My Buddy Butch - Confessions of a New Dog Dad
It was a hot August day when my sister Judy called me at work and said, Hey, I made an appointment with the breeder to see one of the Boston terrier pups. They only have one left so we better go. A short drive into the country, which turned into a long drive trying to following my two sisters in the car ahead of me. They eventually led me to a medium-sized blue house that sat on a nice big lot.
I did not see any dogs out running around but I could hear some barking so I assumed the dogs were kept in a pen. As we walked up the stairs to the front porch, I could feel the excitement starting to build. I was getting excited about the whole idea and I was the one who didn't think it was the right time to get Dad a dog. We entered the house and after a few polite introductions, the woman disappeared behind what I think was a dining room and was gone for a couple of minutes. When she returned, she produced the tiniest of creatures I had ever seen that was called a dog! This little thing was about the size of a gerbil and resembled some type of rodent. It was a tiny female Boston terrier that was not quite three weeks old and she was the last of the litter to be sold. She was about the size of my hand and was probably the runt of the litter. She was roughly six inches long by three inches wide with eyes that were still closed and had a little nub that was supposed to be a tail.
As I stood there holding this tiny new life in my hand, the little thing started to shiver and began crawling up my arm until it could bury its little head in the crease of my inner elbow that rested against my side. With her little head buried in my side and my right hand covering her entire body, she warmed up enough to fall right to sleep.
Well that was all it took for this hard-lined skeptic of the whole Dog for Dad idea to buckle under this extreme puppy pressure. We spoke with the lady for awhile about the details, such as waiting the eight weeks until the pup was on solid food, AKC registration, and other care questions. Then I asked to see the mother of this puppy. The woman left the room again and returned with a normal-sized Boston terrier with very nice markings, all black with white around the neck, white feet and white about half way up the legs. She had the trademark white stripe in the middle of her head. It was Babe! She looked just like Babe and I couldn't believe it. She was a good-looking clean dog with a sweet temperament. We left a deposit and told the woman to let us know when we could come and get the puppy.
After this encounter, I was unbelievably excited about the whole idea. Even to the point of wanting my own dog again! My heart just sank to leave that little ball of fur behind. I couldn't understand it. I was supposed to be the tough guy, business minded, self-sufficient individual on the run. To feel this way, at least in recent years, was a foreign experience to me. At this point, I thought this couldn't be better for Dad, although I still didn't know how it would be received being a surprise to him.
A few weeks later, my sister called me at work and said that she had spoken to the breeder and the puppy was ready for pickup. She asked if I wanted to go and I said, Go ahead without me and take her over. I'll stop by Dad's the next day or so. Trying to curb my enthusiasm, I forced myself not to rush right over to see our new arrival. I was excited about the new addition and really could not wait to see her but I waited until the next evening after work to stop by Dad's and say hi. Dad's house is only five minutes from my office.
When I stopped by the next day, Dad had a big smile on his face and I could see he was beaming. He absolutely loved that little dog. I said, I hear we have a new addition! He said, Yeah, she is a cute little thing isn't she. As he said that, a little black and white head popped out from his sweater to see what was going on. I asked what he named her and he said Well, when I first saw her, it looked like someone had sewed her nose on like a button, so I decided to call her Buttons. I thought, Buttons ? And I thought Babe was a sissy name, but Buttons ? Really?!