Tag: boston terriers
As irreplaceable as dogs are — and Charlie Powell considered his childhood dog, Poochie, just that — the best thing to do when you lose one is to fairly quickly get another.
Powell, senior public-information officer for Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, learned that lesson the hard way, letting 30 dogless years elapse after Poochie died.
In a haunting, inspiring and pretty darned wise essay in last week’s Seattle Times, Powell told the story of Poochie, the Boston terrier who was his first dog.
“My mother often said she thought I would pet his head bald with my right hand while sucking a bottle held in my left. She also said Poochie had no problem with that.”
After accompanying Powell through much of his childhood, the day came that Poochie, achy and elderly, had to be put down. Powell recalls the trip to the vet, and going with his father to bury Poochie near Lake Mead in Nevada.
Traumatic as that might have been for a 10-year-old, it got worse. When he and his father, on a fishing trip, later returned to the site where they’d laid Poochie to rest, they found the grave desecrated.
“There was trash around his grave where people had partied. There was a blackened fire ring where we buried him with the burned hinges and the hasp laying there. When I looked up, I saw his partially charred body hung by the neck from a limb with the wire we used to close the box…”
The impact of that, somewhat understandably, would last 30 years.
“For me, the memory of what happened was more like a featureless wall that one is unable to scale. I think I coped with this mainly by becoming ambivalent to dogs — all dogs.”
His family got other dogs, he writes, “but I was never close to any of them. I just never wanted to be that close to a dog again.” Even while working at Washington State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and for the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, he had no desire — at least not that he was aware of – to have a dog of his own.
Then one day his wife went to a dog show, and — though he’d never mentioned Poochie to her — fell in love with Boston terriers, to the point she ordered one from a breeder, and asked her husband to pick up the dog, a brindle-colored male named ”Buster.”
“My mind raced. I fretted all week. How could I get another dog? What if his fate turned out to be worse than Poochie’s? Did my wife expect me to “replace” Poochie? Of course that was unfair to her; she knew nothing of Poochie. So I decided I needed to keep the wall up for the time being.”
We all know how good dogs are at knocking such walls down, and that’s what Buster did.
“Buster blossomed into a well-mannered young man that wormed his velvety head into my heart.
“Part of what I had avoided since Poochie died was eye contact with other dogs. But just try and avoid eye contact with a Boston terrier in your house, those two orbs that stick out on the corners of a cube-shaped head. It’s impossible.”
Powell would go on to feature Buster regularly in vet school publications, and he once brought him along to a Washington State Veterinary Medical Association meeting, where “he sat in the conference room next to me wearing his WSU bow tie as if he were deliberating.”
As Powell notes Buster wasn’t Poochie — and it would be wrong to have expected him to be. When one dog dies, and you get another, the new one isn’t a replacement, and isn’t just a painkiller. He or she is unique — another chance to enjoy the magic of the species, another chance, for a dog lover, for love.
“Between Poochie and Buster was a long time to stay silent and deny myself the joy of another dog,” Powell wrote. “With Buster’s passing, I realized that I had shortchanged myself for a long time for no good reason. The very thing I thought I was protecting myself from — life with another dog — turned out to be the best thing for me.”
(Editor’s note: After the death of Buster, Powell adopted another Boston terrier, this one a blind and deaf 13-year-old rescue. Her name is CeCe.)
(Photos: Poochie and Powell in 1961, courtesy of Charlie Powell; Buster in a vet school post card, by Henry Moore Jr. / BCU/WSU)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boston terriers, buster, charlie powell, coping, death, dog, dogless, doglessness, dogs, grief, mourning, new dog, pets, poochie, replacement, school, veterinary, void, walls, washington state university
Who says dogs have no place at a literary festival?
Certainly not me … or I.
Ace, though he attended last year, stayed home on Saturday when I went to Bookmarks, the annual Winston-Salem literary festival. I figured it would be too hot for him to enjoy it, and, besides, I was serving as a volunteer at the Winston-Salem Writers booth and, even though he’s great at drawing a crowd, I felt it best to go solo.
There were dogs there, though, including these two Boston terriers, who were being pushed in a stroller.
The booth next to the one I was in was operated by the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, and it featured a plywood cut-out of the bard into which people could stick their faces to be photographed.
Among the people taking advantage of it were the owners of the two Boston terriers.
The larger of the two Bostons was almost able to fill the face hole when his owner held him up.
The smaller couldn’t begin to fill Shakespeare’s face. His head only took up about half of the hole.
But he had such a great smile, we have to give him equal time anyway:
(An open house is being held by Winston-Salem Writers, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Central Library, 660 W. 5th St. I’ll be among the authors selling and signing books (DOG, INC.) at the event, which offers an opportunity to learn more about the organization.)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bookmarks, boston terriers, cut-out, dogs, festival, heads, holes, literary, north carolina, north carolina shakespeare festival, pets, shakespeare, william shakespeare, winston salem writers, winston-salem
Animal advocates in North Carolina are hoping last week’s seizure of 160 dogs from a large scale breeding operation in Stokes County helps propel the state legislature to finally pass a puppy mill law.
The dogs were removed from Dan River Bullies in Danbury, described by authorities as a crowded facility where dogs slept in their own waste in makeshift, mouse-infested kennels with exposed wires.
It was a “heartbreaking” scene, in the view of Kim Alboum, director of the Humane Society of North Carolina. She said she hopes it serves as a catalyst that will push North Carolina to demand more regulation of commercial dog breeders.
“My expectation is that our legislators are going to see the outcry from the general public and hopefully help us move something forward and get some regulations in place,” Alboum told the Raleigh News and Observer.
“The majority of people want to have regulations for commercial dog breeders in North Carolina,” she added. “They want to have some level of accountability.”
A bill to regulate commercial breeders passed the state Senate in 2009, but didn’t make it through the House. Alboum said she’s working with North Carolina animal control officers and legislators to come up with a new bill.
The Humane Society of the United States, which took part in the raid, estimates there are 250 to 300 commercial dog breeders operating in North Carolina. While most may be responsible and caring owners, Alboum said, not all are, and the state has been drawing unethical breeders from other states that have passed puppy mill laws.
Nationally, at least 19 states have some level of regulation in place for commercial dog breeders, the Humane Society says.
More than 500 dogs were recovered in the five puppy mill raids in North Carolina last year – in Wake, Caldwell, Franklin, Perquimans and Lincoln counties.
The dogs seized last week have ended up in shelters in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.
Marsha Williams, executive director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, which received 129 of them, said their problems include eye issues, hematomas, heart murmurs, severe dental problems, matting and dermatitis. Some of the dogs have broken jaws and teeth.
The dogs included French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas.
Charges are expected to be filed against the owners, Willis and Lucile Mabe, after veterinarians finish evaluating the dogs.
(Top Photo by Brooke Cain / Raleigh News & Observer; bottom two photos courtesy of Humane Society of the United States)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, boston terriers, breeders, breeding, chihuahuas, commericial, dan river bullies, danbury, dogs, english bulldogs, french bulldogs, humane society, kim alboum, large scale, legislation, legislature, north carolina, operation, pets, puppy mill law, puppy mills, shih tzus, stokes county, yorkshire terriers
Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are Boston terriers. And I’ve known enough of them to know it would be wrong to paint them all with the same broad brush.
But they do seem to have a way — more so than most breeds — of making you laugh until your stomach hurts.
Here’s a video by a Boston terrier lover that includes her own rescued dog, Manoja, and countless others.
It was posted on YouTube by “Snowy1985,” who explains:
“I made this video to my new favorite song in honor of the rescue that got me hooked on the Boston terrier breed. This video is intended to educate people on the joys of having a Boston terrier by showing them how much fun they are. It is also a parody of the LMFAO song, “Sexy and I Know It.”
Snowy notes that her video was a labor of love, not intended to make money — and she directs those interested in finding out more about Boston terriers in need of homes to Adoptaboston.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptaboston, antics, boston terrier, boston terriers, bostons, breeds, dogs, funny, laugh, lmfao, manoja, rescue, rescues, sexy and i know it, video, youtube
Breed: Boston terrier
Age: 14 years
Encountered: At Heart of Gold, a jewelry store in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Backstory: Ace and I were sitting outside a coffee shop when suddenly I felt my seat start moving. I’d looped Ace’s leash over the back of my chair, and he moved it a full inch before I turned around to see what he was trying to get to.
It was a Boston terrier. She did her business in the pine needles and disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
Despite the situation, she was happy to talk about her greying old dog, Betty, who comes to work with her every day.
She got Betty as a pup in Florida, part of a litter sired by a pedigreed Boston terrier who went by the name Willie B. Cute.
Betty’s owner, who’s moving to Texas after the shop gets packed up, happily agreed to me taking Betty’s picture, but — not wanting to be in any pictures herself — handed the dog off to her employee.
The result was a photo that captured — if I do say so myself — both the quiet dignity of old age and the joyful energy of youth.
After our quick photo session, Betty, who’s going deaf, was returned to the floor, where she immediately began scooting her butt across the carpet. She was scolded only mildly and continued scooting. That’s one of the things that comes with the dignity of old age — when you have an itch, you scratch it.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: age, animals, betty, boston terrier, boston terriers, breeds, closing, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, economy, encounters, gold, heart of gold, jewelry, north carolina, pets, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace, winston-salem, youth