Hello Randy,

You don't know me and I don't know you except for reading your name in a
few of Stratton's books and seeing your name in pedigrees.

I'm in my 60's now. Once, in what seems a long time ago now and in
another life you might say, I got "the bug" and was fortunate enough to
meet and make friends with probably the best dogmen at the time here in
Canada, The Captain (Ben David) and his close friend Tattoo (Danny
Powell). The last time I spoke to Captain (over a year ago now, on the
phone) he had just returned back to Canada to live here again after
spending a few years living in Thailand. He was and is still is quite a
character! Danny Powell, alas, is long gone from this life. He was
killed in Germany, shot to death to be accurate, after he flew over
there with a dog he was going to sell to some German dogmen. He got into
a row at a bar over there and the guns came out. Unfortunately Danny was
unarmed and got killed right there in that bar. If my memory serves me
that happened around 1994.

Anyway, Tattoo's dog career seemed to take off after Andre Giroux died.
Danny knew Giroux well and later purchased Rocky and Sunday From Giroux'
widow Lise after her husband died. These two dogs were mainly what
Danny used in his breeding program to fill his own yard.

The Captain had his own line of dogs but was one of those dogmen that
would never reveal where he got them or their breeding. All I know is he
always had some VERY good dogs and was extremely hard to beat. Once I
got to get to know Captain better, I seemed to get the impression he was
one of those rare dogmen who almost had a sixth sense when it came to
evaluating a bulldog. All he had to do, it seemed, was see a dog rolled
for 10 minutes and he could pretty much predict the dog's quality. He
actually claimed he could pick out a good one just by watching it on the
chain and looking into its eyes. I almost believed he could!

I met Captain through Tattoo actually. My first match was against B Oreo
of Buffalo with a 32 lb bitch I had purchased with some partners from
Irish Jerry in 1985. We were a very green bunch but somehow I managed to
put little Squeeze through a half decent keep and to Tattoo's (and
everyone's) surprised, we beat Oreo, who was a pretty knowledgeable
dogman up around the northeastern US region. Tattoo was so impressed
with this victory (Oreo was using a bitch he thought was a first class
match dog) that it opened a relationship with him and then later with
Tattoo's own mentor, The Captain.

Through Tattoo and The Captain, I attended some "shows" south of the
border with them and got to meet a number of very good, serious dogmen
in the US (and some not so serious ones too). But I did have the honour
and pleasure of meeting Red Becker, Bill Strothers, Kenny Allen, Super
Gnat, Frank Rocca, Dog Walker, Vinny Campagnone to name a few. I was
also there for Kenny Allen's Toronado bitch's tenth victory, when Tattoo
put on a show at his own farm up here in the Great White North. That was
one hell of a dog!

I don't have dogs now and in fact, in Ontario, the government passed
Breed Specific laws in 2005 that made it illegal to purchase, breed or
import any more Pitbulls into Ontario. The existing ones were supposed
to be sterilised by their owners and could only be walked in public
wearing a muzzle. In spite of the law, I still see the odd Pitbull being
walked around here where I live, most times with no muzzle. I sometimes
wonder if I'd ever get one again, one that was all black that I could
pass off as a Mutt, you know a Labrador cross or something, just for a
house dog and guard dog (I live in a rough neighbourhood where breakins
are common). But you know how it is, once you've seen or had the real
McCoy, that's the only kind you'd ever settle for. It's hard to find
those kinds of dogs these days, as the "intent" laws passed in most of
the US states have been used to lock up most of the REAL dogmen and to
euthanize entire lines of the real bulldogs.

Anyhow, Randy, I guess I came across your web site by chance and started
remembering old times and got a bit nostalgic. Write me back if you have
the inclination.

Cheers and I hope this email finds you well,