Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrating Buttons long life and Mourning our loss

The time came today, we had our wonderful dog Buttons put down. She was 14, ancient for a dog of her size. She could no longer get up by herself and was falling a lot so it was time, it didn't make it any easier.

We got Buttons a little over 14 years ago, my wonderful brother sent up a puppy for the kids to 'play' with. We didn't want a collie/retriever cross puppy, we weren't sure what breed but really weren't ready for a puppy quite yet. We had lost our other old dog a week after we moved to Bismarck, he had a heart attack. Thumper was enough at the time. But just as we were handing this little black puppy back to my little brother who had brought her up, our 9 year old daughter starting crying and said, "You can send her back if you want but she's the best friend I've ever had!" My husband and I looked at each other and took her back and handed her to our daughter. We never regretted it.

Buttons was the alarm clock who got our son up; he hated to get out of bed. All I had to do is send her downstairs, she got him up. She pulled our daughter on her sled...backwards with the rope in her mouth. She went on long horse rides with us and lite up our lives wanting to play tug. When Thumper died unexpectedly at age 8, Buttons 3 at the time, cried while we buried her, she stood by the hole and kept wiping her eyes with her legs. She mourned with us, she would crawl up on the Lazy Boy with me and lay on me, her head on my shoulder. She weighed about 100 pounds. I think it was that point she befriended the cats and became their friend. All cats still love her and will miss her too.

3 years ago I knew her time was limited, she had slowed down. At that point we all tried to talk DH into getting a puppy for her to train in since we thought we wouldn't have her that long. Finally we rescued Doogan and she perked up and seemed to get better. We started taking long walks again (the puppy demanded it) and she got healthier. We were sure she would have to be put down last fall but kept going and at Christmas with the kids home she seemed happy as ever. I think that added a few months to her life.

But all good things come to an end. She gave us so much joy and it was time to say goodbye. We will miss her but have to remember the good times she gave us. Goodbye Buttons my friend, say hi to Thumper.

Drawing at top by Erica Vojnich

One last word of farewell, dear master and mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loves us and whom we loved." No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.


Joyce said...

Betty, am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you and the whole family. Please take care and take pride in knowing that Buttons had a long and wonderful life because of you. Talk to you soon,
Joyce xx

Etha said...

awww my heart goes out to you, she was so adorable!! my big 95 Golden is a lap dog as well, he'll sit on you with this face saying: oh yeah? what's wrong. Of course you can't answer cause you can barely breathe :)

Annie Z said...

This is a lovely tribute. Buttons was such a happy dog. I remember her going on walks with us when you took me horse back riding. She tried her hardest to keep up with us, but she'd be so excited to go! She had the best home and family anyone could ever ask for. She was a very lucky dog to have you as her family, and you lucky to have her.

maggie said...

I'm so sorry,I unfortunately know exactly how you are feeling,as been through it too many times.I think its an absolutely beautiful tribute.Give my love to all the family,I know you all loved her so much,she couldnt have ahad a happier life.
love Maggie

Shannon said...


I'm sorry to hear the old girl has gone. Betty, I have a very vivid picture of you with tears in your eyes, and I wish I could be in Bismarck to offer you some real comfort. I have said goodbye to my share of dogs, and it never seems to get easier. I didn't know Buttons very well, but she was a sweetheart and made a great pillow for the cats. I should like to have seen her on your lap on the overstuffed chair; it would have been quite entertaining. Good bye, Buttons.

Chris said...

What great times we had with her, always a ray of sunshine, even when she was getting older and had to be helped up the steps, or helped to stand up. A great dog, she will be missed. She was so lucky to have you all, and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

You wrote lovely tribute & I'm sure that Buttons knows. No matter how many times I leave my dogs at our side of the Rainbow Bridge, It never gets easier. Each time, I try to comfort myself with thoughts of all the wagging tails and doggy kisses that will be waiting for me when I cross over.

I wish I could give you a big hug...Montana seems way too far away right now.

Sending all my love and comfort.
Gentle hugs,

Ginni said...

Betty, just read your tribute to Buttons - it was wonderful. She was obviously loved as much as she loved you. We're probably facing that before too much longer with our big dog and not looking forward to it.


Bev said...

Oh Betty, my heart is breaking for you - nothing anyone can say or do will take the pain away or make it easier to bear,b ut know that I am thinking ofyou xxxxx

Rebecca Ednie said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. That poem made me cry. I have lost many wonderful pets and it never gets easier. I hope the good memories help you through the sadness.