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.
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.
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.
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