Jeri Good's soulmate spends more time in her lap than in the show ring these days.

He goes by the name Cosmo, the King of Romance. His full name is Champion Flashpoints Cosmic Ray, ROM (Record of Merit). In 2003, he was the best Boston terrier at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, he was the pedigree's top producer.

These days he's a little long in the tooth for the elite show ring but doing very well in the stud department, thank you very much. He has something like 300 children. At latest count, 55 of them were show champions. It isn't much of a stretch to say that Cosmo has girlfriends all over the world. Two of his puppies have won Best of Breed at Westminster.

Good, who likes to think of Cosmo as a "stud muffin," wasn't looking for a show dog when she obtained Cosmo. "I just wanted a companion dog," she said. He was the last of three in the litter. His breeder didn't expect much from Cosmo in the show ring.

It didn't turn out that way. Cosmo became a champion, a cover boy, a centerfold, a cottage industry. His mug is emblazoned on T-shirts. He is the dog used to illustrate the breed ideal in "Boston Terriers," published by the editors of Dog Fancy magazine. His frozen semen is stored at the Ohio International Canine Semen Bank, available to approved females. He has his own Web site,, replete with a saucy trumpet fanfare of the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey."

His stud fee: $500. Good keeps it relatively low in part because there are other expenses involved. Bostons must be born by Caesarean section because their heads are so big. Further expenses include hormone testing of the female to make sure she is receptive.

The King of Romance's first show win came at the age of six months. He started racking up points for the champion rating and earned it in November 1999. He turned 9 on March 6.

Boston terriers typically show for about three years at the top level. During that time, Cosmo won more than his share. He mowed 'em down like a scythe slicing through ripe wheat. Good was usually on the sidelines.

"My main job is like being a cheerleader," she says. "I like to be the photographer, and I like to exercise them before they show."

Good, a former elementary teacher now affiliated with Good Family Funeral Home, left most of the show handling to Imogene Brown, Granger. Not everyone is cut out for the handler job.

"I think you have to have some patience," Good says. "You have to be persistent and flexible, because every dog is different. Some dogs require more of a soft touch, where some require more sternness."

Put Cosmo in the mellow category. "You can use a gentle hand with him," says Good. "At least most people that have presented him have remarked that way."

Compared to other breeds, the Boston terrier takes relatively little grooming to prepare for the ring. For a weekend show, Good typically bathed him on Thursday and drove him up to Brown's home in Granger for final touches. Brown would tidy up his nails and his muzzle. "You actually trim hair out of the ears," Good says. A little work with the scissors can help sharpen the collar markings. A little chalk can brighten the white hair. (Too much can result in disqualification.)

Here is how Good remembers Cosmo in the show ring at Westminster:

"Cosmo possessed and conveyed all of the necessary attributes to win in the Gardens. Ring presence - The 'Hey look at me!' attitude. Persona - very animated yet attentive to Imogene, who was presenting him. That day they actually took it all to another level as she dramatically dropped the show lead and Cosmo puffed out his chest and self-stack expressing great pride. Cosmo's eyes embraced the judge's eyes. And lastly, profile. As Judge Materna stood back, along with the crowd surrounding the ring and compared each dog to the breed standard, Cosmo was showing off his dynamic head, alert ear set, level top line, rear angulation and beautiful front."

Handler Brown was then 76 years old. She is very tiny.

Says Good: "This was the puppy, the last to be selected for adoption, that turned into a fairy tale dog. Could we say we were like the Cinderellas at the Big Dance?"

You certainly may say that.

Jeri Good loves her dog so much that she lined up a co-owner, Jill Richey of Ohio, who is married to a veterinarian, and a veteran of the Boston terrier show circuit. "I wanted a good place for him to go if something happened to me," she said.

I got the chance to meet Cosmo and two of his children at the close of our interview, and I guarantee that they are in every way endearing. They are polite, affectionate and completely charming. I would have been happy to take one or all of them home.

Good describes her 18-pound pal as "the world's greatest companion."

"It's just like everybody else feels about their dog - the very best, the dog of your heart, an extension of your person."