Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Livin' The Life Of Riley

I volunteered to help transport a Boston Terrier today that was surrendered by his owner to a kill-shelter. He and his sister were surrendered, as admitted by the owner, because they were never taught not to play rough and one of the children got bitten. He has easily traveled 2 or 3 hours today and will leave here on Friday to head to the home of the president of the rescue group that will work on re-habbing him for eventual movement to another foster home and hopefully adoption. Here is the note I sent them today...

Riley is here and settling in well. He greeted me in a true happy Boston fashion and was pleased to go in the car. Because it was the 2 of us he was not crated and rode up front. He did yip and cry a bit but loved being stroked and talked too, even wanting to ride in my lap.

We stopped at PetSmart to pick up a harness for him and some oatmeal shampoo as I was out and he responded beautifully to the man that helped us. He would have bitten the cashier until I had her back off when she went to remove his harness tag, but was fine when I picked him up and she did it from the back. She bent over him front and center and I do think it was a bit of being hand shy perhaps. He showed a other small signs of that. He did tense so I could recognize he would snap at her but not attack. He did not give a warning but it seemed like typical Boston behavior when you do something they don't like.

Once home he greeted Janice but wasn't very interested in her. He followed me everywhere though (guess he's claimed me.) He did not show aggression when confronted with Cassidy, our deaf foster Boxer who was in the living room. He did raise his hackles when he turned a corner in my room and was surprised by greeting Sprout my APBT, no aggression though. When we went back to that room no hackles. Then he met Layla, my problem child, who was crated in the bathroom....She seemed to recognize him and then realize he was not one of her Boston buddies and growled and barked. He simply walked away.

We had a bit more play time and then he got a bath. I could tell he loves a ball, as they all do, and could easily jump up and knock someone down in excitement. But nothing major there and he lost interest in it quickly. We'll see how that changes though as he settles in. He was very good for his bath and happy to be toweled off. He ran through the yard doing the more traditional marking once clean. I got him settled into a large crate with a bed so I could get my others out to check out where he had been and all did fine. He is beside me snoozing as I type.

Everyone sniffed him through the crate an he did perfectly with it all until Sprout woke him up by trying to sniff his behind...Sprout started doing play bows outside the crate and Riley growled. A snap of the finger though got everyone settled down again. I think that's valuable info but should probably be taken with a grain of salt as Sprout is a happy boy that's never met a dog he doesn't like and doesn't always "get the message."

Overall I think he's an awesome little boy - very big for a Boston topping in at over 20 lbs with a rounder muzzle than I am accustomed to - and I know he'll do fine. Based on his (and my) history I would of course have reservations about adopting him into a family with small children but don't think he'll have any trouble with a family. My children are with their father tonight but I'll let you know how it goes when he meets them tomorrow.

I think Riley's awesome! I hope he does as well as I predict he will!


  1. Good luck with getting Riley ready for his forever home.

  2. I don't know much about Bostons, but I think they are adorable. If I ever did another little dog, I'd look into them.

    I wish I could foster, but mine have such strong personalities...they are not good at sharing.

    Even more, I wish that owners would just take responsibility and train their dogs. Tons of dogs end up being surrendered for issues that could have easily been trained away.

  3. What exactly is a "kill shelter?" are there shelters that automatically kill animals when they come in? Or is it a high kill ratio that gets them the designation?

  4. Anonymous5/22/2009

    Gosh. I hope Riley gets a forever home. We have a two year old Boston (Ernie). Getting him assimilated took some extra time for sure, but I don't know what we'd do without him now. He's part of our family. I wish people realized that adopting a pet means taking the bad with the good and rolling with it. It's what you make it. Scratches and hugs to Riley.