If you have a good female and breed her to a good male you have a chance of coming up with something good. It’s that simple. Breed your best bulldog to another top-notch bulldog and if they don’t produce, you breed them to something else and then if it doesn’t work, you better forget about it. I had a female one time, her name was TAMMY. She was by far the smartest dog I’ve ever owned. She was out of that BLACK SHINE dog and she was the only dog I let into the house. She was real sharp. If she was fighting, for instance, I could call her off and let her sit down with me and send her back anytime I wanted. I bred her both to RASCAL and BLIND BILLY the same time with no more than 5 days or so in between. I did this because both males were old and I really didn’t want to miss this breeding. So I first bred BILLY and then bred RASCAL 5 days later, the pups were born about 61 days after I bred BILLY, but some of the pups were spotted just like RASCAL was. She had 13 pups and every pup in that litter was good, all of them were pitworthy. Bob Wallace was here when I bred RASCAL to TAMMY, so I gave him a pup. He named the pup SOCKS and always told everybody he was out of RASCAL. I didn’t really care because both BILLY and RASCAL were mine and they both were out of the same female, but people are quick to criticize. The minute they saw a spotted pup they would say he was out of RASCAL instead of BLIND BILLY. I never made a secret out of it and told everybody about it. Most people just wanted to say something, but I knew better. There are so many people making money with these dogs and all they do is deal in pedigrees. I never cared too much about that. I bred my dogs for myself and all they had to do was satisfy me and nobody else. Money is no object when you are trying to breed and raise good bulldogs. I would be rich if I had all the money other people have made by peddling these dogs, but it is against my morals to breed something just for the money if I don’t believe in it. Most people that do, don’t even know what they are talking about.

What would you say to a young man just starting out in these dogs? Stop. Don’t do it! I would try my best to discourage him. This is a bad disease. When it gets in your blood it stays. The reason why I admire them so much is for what they are capable of doing. They are all-American dogs. I’ll probably always have a few and even when I go down to 6 or 7 I will still breed a few now and then.

But if a man was going to keep bulldogs what would you tell him? I don’t know… I would say be honest and give your best shot and give your puppies a chance to prove themselves. If a pup is 12 or 14 months old he will grab anything, just like a young person. When they are close to 2 years old they will show more strength and be a better dog. These dogs cost a lot of money. They take a lot, but it makes a man proud to own a good one. I had one or two good ones, but didn’t always have the money to go into top competition. But once or twice we had somebody split the money and we gave it a shot. It was worth it. So many people talk about doing great things in their lives but they never do it, they wouldn’t know how. When the going gets tough and the stakes are high, it takes more than just money. It takes a man with guts, a strong personality and lots of ambition plus a good bulldog to compete in the fast-lane.

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