December of 1992, I changed my kennel name from B'Haven Kennels to Bluegrass Kennels in  preparation to move from South Texas to Kentucky.  I bought my first registered American Bulldog from Bill Hines named B'Haven's Rayo Blanca.  She is still alive today and doing fine, but my favorite dog
is and was Bluegrass Napoleon.   I bought Napoleon from Bill on the day we were moving at just five weeks old and traveled to Kentucky with three vehicles and six dogs.  The mid-nineties was the greatest time for the growing American Bulldog public with shows at Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
The bulldoggers were feeling each other out and exchanging their experiences with the breed, but everyone was having a good time.  It seems that everyone got along fine until the internet offered the message boards and people felt like they could hide behind the keyboard to slander one another.  During
this time, everyone was in the rush to promote the well rounded stud dog. The stud dog who can do it all!  There were many great dogs at that point and many of us were anxious to show them off.  The show at Mannassas in 96 was awesome and the three top contenders were Sloan's "Turbo", Murphy's
Thundering "Storm"( Son of Napoleon), and Bluegrass" Napoleon.  The first day Sloan's Turbo was the winner for Best in Show and show he did!  In my opinion, Turbo was the greatest show dog of the times.  The next day Turbo was beaten by a Junior male no one knew named "Storm".  Storm was owned by Glenn Murphy and I showed him for Glenn because they were both novices at the time and Glenn was nervous.  Glenn had never entered Storm in a show and wanted me to do the handling.  Poor old Napoleon took second place, but considering the competition I think he did great!  Napoleon went on to win several times in the American Bulldog Association (A.B.A.) but did not become an A.B.A. Champion because Casey would no longer list Napoleon's points.  Casey the President/Owner of the A.B.A. was mad at me for holding National Kennel Club shows, so he took it out on Napoleon and did not list his wins.  The last time I showed A.B.A., Napoleon beat Joshua's Cowboy for Best Male at Florida and Casey did not list his points.  Since then Napoleon has become a National Kennel Club Champion and is retired from showing, but his legacy still goes on in his son Kinghaven's Brick House, the first United Kennel Club Grand Champion and his nephew Smith's Bluegrass "Magnus" of A.S. the first United Kennel Club Champion.  You may ask why Napoleon was my favorite if he was not my best show dog, but the answer is simple.  When Napoleon was four months old he was introduced to the hogs and loved to catch by the age of nine months.  I groomed him to be a show dog and he did well at all the shows, but when his dog aggression came to a head it produced a problem with his showing and catching.  He would rather roll a dog than catch a hog or act right in the ring so, I retired him.  You may think well that's not a good dog then.  The reason I like him even today, is that he has become the best pet anyone could have.  Napoleon will bark at strangers in the yard and protect my wife.  He is great with children, even infants, and knows they are fragile taking great care not to upset them.  He produces some great looking dogs and when bred right, they become better
dogs than Napoleon himself.  The mark of a great dog is producing better than himself.   Thanks for reading my short story on the bulldogs and good luck in the canine world.
Chris Kelley


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