Our Comical Life With a Deaf Puppy
Meet Bosley and Charlie. Charlie is our white faced, blue eyed, non typical Boston Terrier. Bosley is our goofy, hilariously imperfectly perfect Boston.
They are our “furever toddlers”.
If You Don’t Know Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers were originally bred to be pit-fighters, but thankfully, over the past century they have become one of the easiest, sweetest, smartest domestic dogs you could imagine.
They are athletic by breed and stubborn by nature, yet they have the most loving, affectionate bonds with their humans and with each other. Bostons are unique individually, with coats in black and white (tuxedo), brindle, blue (grey), and red. Charlie is black and white, but has the genetic brindle of his mother mixed through his coat. They are such a comical breed, and have a sense of humor like I have never experienced in dogs. Bosley is full brindle.
Bosley is a whopping 27 pounds, while Charlie is a daintier 22. Our vet has said that Bosley is slightly overweight, while his brother, who was the biggest puppy in his litter, is at the perfect weight for his frame. They both LOVE to eat. Predicatively, Charlie will be the larger of the two, once he has become fully grown. At least that is what his breeder foresees.
Bosley was an easy puppy. He learned to potty outside early, and we taught him to ring a bell to tell us he needs to go. He was never a chewer of anything that didn’t belong to him, and has always had a soft, goofy demeanor.
During the summer months of 2020, we realized how well Bosley played with other dogs, and that he had tons of energy to burn. We had always discussed the possibility of adding a new pup to our little family, and the timing seemed right. I reached out the lady who introduced us to Bosley, and she just happened to have another pregnant momma.
Please don’t come at me for looking into breeders. I understand why people have issues with them, and I share the same opinions. However, during COVID, searching for dogs on Rescue pages and Adoption websites was a high competition. Everyone wanted pets while they are at home working, and even though I put my name of multiple wait lists for an adoption, I still have never heard back from any of the sites I reached out to, and it has been 10 months since I started my search. The breeder that sold us Bosley is ethical and kind, and she treats her dogs like her children.
Along Came Charlie
After I had reached out to the breeder, she said I could choose which baby I wanted, once they were born. I asked for another male, because they seemed easier for us, and we didn’t want to risk accidental pregnancies. She understood completely, and we had already determined that we would never sire our dogs out.
She texted me one afternoon and asked how I would feel about having a deaf dog. She sent me photos of him, and it was instant love. We told her we would take him and of course give him a loving home. The puppy had gone through hearing tests (BAER) and was determined to be bilaterally deaf. This means no hearing in either ear.
The day we picked him up and brought him home was amazing. Bosley loved him instantly, as did we. He had very similar play qualities to our Bos, but was VERY loud when he barked and whined. Bosley has always been (mostly) a quiet dog, and Charlie more than made up for it. Bosley has found his voice, since his new baby brother joined us.
We don’t think Charlie understands how loud he is, and it makes us laugh. We compare his cries to having a baby in the house who needs immediate attention. He doesn’t yip, he screams. When he barks he makes odd squeaky sounds in between woofs, that are similar to the cackle of a hyena. He also has these throaty grunts when he asks for food, that we have never heard a dog make before. It sounds like the croak of a toad.
Charlie is not a Kennel registered dog, and I thought it was because of his deafness. As it turns out, he is a very rare puppy with two blue eyes and a white face. Both of these qualities tend to carry the gene for deafness, in most dogs. I had no idea. Oddly enough, he cannot be certified by kennels because of his eye color, and not his deafness. Most Bostons with a blue eye gene, have one blue eye and one brown. Our Charlie has two of the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen on a dog, while Bosley has beautiful deep brown eyes.
Charlie’s intense blue eyes give him this serious, brazen appearance. We call him “Mr. Intensity” or “Prince Charles” because everything he does is emergent and he communicates loudly and with a strong personality. Bosley seems to be confused by this. Boston Terriers, by nature, tend to be happy and a bit weird in their communication. They can be polar opposites of one another, or similar in attitude. Charlie and Bosley are very different from each other, and as much as it is amusing, it can be challenging as well.
Bosley hears every little noise, while we are unsure of what, if anything, Charlie hears. We know he feels the vibration of our presence, but if he is asleep, he doesn’t wake up to our movement, the way Bosley does. However, Bos will wake Charlie up if he hears something worth barking about, by tapping him awake with his paw or licking his head.
Every day is a new one in our home. Somedays our mornings are quiet if the dogs wake up and nap. Other days it feels like we run a daycare, chasing around after the two of them to remove something from their mouths, remind them to stop arguing, or asking them to be quiet. They clown around with toys, chasing each other on every floor of our home. They are typically inseparable.
As funny as Bosley is, he is often not a fair player. If Charlie has a toy, Bosley has to have it. No matter what Charlie has, Bosley will inevitably try and steal it from him, and then the brotherly feud is on. Charlie takes no crap from his adopted brother and growls like a tiny lion cub. The first time we heard this, we thought it was aggression, and we became concerned, but we soon realized that it is just his loud way of standing up for himself.
When they play together, Bosley gallops around like a little horse, while Charlie trots. If one of them has a toy and the other shows no interest, they will flaunt whatever they are playing with in the other’s face. It is quite hilarious to observe. They also both wiggle their bums when they are playful, making my fiancé and I laugh out loud. I honesty think as soon as they hear us, or sense us laughing, they perform even harder for our amusement.
They both get the “zoomies” at times, and zip through the house, running and jumping from stairs, through the living room, back to the kitchen and around and around the house, until they tire themselves out. When Charlie zooms he gets a huge grin on his face. When Bosley zooms, he crashes on a bed, when he plays out, and his tongue flops out while he snoozes. They are both such strange creatures.
The thing with Bostons is they can jump high, and LOVE doing so. Charlie can jump as high as my elbow if he wants my attention. Bosley loves to lick people, and jumps in faces, which is something we are trying to train him not to do, but, as I mentioned, they are stubborn. Our go-to reminder for behaviors, is a spray bottle of water. As soon as they see it in our hand, they “typically” calm down if they are getting carried away.
Our Two Boys
Even while Charlie is deaf, it is very difficult for others to notice, unless we mention it. He seems as normal and as developed as his brother, and in some ways, he acts beyond his age. Where Bosley, at a year and a half, seems more like a puppy, Charlie, acts more as an adult.
When other dogs come to visit, Bosley is the one to engage in play and get to know the visitor, where Charlie is more reserved and quiet. He likes to sit back and observe, only intervening in play when he becomes comfortable.
The two of them love to snuggle with their humans on the couch, or at our feet, when we are watching TV or settled down for a quiet evening. They compete over literally everything, including which one of them gets to be on our laps. Bosley has a habit of pushing sleeping Charlie around, and now, Charlie growls at him if he is awoken. They are oddly communicative with one another, even while we try to understand what they are wanting or needing.
They sleep together, bath together, go out to play together, eat together, and usually snuggle us together. They are so close and connected that you would swear they were blood siblings.
The one habit that both of them have had as puppies, is dragging their dog beds around the house, to be close to their people. If we are in different rooms from where their beds are, they will pull them over near us, grunting and tugging, before snuggling in for a nap. As I write this, Charlie is cuddled into his bed between the two rooms of his people. I am in our home office, while my partner is in the kitchen. Charlie dragged his bed into the hallways in between so he can see both of us.
We have never had Boston Terriers before, even though my fiancé and I have always had dogs in our lives. These two have kept us busy, on our toes, and laughing since the day we brought them home. I have joined various Facebook groups and sites about Boston lovers, and the consensus is that they are all crazy, all hilarious, and loyal loving dogs.
The things they all seem to have in common are:
- They snore loudly
- They have wicked gas
- They have hilarious humor
- They have zero sense of personal space (often sleeping on our faces, around our necks, or putting their butts in our faces)
- They love to play and are social
- They make strange noises when they groan and grunt
- They are beautiful, intelligent dogs,
They come in all sizes, various colors, and have either floppy ears, or ears that stand up. (As you can see, we have one of each.) They are easily spoiled and loyal. Bostons are famous for being good with children and easy for seniors, as they have gently qualities and don’t require a lot of physical outings. As long as they have outdoor space to run around in, they are completely content.
I have to say that I have never connected as emotionally to pets as I have with these two. They can be a pain in the ass, when they fight with one another (as brothers do) or when they wake us up at odd hours of the night to potty.
But, I love them both like crazy, and would not change a thing.