Hello My Friends,
Well, I've stalled long enough. I've been putting this post off for a few days, each night I start writing it, but then stop... maybe I just wasn't ready. I have sad news to share today, but it's something very important to me, and I need to acknowledge it here. A huge chunk of my heart has gone missing, and I can't blog-on like nothing happened, I hope you'll understand.
If you're with me on Facebook, you already know, but...
My husband and I lost someone incredibly precious to us last Friday.
Our sweet, sweet Butchie-boy.
Butch was our first dog. Our son. Yes, we are those kinds of people, and damn proud of it. Our animals are our kids. We had Butch for far too short a time, just nine years. We adopted him when he was about a year old, so my little guy was only about 10 years old... small dogs are supposed to live a lot longer... I wanted another 10 years. Truth be told, in my heart I wanted another 50...
Back in March, I took Butch in to see his vet, he was straining to potty, and I thought maybe he had a bladder infection. After extensive blood tests and an ultrasound, the results were not good, he was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer.
We were gobsmacked. How was this possible? Butch is so healthy, so full of vigor and vitality! Here we were all just going along, completely ignorant, all the while this inoperable tumor was having it's way with his little body. The prognosis for his cancer was grim, our vet gave us 6-8 weeks with him, this type of cancer is aggressive. It didn't take us long to decide we were going to fight it for as long as we could afford to, and as long as it seemed to help him.
We treated Butch with chemotherapy for 3 months before we had to make the gut wrenching decision to stop. The cancer wasn't going away, it wasn't even stable... We were basically buying time, and the means to buy that time ran through my fingers like sand. Chemotherapy is very, very expensive. What a shitty choice...
When we stopped the chemo treatments we were again told "6-8 weeks". But my boy was strong. He gave us four full months...
I don't want to grieve my sweet little buddy today, I've done so much crying I'm not sure I have any more tears. Today, I want to celebrate Butch! I want to share with you the kind of guy he was, because he was so much more than just a dog.
Things Butch loved:
He had the strongest little jaws you ever saw and a low center of gravity! Small but mighty, Butch would not give up no matter who how big his opponent was.
(Mama likes them too)
The wind in his face!
Oh, those flappy, little ears!
Butch could leap a tall building in a single bound for a treat.
He liked everything, but best of all he liked cheese, hot dogs, Frito's, bacon, pizza crust... total junk food junkie.
Especially with little ones. He was a gentle soul.
Didn't matter who you were, or what else you were trying to do. Butchie required cuddle time and lots of it.
He wasn't so sure at first, he was used to being an only child... the picture above is of their first meeting. It didn't take long until they were an inseparable team. Where one went, the other followed.
Right to the very end.
They were the terrible twosome!
Early morning wake up calls, get up dad!
Wrastlin', this was daily...
Touring San Francisco.
Riding in Daddy's truck!
(Lol... I don't know why Sean is making that face... happy, dog breath perhaps?)
Butch liked to ride in the back seat with his front paws on the console so his head would be up front with us, that is until we went inside on some quick errand, then he'd jump into the drivers seat, always!
Camping & adventures!
Have I mentioned our dogs are spoiled? Most of our vacations have been based around where we can take them, and Butch loved being outside... as long as we were there too.
More than anything, Butch was a goofball. Always there to make you happy...
Butchie had such a great smile. It was infectious.
He was a real clown! Confession - that Halloween outfit up there, he hated it and I can't help but laugh! I only put it on him once, and just for a couple of minutes. He stood stock-still, then slowly tipped over like he was frozen! Feet sticking out perfectly straight and he simply refused to look at me until I took it off! Oh my goodness, that's a good and funny memory. I'm sorry sweet doggy, but it was.
OoOoOoh he loved to be brushed! It was like a big, long back scratch. If I was brushing the cats, he'd come and literally lay down on top of them and ask to be brushed.
His favorite chair.
More specifically, the arm of his favorite chair.
And maybe you've noticed a theme running through most of these pictures... Butch's most favorite thing in his whole doggy life was his daddy.
Watching a game, or taking a snooze.
Butch was always at Sean's side.
My two boys. They were the very best of friends.
A few funny things about Butch:
He was a terrible singer. Lola likes to howl at us, she does it almost every morning (on account of she thinks she's a wolf), "awooooooo". Often Butch would try to join in, and in his high, bright voice what he let loose sounded more like "yarr, yarrr, yarrrrrr!" It made me laugh, he tried so hard.
He hated it when Sean and I would hug. If say, we were standing in the kitchen, saying good morning or just being close. If our arms were around each other, he would stand at our feet and bark incessantly. I think maybe he just wanted to join in. If we were sitting next to each other on the couch, he'd wiggle in between no matter how tiny the space was, he'd find a way grunting and huffing the whole time.
He was "in love" with our cat, Chyna. I think he wanted to marry her, if you get my drift. She was definitely "his" kitty.
Whenever we went camping, he and I were sleeping bag buddies.
The first morning he was ours, I crouched down to let him out of his crate (they told me to leave him in the crate at night until he was used to his new home) and he peed right in my eye! Seriously. He was short, and the angle was just right, a little pee squirt hit me right in the face. Niiiice. That was the only night Butch ever spent in the crate. After that, Butch slept in a little bed right next to my side of the bed for the rest of his life.
He was obsessed with squirrels. I mean OBSESSED. So much as whisper the word "squirrel" and he would run to the nearest tree and try to climb it.
He had many names, most of which are silly, but he answered to all of them, these are just a few; Butch, Butchie, Butch-a-loo, Butch-a-roo, Butcher, Bud, Buddy, Butters, Sausage, Sauce, Swirly Cheeks (if you ever walked behind him on a leash, you'd know why), Cheetoh... and Poop.
No matter what we called him, we will never forget our little guy.
These are two of the last pictures I took of him, just hours before we went over the rainbow bridge... In the end, when he no longer wanted to eat or drink and could only walk short distances, he was content just to sit with us, and let the breeze blow through his nose.
On Friday, September 30, 2011 at about 4pm, Butch passed away here at home with the help of a kind mobile vet to help him along. He was in his own bed. Nose to nose with Lola. The last thing he did in this world was to give her a little kiss. We were right there too, whispering our love and assurances to him that we will meet again. Rubbing his soft, warm, little head and scratching behind those velvety brown ears.
Although I will miss Butch more than words can say, I am at peace with his passing. We got more time than we thought we would, and I know that the moment he left us was exactly the right moment. I'm happy that my boy is no longer in pain. No more yucky medicine. No more belly bands. No more tossing & turning because he couldn't get comfortable. No more cancer.
He can run now and chase all the squirrels he likes. When I see him again someday, I know he'll be bouding towards me, ears flipping in the special, adorable way that they always did, and he'll be smiling like the sun!
I found a quote which I think sums him up perfectly...
To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman.
There will never be another Butch, he was truly a one in a million.
So long, little buddy, Mama loves you!
If you've made it to the end of this very lengthy, picture laden post, I thank you. I hope that I've conveyed to you a bit of a window into the deep love we have for our critters. They are family. I know many of you feel the same way, so give you furbabies a little extra love today.
Wishing you all a happy weekend.