Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Tribute to Butch, the Dog

When my family first moved to Alpine Utah it was a huge change. Not only were the people of the neighborhood not very hospitable, but the entire structure of the city was so small and like that it felt foreign to all of us. Later in my life I found that the "country" atmosphere is what drew my parents to this small city.
So with few people to call true friends, and an environment we knew nothing about my siblings and I set out to find a way to make this place our "home." People come and go in your lifetime. In Alpine it seemed that people were more frequently going rather than coming our way. I'm not going to lie when I say that often times it was lonely and frustrating trying to grow up in a place like this. During this time I so lovingly refer to as, "the dark times," a bright light opened up for all of us.
One afternoon my mother had assigned my brother Colin and my sister Lara and I to start tearing up this wretched dark brown diamond patterned tile in the entry way. It was a hot day and unfortunately I lacked the muscle power to really give those tiles a hard crack and shatter them out of place. My brother had the hammer and I recall using a chisle to supposedly break loose some of those tiles that weren't so expertly laid. We were making slow progress and my youngest sister Sephra who was about 1 1/2 years old at the time was picking up the big chunks and putting them into a bucket for us. The front door had been open to hopefully allow what we only wished would happen of a breeze to cool us off. While Colin went about smacking the tiles and my mom announcing orders in the background we saw a little brown dachsund wander up to our front door and watch with curiosity at what we were doing. He didn't bark, he didn't whine. He just watched. Soon his attendance caught the eye of Sephra and she wandered out in her very childlike way and went up to pet him. He didn't have any tags and he looked so soft and lovable. He hung around for the better part of the afternoon then ran off up the walk way and out of our yard.
The next day we were working on the house again and the same dog came for another visit. He seemed at home coming for his visits and getting all the love and attention any animal would love from my youngest sister. The dog and her had some sort of strange connection that we could see but didn't quite comprehend.
This dog continued to visit over the course of the week. One day we received a ring at our door. Since we weren't really accustomed to visitors Lara and I crowded on the stairs as my mom answered the door. A woman with extreme blonde hair with intense make up decorating her face and thick clunky jewelry stood at our door. She smiled at my mom and at us kids on the stairs waiting for her to say something. She introduced herself as the owner of the dachsund that visited us on a daily basis over the past week. She said that he had taken to escaping each day for hours on end and tracked him back to our house. We looked at her guiltily as we had thuroughly enjoyed these visits. This woman explained that she owned this dog and another black lab that clearly towered over the dachsund. She said since the dog clearly approved our house over her home, she asked if we wanted the dog. My mom looked at her shocked and in awe. Lara and I had grins spreading from ear to ear over the excitement that could be. Mom agreed to take the dog and thanked this woman. The woman later brought the dog over that day and explained that his name is Butch. We laughed over the irony of such a hard and brute like name for such a gentle and small dog.
Later in life this wonderful pet spent most of his life next to my youngest sister Sephra. He saved her from a baby rattle snake, excursioned with her in just a diaper and a onsie up the mountain in the thick of winter. It was after some of these events we knew why Butch had been driven to our house. He was Sephra's protector. It seemed whatever trouble that girl got into, that dog was right by her side and there to create a muck to protect her.
Butch died this year in August due to back problems and painful leasions in his body. He was in pain and is no longer. But I often think of the story I heard when they brought him home from the vet and his limp body in a blanket so they could burry him in the backyard. Sephra held his body close to hers and rocked him back and forth until the grave was dug and his small body was placed in the ground.
This is a tribute to Butch, the Dog. The best damn dog we ever had. We miss you Butch.
Butch - Born November 1991 - August 2008


Joey and Maggie said...

What a wonderful tribute for a great dog.

Jullee and Fam said...

Butchie sounds like a great pup! I'm sorry to hear that your family lost such a super guy.