In memory of my beloved Buttons

Happy Birthday!!!

January 15th 2008 6:48 am
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Today is Buttons birthday! She would have been 14. In honor of her, I will light a lamp and put it on her grave. I couldn’t find a proper candle holder for outdoors, so a lamp it has to be. Also, today I will tell you stories of funny things she has done.

The first story takes us back to right after we got Bows. We had problems with Bows peeing on the carpet at night. It was more our fault for not taking the proper precautions. On this particular day though, for some reason I thought Buttons was the one who peed on the carpet. I found her in the kitchen looking out the sliding glass door checking thing out outside. I put my hands on my hips and in a firm voice said “did you pee pee on the carpet?”. She looked at me, put her head down and slowly walked to me. She then sat right beside me, leaned her body against my leg and then offered me her paw. Giving paw was naturally her first trick and she knew she was a good girl when she gave us her paw, so this must have been her way of trying to please me. I of course completely melted and picked her up and gave her a nice hug. Whether she did it or not, she was completely forgiven.

One of the favorite past times for Shelties is chasing any nearby squirrel. My girls were no different although Buttons put more effort in it then Bows. The tree lined path behind our house typically held a good number of squirrels and our walks usually took us down that path. The street behind my house had little traffic on it and once past the street, the path provided a safe area to walk the dogs without a leash. So our walks would start with me checking for traffic. If it was safe, I’d open the gate and we’d all run across the road and run down the path until we were at a safe distance from the road. On one particular day as we ran across the road there were a few squirrels hanging around. They took off in different directions but one went under the nearby car. The girls took an interest in that squirrel so I decided to help out. Buttons took the side where the field was, Bows took the front of the car. After making sure there was no traffic coming, I went around to the rear of the car. The squirrel was now surrounded on three sides. Suddenly the squirrel decides to make a break for the trees. He heads right for Buttons and ends up running right under her. In a flash, he was gone. Buttons wasn’t sure what happened at first. She looked toward the car, then she looked toward the trees. Finally she figured out what happened and she then got hopping mad and took off running and barking after the squirrel. It really reminded me of when Bugs Bunny would pull a fast one on Yosemite Sam. You would see him turn red and he’d bounce up and down he was so mad. That’s exactly how Buttons looked.

Over time I got to know what some of Button’s barks meant. I would immediately recognize her “help me” bark. I didn’t take the girls for a walk in the wood too often, mostly it was after it snowed. This one time we were returning home, just as I was about to enter to back yard when I hear Buttons “help me” bark. I looked behind me and Bows was right there, but Buttons wasn’t. In the woods, it was hard to figure out where the bark was coming from and she wasn’t barking enough for me to be able to zero in on her location. I had Bows go in the yard and I followed the trail to try to find her tracks in the snow. I soon see where her tracks go off the trail; I don’t know why she stopped following us and went off in that direction. About 50 ft off the trail, I find her completely tangled up in a patch of blackberry bushes. Boy was she a mess with her long fur tangled up in the thorns. She couldn’t move at all. It was so bad that I had to leave her to go get cutters. Even after cutting away the bushes, I still had to use scissors to cut off fur that was too entangled.

Another time I heard the “help me” bark it was both funny and strange. Buttons usually slept in my bedroom. She’d sleep with her back against the nightstand next to my bed. This one day I wake up and go downstairs. The wife and Bows are already down there and I ask her where Buttons was. She said she hasn’t seen her. As I start to look for her, I soon hear the “help me” bark. We head upstairs and start looking. We were looking around but at first we couldn’t find her. Finally I realize it’s coming from under the bed. I look under there and there she was, in the middle of the bed under the part of the bed where my pillow might be. I see her try to stand up, but there isn’t any room under there so she kinda flounders around not knowing what to do. I crawl under there and reach for her. She then does exactly the right thing by laying on her side so I can easily slide her out. To this day we don’t know how she got under there. If she laid upright and crawled like some dogs are trained to do, she may have had room, but I’ve never seen her crawl before and she certainly couldn’t do it that morning. If she laid on her side there was more room, but I don’t know how she could crawl under there on her side. For weeks afterward I watched her as she slept at various times to see if she did any sleepwalking. Once asleep, she never moved from her position. Over the next two weeks, she did it again twice. It was becoming a pain to crawl under the bed and I was afraid I’d hurt her when I’d grab her legs and pull her toward me, so I put a flat dog bed she never used under there to block access. That solved that problem. It remains an unsolved mystery.

This story was funny to me, but painful for her. One spring I decided to replace the junk deck the builder installed. I had taken the old deck off, but couldn’t start the new deck until a couple days later. In order to walk outside, I took the old stairs and nailed it to the ledger board. With the sliding glass door, the girls could see everything going on outside and when they saw something interesting they’d bark like crazy and we’d let them out to go zooming down to the fence. Well I didn’t think anything of it when Buttons started barking like crazy at something outside, so I let her out. Well she zoomed out the door as if the deck was still there and ended up rolling down the stairs. She looked like a black and white stripped log as she rolled down. As serious as it could have been, it looked so funny I had to laugh. I picked her up and made sure she was alright, still laughing. I think her dignity was damaged more then anything else.

Once again:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
To you my baby Buttons

You are always in my thoughts

 
 

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Buttons (In Loving Memory)


 

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