French Bulldog cuteness overload on Eel Creek Road
SQUASHED snouts, bulging eyes and squat, spindly legs - who would have thought a dog breed that more closely resembles Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch) or the aliens from Aliens in the Attic would become the pet de jour of the Gympie region?
And with a hefty price tag too - up to $25,000 if you are after a show dog of a certain coat.
Pie Creek french bulldog breeder Samantha Maher does not charge quite that much for her "babies".
At $4500 a piece, they are practically a steal.
The cost does not seem to put people off, though. Sam cannot keep up with demand. She has about 40 families on her waiting list.
Her Eel Creek Rd property - the home of Kenston French Bulldogs - is clean, tidy and more closely resembles a resort for canines.
It is also currently the cuteness capital of the world as Sam and her family nurse 19 plump, three-week-old puppies through their first weeks of life.
Every single puppy already has an owner to go to once old enough.
Walking into the "granny flat" where Sam has set herself up with her adorable little charges and their mothers, it's hard to not succumb to cuteness overload.
These dogs are known for their playful and affectionate nature.
Kenston has been a respected name in the dog world for 30 years.
It started in 1987 with Sam's mother, Rhonda Kenny, who bred and showed rottweilers, bullmastiffs and dogue de bordeaux.
In 2008, Rhonda was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma.
Chemo left her weak, so she decided to move into a smaller dog breed. After much research she chose the french bulldog, importing three pups from New Zealand in 2009.
She "enjoyed every minute spent with those three little clowns," Sam says.
Sadly, Rhonda's passed away from the disease in 2010.
"I now have been given the chance of remaining close to my mum through the dogs," says Sam.
"My dogs are family and are treated as such; no cages at Kenston."
Among Sam's many customers is the girlfriend of comedian Arj Barker, who performed in Gympie at the weekend. Sydney Swan Sam Reid and former Lion Todd Banfield also own Kenston french bulldogs.
Sam urges anybody looking to buy a french bulldog to contact their local canine control council to find a good breeder.