Bisou celebrated getting her post-spaying stitches out (and more to the point, not having to wear a cone, and being allowed to move around beyond the kitchen) with a bath, which was for the best because we had people over for Thanksgiving and, after her first long walk in two weeks, she was in her sleepy-cuddly mood with our guests. She appears to have enjoyed her long weekend - more exercise than usual, and the odd piece of croissant. Fine, so being around so many people on Saturday in NY got her in that weird mood when she prances around on her hind legs (a spectacle on crowded Nassau St., but hardly less so in Manhattan), but at least she met some other dogs. Or was nearby some other dogs. I don't know what it takes to let Bisou know that she is a dog, and meant to socialize with her kind, and had hoped this could just be done by introducing her to her fellow canines. We've trained her on our own (housebreaking and basic commands, and the gradual-ish process of phasing out the crate), so obedience school had started to seem not so pressing. I'm starting to think we will, however, have to fork over money to some entity that does for dogs whatever it is regular school is said to have over homeschooling. Given that even the closest dog run has an entry fee, this starts to seem inevitable.
Oh, and I wish I didn't know (but I now do, thanks to Gawker commenters) that the dog run we took Bisou to in NY is a place where dogs pick up parasites. I'm not too worried, given that Bisou spent most of her time at the "run" sitting under our bench, not eating or drinking anything on the ground, but this does point to the eternal doggy dilemma of the animal's mental and physical health being mutually exclusive.
I'd never thought about it this way, but I'd agree that "the bulldog’s aesthetic opposite [is] the poodle." I've always liked (and, if possible, gone out of my way to say hello to) basically all cats (but, severe-ish allergies) and dogs, big and small, with the exception of dogs in the pug-bulldog-pit bull-boxer-bull terrier family. So the exposés about how these dogs (or some of them) are unhealthy under the best of circumstances have made me relieved, I suppose, that my aesthetic preference matches up with what's best for dogs. (Not so with my favorite large-dog breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog, that couldn't be cuter or sweeter but apparently only lives for five to six minutes.)
*This is true at Gawker as well. Somewhere in that thread, there's a heated debate about whether Great Danes (Whitney, this one's for you) are apartment dogs. One commenter holds forth smugly about how it's basically dog abuse to only give your dog one or two long walks a day, because this breed needs to run free daily for hours. Then someone who actually owns this kind of dog explains that they take their dog to a place to run around and the dog just sits there and isn't interested in that, and is thus a perfectly fine dog to have in an apartment. Others chime in to point out that people have a tendency to overexercise these dogs. In other words, you can rest assured that if you own a dog, whatever your approach, you're doing it wrong.