Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
annually on April 21st (since 2007)
Jackie Valent in 2007
With their stocky bodies, wrinkly faces, and short tails, bulldogs aren't often associated with beauty. But today throws out that conception and labels bulldogs as beautiful. In 2005, Jackie Valent published a children's book titled Stinky the Bulldog, and she created Bulldogs are Beautiful Day in 2007. Since bulldogs are a little different looking, she hoped the holiday would have a larger meaning, to help people look beyond appearance and accept those who may be a little different.
The dogs were first mentioned in print as bulldogs around 1500, and their current spelling appeared in a letter in the 1630s. Their name came from their use in the sport bull baiting, which was popular in England, reaching the peak of its popularity around the turn of the nineteenth century before being banned in 1835. The dog's association with British culture didn't end there, and it has become a national icon of sorts for the country. Winston Churchill was also often compared to a bulldog during World War II. It was the British who brought bulldogs to America, bringing them as they immigrated. By 1890, America had its own bulldog club, the aptly named Bulldog Club of America.
Bulldogs weigh 40 to 50 pounds and have short lifespans. By the age of five or six, they start showing signs of age and don't live much beyond ten years. Breeders have worked to remove aggression from the dogs, and most are friendly and patient, but sometimes stubborn. They tend to get along well with children and other animals, making them an ideal family pet. They are the mascot of the US Marine Corps, as well as many universities such as Gonzaga, Georgetown, and the University of Georgia.
How to Observe
If you have a bulldog, make the day extra special for them: take them to a dog park or a fun place to walk, or buy them some treats or a toy. If you don't have a bulldog, today is the perfect day to get one. Perhaps it would be a good idea to learn about the various breeds of bulldogs beforehand.
Just as Jackie Valent intended for the day to be celebrated, you could reach out to those who are a little different or appear to be left out. You could also pick up a copy of Jackie's book. Other ideas may be to learn about famous bulldogs, and to sing along to The Beatles' "Hey Bulldog."