It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I write this posting. On April 20th, our beloved Butters lost his battle with Masticatory Muscle Myositis. At the tender age of 1 year and 10 months, he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He waited just long enough to meet his buddy, Leon, our first-born son. Even with his failing health, he was just as much the loving fur-brother we expected him to be. He maintained that special loving nature until the very end, as he passed away in our arms.
However, it is his life, not his death, that we would like him to be remembered by. In August of 2012, my husband finally gave in to my incessant requests to add a little cavalier to our family. We had found a breeder through an extensive search, but had yet to pull the trigger and actively pursue adopting one of our own. Tony reluctantly agreed to pursue the breeder, fully expecting that a puppy would not be available for some time. However, to our surprise, one little puppy was available… the pick of the litter… a tiny Blenheim. Despite Tony's trepidation, he could not help but watch over and over the little dog on the flip video sent by the breeder. This little furball, playing “fetch” on the video, grabbed a tossed ball and defiantly ran the other way. However, repeatedly he would look back at the camera with those heart-melting eyes, making sure his human friends would be following along with him. There was something about those eyes that immediately melted our hearts.
Butters finally arrived in our home on December 15th, 2012. I remember the excitement and nervousness that we experienced while awaiting picking him up at the airport. My husband and I showed up 15 minutes before his flight arrived. At every sound of a barking dog, we wondered if that may be our Butters. When the flight assistants finally rolled Butters into us, I couldn’t help but tear up when we saw him… there he was with that feathered tail, beautiful flowing ears, and those same loving eyes. We couldn't help but fall in love with him.
Bringing him home, he became the center of our world. His distinct and loving personality captured our hearts. My husband, despite his initial reluctance, melted under that little dog’s spell. They became best of friends. Butters loved me, but he and Tony shared an even greater closeness. Wherever he went, Butters was sure to follow.
Butters’ antics in large part inspired me to start this blog in February 2012. I wanted to share with others the moments that made this little dog so special. Through my posts, I chronicled our wonderful life with Butters. Stories included his unfortunate experience with doggie socks, encounters with the neighborhood bunny, visits with family and friends, holiday memories, creative efforts to acquire extra snacks, and bedtime routines. Most of all, the blog captured his gentle, loving nature… a treasure he shared with all whom he met.
I remember my husband and I remarking, long before he became sick, how we were so incredibly blessed to have this special little dog. We never took him for granted. Even with the heartache that came at the end… complex medication schedules, frequent vet visits, watching his health fail… we have no regrets making this little dog a part of our lives. In his short stay, Butters gave a lifetime’s worth of happiness to Tony and I. He prepared us to become parents, giving us confidence to care for another living being. He strengthened and deepened the love that we share for each other. Butters reminded us that life is about so much more than work and monetary possessions.
Right now, words cannot describe the incredible void left in our lives with his passing. We are happy that he is no longer suffering, but everywhere we look in our home reminds us that he is gone. Tony especially is taking the blow very hard. In time, we plan to bring home another cavalier… not to replace Butters, but to honor his memory. We want our son to know the kind of love that we experienced with Butters.
I would like to thank the readers of my blog for following along with Butters' adventures and for your special comments and messages. For the month of May, Butters is the featured dog in the 2013 Cavalier Matters Calendar... he was the international winner of "Handsomest Cavalier." Tony and I plan to celebrate his beauty... inside and out... as we look on at his picture over this coming month.