Monday, October 19, 2015

Losing Buttercup

After being together for 4,446 days I have lost Buttercup.  She was the love of my life.

Most people say that about humans, but I say that about a dog.  She understood me. She never left my side.
Every night when we slept she was by my head.  She was my constant companion.  When I had anxiety she calmed me down. When I was sad she made me happy.

When I needed to get out she took me to the beach.  When I needed to eat we shared a bowl of oatmeal.

When I needed warmth she snuggled up next to me.

When I needed protection she put her body in front of my face.

It is so unfortunate that when I got Buttercup from the SPCA she was already a senior. The vet thought she was about 9 years old, and that was in August 2003.  As the years went on though she seemed to get younger as time went on.

She could go anywhere and do anything - climb any rock, and keep up with the big dogs Charlie and Daisy - we went somewhere everyday off leash for at least an hour - a new adventure every day 365 days a year, we had such a great life.  That went on for years - I took her shopping with me, we had so may fun times.

But then everyone started to get older, Buttercup's knees started to give out - and she spent most of her time on my Dad's lap, but that was okay - she had new job - taking care of my Dad.  And he loved her so much - she'd stay on his bed when they had a nap - he loved her as much as I loved her - that went on for about 4 years. She made him so happy.

And in 2012 my Dad died.  And Buttercup took on a new job - one that she didn't like at all - hanging from the jowels of all the foster dogs that started coming through the house - almost 40 dogs moved through the house from 2012 to now - and she hated every one of them, and tried to kill all of them.  And we are very lucky that not one of them tried to kill her - it's a testament to the fact that former chained dogs tend not to be dog aggressive.

But Buttercup continued to be the boss and continued to keep all dogs away from me - and also got as much dehydrated liver as she wanted - sometimes I think that her love of dehydrated liver was the only thing that kept her alive.

She had a heart murmur, low thyroid, her knees weren't in their sockets at all, they were just floating in them, she was 5 pounds less than she was at the height of her life - but still she walked as far as I asked her to, she went outside to use the washroom, and she did whatever she wanted - right up until her 21st birthday this past August.

But even in August, I could tell that she wasn't feeling well, I knew the end was coming but I just couldn't handle it.

And today the end came.  Now I have to live my life without her smacking my leg at 7pm to tell me that it's time to go out to the kitchen to get some liver.  There is no boss of this crew anymore.  I am alone, even though I still have 5 dogs left in the room with me.

I am without my Buttercup.The animal I would pick up and press to my neck and give kisses to and hope that everything would be okay in the world, now I have no reassurances at all. I have no little dog to lay on my head to dissapate the thoughts that swirled in my head.

Buttercup made me feel special.  I was so lucky to have her, I didn't deserve her, but I had her and she was mine. And now she's gone. And I am no longer special.  I don't know what I'm going to do without her. Now I am just me, and I am no one.


  1. Dear sweet Buttercup blessed you were to have her and she was blessed to have you .I am so sorry you must go through this heartache ...These dear creatures become such a part of us ...

  2. Deborah8:30 PM

    I am so very sorry that you lost your precious Buttercup. You are someone very special and Buttercup saw that in you, you rescued her and she in turn adored you. I have never met you and I know that you are someone very special. look at all the little lives in need that you have fostered ! I wish I could say something that would help to ease your pain but I know that there are no words , just know that you are not alone<3

  3. Joan so beautiful, and so much love you gave to each other,,,no words can dull your pain now today. She was a gift to you and all of us who watched her through your photos.. she was loved by all....

  4. You are just you - and you are someone. Someone who saved an animal and gave her a beautiful life. Someone who knows the unconditional love of an adoring dog. Someone who spreads the "word" of dog friendly laws and practices. Someone who makes a difference to the animals who cross her path. Someone who is - indeed - doing her part to make the world a little better place ... You saved Buttercup's life. She saved yours. And together - you have much to teach us all. You are just you - and how lucky are those who fall within your shadow.

  5. Joan, so sorry to hear of your loss of Buttercup. Sounds like she was your heart dog. How fortunate was she to have you as her champion all these years. Buttercup knew what we all know, you are special, very special. Remember, she is only a thought away. It will be interesting to see who in your pack will step up to fill her paws (albeit big (little) paws to fill).

  6. Joan, I am so sorry about Buttercup. But you ARE someone. You are "Dogkisser". You are a marvellous person who helps dogs AND people. I still remember reaching out to you from Ontario and you helped me find a vet there who would neuter my pittie-cross without turning him in as a banned dog. And since I've been in N.S. you've inspired me with your dog love and information about all things doggie. I was looking for new places today to go dog walking and what did my Google search turn up but YOU. You giving me new places to walk with my doggins. My Wendy is turning ten next week and I worry about how long she will be with me. You and Buttercup were so good for each other and I know it's an awful loss but know she would not want you to grieve too long and hard. That is not the doggie way. Consider yourself hugged.

  7. Joan, you ARE special. Your blog inspires me & my dogs, from far away in Ohio, USA. Your love for dogs is exceptional. Buttercup had the best home ever, and stayed with you for such a long, wonderful, loved life. All your fluffs see you as the wonderful person that you are, and all those dogs you freed from chains recognize the gifts you gave them when you touched their lives. Buttercup is free from her old age and waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge. She would want you to pick up one of her fur siblings, hold them tight and realize all of you will always be connected with the love you all share. My deepest condolences, and we send love and good thoughts your way! Karen, Loki, Frankie & NInja

  8. Joan, I understand you completely. I lost my Olde English Bulldogge the first week of Aug. She was 13. and absolutely.. your words are so true for me as they are for you. There is a moment - a long moment when you realize that that dog, best friend, life partner, personal entertainer, and total responsibility.... is You. Who you are... were... and now there is just too much missing to feel whole. - I have a new puppy now. He turned 5 months last week - was 8 weeks when he came. He is a sprite, he is crazy smart and he is demanding (Get Away - from the Computer!... NOW!...Get UP Get UP Get UP...) He is going to be my life saver... I hope you find your next life saver soon...

    1. Well said - and sorry for your loss