Boston terrier

Boston terriers love children, and they like to romp with them.

Around 2000, a Boston terrier became a member of my daughter’s family quite by accident. One day, while living in Georgia, they arrived at their church and found a Boston hunkered against a glass door, cold and hungry. They brought her home, tried to find her owners to no avail, and then fell in love with her.

They named her “Baby.” The grooming shop told them her skittish behavior was that of an abused dog, which endeared her to them even more. It took Baby a year before she completely trusted her human parents but, step by step, she warmed up to them and overcame her nervousness. All of us who visited in their home grew to adore her.

After more than a decade, Baby died, and some time afterward the family moved to Virginia. When the children were missing their friends, my daughter and her husband remembered how much love Baby had brought into their home. They shopped around and bought, at no small price, a little girl puppy they named Abbey, the runt of a litter of Bostons.

She became the hit of the neighborhood. Weighing about 2 ½ pounds, Abbey attracted the attention of neighborhood children who would watch for the family to bring her out. Soon, more than a dozen children would be in the yard waiting to pet and hold this adorable black-and-white puppy.

All of us agree that Bostons make fabulous pets if you want a dog that does not bark, is easy to train, eats very little, is smart, likes to play and run, and curls up to sleep often, especially if it can find a warm spot.

Boston terriers were one of the first breeds developed in America — ironically, to fight other dogs. Almost certainly, some breeder from Boston, where the dog originated, got a rude surprise when his new breed wanted only to play with other dogs.

Bostons do not drool, but they snore because they have flat faces. This feature also causes them to take in lots of air when eating; owners will find it best to stay upwind when these dogs are resting or sleeping. They shed very little, and just a brief brush with a dog comb will keep their short fur in check. Bostons love children, and they like to romp with them. Bostons love senior citizens, and they will adapt to a sedentary lifestyle. However, like all animals, they need some exercise.

I think the word “adaptable” is the best way to describe Baby, Abbey and other Bostons I have known. They are smart enough to know how to procure the best possible lives for themselves: be nice, be fun, be adaptable. Now, if all humans could learn these three traits, their lives would be as cozy as a dog lying in the sunshine, which is what Abbey was doing as I finished this story.

Sherry Kughn is a local freelance writer. Contact her at