Bull Terriers in Paintings and in Life

A fancier reflects on the love of the bull terrier breed.

By | Posted: Wed Sep 29 00:00:00 PDT 2004

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Accomplishing all that's demanded of the Bull Terrier while battling a gene pool that in many cases gives you anything but... Well, I think you can see why I so admire Bull Terrier breeders. 

When you see a Bull Terrier that seems to fit the bill in all respects you aren't seeing just another good-looking dog, you're looking at what achieving the impossible dream is all about. Breeding an outstanding dog in any breed is a major accomplishment, but in my mind in Bull Terriers it's just a short step away from miraculous!

Back to Hawaii
My, but I've rambled on. (See what I mean about Bull Terrier obsessiveness?) Let's get back to the beginning of all thisthe evening I spent with Larry and Kay Aki in Hawaii.

Back in the late '70s the Akises had extended an invitation for an evening of dog talk and dinner along with several other of the island's Bull Terrier fanciers. The direction in which I had entered the Akises' living room that evening and the position in which I was seated for most of the night had my back against one particular wall of the room. At one point, however, I stood up to leave the room and there, directly behind me was a painting so striking I was stopped in my tracks. It was an interpretive oil of the Bull Terrier. Obviously it was an artist's approach to the breed rather than a dog expert's, yet it captured the very essence of the breed!

When my friend Tom Horner saw a reproduction of the painting several years later he wrote, "to someone who doesn't know the breed well it might not say a great deal, but those of us who understand what a Bullie should be, recognize just how much of the breed's essence is captured."

At first seeing the painting I couldn't help but exclaim,"Where did you get that?"

Kay replied, "Do you really like it?"

"Like it? I'm mad about it!"

"Well then, you must have it as a gift from us," Kay and Larry said in unison.
Good manners dictated a refusal on my part, so I did counter with, "Oh, I couldn't ..." But admittedly my protest wasn't accompanied by a great deal of conviction.

Sheer unrestrained covetousness prevented me from sounding very convincing and when the Akises said, "No, we insistyou must have it," I didn't offer another word of refusal.

It seemed that Larry, who was a specialist in the servicing and maintenance of the Mercedes Benz, had done some work for Gene Young, one of the island's new and, as of then, undiscovered young artists. In lieu of paying for Larry's auto expertise in cash the artist had agreed to do a Bull Terrier painting for him.

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