An Unexpected Goodbye to ‘Half a Bulldog’

A young bulldog with a rare condition which left him with what equated to half a body, passed away suddenly just one week ago. The little bulldog, known as “Bonsai,” suffered from a rare human condition called Sacral Agenesis, and though his care provider knew that his rare condition would likely shorten his life, his sudden passing came as a shock.

On September 4, the heartbreaking news was shared with thousands of Bonsai’s fans on the Bonsai – Half a Bulldog, Twice The Love Facebook page.

I am heartsick to share with you – that around 4 a.m. on Friday morning, our precious boy was called from our world.

A faint cough, shortly after Bonsai was tucked in for the night, was the only indication that something was amiss – Bonsai’s heart stopped beating and without any other warning, he was gone.


Elizabeth Hart, Bonsai’s rescuer, personal caregiver and founder of Friends Of Emma – said in a Facebook post, “Though we’ve always been aware that Bonsai may not live a long life due to his rare combined conditions – he hadn’t been sick… there was no warning – and we are still shocked at the sudden happenings.”

The little Bulldog was born to an Arkansas breeder back in April of 2015 with just half of his spine, no functional pelvis and tiny contracted rear limbs which had to be amputated.


Bonsai quickly became an internet sensation, stealing the hearts of thousands as he grew and gained the support of friends and followers worldwide.

With his spirited antics, Bonsai kept his fans smiling and wildly excited for his regular interaction on Facebook and Instagram through photos, narrations and videos.

Bonsai served as the official mascot to iSACRA – the human organization benefiting those afflicted with this rare condition – as well as bringing to light, the ongoing needs and pleas of the major medical / critical care rescue home who cared for him – Bonsai brought awareness, joy, silliness and inspiration to the world each and every moment of his 16 months of life.


In the words of one Facebook follower, “He was such a source of, not only comic relief in a world that has become all too intolerable for anyone with differences – but a true inspiration, that those differences should not limit us.”

Friends Of Emma is a Texas based private rescue home caring for major medical, critical care and hospice animals from around the world. If you would like to make a donation in Bonsai’s honor to help them continue vital medical rescue efforts, you may do so via Bonsai’s personal fundraiser page.

In the announcement post on Bonsai’s Facebook page, his rescuer states, “We will get through the days – the long nights – carry on as is needed for the little ones in our care – and those who continue to find their way to us….. because that’s what we do.”


If you would like to purchase a remembrance item, you may order a plush replica of Bonsai while products are available – with 100% of the proceeds directly benefiting the major medical, critical care and sanctuary rescue residents of Friends Of Emma.

Hart continues, “Bonsai’s life was not in vain ~ his brilliant spirit will shine on in all of us… We’ll see you again my prince ~ healthy and whole………. we love you endlessly.”

Bonsai’s Facebook page here.

(Photos via Elizabeth Hart Photographic Expressions)


Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Fran Muller says:

    So sorry for you loss.He looked so adorable .He is in Rainbow Bridge having no pain and having a good time. I know how much he will be missed,and always in your heart.Maybee he will meet my little Baxter ,who passed this year,up in Rainbow Bridge. Fran Muller

  2. DONNA JO CANALE says:



  3. Elaine Maddox says:

    My heart breaks for Momma. Bonsai became a part of my every day routine. When,i,would get up I would look for a post about Bonsai .He is now running the golden streets of Heaven and playing with all the other special babies. I miss you sweetie. God bless you for loving Bonsai and showing him a wonderful life.

  4. Robyn Dean says:

    I am so sad that little Bonsai has passed away, I always looked forward to reading his posts

  5. Christen says:

    My tears finally broke free. This hits home for me because I’m going through a hard time with my dog Abby. She has bone cancer and it’s gonna take over her body before long. Bonsai, I loved your silly puppy face from day 1, loved seeing your pictures and following your story. Rip sweet fur baby. Run and play as much as you want now. No more pain for you. My heart is breaking for you Elizabeth. Prayers of comfort for your family.

  6. Tami Wise says:

    So saddened by the news of Bonsai’s passing. The Heavens twinkle brighter now as he shine,s down on us. The sun is full of his warmth and love for us. He walks alongside God, for now he shall be one of God,s Dog,s. RIP Bonsai, you were known and much loved by so many sweetness. **Never Forgotten, Forever in our Hearts** Prayers for Strength for Bonsai’s family during this sad and difficult time, I’m sorry for the loss of your wonderful lil guy. He will be so very missed

  7. Helen says:

    I will be forever grateful that Momma Elizabeth shared Precious Bonsai with us. His life here even though a short time was filled with loved and had purpose, so many people like myself loved seeing his daily posts and antics . In a world filled with so much sadness and social media becoming the platform for bullying, he was that ray of sunshine everyday. Thank you again momma Elizabeth for all you do, and for sharing that Precious baby Bonsai with all of us. Run free sweet Baby you will be missed and forever loved by so many.
    **gigglesnorts ~n~ kisses ** Forever

  8. Patricia Diaz says:

    We have not lost you Little swet Bonsai. You are in our hearts for ever.

  9. Mary Narramore says:

    Bonsai, you had a short life, but a good life. Your Mommy loved you with all her heart and she is missing you terribly. We miss you too, but nothing compared to Mommy. Here’s praying for Mommy to find peace and more love, until she sees you again. Until then, keep all our fur babies near, run free baby boy over the Rainbow Bridge, until we all meet again. Love from one of your biggest fans!

  10. Rebecca Brantley says:

    I loves waking up everyday to see what Bonsai was going to be up to that day. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. I know he got the best care from Elizabeth and that she loved him dearly. I know he is running and playing over the rainbow bridge. Love you Bonsai ?❤?

  11. Robin O'Leary says:

    God bless you and your Mama! You are a beautiful soul and you will be missed so much. I know you are in Heaven with Jesus and the Angels running around with your whole body. Please keep my fur babies company until the day that I join you. Love you soooooooo much sweetheart! ???

    Your friend,

  12. Stacey says:

    Thank you for the beautiful writing on Bonsai. While I am sad he is gone, I know he could not have received better care or love then he got from Elizabeth. We were all blessed that she shared this precious gift with us. His spirit and Elizabeth’s huge heart will continue to change the world for the better for a long time to come. Bonsai never forgotten.

  13. Hope says:

    I’m sorry for you loss. God Bless.

  14. Pati Giddens says:

    You’re a bright star on the darkest of nights sweet little Bonsai. Fly free. One more bright star in the heavens. You’ll be missed.?❤️❤️??❤️❤️?????

  15. Janice Peret says:

    On Sunday, when Ms. Hart posted about Bonsai’s passing, I had just come home from agreeing to adopt a cat, to add to the two I already have, that was going to have to be put down just because she couldn’t adapt to living in a cage in her shelter and was about to lose her foster situation. Hearing about Bonsai, I took it as a sign that I was doing the right thing, since I can’t do what Ms. Hart does for at-risk dogs I can save a cat. Her posts about Bonsai were a source of light in what has become a very dark world. And she has so many more dogs that need help … I hope people who read this will consider making a donation, even a small one, to Friends of Emma or to one of her special links, or even to her Amazon Wish List. She has, for instance, two dogs from Greece (one missing parts of his tail and back legs because his mother chewed them off), and another, a puppy named Carley, who, it has been determined, was the victim of horrible, horrible abuse. All of these dogs need medical procedures, and medical procedures cost plenty, as any pet owner knows.

  16. Joyce McCarty says:

    So sorry for their loss, Rest in peace Bonsai, condolences for your family and many friends, you will be missed.

  17. Joyce Rowland says:

    Gone from our sight, but fur-ever in our hearts, Darling Bonsai. Be at peace, in the garden of our Lord, just across the Rainbow Bridge.

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