It might not be first class, but Bosco is earning his wings this weekend.
Judy Adair is taking the 10-week-old English bulldog to a new home in Michigan this weekend.
He's going to Andrew, a teen whose greatest wish is to have him.
Adair, an 11-year Michigan transplant whose family runs Creative Graphics on Douglas Avenue in Dunedin, said she has no doubt "he is meant for this boy."
Bosco is moving north in place of another puppy, she explained from her patio chair in the Edgewater Drive neighborhood in Clearwater early Tuesday.
One of her two adult bulldogs recently carried a litter of puppies, an exhausting, yet rewarding process for any breeder, Adair explained.
Bulldogs must be artificially inseminated and delivered through C-section, usually three to six to a litter. They require a specialty veterinarian in Lakeland, to whom Adair travels almost every other day for appointments. Like human babies, she must wake up the newborn bulldog puppies every two hours to help feed and keep them clean, she explained.
Adair had two available when a woman from Michigan contacted her through Facebook.
Adair, who breeds both her female bulldogs, is friends with all the people who have purchased her puppies.
Ingrid Todt, the wish director for The Rainbow Connection, a Michigan-based charity that grants wishes to critically-ill children, found Adair through a friend of a friend. She was looking to fulfill the wish of a 14-year-old boy awaiting a critical bone marrow transplant in his fight against leukemia.
Adair sent photos of the two remaining puppies.
Andrew picked Paisley.
So the other puppy went to an autistic boy in Clearwater.
A short time later, as Paisley was gearing up for her big trip, Adair noticed something was not right.
"She has an inverted tail," she said.
It's a painful condition in which a dog's tail loops inside the body and comes out, causing a pocket that can lead to infection. Sometimes amputation is necessary.
Adair scrambled for another puppy.
"It's what we're supposed to do," she said.
She bought Bosco through another breeder for $1,800, which is $300 more than what she charges for her puppies. She's also paying her own lodging and two-way airfare for an overnight stay in blustery Detroit.
"It comes back to you a hundred fold," she said. "I keep doing it because it's the right thing to do. I can't imagine what his family is going through."
If Andrew is feeling OK, he may meet her at the airport. Otherwise, she expects to see Ingrid. She likes to know to whom her puppies are going. "They must have a good vibe," she said. Besides, she could never bring herself to send one of her babies on a plane alone.
Instead, Bosco will ride along under her seat as her 13-pound carry-on.
"It's about these dogs," she said.
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