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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dogs of My Life- Butchy Boy I


spaniel on porch rail

Today I am starting a series that will show up occasionally until we have worked our way through the dogs I have owned throughout my life. Today we start with the dog my parents owned when I was born, Butchy Boy I. Technically, this makes it their dog, not mine, but read on...

Dad always said that he thought Butchy was mostly Field Spaniel. True Field Spaniels are a solid color, while this dog was black and white, but Dad thought that his traits fit that breed best. His history was that Dad had found him abandoned in the woods across the road from our house. Dad always thought that he had been abused.

Butchy Boy I is the other dog, of all the ones in my life, who is so special to me that I can't separate him from Chips... to choose which is best.

He liked surveying the world from the porch rail. See a head in the background. That is my dad, and now I'll show you what Dad is doing.

man holding baby

Yup, that's me. Of course, I don't remember any of this part of the story, but I am told that the dog took to me immediately. While I was still tiny enough to not roll off of things Mom would put me in the Boston Rocker (on which Irene's afghan was displayed a few months ago). Butchy would sit beside the rocker and watch me. The first time Granny (Mom's mother) came to visit, the dog would not let her go near me in the rocking chair until Mom put me in Granny's arms, to show the dog that it was ok.

dog with toddler

The dog was my constant companion. As an only child, in the country (that's our barn in the background), I didn't really even know there were other little kids in the world. This isn't such a great picture of the dog, but it shows how we spent a lot of time for a lot of years... together.

dog dressed up

My dad was continually amazed by the devotion of Butchy Boy to me. Actually the thing that amazed him most was that the dog would accept pieces of powdered donut from me. He wouldn't ever eat sweets apart from that one exception. And, although he certainly looks a bit distressed, he always allowed me to play dress-up with him. I never was a girly-girl, so this wasn't a common activity, but you can easily see that it happened occasionally!

In between playtime with me, Butchy was a fine hunting-dog companion for Dad, and they brought home many a pheasant and rabbit for dinners.

Dad kept trying to prepare me to lose Butchy Boy. He was (estimated) 14 years old and I was 9. But what can prepare you to lose your soul-mate? He got careless crossing the road one day. There was a screech of brakes and Dad yelled, "There goes Butchy." (Yup, I'm crying right now, 52 years later.)

I shut myself in my closet for 12 hours and refused to come out. The devastation was total. I guess I finally got hungry. There isn't any gentle ending to this story. It was just the end of life as I knew it- the first major trauma of my young life. We all have them, and they prepare us for the future.

Every child should be as fortunate as I was to have such a wonderful, faithful friend.

See Getting to Know Maggie
See In Memory of Hoover Houdini Chips


Duxbury Ramblers said...

Love Butchy Boy looks a lot like Meg, she is an English Springer Spaniel also known as a Field Spaniel, bred for flushing & retrieving, the show type is bigger & a lot heavier. So over here Butchy Boy would have been classed as a field springer. I look forward to reading about all your dogs.

Secondary Roads said...

How neat to have had a friend like Butchy Boy. My companion was a black and white tom cat. I don't even know his name -- he was just "Kitty" to me.

rainfield61 said...

To tell you silently:

You looked cute!

wenn said...

nice to own a faithful companion.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Aww, that is a traumatic way to lose your best friend all right. He looks like a sweet pup.

Sara Katt said...

What a wonderful story. It ended sadly, but Butchy Boy was obviously a dear friend, and was important to you, especially if you did not have any sisters or brothers or playmates.
Yes, a good dog can even be a good companion for a cat!
Thank you for sharing.
Sara Cat

Joanne Olivieri said...

Butchy Boy and you were adorable. It is so important I think to have pets and grow up with them. It teaches responsibility and most of all love. I really enjoy seeing these old photos as well. Thaks for sharing.

spinninglovelydays said...

How wonderful to have had such a faithful companion in your childhood. The ending was tragic, but the memories remain sweet. :)

Sharkbytes said...

Duxbury- Thank you for that help! He does look like your Meg, doesn't he? Very handsome!

Chuck- Another country kid as I recall! Glad you had Kitty.

Rainfield- better whisper that, buddy! (but OK, sometimes I was)

wenn- it was very special

Dennis- stay outa da road, buddy, it's a bad deal!

Sarah- Kitties are good too!

Jo- The old pictures are fun, no matter who they are, aren't they?

Ivy- So much better than not having had the opportunity to have them.

Rick (Ratty) said...

This is a great story. It brings back memories of my own dogs. I understand your good feelings for Butchy very well.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks, Ratty- I know you like dogs too.

RNSANE said...

Shark, that is such a wonderful story of you and your dog. I can see how special he was to you and vice versa!! I love the picture of your with your ringlets! I've had several very special dogs in my life, too, and I hated not having my own home in recent years and renting places where dogs were not allowed.