Lovingly missed by Joy, Lucy, and her owner, Dr.Chris.
A Tribute to Katie
by Dianne Joy Myers
Every Boston Terrier is unique and special. They are all intelligent and affectionate. Katie was no exception! We brought Katie home when she was just seven weeks old. On the same weekend, we brought home a one year old show Boston. We already had one Rescue Boston. Katie made three. We knew right from the first moment, that Katie was a character!! She chose us. She kept coming over to the corner of the cage where we were sitting and laying her head between her front paws. No matter who picked her up she came right back to our corner.
On our way home from Philadelphia, we stopped at McDonalds so we could eat in the car. We didn't realize it then, but, we had begun our fast-food-you-can-eat-in-the- car "sentence", all show people receive. While we were eating, there came a knock on the window. "Is that a pot-bellied pig?" "NO!! It's a Boston Terrier!" After we got over the insult we had to agree, that Katie did resemble a pot-bellied pig just a little bit.
Once home, we decided to take a video of the new members of our family. Glory, the show dog, every bit a lady, was not going to lower herself to play with Katie. Katie would not take no for an answer and we had to separate them for Glory's sake. Mom had made a stuffed pig which was three times Katie's size. I set it down on the floor to have a size comparison as she grew. We put several puppy size toys on the floor, but Katie only had eyes for the pig. She attacked as soon as the pig hit the floor, dragging the pig by the ear. We laughed, brought Katie and the pig back into the middle of the floor and showed her "Katie's toys". We set the pig in the background, thinking that Katie would play nicely with the new toys we had gotten her. Not so - back to the pig. This time she dragged it around by the ribbon. We took the ribbon off. When she got hold of the pig's tail and shook him violently, we decided "size comparison pictures" might not be so important after all.
Thinking she might like different toys, Mom headed to the dog room to get some. We have a long living room, Mom thought she snuck out to the hallway at the other end of the room without Katie seeing her. All of a sudden Katie perked up her ears and lit off. I never saw anything move so fast! Across the room and out the dog door, she flew before I could even get up on my feet. I was sure she would stop when she saw the nine inch step down on the other side of the dog door, but that didn't concern her at all. I marvel now at how hard we have had to work with our puppies to teach them how to go in and out the dog door. Katie didn't need any lessons! I'm sure she'd have taken the pig with her if I hadn't already taken it away. We were learning, never underestimate Katie!
When Katie was three months old, we went to visit my brother who had an in- ground pool. My brother was in the middle of the pool and several of us adults were sitting around it. Katie was playing with "Katie's toys" and we were all watching her. All of a sudden the ears went up, she spotted my brother in the pool and lickety-split made a dash for him. I've seen it in cartoons, but never in real life. When Katie left solid ground, she hung there in mid-air, all four feet running full tilt for what seemed like minutes before the splash. It is unbelievable to us that none of us could stop her, even though we were all within a few feet. She came up swimming. My brother lifted her out of the pool. She had that look, "That was fun, let's do it again!"
At four months, we started Katie in handling classes. She was the class clown. The instructor had us line up in size order. The first dog in line was a huge Great Dane puppy. He was a bit shy, but very difficult for his master to control because of his size. I had been working hard with Katie and was proud that she had learned to be obedient. Katie was at the end of the line, being small even for a Boston. When it was time to "move them all", the Great Dane came barreling around the ring and up behind Katie before our end of the line had even started moving. She turned around and told him off in no uncertain terms. I was embarrassed, though every one else was laughing hysterically at her "pluck". From that time on, Katie made sure that the Great Dane kept his proper place in line. After a couple of weeks, we were allowed to bring bait to class. My pet peeve, is bait lying around the ring and it started with Katie. Someone had dropped a delectable bit on the floor. When Katie approached the bait on our turn around the ring, I snapped her lead and she obediently walked by it. Once back in "stacking position", Katie took advantage of a momentary lapse of attention on my part, loosed herself from her Rescoe lead, flew over, grabbed the cherished bit and ran back to stacking position. Everyone roared! Never underestimate Katie.
We had quite a time getting Katie to understand what things were "Katie's toys" and what things weren't. Very early on, she learned that if she turned over one of the area rugs on the floor and took hold of a certain piece of yarn, she could unravel row after row of the rug. At first it was "cute" and we scolded, biting our cheek not to laugh. "No Katie, play with "Katie's toys!" She would go back and pick up one of her own toys. Two rugs bit the dust and there was only one left. We bragged that she had really learned that the rugs were "off limits". One day, Mom left the room to get the mail and when she returned, the third rug was missing numerous rows. "No Katie, that's not your toy. Where are Katie's toys?" Sometimes, we forget they are dogs when we are discussing unacceptable behavior. Katie's ears went up and she went over to her toys and nudged them one after another and then looked back up at Mom. Suddenly the rug didn't matter any more and we marveled at her understanding.
We started showing Katie at three local shows when she was just six months. Since I had been showing Glory, unsuccessfully for six months by then, Norm Randall was handling her for me. On the last day, when Katie went in the ring, she behaved beautifully. There was still so much for me to remember, I hadn't acquired the skill of watching the judge, yet. It was a two point show and there were several classes. Katie was in the 6 to 9 month class so we were at the end of the line. I was excited when the judge chose Glory as Winners Bitch because she needed the two points to finish. We were lined up for Reserve, when suddenly, everyone was leaving the ring. "What happened?" I asked the woman in front of me. "The judge picked your dog for Reserve" Wow!! And then there in the middle of the ring in Binghamton Stadium, I began jumping up and down and yelling to my mother up in the stands, "Katie took Reserve!" Mom already knew of course, because she was watching the judge!
That was a servere winter, we had heavy snow covering the ground all winter long. The snow had become so deep that we could no longer open the gate to get access to the "dog yard". Fortunately, I had several teenagers at home and a window that opened into the dog yard. Almost daily, I enlisted one of them to go out the window and clear a place for the dogs. Katie had a bad habit of taking toys out to the yard. One morning, my husband was looking for his boot. It is hard to misplace something as large as a "moon boot". We searched the house to no avail. Then I had a thought, "No! she couldn't have!" But she did. Out the window went my son to retrieve his dad's boot. How Katie managed to get a boot twice her size out two dog doors is still hard to comprehend. Never underestimate Katie.
One morning, half awake, Mom sent Katie "out". Katie balked, which was very rare, but Mom insisted. Out Katie went and Mom looked out the window to watch her. All Mom saw was snow. Overnight 20 inches had fallen. In stumbled Katie looking like a snowdog. Obediently, Katie had gone out, tunneling under the snow. Apologies were definitely in order!
When she was 15 months old, in her second season, we decided that breeding her might calm her down a bit. She had far too much energy for old ladies like us. We chose the stud carefully and bred Katie. Because we had heard such horror stories about anesthesia and Bostons, we decided to take Katie to Cornell University Veterinary Hospital for her section. About a week before her due date, we made an appointment for her to be checked.
Something happened that day between the vet, Dr. Chris, and Katie that we had never seen before or since. Katie and Dr. Chris fell in love at first sight. Everyone who met Katie, adored her. This was more than that. Mom and I were amazed at what we were watching. Once Dr. Chris held Katie, she stopped being ours. While we were waiting for the results for some tests, Dr. Chris brought in a jar of baby food, and sitting cross-legged on the floor, fed it to Katie using her finger. That picture still brings tears to my eyes. "You must sell me this dog," we heard Dr. Chris say. "Yes, we can see that," we thought but we said, "No, Katie is not for sale." This had been our stock answer the many, many times before when the question had been asked.
On the way home, Mom and I discussed the bonding we had watched in awe. As much as we loved Katie and I'm sure she loved us, it seemed the love Katie had for Dr. Chris was more special. We told ourselves, "This is crazy, we must be imagining things. Dr. Chris is just an excellent vet".
Since we weren't too sure what day Katie was actually due, and Cornell was an hour away, we were nervous about having her go into labor and having trouble before we could get help. We decided to take Katie up to Cornell every day or so to have her progesterone level checked. Mom and I watched Katie and Dr. Chris as their bond grew with each visit.
Katie delivered two beautiful puppies. Dr. Chris took extra special care of her during and after the surgery. With each visit, she kept repeating, "You really must sell me this dog." We have often found that when a decision is right, Mom and I come to the same conclusion separately and then broach the subject with each other. We had independently come to the same conclusion, but were not sure how the other one felt. On the way home, that time, we said out loud, what we had been thinking for several days. We really must sell Katie to Dr. Chris.
When Katie's puppies were eight weeks old, we took them up to Cornell for CERF examination and Katie went to live with Dr. Chris. A couple of months later we were up at Cornell with another dog. Dr. Chris brought Katie in. She was definitely happy to see us, but it was obvious that she was keeping one eye on Dr. Chris. When Dr. Chris left the room, Katie went crazy. She jumped down and went to the door. If she could have reached the door knob, she would've been out before we even got up. Okay, we admit our feelings were a little hurt, on the other hand, it was obvious that we had made the right decision.
Katie brought great joy to Dr. Chris and her husband Dr. Joe. We know she made them laugh a lot and found all kinds of ways to get into trouble. When we asked Dr. Chris if she would breed Katie, she said no, she was afraid there would be complications and she couldn't bear to lose her.
We do not understand God's ways, but two weeks ago, a few months past Katie's third birthday, she went on a final adventure. We often hear about Boston's getting out of the yard, under the fence or through the fence. Not for Katie, she went out the front door. Had she mastered door knobs? She had been working on that! She headed for the highway and with her great enthusiasm, flew into the path of a car. It was quick, but we still cry for Katie. There won't be another Katie. But some day, when they are ready, there will be another Boston puppy for Dr. Chris and Dr. Joe. Puppies make us laugh, even when we feel like crying. And, laughing helps the heart to heal.
We miss you Katie!
Go to LeJoy Bostons Home Page
Return to Joy and Lucy's Family
Return to the Memorial Page.
Return to the Den.
|Sign My Guestbook!|
Last updated March 13, 1998.