An afternoon with the Milwaukee Frenchies

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)--The French bulldog is a dog breed that has grown in popularity over the years, so much that local French bulldog groups have been formed across the country in honor of the dogs.

The groups are ways to bring the pups and owners together. Here in Milwaukee, there is a local group called Milwaukee Frenchies.

"It's really nice to make connections with other French bulldog owners. They're hilarious when they run around together too," said Ebby Szczerbinski, founder of Milwaukee Frenchies.

It's not a "ruff" life for the dogs part of Milwaukee Frenchies.

"This is great for us to go to because this is like his dream day," said Holly Helm, member of Milwaukee Frenchies.

It's nothing but paw-sitive vibes in the group.

"The anticipation of coming when they come to these events is highly entertaining. They get very excited to come," said Erin Tischer, member of Milwaukee Frenchies.

Milwaukee Frenchies is a monthly meetup group for French bulldog lovers to come together. It's about building connections among the dogs and owners.

Szczerbinski, founder of Milwaukee Frenchies, says she was inspired to start a group in Milwaukee after visiting the Frenchies group in Madison.

"The (Madison) group was like, you guys should just start a Milwaukee Frenchie group. There wasn't something like it before. It was just a small group of five of us that got together. The very first time was October 2020," said Szczerbinski.

And when she least expected, the group started expanding. It's currently sitting at 80 plus members, including 700 plus followers on Instagram.

The group was formed after a time of much needed socialization after experiencing isolation during the height of the pandemic.

"This is just a really fun and light hearted way to make connections with others," said Szczerbinski.

"I've been loving it. It's a great thing for us to go to and meet other Frenchie families," said Helm.

Helm and her frenchie, Archie, heard about the group on Instagram and started attending the meetups a year ago.

"Archie is two and a half years old. He is super friendly. Loves other dogs, loves other people," said Helm.

The meetup dates are posted on the Milwaukee Frenchies Instagram account and are held at Milwaukee county dog parks once a month.

"Having this Frenchie meet up once a month has been really good for him. He gets to play with other dogs, he gets to socialize and have fun," said Belen Duran, member of Milwaukee Frenchies.

The Frenchies group in Wisconsin have grown and have even inspired other cities like Chicago to form their own group. Creating a unique doggy community for the breed and its owners.

"It's nice to have a group to go to try to get advice from people that you trust and just being able to see people and meet new people and talk about your dogs or any other thing you want to talk about. Like if they have health issues or questions about doctors," said Helm.

The group has even created long lost reunions for the Frenchies.

"They've brought families together. We've had French bulldogs come and actually find their litter mates. So that's been kind of interesting with our group and then a lot of our members have actually made connections themselves and they will meet up outside of our meetup group," said Szczerbinski.

The last meetup took place in Curry Dog Park in Wauwatosa May 28. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday for the pups to have quality playtime where lots of barking, running, and belly rubs took place.

Some of the dogs were new to the group, while others were more familiar to the gathering.

"Logan is two and a half. He's got huge personality for being such a small dog. He loves coming to the meetups. He's made so many friends. He's got a girlfriend here," said Szczerbinski.

"You get to know each individual dog that keeps arriving every time there's a French meet up," said Tischer.

We asked members what they love most about their Frenchies.

"Every time you look at a Frenchie, you just smile. That's what I think of when I look at a Frenchie. I think they are adorable," said Tischer.

"What makes French bulldogs so unique and special is their spunky personality. They're great apartment dogs too," said Szczerbinski.

Members welcome all those who have Frenchies to join the Milwaukee group.

"Even if you don't have a Frenchie, I know there's people that like to come just to see the dogs themselves. There's a wide variety of colors that show up and it's a good time," said Tischer.

"Join the Frenchie community, it is a lot of fun!" said Duran.

The love for their dogs brought the group together. What started as a passion for their dogs, has turned into something greater. And now, it's a community everyone wants to be part of!

"I hope that it'll inspire other dog breed groups to get together and rescue groups to get together and just celebrate animals. They are just the most amazing things," said Szczerbinski.

The next meetup will be June 19 at Estabrook Dog Park.

To learn more about the Milwaukee Frenchies group, click here.

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