The American Gentleman

By: Joe DiMeo

(3 min read)

The Boston Terrier—The American Gentleman. They earned their name due to their polite manners (questionable) and because most of them look like they are wearing a tuxedo.

When I came into the world, I had a Boston Terrier. I did not pick him out. He was my dad’s dog, and his name was Skipper. He had other names like Pookie and Mr. Bulldog.

As far back as I remember, he always slept in my bed and was like my shadow. There is always a special connection with your first dog. I am glad it was a Boston Terrier. I’ve had other dogs, but nothing can compare. One of the fondest memories I have with him was when my parents and I were coming home from the bank, and I had one of those bank lollipops they used to give out back then. My parents went inside the house, and I went in the backyard. It was a snowy day in New Jersey, so I wanted to play in the backyard. My parents let Skipper out, and he bolted right to me. I was about five or six years old then, so I was pretty short, and Skipper lunged at me, tackled me down, and started to lick my face. He took my lollipop and ran away. At the time, I was pretty upset. I lost my lollipop and never got a new one. Now I think it’s pretty funny.

I feel that everyone should grow up with some sort of pet. Growing up with a dog teaches responsibilities like feeding them, taking them on walks, giving them baths, brushing them, and teaching them tricks.

Skipper was very fast. When we played fetch, no matter how far I threw the ball, he would get there after the first bounce, which was pretty impressive for him because I could throw the ball about 60 yards. It was fun to throw the ball high in the air. When he thought I threw it too far so the ball would fall behind him, he would get confused because those were two-bounce throws. I kept him in pretty good shape, but my mom always tried to fatten him up with extra treats. Every time we brought him to the vet, we were told he should weigh under 25 pounds. I always thought to myself, do dogs really know what we’re talking about because whenever we talked about his weight, the next visit to the vet, he would drop a pound. I did not mind because I liked an active dog.

Having a Boston Terrier is like having a small adult with you because they snore super loud like they have worked a nine-to-five shift even though they have slept all day. When I was in school and tried to get a good night’s sleep, he would take up the whole bed and hug the blankets. I found it crazy that he needed all that room since he was 25 pounds and only 14 inches tall. If you have ever owned a Boston Terrier, you know when you try to move them, it’s like dead weight, and their facial expressions are very judgmental. I have learned the hard way. If you are not cautious moving them and you push on their belly the wrong way, their farts can clear room. As I got older, obviously, Skipper did as well. He got cataracts in both eyes, and my dad got them fixed. I thought how crazy it was that a dog could have the same surgeries as a human, but I was in middle school then.

Skipper lived a strong, healthy life till the age of 14. He was cremated and now rests in my parent’s living room with a memorial. 

Joe DiMeo
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