Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boston Terriers

I like 'em. 

A few years ago I was helping my parents during a tough time in their lives. I had flown in and was spending a few days helping them with their affairs. They lived in the country, just a little way off a well-used hard road. One day I heard a terrible squealing of brakes out front and knew immediately that it was probably an animal on the road. By the time I got outside the car was gone, but a little Boston Terrier was trotting along in the very middle of the road. I went out and called him and he came to me like I was his long-lost friend. I'd never seen the little man before, but it was clear he was lost and in trouble.

I took him inside with me. He had no collar or tags, and was badly emaciated. It was clear that he was starving to death. He was filthy dirty, and smelled bad, but didn't appear to be injured in any way. He was very friendly and despite his dreadful condition, he seemed happy to be in human company. My parents didn't have a dog, but they had a couple of cats. I fed him some cat food, being careful not to let him eat too much too quickly. He liked it. Next, I gave him a good bath and I was surprised that he seemed almost grateful instead of struggling and complaining.

I called all the neighbors I knew and even took him with me in the car to houses in the immediate rural neighborhood. No one knew him. All I could think of was that someone had put him out of their car on the road. A throw-away. I called the pound and the sheriff to see if anyone had called about him. Nothing. Finally, I called the local kennel club and they agreed to come get him the next day and either find his owners or find him a good home. If I hadn't been flying and so far away from home I think I would have taken him myself. He was such a friendly, intelligent little guy. I always regretted not doing just that.

At any rate, Years and years later I was doing a lot of traveling for a project I was working on. On the road I lived in a small, comfy travel trailer as I moved from site to site. I began to get the yen for a Boston Terrier to travel with me. I called the wife and asked her to see if she could find one for me. We talked back and forth several times, and she said she was having no luck. But she's an unconvincing liar and I sensed that something was up. Sure enough, when I got home she came out of the house with a tiny black-and-white bundle adorned with a big red ribbon. Since then Mags has been my travel partner and now that I'm not traveling as much she keeps me and Emma in line.

BTs are great little dogs that don't know they're little. (They come in two varieties: 18-pound and 25-pound. Mags is an 18-pounder.) They have great hearts, boundless energy (though they do make excellent house dogs), much affection, and good senses of humor. They're bright, but not as compliant and eager to obey orders as some of the service breeds like the Rottweiler or Alsatian. Like all dogs it takes them a while to learn what you expect from them, but Mags will be five this month and she is doing just fine in that regard. She really is a great little companion with a lot of character and personality. 

So that's my too-long, personal Boston Terrier tale. Anyone looking for a clean, bright, athletic, personable little dog to live with could hardly do better than a BT. Mine gives me at least one good laugh every day, over something or other, and the love and affection just goes on and on. I've always had big dogs, and Mags is my first little-'un. I'm very glad to have her.  Even Emma likes her, and as long as Emma obeys her orders and doesn't step on her, Mags has agreed to put up with her, too.

In the picture she is gloating about the bone she stole from my prairie bone 'collection.' I pretended to chase her around to re-claim it and she thought that was the greatest fun. When I quit chasing she insisted that we resume the game.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My dogs are all mixed breed hounds. They either just showed up at my place, or someone was giving them away at Walmart. I've never had a "pure bred: dog.