1459 miles + 4 Days + 2 States = Adopting Our New Puppy

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Boston Terrier puppy ocean

Stelly and I - our first day

It’s been a long journey to find our Boston Terrier puppy.

Mr BTR and I have been together 6 years and we’ve spent most of that time traveling and renting our home. We finally purchased our first home just before Christmas, 1.5 years after returning home from our working holiday in Canada (where Mr BTR’s origins lie) and were finally able to get the puppy we had wanted for so long.

As you may have read from my previous post, there were many hurdles and heartbreak before we finally found our pup.

People told us we were crazy not only to drive that far to get a puppy but to pay the expensive price for a Boston Terrier pup in Australia (a rare breed here).

We were told many things (usually in a condescending way) including arguments such as:

  • “That’s a ridiculous price to pay for a dog”
  • “You should get a rescue dog – the pounds are full of them”
  • “You realise that a puppy is like having a baby don’t you?”
  • “You should be putting that money towards a wedding”
  • “You should be buying a boat, not a dog”
  • “You can forget traveling now”
  • “What’s wrong with [insert person’s breed of choice] dogs?”
  • “You’ve got a mortgage now and shouldn’t be spending that money plus the ongoing costs”
  • “It’s just a bloody dog”

The last point really sums up all of the arguments.

If you’re telling me that a Boston Terrier is just a dog then you just don’t get it.

The real argument is that if it’s not a Boston Terrier, it’s just a dog. Right?

That’s why I created Boston Terriers Rock, because I wanted to create an online community where to share experiences with people who get it and I know you’d like to do the same.

So I could spend all day explaining why the Boston Terrier was the only breed for us and about the 12+ months we spent researching the breed to make sure she would suit our lifestyle, personalities and be a good family dog (for when we need that).

But this story has a happy ending after a journey including 2348km (1459 miles) of driving, 3 days of travel, 2 Australian states and the adoption of Stelly – our beautiful little Boston pup.

(Full image gallery at the end of the post)

Day 1 – An Early Rise To Start Our Journey

NSW South Coast – Crescent Head – South West Rocks – Iluka – Ballina

Sunrise on the road

Dawn breaks a few hours into our adventure

It was a very early 3:30am when the alarm went off after a night without much sleep but we were determined to hit the road as early as possible to beat the Sydney traffic and have time to stop and enjoy the beaches of the NSW coast on the first leg of our road trip.

We made great time and managed to get past Newcastle just as dawn was breaking – we’d escaped rush hour.

We made a quick pit stop in Taree and then continued up the coast until we reached the scenic route just past Port Macquarie, stopping to marvel at the beaches of Crescent Head and South West Rocks. There’s also a pic in the gallery below of a really cool little cafe that we unfortunately couldn’t taste test as they only accepted cash.

We hit the road again and made a quick stop for lunch in a strange little town called Macksville and then we powered up the coast, past the Big Banana to a very quiet little coastal town Iluka on the Clarence River for a little beach fishing.

We didn’t catch anything but managed to get a little sun burnt in the 45mins we were there. It was beautiful though.

Last stop on day 1 was Mr BTR’s parents home in Ballina in Northern NSW where we caught up and prepared for another early start.

Day 2 – Adoption Day

Ballina – Ipswich (QLD) – Kingscliff (NSW) – Byron Bay – Ballina

Boston Terrier Stelly at the beach

Stelly's first beach experience

Another early start at 5:00am and again a rather sleepless night as we were both so excited to be picking up our pup.

We hit the road and set off for Queensland so we could meet Stelly as early as possible.

We arrived at the breeders home at around 8:00am after a 3 hour drive and were greeted at the door by the breeder with a much smaller than expected Stelly in her arms.

Our voices immediately went up an octave with all of our “oh she’s so beautiful” etc comments but, she really was the cutest little thing I’d ever seen and we were both immediately smitten with her.

The breeder was lovely and chatted with us for a while but I must admit I don’t think I heard much of it as I couldn’t keep my eyes off Stelly.

We were told that Stelly was the smallest in the litter but that didn’t stop her bossing her brothers and sisters around and she was proving that by winning a tug of war with her brother over a pair of thongs (of the shoe kind).

Finally we put Stelly into her travel crate and got back on the road. She only whimpered for about 20 seconds and then went to sleep until we arrived in Kingscliff.

Kingscliff took my breath away. It’s a smallish coastal town which I prefer over the main tourist spots and the beaches are incredible, the pics below really don’t do it justice but it was the perfect place to introduce Stelly to our beach lifestyle.

We then headed off to Byron Bay. to grab some lunch. Byron Bay is home to stunning beaches, a lighthouse on the most easterly point of Australia and a surfer town with a hippie vibe.

Unfortunately Stelly wasn’t too fond on Byron Bay and was scared of all the people so we got back in the car and went to the next coastal town in Lennox Head to grab a bite before heading back to Ballina.

Day 3 – Chillin in Ballina and Bonding With Stelly

stelly boston terrier cuddles

Breaking rule #1

Day 3 was spent relaxing, visiting the local farmers market (where Stelly was a hit) watching movie and tonnes of cuddles and bonding with Stelly.

We were both so amazing by how much love this little pup has to give and how well behaved she is.

Stelly slept in our room and didn’t make a sound all night. We broke rule number 1 immediately that morning and had her curl up at our legs in bed whilst we all went back to sleep.

Day 4 – Driving Stelly Home

Ballina – Coffs Harbour – Port Macquarie – Home

stelly boston terrier home

Stelly's finally home - her favourite spot in the sun

Another early morning departure at 5:30am but this time we were bringing our precious little pup home.

Stelly was fine with the drive for the first couple of hours but then just before Coffs Harbour she was car sick. We felt terrible for her and incredibly guilty for taking her on such a long drive but she was fine after that.

The weather was not so great and we stopped in Port Macquarie to stretch our legs at the beach and have some fun with Stelly. Just as we were leaving the rain started.

We continued for the long stretch home and were so excited when after over 11 hours we had made it.

She seemed comfortable right away, sniffing out her new home and finding her new favourite spots to nap.

It was the most amazing feeling to have her in our new home that we had worked so hard for. She truly makes us feel like we are a family now.

(Share your story in the comments below)

Click images to view slideshow

What’s The Story Behind Your Boston Terrier Search?

I know we aren’t the only crazy ones out there so let us know in the comments what experiences you had in your search for a Boston Terrier.

Did you come across opinionated people like we did?

Did you travel a crazy distance?

Was it just the incredible feeling you got from adopting your puppy?

Please share below.

Elise Sorge

I laid eyes on my first Boston Terrier whilst living in a rustic cabin in Canada and was immediately smitten. I created Boston Terriers Rock for people like myself who love the unique style and character of Boston Terriers so we can connect and share our knowledge, experience and fun of our quirky Bostons. Read more about my story.

  • Kyra Smith

    24 March 2012 at 4:48 pm Reply

    We have 3 adopted rescued Boston Terriers. Our 16 year old Baby Girl went to the rainbow bridge and we started looking for another one through area shelters and a firend told my dad about a lady he takes his dogs to be boarded and that lady we call her Aunt Crystal had adopted a 6 year old 25 lb guy Smokey Joe who was rescued at auction released by breeder with behavior problems who was slated to be put down and we adopted him from her and she also had one from Mid America Boston Terrier Rescue that she was watching befor it went to a foster home Jullie Anne who was a 3 year old that had 3 litters and was also obtained at an auctio released by a breeder and we got her the same day. A year later Aunt Crystal was watchign a red and white 3 year old little 10 lb girll who had 3 litters and had a major uterin infection that cause her not to be able to breed again and the breeder let her go to the vet to find a home for her we named her Abby after the tech on the tv show NCIS the all have different personalities an we love them more than even children!

    • Elise Rochelle

      24 March 2012 at 8:13 pm Reply

      That’s great that you were able to rescue them and give them good homes.

      We would’ve loved to rescue a Boston but they are quite rare in Australia so we got our pup from a breeder.

      Cute names too, thanks for sharing your story.

  • Eryn

    27 March 2012 at 5:05 am Reply

    She’s so precious! I have a Boston girly who just turned a year old today 🙂

    • Elise Rochelle

      27 March 2012 at 12:30 pm Reply

      Happy Birthday to her! I’d love to see you both in our community pages 🙂 you can register free here if you like

  • Jdia Plum

    28 March 2012 at 12:46 pm Reply

    Did you let your pup get into the water? I started taking mine in the water when she I first got her at six weeks and now she loves to swim. Her favorite trick is to go out in the lake and fetch a stick. I also have a boy Boston that I got when he was 3 yrs and he is up to wading but isn’t a swimmer yet. I think if you start early introducing her to water she might grow up to be a swimmer too.

    • Elise Rochelle

      28 March 2012 at 1:38 pm Reply

      Hi Jdia,

      She wasn’t interested in going into the water, the sand kind of confused her. We took her to the beach again the other day and she loved running around in the sand but it’s a surf beach so she was a little too scared to go near the water I think.

      All in good time. I’ll definitely think about getting her in sooner though.

      We be so cute seeing your little pup in the water!

      • Jdia Plum

        1 April 2012 at 7:44 pm Reply

        Oh yeah, the surf may yet be too much for her. I don’t have ocean near me so I took my little girl to wade mostly in shallow creeks nearby. When she grew up she took to swimming in the lake on her own. I’ve got some pictures of it. I call them the loch ness Yuna pictures, since her name is Yuna and its mostly a bunch of water in the frame with a little black thing sticking out of it.

        Your Stelly is really a beautiful little girl. I can see why you are so proud of her. Congratulations on getting her over the objections of others. I understand some of those things, especially the shelter thing but I wouldn’t trade my Bostons for any dogs in the world and have never regretted getting them. I’m sure Stelly will continue to bring great joy to your life for many years to come.

        Thanks for creating the BTR community. I am getting my pictures organized and will set up an account soon.

        • Elise Rochelle

          3 April 2012 at 8:10 am Reply

          Ha ha loch ness Yuna – can’t wait to see those pics!

          We’re going to attempt to go camping this weekend and there should be a river that we can introduce her to. Will be so cute if she goes in.

          Thanks for your kind words 🙂 That’s one of the main reasons I created this site. I wanted to connect with people like you and me who get why we love them so much. There are hardly any Boston’s in Australia so the only way for me to do this is online.

          We’re just in the early days and it’s really taken off – trying to keep up but that’s great.

          I hope to see you in the community soon and if you have any feedback on what you’d like to see on her let me know.

  • Sara

    6 April 2012 at 4:04 am Reply

    Congrats!! She is sooo adorable. We have two Bostons (well, one is half Boston, half something else – Chihuahua maybe). We adopted them both as adults and are a bit sad we never had a baby Boston to amuse us. We love our dogs – Jaxon and Stella – and couldn’t imagine life without them. I love your blog! 🙂

    P.S. Even though we rescued our BTs, if we didn’t have an abundance of rescued BTs here, I surely would have purchased a puppy. They are the best dogs. Period. AND I don’t think it is at all crazy you drove that far to get her. 🙂

    • Elise Rochelle

      7 April 2012 at 8:26 am Reply

      Thanks Sara!

      It’s nice to know we are not alone 🙂

      They are amazing dogs and so loving. I’d love to see a pic of your BTs – can’t imagine a Boston Chihuahua cross.

      Glad your like the blog 🙂

  • rhiannon

    11 May 2012 at 3:59 pm Reply

    Reading your story almost brought tears to my eyes as this is also my story. Me and my boyfriend have been trying to find a Boston for over 12 months and have finally found our pup. We have been hesitant to tell people about our search as we have also been sick of hearing all the same arguments you had received.We have come across many scammers and thinking “This is the one” only to be given dodgy requests. Luckily we never handed over any money. Our journey of meeting our pup will on Monday! we are picking our pup up from Sydney airport and he is being flown from Brisbane. still a little nervous but I have received booking confirmation and receipts and have also spoken to the courier myself. I’m on a high after reading your adventure and looking at your photos. You all look so happy!!!!

  • Elise Rochelle

    12 May 2012 at 5:25 am Reply

    Hi Rhiannon,

    Wow I’m so happy for you! I totally understand about you still being nervous. We spoke to the breeder many times and we confirmed that she was registered with the QLD dog association but we were still nervous until we arrived at her house and saw our pup. When you’ve been burned before it’s hard to let go and get excited.

    You will be blown away by your pup, I still can’t believe how loving and well-mannered she is and I’ve heard that from many people in our community on BTR.

    There’s another member of our site that’s in Sydney waiting for her pup to be ready to come home, she’s posted some pics. You can see more of mine here: http://bostonterriersrock.com/members/admin/

    It’s been great seeing other Aussies here sharing similar stories, as you would know it’s hard to find someone who understands as most people have no idea about Boston Terriers.

    Word of warning: you will constantly be stopped in the street by people admiring your pup 🙂 they will likely think he’s a French Bulldog … every time, cracks me up now.

    Make sure you stop by on Monday and share some pics! I’m so excited for you 🙂

  • Diana

    16 May 2012 at 9:31 pm Reply

    Dear Elise,

    I am so glad I found you post, I have gone trough every single thing that you have mentioned! NStelly is absolutely perfect so beautifull.. I hope you are enjoying every second with her!

    the Boston obsession is really the biggest obsession I have ever had! Most of my friends think I am crazy sending so much money and waiting such a long time.. But I am so sure it will be worth it. It has been such as struggle from convincing my husband of spending the kind of money th cost to convincing my landlord and everyone else in between, but I have found a breeder now and my puppy will be ready to come home in less than a month 🙂 she is a beautiful baby girl.. We are still deciding on the name, I think she is coming from a breeder that was mentioned in another post! I will keep on readeing the posts but I am pretty sure we might have sisters in this blog!!! Diana

    • Elise Rochelle

      17 May 2012 at 8:04 am Reply

      Hi Diana,

      Congratulations on your new pup! That’s so cool that you have one from the same litter as Lisa, I saw you’ve set up a profile here which is the perfect way to keep in touch and see how the other pups are doing.

      Is it a boy or girl?

      Can’t wait to see pics! Thanks for your kind words also 🙂

  • Lisa Walkersmith

    17 May 2012 at 10:05 pm Reply

    that’s so fantastic! We may even get to pick up the puppies on the same weekend and get to meet? Im hoping to pick up my Bonnie at 8 weeks, but we’ll just have to see. Which pup did you pick? My Bonnie is the one with a little sharp peak in her hair line along the forehead. They are all so adorable, it took me three weeks to choose and even then, I could have taken any of them!

  • Lisa Walkersmith

    17 May 2012 at 10:06 pm Reply

    Dear Elise-
    I chose Side Part. x

    • Elise Rochelle

      21 May 2012 at 6:46 am Reply

      Oh Lisa she is so cute!

  • Audrey

    18 May 2012 at 7:33 pm Reply

    Wow! What amazing roadtrip!! For a BT I’ve done the same! For mine there was a little breeding near to my home so we’ve decided to go there. When we’ve decided to take a BT my boyfriend and I we had the same arguments like you but we didn’t give up! And now wer are so happy to live with him!
    (Sorry if my english isn’t really right ^^;)

    • Elise Rochelle

      21 May 2012 at 6:48 am Reply

      Hi Audrey,

      It’s great to hear from other people who have gone through a similar thing to us and knowing there are other people out there that understand why we love them so much.

      They are worth every bit of the effort and will reward us for many years to come.

      Love your profile pic!

  • Isabel

    13 August 2012 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Just wondering if you thought it would be better to do the road trip rather than get the puppy delivered (which the breeder i’m talking to seems to prefer)? i’m obviously so excited i wouldn’t mind driving all day and night to get my boston!

    • Elise Rochelle

      14 August 2012 at 6:28 am Reply

      Hi Isabel,

      You need to do what you feel most comfortable doing. If you are in Australia, it’s a lot of money that you’ll be putting up so you may feel better personally picking up your pup. I’m not sure why the breeder would prefer to have the pup delivered, our breeder was happy to deliver the pup but preferred to have them picked up so they don’t go through the ordeal of a flight.

      Nothing wrong with delivering your pup if that’s what you want though.

      Where is your pup located? What is the breeder charging for the pup?

      We decided to do the road trip as a mini holiday and it made it really special. If you are happy to do the road trip then I would plan it like a holiday and go for it.

      Make sure you do all your checks to ensure your breeder is legit before handing over a deposit.


  • katherine

    20 August 2012 at 7:36 pm Reply

    Hi Elise,
    Thanks for a great and informative blog! I’m doing my research on boston terriers at the moment (thinking of adopting one once there’s a litter available) and was wondering who was your breeder in qld? thanks!

  • Elise Rochelle

    21 August 2012 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Hi Katherine,

    Thanks for the feedback, glad you like it!

    Our breeder was Zdenka Dunbar, your best bet is to keep an eye on dogzonline.com.au. It might take a while but contact some of the breeders and ask to be put on a waiting list.

    Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with 🙂

  • Robert

    21 August 2012 at 8:29 pm Reply

    Excellent story Elise!! I can totally understand the reasons why u would travel so far for a Boston Terrier. I get my puppy towards the end of the year and I find myself dreaming about the little dog most nights. Im obsessed!! Ive had dogs as a child (German Shepard’s) but as I live in town now have been searching for a suitable dog for the past yr until I stumbled on to a Boston Terrier. No dogs compare – they just have this personality about them. These next 2 or 3 months are gonna be the longest wait of my life!

    • Elise Rochelle

      23 August 2012 at 5:20 am Reply

      Hi Robert,

      Yes there is definitely something unique and special about BT’s. I’m actually scared of big dogs so they are the perfect size.

      I know what you mean about the wait, it will be a long 2-3 months but it just adds to the excitement when you finally get your pup!

      Can’t wait to see pics!

  • Moira

    22 August 2012 at 6:16 pm Reply

    Hi Everyone

    I found your blog a few weeks ago, but wanted to have my little boy safely delivered, before I joined, as I too, have waited a long time and was worried about scams! I am very happy to say that he flew in from Brisbane to Perth and funnily enough, his brother and sister came here too. My breeder is in Charleville and was very helpful along the way, answering all my questions, usually within a couple of hours via email, and also by phone. They breed quite regularly and deliver all pups already desexed, she drives them to Brisbane and you can pick up from there or she will put them on a plane. Her website has lots of photos of pups she has sold, taken in their new homes. If you’re still looking for one, have a look http://www.bostonterriers.abcalert.com.au

    It is so wonderful to find a site in Australia that loves the BT and where I dont have to explain what a Bozzie is!! We are just starting our lead training, so no doubt I will now get asked the question, what is he?! Actually, I can’t wait to show him off.

    Thanks again, hope my info might help others.

  • Elise Rochelle

    23 August 2012 at 5:34 am Reply

    Hi Moira,

    Glad to hear you found yourself a pup and thanks for sharing your story. Would love to see a pic in the community section.

    It’s quite unusual for them to be bred regularly, they usually only breed when they need a show pup. How many BT’s do they have?

    They are so much fun! It took a little while for Stelly to work out the lead but we encouraged her with a treat and she quickly got the hang of it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Jade

    4 September 2012 at 11:27 pm Reply

    Hi Elise,

    Do you mind sharing the name/emailnumber of the breeder you got your pup from? It’s difficult to find a breeder (and one that looks legit!) over the net. Your pup is adorable 🙂 x

  • Elise Rochelle

    4 September 2012 at 11:55 pm Reply

    Hi Jade,

    I’m in the process of writing a post about how to find a breeder but the best place to check is dogzonline.com.au. You’ll have to be very patient though and very quick when a puppy is posted.

    Good luck!

  • Nick

    26 September 2012 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article.

    Thanks for providing these details.

  • Melissa

    4 January 2013 at 6:49 am Reply

    I had Saydee shipped from Missouri to New York (via car). I got Saydee from a high-end puppy mill (decent conditions but not at all good enough for any dog to live in for an extended amount of time). I found her on the internet with a ridiculously low price tag and when I called to find out what was going on with her…I was told she was 6 months and “returned” more than once after folks had taken her home. She was going to be given to a shelter if nobody bought her soon. WELL- that was all I needed to hear. I spoke to the woman who was selling her and was told Saydee was socialize (she was not), that she was potty trained (she was not)…I was handed a very scared, thin (border-line neglected) BT at the age of six months and had to start with her as if she was a new baby. She was very social with other dogs, wanted to play with the cat…but people, forget about it. She pee’d and poo’d wherever she wanted and ate her own poo ALL THE TIME. She is now going on 2 (next month) and is doing much better. Hates going potty in the snow…her poor little paws get too cold too quickly and she isn’t thrilled about potty in the rain. But, I too stand out in the rain with her- it seems only fair. She had a rough start and although I can’t call her a rescue…I rescued her from being a rescue (she was just weeks away from a shelter)and she is such a huge part of the family. I have always had boxers…and Saydee loves her boxer brother, however I think my next dog will be another boston.

    • elise

      5 January 2013 at 8:20 am Reply

      You definitely rescued her! What a lucky pup that you found her, she must be so happy now. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • FionaM

    18 January 2013 at 4:31 pm Reply

    We’ve been searching for a BT pup for about 4 months now (not long I know!) and I really think Elise’s advice regarding breeders is true. I found dogzonline to be a great resource for breeders too. I sent so many emails and didn’t hear back from most however I suspect the breeders who have taken the time to return my emails and speak on the phone are the ones I’d prefer to buy a pup from. There also appears to be a network amongst the better breeders, seeing as the pool is so small. I really think the good breeders see themselves as “guardians” of the BT breed standard and health and just like those of us searching for a BT, they too are nervous about scammers and potential puppy farmers. Good breeders will engage in conversation with you,even if they don’t have a pup to sell. They will share their knowledge about the breed & their breeding experience and will be happy for your to visit them. The people I would consider “good breeders” are all focussed on Bostons & are very knowledgeable about the breed, they don’t have dozens of dogs, they return emails and calls, they are happy for us to visit and they don’t insist on desexing too young (although I appreciate that’s a contentious issue!). The other great resource is of course this blog! We can warn each other about scams (although I think we all know there is no such thing as a $400 BT in Australia!), inform each other and share our experiences, good and bad. We are all going to tackle our search for a BT in different ways whether it’s wanting a male or female, desexing early or later, paying a deposit, shipping or collecting the pup etc. etc. Personally, I didn’t feel comfortable paying a non-refundable deposit for a pup and I also don’t wish to desex until the pup is a bit older than 8-12 weeks & I in no way want to be part of puppy farming. But I’m sure we all agree that a healthy, well tempered dog is what is important. I can’t wait for the day I can post a pic of our new “fur baby” and as Elise says, it will be worth the wait! Good luck to everyone searching for a BT to join their family xx

  • Happy 1st Birthday Stelly!

    7 February 2013 at 8:06 am Reply

    […] been such an amazing journey since we first travelled 1459 miles + 4 days + 2 states to adopt our puppy. We are more attached to her than I ever thought possible and she is so full of love it’s […]

  • Kylie

    27 February 2013 at 10:53 am Reply

    We live on the south coast of NSW too (maybe not far from you!) and were very lucky to only wait about 9 months for our Archie. A friend adopted a BT about 18months ago and recommended we contact the same breeder and mention her name. So we did and were lucky to find out that the lady was phasing out breeding but would have one more litter available before she stopped. Because we mentioned our friend she put us on top of her waiting list! In the meantime we looked around but soon learned there are many dodgy breeders. The way we picked them was that they weren’t very forthcoming with information when we asked about stuff. So we decided to stick with the original lady and all worked out last December when our puppy was ready to be picked up. There was only two girls and one boy and many others were waiting so I was extremely grateful we got first pick of them!

    • elise

      22 April 2013 at 10:58 pm Reply

      Congratulations on your pup! Love hearing about local Bt’s!

      That’s great you could get a referral, it’s so hard finding a reputable breeder.

  • […] we adopted Stelly I was the same! In fact I can’t believe how much Stelly has changed me in that way. I had […]

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  • Greg and Donna Bellinger

    27 July 2016 at 5:19 am Reply

    On vacation, 2016 Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I discovered Ozzie, a BT, with the mom owner and her little boy at the beach. We don’t remember the mom’s name, but she let us play with Ozzie. Perfect BT. Made our day. Thanks. Greg and Donna from Seattle.

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