That's Total Bull Dog
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That’s Total Bull Dog

Before we start referring to “jolts of java” or what-have-you, here’s a little background to the British bull dog:

During the heinous days of bull-baiting, dogs caught the bulls by the ear. The early Bulldog, more agile than other fighters, went for the nose and was not as likely to be hooked by a horn. Certainly, the higher legged “bulldogge” of yesteryear could harass the bull into lowering its head for the dog to grab a piece of anatomy, whether the ear or the tender nose. Rules stated that the dog then had to pull the bull backward around the ring—or to throw and pin the beast. Bears, lions, monkeys and badgers were also found worthy to meet the Bulldog in combat.

Hard to believe the pug-nose actually made for a fiercer attack; especially in the case of monkey-combat. In battle with a lion, the stumpy bull dog would inevitably end up under its much taller adversary, gripping the lion’s undercarriage till it bled to death. Knowing what we now know about the bull dog, it should come as no surprise that Bull Dog Coffee (89 Granby Street) and bull dogs share many of the same characteristics.
One block south of College on Church, Bull Dog has to be one of the better coffee shop/pes in Toronto (that’s both shops and shoppes). The Bull Dog beverages, just like their canine namesake, have a ferocious bite – with enough caffeine to feed a small army of narcoleptics. Um..what else…The espresso machine, on-site cookies, the latte-art, fair prices. What else is there to say? Probably the best summation comes from the recent Paul Carlucci review, which we find ourselves reading everytime we walk in:

I’m completely wired by the time I leave the place. [I]…stop by Starbucks on my way home for a little comparative analysis. I wind up with a crude and expensive cup, which finds its way into the first garbage can I pass.