Happy Birthday Scruncher!


Jill Franks and Scruncher So many of you send me emails and letters asking me how Scruncher is doing. So I thought it was time for an update.

My gosh, time has flown and we have just celebrated his third birthday. Oh yes, we did the cards and doggy cake with the candles to celebrate and the Scruncher presents were wrapped to perfection (as you can imagine). When you're a Franks it's all or nothing.

Larry and Scruncher My husband (right) has always been an English Bulldog fanatic so I also dedicate this blog to Lloyd who was his first English Bulldog many years ago. Sadly he passed away with old age but was adored by the Franks family.

I had never really experienced owning a dog. It's such a huge responsibility but, OH MY, you just fall in love…treated like a prince is not the phrase! I bet Scruncher's glad he has me as his mum – a gorgeous plush bed, a faux-fur throw to keep him warm in the winter, his dinner in a bowl fit for a king and daddy day care when we go away or are out all day.

You can imagine me can't you? Worried about the smell, the mess, the designer jeans, my shoes and handbags and, to Alison Young's amusement, the poop-scoops! She was threatening to buy me a pink Diamante poop-scoop to take on Scruncher's walks.

Jill Franks and puppy ScruncherSo I was at the ready with every cleaning fluid possible, my dustbuster and Oreck vacuum when he arrived. But I just melted at the knees and treasured every kiss I gave him on his wrinkles. Yep, he got me, hook line and sinker on his first Scruncher cuddle. Who would have thought?! He has been with us now for three years and we just couldn't imagine life without him. He is the best – funny, loveable, a real boy and just brings so much joy every day. He does the funniest things. Here's just a few.

I was washing his bed and he insisted on sitting on each piece as I took the covers off the big bed pad. I had to drag him along the floor with him still sitting on it to the washing machine. Being an English Bulldog he is solid muscle so it wasn't easy to do but he was not going to move and I was just laughing so much. He then sat and slept right by the utility room watching it go round in the machine. Priceless!

At about 6pm he will go outside and sit on Larry's motorbike cover waiting for him to come home and his head goes from left to right as he watches the cars go by. In the evening he will go in the lounge, stand by the fireplace with his huge paws on the surround and bark as if to say 'I'm cold, when are you going to put it on for me!' Spoilt? I think so!

Scruncher in the pool But his swimming lessons have to be the best. Hydrotherapy for dogs is huge and just amazing in keeping them fit and their joints in great shape. It's also fantastic for dogs in rehab after serious accidents.

At nine months we discovered Scruncher had a slight limp and we didn't take any chances in case it was hip dysplasia. So we looked into the necessary treatment.

We discovered an amazing place called Greyfriars who specialise in hydrotherapy for dogs. It has been Scruncher's life saver and after three years of swimming once a week the limp has completely disappeared. He has to wear a life jacket and he thinks if he hides in the shower unit no one can see him and he will miss his turn.Scruncher swimming

The staff are amazing and they just adore him. They carry him to the end of the swimming pool and his face is a picture. It reads 'do I really have to swim back and not be carried?' He is now up to two lengths and in great shape. He assumes every length is the last and swims towards the exit.

Scruncher getting blow-dryed The best part is his shampoo and blow dry afterwards with his doggy massage. We have to dry him with a hairdryer otherwise he gets a cold. He has has very thick hair and it takes too long to dry naturally. Before we know it we are having our Starbucks cup of coffee and he is snoring on the back seat of the car on his luxury faux fur throw.

Of course we have our special moments with him too. I sit with him when I come home from a QVC launch. I make a cup of tea and sit by his bed and we have a special cuddle. He is so warm and cosy and in complete heaven. If you know bulldogs then you'll know that their sleep is precious to them.

I have decided I want to come back as Scruncher!

I would love to hear your funny pet stories…

Lots of love and barks from me and Scruncher xxx


  1. anna hollands July 22, 2009 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    hi jill. sounds like scruncher enjoyed his birthday!! the puppy photo of you both together is just adorable!! im a huge lover of dogs especially the breeds with what i call a squashed in face!! we used to have a king charles called charlie who hated going outside and used to drink tea!! am trying to twist hubbys arm for a pug as i adore them!!
    also to let you know jill,since the rose ring arrived it hasnt left my hand!! i love it and it goes with everything!! take care anna xx

  2. Jo Pearson July 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

    What a beautiful dog. I have a miniature English Bull Terrier caled Jasper and would not be without him.
    He is also spoilt like scruncher.
    Keep posting the pictures.

  3. Nicky c/o Barbara July 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    Woof woof Scruncher – what a big boy you are for Three, hope your Mummy is getting you a nice doggie cake – My new mummy & daddy always treat me to some thing nice. I say my new M&D cos my old ones got to old for me and were put in a home, it was sad.. but even sadder was the old lady tried to give me to a young girl who she liked but her boyfiend didn’t like me and I ended up being kicked and handed on to someone even worse.. It was then Westie Rescue came to my Rescue, I had a broken leg and I was quite a mess for a pedegree Westie :-(( thats when my new M&D cam along and even though I was a bit bad tempered they loved me a lot, so I thought I’d give them a chance..
    I hope your home is ok, Scruncher , I’ll come and recue you if it’s not, got to go now as my Mummy’s coming and she doesn’t know I type Lol have great birthday. I’m a dab paw with the ol sticky dots and would send a card if I knew your addy, woof woof Nicky

  4. michelle pappini July 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi there!
    It was my 8 year old weimaraners birthday on the 17th and we forgot, your blog has made me feel very guilty! He jumped off the roof of a two story building when he was a pup and I believe that swimming was what helped him recover without any permanent damage I also add something to his diet called joint aid. We have another Weimaramer who is 5 she is terrified of the water though, but you’ve prompted me to think about taking her to lessons to keep her in shape in the future.

  5. Pam Segers July 22, 2009 at 8:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Scruncher looks gorgeous. He reminds me of a Bulldog my family owned when I was young. They are a very special breed and I have known quite a few, as my father was a real Bulldog fanatic.

  6. Yvonne July 22, 2009 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jill, I am really glad I`m not the only one to spoil my animals,I have 2 dogs who also have special throws,one of mine is recovering from surgery after a partial cruciate ligament rupture,he has been milking it for all its worth. Your scruncher looks gorgeous, i would hug him all day too.Keep the updates coming. Yvonne

  7. julie July 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    Aww, Jill.
    Sounds like Scruncher is a very loved and fortunate boy.
    Sounds like my 3 year old golden retriever, he is the love of my life. Hubby will tell you i love my dog more than him, he he!
    i have had dogs all my life when at home with mum and dad and when i got married i couldn’t stand not having a dog, i was miserable.
    I am a housewife and so he is with me all the time and spoilt rotten. Just love him to bits and hate being apart.
    If going out i always take him to my mum and dad’s to dogsit him.
    Scruncher is beautiful.
    Love Julie

  8. Rachel Garrigan August 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    It was good to see scruncher swimming, my Golden Retriever Harry used to swim at Grey Friars & enjoyed himself so much, unfortunately he is unable to swim any more because of a throat condition, he was 13 in April and still plays with his toys every day.

  9. Lyn Beverley August 18, 2009 at 7:48 am -  Reply

    How can a big bundle of muscle look so cute and adorable? I don’t know but they do – I’ve told you about Molly my mother-in-laws bulldog before – she is so wily in getting her own way – no seat in the house is safe – but we love her. Love the swimming – Scruncher looks like he would rather not be there but it must be doing him so much good. I will send a picture of molly through the webmaster@qvc – hope you get it. Lyn x

  10. DIANNE DU BOIS January 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    hi jill , where do u get your lovely gold & silver shrugs from ? thanks di

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