Turbo, A Special Needs Boston Terrier

Oct 1, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Lee Juslin

by Lee Juslin

Turbo came into Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue (CCBTR) as a puppy with Spina Bifida, a genetic defect.

A woman went to a breeder to buy a Boston Terrier puppy and saw Turbo. The breeder did not want to euthanize him and agreed to give him to the woman along with the female puppy she had purchased. Fortunately for Turbo, this good Samaritan, unlike the breeder, was a responsible person and did the right thing for Turbo. She called CCBTR once she realized she and her husband were not able to care for this little special needs puppy.

Turbo requires a lot of care and attention. He is incontinent, so he wears a diaper whenever he is inside. He also has a weakness in his left hind paw that causes him to drag it. So, he wears a booty to prevent abrasion and a possible infection which, similar to diabetics, could be very serious. In addition, he is susceptible to urinary tract infections.



Roberta says Turbo has been in several foster homes but is now in a home with a volunteer who is experienced with Spinal Bifida. He has been evaluated by the rescue’s vet but is not eligible for a surgery to close the hole in his spine. Never the less, Spinal Bifida is not necessarily life threatening and, although the vet can’t predict Turbo’s mobility in the future, he does feel the little Boston can live a fairly normal life span. Soon, he will be old enough to be neutered which can be safely done despite his Spina Bifida.

Turbo, despite his issues, is a very happy loving boy. “Surprisingly,” says Roberta, “he is eager to please and very trainable. There is a blind female Boston terrier in his foster home and the two have become very bonded. They play together incessantly to the point where the foster mom sometimes has to separate them for a bit.”

Roberta says they are looking to get Turbo a cart, something that was recommended by their vet. With a cart, he’ll be able to go on walks with other dogs, and it will help with whatever future mobility problems may arise.dog

CCBTR is closing at the end of this year. Roberta says the volunteers are all older women and Roberta herself is retiring and possibly relocating. However, there are several other rescues in the area that will take over. In addition, Roberta says that shelters in the area have increased their adoption programs so pulling dogs from area shelters is not as pressing.

Roberta and her volunteers say that all of the dogs in the care of CCBTR will be placed before the rescue closes. “Turbo will be a difficult placement given his issues. It will take someone with knowledge of how to deal with incontinence and the other side effects of his spinal bifida. But, there are sanctuaries for handicapped dogs and, if necessary, we will reach out to them. We will not dessert Turbo.”

See Turbo on the silver screen:

Learn more about spina bifida in dogs here: Canine Spina Bifida

If you would like to learn more about Turbo or Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue, apply to adopt or volunteer to foster, visit their Facebook page: CCBTR on FB or go to their website: CCBTR on line.

Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info. 10% of all ad sales goes to animal rescue.

Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. This special boy deserves a special home and I hope he finds it soon. What a little warrior.

  2. Our dog has the same issues and is a Boston Terrier alsi.

  3. I have a Boston that fell off a step over the summer and is paralyzed in the back. What type of diaper is turbo using in the picture? Everything I’ve tried leaves a sore on her legs where is rubs. This seems to fit very well and he looks comfortable. 🙂


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.