Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale is known for its lush greenery and serene atmosphere. But on the third Saturday of every month, it’s filled with the gleeful grunts of bulldogs as they and their owners crowd the Las Palmas Dog Park for Sunnyvale’s monthly Bulldog Day in the Park event.
The event is open to both French and English bulldogs, and they and their owners travel from all over the South Bay to participate. Max Tran and Marcia Almaguer of San Jose brought their two English bulldogs to the October event.
Tran became interested in bulldogs as a child, but always had larger dogs growing up. The owner of a custom aquarium store in Fremont, he wanted a canine companion at work that would look tough without being overly intimidating. Two years ago, he responded to an ad placed by a breeder in a local newspaper. The breeder introduced him to a 10-week-old white English bulldog. It was love at first sight.
“It took about 30 seconds before I was ready to say ‘OK, he’s mine,’ ” said Tran.
Tran named his puppy Cartman, after the character on the popular Comedy Central cartoon South Park. Cartman proved to be so easy to train that after two months, Tran was ready to try his hand at a second bulldog. This time, he opted for a female.
“She was the total opposite of Cartman,” Tran said of Lulu, adding, “I’ve never seen a dog be more destructive and more stubborn.”
Almaguer attributes some of the dogs’ destruction to their size and cumbersome build. “They think they’re little,” she said, “and they’re not very graceful.”
Tran’s first year with Cartman and Lulu proved to be a pricey one. On top of the destroyed furniture and standard vet bills, there was the cost of the dogs themselves, which totaled nearly $1,800. Fortunately for Tran and bulldog owners everywhere, the price tag is well worth it.
“You never get love like you would with these guys,” Tran said of his dogs.
Bulldog Day in the Park is the third Saturday of the month from 1 to 2 p.m. at Las Palmas Park. For information, call Michelle Moore, 408.730.7751.
This piece originally appeared in The Sunnyvale Sun.