I worked for the breeders, looking after the Bostons at shows, doing handling in the unimportant classes. I always used Jennifer for junior handling, she was the nicest, all covered in freckles. When I found out she was to be bred, I said if there was a girl I would like to have it, I'd been saving paper route money. As it turned out Jennifer had 3 puppies, 2 fat roly poly boys and a crazy freckled girl. Jennifer and the girl puppy fought each other and had to be separated. She knew my voice and would come running, knocking her brothers all over. She had a partial clef pellet and sneezed a lot because of it. She was special, the only boston bitch born that year in the whole lower mainland. People offered over $1000 for her, but she was mine. Her name was Mardou's flying ford windstar, and I called her Arista. I was 10 years old.
Now, 13 years later, Beasties has been sleeping almost continuously, she breathes rapidly and seems to be in great pain. Her heart races and she wanders around bewildered, unsure of what to do. I feed her out of my hand and give her water with a syringe, because she seems to have forgotten where to go to eat and drink in the last day. Sometimes she's ok, other times she's hot to the touch and panting raggedly, maybe coughing slightly in a choking way. Maybe it's just discomfort I can ease with painkillers, hopefully I won't have to, make "the decision". Bostons aren't quitters and I don't want her to go that way. I haven't lost a dog yet. She seems peaceful now, sitting at my feet, her breathing quiet, her sightless eyes staring into the dark, and I think, maybe she'll be ok.