December 25th 2007 6:07 am
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The year I got married, 1993 was the last year we celebrated a Christmas without Buttons. She is sorely missed. Merry Christmas to you my sweetheart. You are always in my thoughts.
December 17th 2007 5:46 am
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In the first few weeks we had her, the wife decided to take Buttons to the park for a nice walk. I was working at the time, so it was just her and Buttons. Soon after she gets there a big Black Lab comes running out of the lake and attacks Buttons, grabbing her by the throat. My wife kicks the dog in the side which caused it to release its grip long enough for her to pick Buttons up. The Lab then started jumping up on my wife trying to get at Buttons until the owner finally shows up and takes control of the dog. The vet said to give her a couple days, she should be fine and she was. But when she was 10 or 11 years old, she developed a collapsed trachea which may have led to the condition that she died from. We always wondered if this attack eventually caused the collapsed trachea.
The last incident I can recall while she was a pup was on another walk. For several weeks I took the same route for our walks and decided to try another route for that day. So I get to an area that we hadn't been to; Buttons is naturally stopping to sniff everything when I see some goof stop his car in the middle of the road, get out and come over to me. He starts bitching me out for the dog mess in his yard. Telling him I haven't had her in that part of the neighborhood before didn't seem to matter to this jerk. Even though this guy was twice my size I really wanted to let him have it but while I wasn't afraid of getting hurt, I was afraid that Buttons could get hurt. Afterwards, I avoided that area and started carrying pepper spray to drive off any other idiots I might run into. Over the years I had to deal with a couple neighbors during our walks. It seems that whenever anyone ended up with dog poop in their yard, that we automatically got blamed, even though I was one of the few who bothered to bring a pooper scooper. One lady who got on my case had a dog that her daughter took for walks. I often saw that dog poop in other peoples yard and she never cleaned it up. I'm so glad I live far far away from that neighborhood now.
December 13th 2007 5:52 am
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As you can imagine, as we became attached to her we started acting like the typical brand new parents. We kept constant watch on her in the yard, afraid someone would steal her (for good reason, expensive pets were being stolen nearby) and would take her to the vet for every little thing.
Growing up, there was only one nearby vet that everyone took their pets to. We never did like the vets there, but we didn’t have much choice at the time. It wasn’t until much later that we found out just how many quacks they had at that clinic. So when it came time to find a vet for Buttons, I naturally wanted someone better. I asked around and had a Dr. Woods recommended, so we took Buttons to her. For the most part I didn’t have any problems with her, but I was concerned about certain things. When we saw her, she would do a quick look and then take Buttons and later Bows, into a back room. Many times, no matter what they went back for, they would come back upset, panting, with a purple tongue. Knowing now how other vets operate, I should have changed vets sooner.
Their treatment there led to my first crisis with Buttons. On our 2nd visit to the vet as soon as I opened the door and Buttons got a whiff of where we were at, she slipped the collar and took off running. Much later I learned that the Sheltie fur and neck makes it very easy for them to slip off a collar. Some people use special collars to prevent it. Well she took off into the parking lot with me running after her. By this time she could outrun me so I couldn’t catch her. As she headed toward rush hour traffic on the nearby roads I cried out for her to stop one last time. She must have understood the desperation in my voice so she stopped. Another thing that aggravated me with this vet was it seemed that she always tried to pad the bill. It seemed she always found a way to justify adding prescription dog food to the bill. One time I really got mad. It was one of those times we took her in for a minor upset stomach. She sold us a small bottle with an eye dropper with pink liquid in it. When I got home and gave it to Buttons I sniffed it and realized it was nothing but plain old Pepto-Bismol. I no longer remember how much I paid for it, but I know it was a lot more than it was worth. From my experience with other vets, it seems that this is normal. They will always try to sell you someone instead of instructing you to use a home remedy. After we moved to Stewartstown we stopped going to her. It wasn’t long before the wife was in that area and said Dr Woods clinic wasn’t there anymore. She doesn’t turn up in any searches so I don’t know if she is still a vet or not.
December 13th 2007 4:36 am
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My beloved Buttons has been at the bridge for ten months now, so this isn’t going to be a diary. Instead I will be submitting her memoirs.
The story of Buttons arrival must start with my first encounter with a Sheltie. It was mid winter, I was in my mid twenties and living alone in my own house when my mother called me and said she rescued a dog who had sought shelter under her car as he tried to get warm from the exhaust system. I don’t remember anything about my first meeting him only that I found him to be a really nice dog. After a day or two my mother asked me if I wanted him. It didn’t take too long before I said ‘yes’. For the next couple days I found out just how wonderful a Sheltie could be. I was so impressed with the way he walked right beside me on leash. It was so different from our old dog that strained at the leash for the entire walk. My father also liked this dog. He hadn’t visited me in months but on the day I took the Sheltie home, he came over. I know it wasn’t to see me ;-) Soon after, my mother told me she saw an ad for a lost dog in the newspapers. She called the people up and got some info from them. I was told the lost dog’s name was Henry. As soon as I said the name, by his reaction I knew it was him. I called them up and set up a meeting time. My parents wanted to be there and my father wanted to make sure he was their dog so he had him sit on his lap to see if who he preferred. As soon as they walked in the door there was no denying that this was Henry. They took him home and I knew that whenever I got another dog, it would be a Sheltie.
Years past and for one reason or another I never thought it was a good time to get another dog. About six months after getting married, I was working midnight shift and still in bed when my wife wakes me up and tells me that she has a surprise. It was right around Easter and I thought she brought home a rabbit or other rodent. My stepdaughter had already neglected to death a couple hamsters and so I didn’t want another rodent. She then puts this little Sheltie puppy on the bed. She was so cute I almost immediately fell in love with her. I did almost have a heart attack when my wife told me the price. My parents never spent more than $25 buying a dog, Buttons cost $600 from a pet store. But soon the money didn’t matter, I could see she was well worth it. The only other thing I can remember of that first day was right after she ate, we were playing with her in the kitchen when she starts walking in a circle. She walked faster and faster and the circles got smaller and smaller. We said “what is she doing?”. She then spins in place on one back leg, hunches over and takes a poop. We said “well we know what that means now”. She did the spinning poop thing most of the time for the rest of her days.
We didn’t name her right away. I wanted to find the perfect name. My wife and her family for some reason are big Lucille Ball fans and so they started calling her Lucy. You can hear them call her Lucy in some of the first videos we took of her. I am not into celebrity worship and so I refused to call her that. Sometime in those first days I thought about how she was “cute as a button” so naturally, I decided to name her Buttons.
Some of the things I recall from her puppy days: Soon after we got her I changed shifts so we would have someone at home most of the time. I fed her and took her for two walks per day. I remember how in the first week I could outrun her, the 2nd week she could keep up, and by the 3rd week, she could outrun me. Sometimes she would sleep on my lap as I played on the computer. If you watch the youtube video of her, you will see just how playful she was. In those days she also pranced sometimes as she walked during play. It was really cute to watch.
I will continue to add to her memoirs as time and memory permit.