Panda's Story

At my office one day in June of 2001, I received an e-mail from Carolyn with pictures of two five week-old Boston Terriers. While browsing the Denver Post Online, she saw an advertisement for Boston puppies placed by a lady in Loveland. Driven by curiosity she contacted the woman, who offered to e-mail a few pictures. Carolyn promptly received photos of three dogs, which the lady called Dot, Spot and Pudge. Carolyn thought that Dot and Spot were adorable and wanted to drive up to Loveland, about an hour north of Broomfield, to see them. I was wary about a third dog, but she was adamant, so that Friday evening we made the trip. I knew that, by the time we returned home, either Dot or Spot would be ours. It was only a matter of which pup it would be.

The couple selling the Bostons were very friendly and we ended up spending several hours with them. After showing us their horses, we met Winston and Frankie, the parents of the pups. Then, suddenly, a door was opened and out charged three little black and white balls of fur. The next thing I knew, these balls of fur were swarming all over us. They were falling over one another, as well as themselves, and they all wanted to be picked up at the same time. After awhile, a pattern became apparent. Little Pudge kept running back to me every time we were separated. I would put her down to pick up one of the others, and she would immediately want me to pick her up again. If I handed Pudge to someone else, as soon as they set her down, she would trot right over to where I was. In addition, I loved her attitude. This puppy didn't want to be picked up, she demanded to be picked up. When Carolyn asked me whether I liked Dot or Spot the most, I answered that Pudge was my favorite. Every few minutes she would repeat the question, and the answer was always the same - Pudge. To make a long story short, before we left that night, "we" had decided on Pudge. We would, however, have to wait a few more weeks before taking her home because she was not old enough to leave her mother.

During the few weeks that we waited to bring her home, we thought a lot about what to name the new dog. We agreed that the name "Pudge" was too undignified. When we first saw Pudge and her sisters, a thought crossed my mind that they looked like miniature Panda bears, so I suggested that we call her Panda. Carolyn liked the name, so Pudge became Panda.

Several weeks later, we brought her home and it was like having a miniature tornado loose in the house. I have never seen a puppy with so much energy. Ali was terrified of this little blur of perpetual motion, and Shelby was constantly threatening her by growling and barking. Panda was oblivious to all of this, and just wanted to play with both of them. Like our other Bostons, Panda had no obvious separation issues. She bonded with us immediately and did not give any indication that she was homesick for her mother.

Physically, Panda is much more similar to Shelby than Ali. She has most of the classic Boston Terrier features. She does not have the compact build of Shelby, but she is very muscular. Panda also has a white muzzle band, but her blaze is quite wide, noticeably asymmetrical, and merges with a broad white ring that completely encircles her neck. Interspersed with her black fur is a considerable amount of brindle. The brindle is not very visible until she is in direct sunlight, at which point she almost appears to be rust colored. In front, she has one white paw and one black paw. In back, she has a 1½ inch tail that permanently sticks straight out. She is considerably larger than Ali, but weighs less than Shelby. Although Panda naturally possesses the beautiful alert upright posture of a show dog, she would not win any awards because her body and hind legs are too long.

In temperament, Panda is most similar to Ali. Like virtually all Boston Terriers, she is a "personality dog." Panda is extremely affectionate and craves attention. This energetic dog will remain perfectly still if she is being held in someone's arms. She is playfully aggressive- always growling at everything and picking fights with the other dogs. She once tried to pick a fight with a moth that kept getting in her face. Despite the constant aggressive behavior, the ever-present wag in her tail provides reassurance that she is only playing. Moreover, a single "No!" from us, or a barely audible yelp from one of the other dogs, will cause her to immediately retreat. When we have to scold her to get her to settle down, she is always determined to lick our face afterwards. I interpret this as her need for reassurance that we still love her. Of course we do.