It has been said that a dog 
is your only friend who, when you make a fool of yourself, 
not only will  not judge  you,  but will make a fool of  herself,  too!

~ How Nellie Joined Our Family ~

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July 30, 2012
We said goodbye to our precious Nellie today.  She gave us joy for 
14 years and it broke our hearts to see her go. We look forward to
meeting her again at The Rainbow Bridge.
Below is the story of how Nellie came to be with us.

Throughout the first 37 years of our marriage, Bill and I and our three daughters had a number of dogs. From the beginning, Bill wanted a Boston Terrier, as he had one from the time he was 1 year-old until he was 12. When that dog died, his family bought another Boston. His most-loved memory of her was the way she would grab his mom or dad's arm if they tried to spank him. 
"She would not bite them," he says, "but would just interfere with the spanking!" 
After the first time she did that, he would run to find the dog whenever he "was in trouble" with his parents. 

After we were married, every time we would talk about getting a dog we would hear this story from Bill. But I always thought Boston Terriers were ugly, with their faces that looked like they had a fight with a brick wall and lost!  So, with our 3 daughters in agreement with me, getting a Boston Terrier was out of the question! (Bill has always said that he was out-numbered 4 to 1 with the women in his household)!

We have had a couple of beagles, 4 poodles and poodle-mixes, and, most recently, a Yorkshire Terrier that Bill gave to me for our 23rd wedding annniversary. I named him "Digby". Digby was a wonderful pet, sweet, smart and funny, and we really grieved for him when he died at the age of 13. After that,  Bill renewed his campaign for a Boston Terrier. I had made up my mind that with the girls all grown, we did not need another dog... and we had new carpet! Well... every chance he got, which was usually a minimum of several times a week, Bill would say, "If I had a Boston Terrier, it could go for a walk with me". Or, "If I had a Boston Terrier, I would have someone to be with me while you are on the computer," etc., etc... you get the idea. Well, when his birthday rolled around that August, I could not think of anything to get him that would make him as happy as a Boston Terrier would. So I made him an online card to let him know that a Boston Terrier would be his birthday gift! (You can read the card I made for him by clicking here if you want to get the full impact)! 

Well, Bill's emotional response to reading the online "card" was enough to make me feel I had been cruel  in objecting to his choice of a dog for all those years!

To make a long story short, we visited pet shops and kennels until we found a breeder who had 2 dogs due to give birth.  When that happened, Bill picked out his puppy and named her Nellie!  He had to wait 6-7 weeks for her to be ready to "bring home",  but oh,  she was worth the wait! I never thought I would see the day a when a Boston Terrier would win my heart, but miracles do happen! After we brought her home I discovered that she is funny, loving, very smart! The breeder, who is very experienced with Bostons, told us that they will do anything to make their humans happy; the trick is getting them to know exactly what it is that will make you happy! Nellie experienced a bit of a challenge learning that for her to go potty outside of the house would make us happy! 

As a puppy Nellie went to sleep on Bill's shoulder each night, and got up with him as he was getting ready for work each morning. On weekends, after Bill gave her an early morning breakfast and saw that she had "potty time" outside, she went back to bed with us, happily sleeping close to Bill under the covers! We believe that if Nellie could talk, the first thing she would say would be, "My happiest place is in your face!"

UPDATE 2009: Nellie is now 10 years old. She is such a wonderful pet; so smart, loving and funny! She did learn that going potty outside of the house is the right thing to do!   In fact, she knows it so well that she will do it (or at least she will fake it) any time we say the phrase, "Go potty!" 

Each person Nellie meets is her new best friend! She greets each human she comes in contact with as if she had waited all her life for just that person! Everyone is a friend and potential playmate, whether it is a child at the park, or a plumber coming to fix a faucet. (We are quite sure that burglars would be greeted with the same unabashed enthusiasm). 

She has a soft frisbee (made for dogs) that she loves chasing, catching and shaking it violently, and then bringing it joyfully back to the thrower. 

HINT: A 2 LITER plastic soda bottle (empty) makes a wonderful toy for dogs... at least it does for Nellie. For as long as you will watch her, she will roll it and push it around the yard, finally grasping it by the lid (or by the bottom after she has dented it enough) and bring it to you to be thrown or kicked away again.

She understands so much of what is said to her that at times she seems almost human! She is most definitely a wonderful part of our family. But some things never change:
"Her happiest place is (still) in your face!"

Nellie at 8 weeks old


Norton and Nellie
October of 1998


Norton making sure Nellie has a clean face.
October, 2000


Nellie and Norton napping!
April, 1999

Below is Nellie on October 22, 2000
2 months after her second birthday

Nellie in her wading pool with her favorite toy

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We trust Nellie to

Doggy Day Care 
of Visalia

*Dog Walking
*Pet Sitting
*Over Nite Care
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