Butters and I met in February of 2002, and it was love at first sigh from both directions. She was my first "anything" that I was fully responsible for. She was so small! About 3 lbs when I got her. She was a difficult eater so I first taught her to eat by giving her one kibble at a time! She loved the attention. I taught her to go up and down the stairs, and she was fearless about everything, unless, of course, it was training. She used to sit between my legs when the trainer would come over and try to get her. |
In 2003, I started noticing that she would get a little alone and depressed when I was not at home, so I got her a dog! I took her with me to choose a friend for her. She did not like any of the puppies she met with one exception, our Peanut. She saw in him a companion and a little brother. Little is just a term of endearment here. She grew up to be 16-18 lbs, while Peanut is 40-50 lbs. She bossed him around, though. She also protected him. Once, I was out of town for a while and put them on boarding. When I got back, Peanut took protection from her for a little while instead of from me.
As the years went by, we went through a lot together, Butters, Peanut and I - a Team of Three! They were with me through a divorce, through having little money, but we were there for each other. They were fully my family. People made fun of me for eating popcorn for dinner nearly every night, but it was what I could afford to pay bills and feed them. In turn, there were there for me! They were my companions through everything. I would get home and tell them about my day, my worries, my happinesses, my life. They would wait for me by the door that led into the house from the garage and it was always a party when I got home. I had songs for Butters and for Peanut.
In 2008, I met someone, who I eventually married. Peanut approved of him quickly, but Butters took her time! If this was to be her possible dad, she would take her time to approve. Eventually, she did, and they had their relationship too. Butters loved to dig in the backyard and would try to come into the house with a black face covered in dirt. My husband would pick her up, take her to the basement and give her a bath. I have to say that at times, I thought she did it for the bath! She would run the entire house after the baths and play.
Butters loved mornings. She was a true morning dog! When she was little, she would wake up pretty much with the sun, walk slowly up to my pillow (yes, she and Peanut always slept on the bed with me), and stare at me until I made a move, any move. At the onset of a move, she would go crazy with licking and asking to play. She would then run down the stairs, go outside, and get her breakfast! After the initial difficult eater years, she became a true lover of kibble. Then, if it was winter, I would sign "Let's go down to the basement, let's go down to the basement, let's go down to the basement, and have ourselves some fun! Butters and Peanut in the basement to have themselves some fun." That was the cue that I was going to use the treadmill and they would get treats in the basement.
When the weather was good, we would go for walks. Butters loved her walks and was terrible at them! She would pull, bark at everything and everyone, sniff everything... but it was so clear and apparent that she was having the time of her life. She loved walking. In the summer, she would run where the sun was hitting and often sit when she found herself in the shade. She would run from shade to shade. Then, since she was pretty hairy, she would get hot and expect to be carried a part of the way. During our yearly visits to my parents' home, that walk would take us to the dog park. She loved the dog park since she was a natural pack leaders. Big dogs or little dogs - it did not matter, Butters was the leader of the pack!
In 2012, I adopted a little poodle that had been abused, Piper. Piper had been used by a backyard breeder to try to breed and sell teacup poodles. She was underfed to be kept small and had lived her life in a cage. She and Butters liked each other and disliked each other - total love-hate relationship for a while. They would argue and fight, but more often than not, I would get home to the two of them sleeping together on the same pillow. The key for Piper was to realize that Butters had to always be in charge. Butters was also in charge of my parents, who would sneak even smoked salmon for her. My dad would give Butters the best cut and take the left over. It was Butters and "she wants it!"
She was also a superstar at her vet. She had allergies and used to lick her paws a lot, so when she was old enough, she started on allergy shots. I used to say that she and I shared ailments since I also take allergy shots. For about one year, I went to the vet biweekly to give her shots, and for nearly ten years, I took her there on the first day of every month to get the maintenance shots. We would arrive at the vet, and everyone would say "Butters, show me the belly!" And she would! She would give her belly for belly scratches or her lovings. She was the only pet that loved going to the vet since she knew how much attention she would get there.
By the end of last year, I started noticing weight loss and my parents said they felt she was fragile during our visit in December. At her annual check up, February 2015, the vet found she had Cushing Disease, and she started her on pretty strong medication for it. On March 14-16, she got really sick with vomiting, spent a night at the ER vet, but got better. Then, on March 26, I got home to find that my little girl had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She was so much more than a pet. She was a part of my heart, a being that suffered with me and went through life's ups and downs with me. She was part of my Team, and I miss her with every part of my being.
Butters, you are loved, you will always be loved, and someday, we will meet again to go for a long walk together in Paradise together.
April 2, 2015: It's a week today that you left us. I have hurt and cried so much. I think of you all the time. Memories of you came up to my heart today. When you were a puppy, you saw me drink water from the bathroom tap using a little cup. From that day onwards, you had to have water from the bathroom in a little cup. It was your magic water. Every night when I go to sleep and walk in front of the bathroom, I cry. I remember you waiting for you magic water. I am glad I took a picture of you waiting for it. The entire house reminds me of you. I miss you so much, my girl. Love you always.
April 7, 2015: Last night was the Rainbow Bridge Candlelight Memorial and I was there for you. There were so many beautiful words said, but what struck me the most was to say Good Morning to you, and you loved mornings so much! Today, I picked up your ashes. Your vet told me that you died of a heart tumor and that those are fast, that there would be nothing that we could have done. I hope you did not suffer. I wish I had been with you those last minutes to tell you again and again that I love you. The paw print is beautiful and Marty will get a shadow box to protect it and your collar. When I opened the baggie that your collar was in, Peanut was so happy! He could smell you! He smelled that collar with his tail wagging. We love you so much, girl!
April 9, 2015: two weeks ago right about this time, I got home and found you gone on the floor. Happiness left me and since I haven't felt happy again. I can't stop crying. I kiss your collar when I leave home and when I come home. I miss you so much!
April 10, 2015: I miss you so much...
April 12, 2015: saw a video that reminded me how much you loved belly rubs. I can see your paws asking for a belly rub. I miss you baby girl.
April 17, 2015: three weeks yesterday. It feels like an eternity without you, baby girl. You would have loved the weather we are having - it is Butters' weather. Not too hot or cold, just right. I registered us for the Bark In The Park this year because you just loved it, love it!!! Miss you so much!
April 23: four weeks today, Baby Girl... I miss you. We might have some big news soon and I so wish I had you to hug and talk to. I miss you.
April 28: I cry every night my Girl. It is so difficult at bedtime. Miss you with all my heart.
Today is May 1, and what happens on the first of every month? We go see Dr. Dillon to get your allergy shots. Remembering how much you just LOVED going there and how everyone at the Vet's office hugged me and told me how special you were. You will always be my little girl! I miss you so much!
May 6: We adopted a baby girl yesterday, Butters! I had you with me at the adoption, though, since I had a necklace with your face around my neck. I felt you there with me. You would have so loved your little baby sister. When we came home, I took the baby to go meet you at the place of honor where you stay now. Love you, baby!
May 13: hi Baby Girl! So yes, there's a baby at home now, and her name is Tessa. We love her so much. We are happy, but every time I want to say my life is to perfect, I think perfection would include you here. With your pack. On the last two Saturday's, I ran races for dog charities. I won medals on both and put those around your ashes - I ran them in your memory. This coming Sunday will be difficult since it will be Bark In The Park - your event. We are going as a family team in your memory. I miss you!
May 21: Hi baby! I miss you! We all went to Bark In The Park on Sunday, but no one (no other dogs) were putting the bark in the Bark In The Park like you used to do! I actually went back to last couple of years' news videos that show you putting the bark in the event. I cried so much during the walk without you. It was your event, baby. Peanut and Piper had fun, but it just wasn't the same without you... You know, when the baby is really unhappy and crying, and pick her up and walk around with her. Every time we go to your ashes, and I take her little hand in mind and we touch your collar. I miss you so much!
June 2: Hi girl! Things got busy and I haven't come here to talk to you in too long... Even though I haven't come here, I think about you every day. Just yesterday, I was talking to Marty during a trip, and I said "I can't wait to see you, Tessa, Butters..." long pause. I wish every day you were here.
June 26: it has been so long since I wrote here, but I think of you every day, Baby Girl. I sing little made up songs to the baby that I made up for you. I miss you so much. Three months! Three months without your bark or your toe licks. The other night, Piper felt warm and was panting... I cried myself to sleep remembering how you just hated warm nights. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you... Three months is an eternity.
October 27: somehow, I pressed a button and lost many updates and messages to you... I think of you every day. My Facebook page has your photo. We took family photos last weekend with Peanut and Piper, and all I could think was how you were missing. Seven months and a day without you, baby girl.... I love you and miss you.
December 1: you have no idea how difficult it was to put up the Christmas tree without you sleeping on a pillow by me. I found the Santa hat I used to put on you (and that you put up with for me) and cried. I put it up on the Christmas tree. I miss you...
March 26 2016: One year... my girl, I think of you every day. Your toy, Baby, has stayed on my nightstand since you left. I cannot believe I have made one year without you. Yesterday, I hugged Peanut a lot and just cried and cried. Now, as I write to you, I cry and cry. I miss you. I miss how you would lick my tears away when I cried. I miss your snoring at night, I miss your dancing when you got your food, I miss your bark and voice so much. You have a place of honor in the house, as you always had. I love you, Butters, I miss you, Butters.
November 26 2016: 20 months since you left. I went on a run this morning and saw a horse on its side and other horses around it. I don't know if it was dead, but it brought me right back to when I found you on the ground on the same position with Peanut and Piper around you. I cried and cried so much. I miss you girl. I love you, my Butters. Sending you a scratch behind the ears and a big belly scratch to you.