Friday, February 12, 2010

The Dog That Was Supposed To Be

This is Butler, sitting on Uncle John's lap.

The Butler Story
Early in the spring of 2006, Butler, the over-bred, half-feral, half crazy, (but 100% love), miniature Australian Shepherd went roaming and didn’t come home to sleep in Rob’s bed as he always did. Rob, my son, was in Utah on business. Jenny, who was staying at Rob's house, called for Butler and looked for him frantically.
The next day Richard and I joined the search for him. We drove up and down the road, checking the ditches on each side. Jenny made flyers and put them on all of the mailboxes by the road and on the bulletin board at the General Store.
I called the near-by veterinarians’ offices and told them if someone brought him in wounded to call us and to do whatever they needed to keep him alive. Our vet’s receptionist said, “Is that the one that no one can get near?”

Yes, that would be Butler.

He was skittish, to say the least.
I called the wonderful, loving neighbors, who came to our sides when Leigh, my 34 year old daughter-in-law died suddenly. (See my other blog, "Leigh-Nothing Lasts For Long")
They, like Richard and I, couldn’t stand the idea of Rob having to deal with another loss and promised to do what they could do to find the little guy.

Butler was suspicious of almost all humans. He didn’t allow anyone to pet him except the two people who raised him. After he lost his “mommy,” he slowly began to let a few people get closer to him. He came to me, across three pastures, when he heard the gunshots of hunters and skeet shooters. He would cower in my arms and vibrate in fear. Recently when he sensed that he was destined for a bath, he ran to me for salvation.

When Jenny came into his life he easily trusted her. When Whitney came to work with Rob, she found herself doing much of her work on the computer with Butler in her lap. Perhaps he was trying all of the females in his world to see if any of us could replace Leigh.

As the days passed we began to give up hope.

It snowed.
We almost hoped he was dead so he wouldn’t be out there in the freezing snow all lost and afraid and hungry and cold. We knew he would never let anyone catch him. We knew he would not go to anyone else’s home.

It snowed again.

We would not be seeing him any more. Something got him. We saw a mountain lion one Sunday evening. It was down by the creek. They say there are a lot of those around here. Butler thought he was big. He chased anything that ran.
No, we would not see him again.

We thought.

Late one warm spring afternoon, Jenny and her son Jordan were in the garden preparing it for planting. They heard a bark from far away. They knew it was Butler. They looked at the hill across the creek and called Butler’s name. Another bark! Jenny thought she saw the white fur on his throat and chest.
“Jordan! Go get the binoculars!” Jenny said, as she kept her eyes on the tiny spot of white.
She looked through the binoculars and saw Butler. They ran to the bridge that crosses Cow Creek, and started up the mountain. Jenny sent Jordan back to call us. She had the foresight to grab a flash light, and she reasoned that if she became lost in the woods across the creek, she would shine the light to let us know where she was.
She had on sandals and cropped pants, but she knew she was not coming back without Butler. She climbed through the blackberry bushes even though they were slashing her bare calves. At one point a limb stuck in her eye, leaving a red gash on her eyeball. She kept climbing. The girl is a hero.
By the time Richard and I found her, she and Jordan were coming down Whitmore Road on the ATV, and she had Butler in her arms. We wept at the sight.
He was a skeleton covered with fur and ticks, but he was alive.
He had been gone for fifteen days.

We called our veterinarian, and he said he’d wait for us at the clinic, where Butler spent the night getting nourished, pampered, and checked for any permanent abnormalities.
Rob got a flight home immediately.

Butler, the Bionic Dog, is as good as new now, but he doesn’t wander the way he did before.
Heck, he doesn’t let Rob out of his sight, and he loves his new mommy, Jenny.


My Crafty Little Page said...

Oh I wish we were neighbors, too. I would have helped you look for Butler because I'm a dog nut and then we could have celebrated with Poinsettias when he found his way home!!! I love your animal tales. :) Nancy

MONICA-LnP said...

what a wonderful story and a great ending.thanks for sharing.
stopping by from Friday Follow

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Oh, what a great story with a happy ending. I am so glad you found him.

We lost a cat last summer, and it's so hard.

Tracie said...

Awww! I'm so glad you found him!

stefanie said...

wow, thats the kind of stories movies are made favorite..ones with happy endings!!!!

Just Breathe said...

What a story. I am so sorry about your daughter-in-law. That is a beautiful blog you have set up.
It's so wonderful that Butler is alive and well. That just warms my heart.

Janie B said...

What a beautiful dog! So glad all is well in his world.

Miss Fanny said...

Great dog and story! Visiting you from Friday Follow. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Blogging!

Nancy said...

oh, my! what a dog, and what a woman!

on American Idol...I am still missing my son who went off to college far away almost two years ago. the smallest things bring tears so I wait until the public humiliation, I know, they want it, is over

The grammys. my nephew was nominated in production. he's an engineer. but, I missed the show for some reason.

love the songs you listed. so glad to know they work for working out...once I ditch my wii trainer who is very demanding, I'll look into them. :-)

Felissa Hadas said...

Stopping by to say hello with Friday Follow. Hope you have an amazing weekend with your family and friends. Please give Butler an extra special treat from all of us here. How scary that he was gone for so long. I know you all must have been besides yourselves.

Please stop by my new blog:

and my business blog:

The Muse said...

i love stories that have happy endings...
i would have been combing all the hills and farms...searching and looking!

delighted that we can rest easy for him now! :)

Frippery said...

A marvelous story with a miracle ending. Thanks.