Feisty Rescue Frenchie Beats Cancer and Becomes Pupfluencer for Charity

Beth, the French Bulldog, had a rough start in life. Found by animal control on the side of the road near Portland, Oregon six and a half years ago, the three-year-old pup was taken to a local shelter where she flatlined while undergoing spay surgery.

Yet Beth proved to be a fighter with a feisty spirit. After being resuscitated, she was taken in by the Pacific Northwest Bulldog Rescue, who promised to find her a loving forever home. Things seemed to be looking up for Beth, until a routine veterinary visit discovered a cancerous mast cell growing on her lower back leg.

Doctors said the only way to save Beth’s life was to amputate the leg. To fund the surgery, the rescue asked their Facebook followers to consider making donations to ensure that Beth could live the life she deserved.

Despite losing her rear left leg to cancer at the age of three, Beth enjoys adventures and doing zooms in the grass. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Van Bramer

Finding a Forever Home

Lindsay Van Bramer, a Portland-based graphic designer and owner of Wine Tourist magazine, was scrolling through Facebook when she came upon Beth’s photo and backstory and quickly fell in love.

“Although I wasn’t in the market for a dog, when I saw the rescue’s post, I was done,” Van Bramer says with a laugh.

Lindsay Van Bramer enjoys an afternoon out with her rescue dog, Beth. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Van Bramer

Two months later, Van Bramer officially adopted the French Bulldog (who was known as Princess at the time), and renamed her Bethanee Hamilton, a tribute to the American surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.

“Like Bethany Hamilton, my Beth is a survivor,” Van Bramer says. “Yes, she lost a leg, but she hasn’t let that stop her from living a full life.”


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After adopting Beth, Van Bramer began documenting her recovery from surgery on Instagram under the name @pardonthyfrench.

One video of Beth wearing a lion’s mane wig with her hair blowing in the breeze, caught the attention of the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, which shared the slow-motion video on its social media channels. Soon Beth saw her Instagram follower numbers rapidly climbing. Today, Beth has 228,000 followers on Instagram and 213,900 followers on TikTok.

Beth likes to “talk” to her owner, Lindsay, but sometimes one look is worth a thousand words. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Van Bramer

A Small Dog with a Big Fan Base

Beth’s followers say she makes them smile and that her videos give them a dose of doggie serotonin. Scroll through Instagram and there’s photos and videos of Beth romping in the grass, clad in a snazzy sweater, her pink tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth, and “talking” to Van Bramer. She even landed an appearance on the Netflix show, “Pet Stars.”

“Beth is a a little dog with a big personality,“ Van Bramer says. “She’s very quirky and loving and enjoys going on adventures and cuddling on the couch. She shows me what she wants by going to her bowl, or going to the door, and being very vocal.”


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Raising Awareness, and Spirits

Two years ago, Van Bramer adopted a second French Bulldog, Doc Holiday, from a rescue, only to learn he had multiple health problems.

“The first week I had Doc, he was in the vet with aspirational pneumonia, and I found out he also had heart disease, pulmonary stenosis, and other health problems,” Van Bramer says. “He was in and out of DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital [in Portland] numerous times in his short life and he sadly passed away in February.”

VanBramer says Beth has been treated many times by the veterinarian specialists at DoveLewis, too.

Beth poses with her plushie likeness that was sold to raise funds for the Portland Children’s Cancer Association. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Van Bramer

Knowing that emergency veterinary care can be costly, Beth and Van Bramer are dedicated to raising awareness and funding for DoveLewis to help other families who might not be able to afford emergency care for their pet. The pair accepts donations for the hospital’s emergency care program, the Velvet Assistance Fund, through their website, and Beth makes frequent appearances as an “ambassadog” at various fundraisers and events in support of the hospital.

The dynamic duo works on behalf of people in need, too. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month last September, Van Bramer designed a plush version of Beth that she sold on her website, with proceeds going to support programs offered by the Children’s Cancer Association.

Van Bramer and Beth even went so far as to surprise a young patient in remission “who is obsessed with Beth” for a fun day in the park, Van Bramer says. “Because kids with cancer are immunocompromised, they can’t have dogs visit them in the hospital, so now that she’s in remission, she’s excited to meet Beth.” (Watch the hang out session below.)


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A Simple Message

Van Bramer says Beth’s resilience and unique personality is what makes her so charming and magnetic, and she’s intentional about using Beth’s platform as a force for good.

“I do a lot of work with bully breed rescues and want to shine a light on older dogs and those with special needs, like Beth,” Van Bramer says. “She overcame adversity early on and now she’s living her best life every day.”

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