{mosimage}It ain’t easy being cute. It’s a unique burden to be almost grotesquely adorable. Trundling about on their sawed-off legs, with oversize heads, ears like satellite dishes and faces that look as if they’ve seen the backside of the proverbial frying pan, French bulldogs have it tougher than other breeds in the cute department. So once every month, about 40 French bulldogs convene at a public park for an off-leash romp while their human devotees discuss the glories and complexities of owning members of this lovable but admittedly “high-maintenance” pure breed. The group is organized by Kristian Burrows and brought together through Meetup.com. Topics common to Frenchy-philes include training tips for these often-stubborn pups, respiratory troubles which, by design, are common to the breed, and flatulence, a chronic issue with Frenchies that their owners manage to find endearing. French-bulldog owners fall into that group of breed-fanatical dog lovers who also go crazy for pugs, Chihuahuas and other toy breeds. But let’s face it, the common mutt (unless it’s your mutt) just doesn’t look as striking on a T-shirt. There is much gloating over the recent accomplishments of one’s own Frenchy, and cooing over the sky-high cuteness factor that is achieved when this many of the little alien-looking creatures get together. There’s also a fair amount of time spent disentangling romantic couplings, dodging territorial pissing and breaking up scuffles. (Punctuated by the occasional exchange of numbers with local Frenchy-behavior specialists.) But the dogs generally seem happy to see each other. It’s as if they get from one another the wordless acceptance, understanding and validation we’re all looking for in this crazy, mixed-up world. BYO plastic baggie.

Hollywood Hills/East L.A. French-Bulldog Meetup  www.frenchbulldog.meetup.com

LA Weekly