Once upon a time, in 2005, a Boston Terrier dog was born. He was given the name "Hotrod."
He and his brothers and sisters got taken away from their mother very early in life, and sold to
different pet stores: all except Hotrod. No one bought Hotrod. He had to stay with the same
company who owned his mother, even though he never saw her again.
When he was still a puppy, Hotrod like to jump. But when he got older, he got bigger. And then
when he tried to jump, his head would hit the top of his kennel where he lived with lots of other
dogs. So he stopped trying.
As soon as he was old enough he went to work full-time.
He ate his food off the floor of his kennel because he didn't have a bowl. He had to go to the
bathroom in his kennel too. No one ever took him for a walk. No one petted him or held him. No one
loved him. He never even met any children. His only job was to make puppies for his owners to sell.
That very same year, in 2005, a boy was born. He was given the name "Cory Dell."
He got to stay with his mother. When he was a baby, people held him and kissed him and took
care of him. His mommy loved him. His daddy loved him. Even all of his grandparents loved him.
Cory learned to go to the bathroom in the toilet, and to eat at the table from proper bowls and
plates. He got to have lots of adventures. He went outside to jump and run and play. He got to visit
far away places. But sometimes he got lonely.
For as long as he could remember Cory had wanted a dog. He had a kitten when he was small.
But that was a long long time ago. He had a sister, Danni, but she was too little to play the kind of
big boy games he wanted to play. He liked playing with his daddy, but daddy had to work and he
was gone a lot. He liked playing with his grandparents, but none of them lived at his house.
One of the things Cory did every year, was go to visit his MomMom & PopPop. He liked all the
animals where they lived. He liked petting Boots the cat. He liked feeding the trout in Mr. Jack's
pond. He liked riding the horse, feeding the chickens and sheep, and holding the baby chicks and
lambs at Kay's ranch. And he liked driving around spotting deer, antelope, coyotes, mountain
sheep, moose, and elk. He liked stopping on the way home at the big aquarium to watch the
sharks. He liked all kinds of animals.
One day while he was visiting, he asked his MomMom, "Please talk my mom into letting me
have a dog." (Cory Dell didn't know his MomMom had been talking to his mommy for a very long
time about getting him a dog.)
Even though Cory's mommy loved him very much, she did not love the idea of getting a dog.
She knew she would have to make sure the dog got taken care of, and that would be a lot of work.
And it would cost money for food and other things a dog would need. And she would have to clean
up the hair a dog sheds and the other messes dogs sometimes make. She was a very busy lady
with a full-time job so she didn't think she would really have time to take care of both of her children
and a dog.
Cory begged for a dog. He prayed for a dog. He wished upon a star for a dog.
When Hotrod was nine years old, someone finally came to take him away from the kennel
where he lived and worked. They gave him his very first bath. They took him to a veterinarian (an
animal doctor) for the first time in his life. He got shots (which he didn't like) and had an operation
(which he didn't like even more.) The veterinarian made sure Hotrod was okay, and then they sent
Hotrod to a foster home.
For five weeks Hotrod lived with his foster mom Ginny and three other Boston Terrier dogs. It
was the first time someone had loved Hotrod in his whole life. It was the first time Hotrod ever saw a
ball! He liked playing with a ball. He started to learn that it could feel good when a person touched
you gently. He started to learn that he was supposed to go outside to go to the bathroom. He
learned to wear a harness.
Hotrod's foster mom wanted to find a good forever home for Hotrod since she couldn't keep
him. Lots of people wrote letters saying they thought they might like to take Hotrod home with them.
Ginny wanted to be sure she picked just the right family for Hotrod.
MomMom was talking to Mommy. Mommy was starting to think maybe Cory really needed a
dog, but she just didn't want all that dog hair all over the house. Mommy and MomMom looked on
the internet for the kinds of dogs that don't shed. Did you know that there are dogs that don't shed?
Well they found some. Mommy thought she might like a Yorkie but MomMom said those dogs were
too much foofoo: like the kind of dogs spoiled movie stars carry around in their purses; the kind of
dogs that people steal; certainly not the kind of dogs a boy would want. How about a Boston
Terrier? Now that looks like a dog a boy could love! So ugly that they're cute. Hmmm...
MomMom said she would like to get Cory a dog as a present. Mommy read all about Boston
Terriers. She started to like the idea more and more.
One day, when Cory Dell was nine years old, MomMom told him she was coming to visit. It was
a long long drive. She said she was bringing a special package, "The best package ever!" she said.
When MomMom got to Cory's house, the package was in the back seat. It had "To Cory Dell" in big
letters right on the front of it. But MomMom wouldn't let Cory touch the box. And she wouldn't let
him open it until him Mom got home, which was hours and hours to wait. Cory tried to guess what
was in the box. MomMom gave him hints. She said he'd better not pull off it's arms and legs the
way he did his action figures. She told him maybe it was a hotrod like the car Pete had painted
Cory's name on in great big letters for the demolition derby one year. MomMom laughed. Cory
crossed his arms and pouted.
Finally Mom got home and MomMom went out to get the package for Cory.
Mommy had filled out lots and lots of paperwork. Then she had an interview over the telephone.
Then she drove a long way to meet Ginny. Ginny was trying to decide if she would let Cory's house
be Hotrod's forever home.
Mommy laid all the way down on the floor and waited for Hotrod to come to her. She talked to
Ginny and acted like she was ignoring Hotrod so that he would feel safe. After a while, Hotrod came
up to Mommy... and licked her face! Ginny said he'd never done that to anyone before! So
everyone decided that Hotrod would come home to Cory.
Only Cory didn't know any of this was happening. He knew his Mom didn't want a dog at their
house. MomMom and Mommy were soooo excited about this surprise! They couldn't wait to see
MomMom put Hotrod in the (until now empty) box that said, "To Cory Dell" in big letters, and
carried the box inside. Cory opened the box. He looked in. He looked at Mom. He looked at Hotrod.
He didn't smile. He said, "A dog?" Like we were kidding. He asked with doubt in his voice, "Really?"
He couldn't believe it might be true. He just knew it was a prank. That they would take the dog back.
Or make him clean his room and get good grades and never have a smart mouth to earn the dog.
And would he risk losing the dog every time he misbehaved? Could Hotrod be taken away any
It took Cory a long time and lots of questions before he would allow himself to accept that
Hotrod was really really really his dog. To keep. His. Not his dad's. His.
And then he wanted to know, how could MomMom keep Hotrod in that box without food or water
or bathroom breaks all that time? MomMom laughed. And explained that the box had been empty
the whole time until Mommy got home with Hotrod. She said, "First you had a hotrod car named
after you, and now you have a dog named after a hotrod car." They thought that was a good joke.
"Best package ever, right?!"
Cory was Hotrod's first kid, the first kid Hotrod had ever seen! Cory put a leash on Hotrod to
take him for a walk. Hotrod did not understand. The door was wide open but Hotrod just sat there
inside panting, looking bored. Mommy picked him up and she and Cory took Hotrod outdoors. She
explained that Hotrod had a lot to learn. That he didn't yet understand going for walks on a leash.
That Cory and Danni would have to be very very gentle with Hotrod until Hotrod learned that this
was a safe place. She explained that since his kennel had been such a small space, Hotrod's back
legs didn't work very well and he couldn't jump the way most Boston Terriers could.
They went back inside and Cory Dell sat on the couch. Hotrod... jumped(!) up on the couch to
lay down next to him. No one could believe it! It wasn't a very tall couch, but it did take a little leap.
And he did it to be with Cory?? Hotrod wanted to be with Cory Dell? Cory didn't dare to move.
Hotrod fell asleep.
Hotrod was very hot and tired from his long trip in the car with Mommy, so that first day Hotrod
mostly slept. And then he slept some more. And he snored! And he farted. A lot. Phew! Then he
slept some more. But he seemed to like to be beside or on top of Cory. And he allowed Cory to pet
him. It felt like love. It felt good. He kept an alert eye on that sister though. She was a little too
rambunctious for Hotrod's comfort.
That evening the whole family went out for pizza. They put the baby safety gate up between the
kitchen and the living room so that Hotrod would be where there was only a tile floor instead of
carpet and furniture. (You know how dogs can be when they are left alone.) Later, when everyone
came home from pizza, do you know where Hotrod was? You guessed it. He was in the living room.
Hotrod had tried again. He had jumped high enough to get over the gate! Maybe his back legs
could still learn something. Maybe there were more things he could try...
That first night Hotrod slept in Mommy's bed. She was worried about him. MomMom drove back
home to her house far away.
The second night Hotrod slept in his doggie bed in the dining room.
Hotrod slept. And ate. And burped. And slept. And farted. And slept. And snored. And slept. But
each day Hotrod woke up a little more. And each day Hotrod acted more like, well, a dog!
Finally, he barked.
It was Cory's job to take care of Hotrod. After only a day and a half of walking Hotrod and
feeding Hotrod, and cleaning up after Hotrod, Cory Dell told MomMom, "I didn't know it was so
much work to take care of a dog. Maybe it's too hard for a nine year old." MomMom said, "I wouldn't
have let you take care of a dog when you were six and taught you how. You're plenty old enough.
And anyway he's worth it isn't he?" Of course Cory Dell agreed.
Hotrod started sleeping in bed with Cory. And barking in excitement when he saw the family
coming. He barked in the middle of the night when he got out of bed, so that Cory would pick him
up and put him back on the bed. (Even though now he didn't hit his head anymore, jumping was still
A week after Hotrod moved in with Cory's family he decided to go on an adventure. After all, he
was nine years old, and had never yet had an adventure. Cory was at vacation bible school Mom
and Dad and Danni and Hotrod were home. Only,... when they looked around, Hotrod, wasn't.
Where could he be? Who left the door open? He'd never even tried to go out the door before! Ever.
Daddy and Danni got in the car and drove around and around the block looking for Hotrod.
Mommy was walking and calling for him. She had his leash in case she found him. But her phone
battery was almost dead. What if someone found Hotrod and tried to call but couldn't reach her?
And the new tags with her phone number on them hadn't even come in the mail yet. Hotrod still had o
n the tags from the people who had rescued him from the kennel. She was very very worried. She
was almost ready to cry. She was praying that Hotrod was okay and that he would be found.
Hotrod was, as I said, on an adventure. Even though Hotrod and Cory were both nine years old,
Hotrod had never ever ever been on his own alone in the world. He had barely learned what "grass"
meant. He knew nothing about trees or cats or... cars. He crossed the empty lot and checked out
the nice neighbor's pretty garden. He walked sniffing around the block. Where was that other
neighbor's annoying dog? He turned the corner and went down another block, oblivious to much
around him. He still hadn't learned to move when something was coming toward him: a rolling ball,
people moving furniture, a truck.
Mommy was still walking and calling for Hotrod. It was time to pick Cory up from vacation bible
school and she was holding an empty leash. Mommy was still looking, and praying, and crying. She
didn't want to break Cory Dell's heart. She didn't want to tell him Hotrod was missing. She could see
the church from here. She begged God for a miracle.
A lady, who had come to pick up her daughter from vacation bible school was just walking out
the door of the church. She was carrying a dog. Nah. Couldn't be. But there was a red collar. And it
had black spots on it. Hotrod! Mommy could hardly believe it! She ran toward the church as the lady
walked to and got in her car to leave. Mommy banged on the lady's car window (she probably
scared the little girl half to death) and yelled, "You've got Hotrod!"
Hotrod had been in the middle of the main intersection in town, where the stop lights are. He
was watching the cars and trucks go by and wandering around completely unaware of the danger
he was in. Some people (and dogs) go on adventures before they are properly prepared. The nice
lady had seen Hotrod and knew that this was a very bad thing. She pulled her car over and stopped
and got out and convinced Hotrod to come to her. She put him in her car and tried to find his owner,
but then it was time to pick up her daughter from vacation bible school. While she was at church,
she read Hotrod's tag from the rescue group and called their number. No one answered. She left a
message. And now here was Mommy knocking on the window of her car!
Mommy thanked God and the kind lady for saving Hotrod and for keeping him safe. She was so
very relieved that Hotrod had been returned before Cory knew he was missing. And that Hotrod
hadn't been hurt. And that this lady had taken the time and inconvenience to stop. And that the lady
had been able to coax Hotrod into her car. And that her daughter had gone to the same vacation
bible school that Cory had gone to. And that Mommy had gotten there before the lady had left.
Mommy was quite sure that God had answered her prayers (and MomMom's) in a very miraculous
way. And I bet the whole family will be a lot more careful about shutting the doors!
The next day when Cory Dell was talking on the phone to MomMom, he said, "Best dog ever!"
And Mommy, who everyone thought would never love a dog, calls Hotrod "our little man."
All this happened in the first week that Hotrod lived at Cory's house. Now that Cory has his dog
and Hotrod has his boy (and his forever home,) will Hotrod's new dog tags ever show up in the
mail? What new things will Hotrod try? What will these two nine year olds learn from each other?
What adventures will be next?
-- submitted by Rev. Carol B. White