Category Archives: Butters the dog

Musings from the Laundromat: Butters, Palms & Pocket Man Returns edition

This week has been bananas.  And this morning started off on a queer note too.

I awoke, knew I had to take Butters outside (more on that later) looked at the clock, 10 minutes until 8!  I threw some clothes on, grabbed a sleepy dog and a leash and out we went.

To no avail.

Came back inside, brushed my teeth, ran a brush through my hair and by now, my eyes are starting to open.

They opened enough that I could see in the living room that it was now 7 a.m.


Apparently, the atomic alarm clock in my bedroom got bored, and decided to leap into the future.  I seriously need to leave it some crayons and paper or something, because this is the 3rd time it’s done that since I’ve had it.

Anyway, if my clock can time travel … so can we.

Let’s go back to Saint Patrick’s Day ….

I finally had an appointment to get Butters spayed and to receive her shots.

(Here’s where I preach again.  DO NOT GET A PET UNLESS YOU CAN AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF IT!  I’ll also remind you that Butters was a stray, who adopted us, and it’s taken THIS long to afford to spay her.  I kept her in the yard, have not let her have contact with other animals – because she had not had her shots.  Be a responsible pet owner, spay & neuter!  They are family members for life, not just a passing fancy).

ANYWAY, (climbs off of soapbox)

Got her in the car … managed to leave her in the car while alerting the vet that I was here and reminding them “She slips her collar – I may need help.”  They came outside with me holding the lasso type leash.

It worked.

Everything was going well!  She allowed her temperature to be taken, was a champ getting through her shots  – and then I said goodbye, covered in hair and smelling like a dog in my work clothes.

Later that morning, I received a call from my son … it went like this:


Received another phone call that afternoon from the vet saying she was out of surgery and in recovery.

Cake walk!

Then it was time to pick her up.

I could see by the looks on the staff’s faces that they hadn’t mentioned everything during that phone call.

“Um, she’ll be out in a minute … they’re just trying to get the cone on her.”

Minutes added up … finally 4 technicians FOUR came out with Butters.

Sans cone.

(It makes a lovely lampshade though …)


Turns out she was only one of two dogs that had ever woken immediately after – surgery and managed to take her own gauze off.  Turns out she was a little hard to wrangle.  Turns OUT she had already removed 4 cones.

“Do you want me to help?” I asked.

Yes, yes they did.

I held her as they put another cone on, as my manatee squirmed.  And, watched as she removed her entire collar and cone.

I held her as they applied the ‘harness cone’ – and watched as she removed that too.

By now she’s panting … the senior technician, with a look of exhaustion, asked me if she was a ‘licker’.

“Well, yeah … I’ve seen her lick her foot.”

Long story short, we had the vet shoot her up with a tranquilizer and I left with a sedation prescription in addition to the pain-killer prescription.

“She’ll go down any minute …”  the technician told me.

So the entire drive home, I had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand holding her upright, terrified she was going to zonk out, fall off the back seat and hurt herself.

I needn’t have worried.  I ended up staying awake most the night with her.  She would not ‘go down.’

She tottered around the house like a drunken toddler.  I followed her everywhere so that she didn’t fall … and as she fought sleep, we cuddled.


I knew I would be useless at work the next day – and called my boss to ask for the morning off.

Oh, and  why is she on the bed?   I lifted her, because if I tried to ‘sequester’ her to a confined space (as the vet suggested), she yowled and jumped clumsily up at the door which I knew was NOT good for her stitches.  I chose the lesser of two evils.

(In between all of this fun, I had given my son my ATM card to collect her prescriptions, which, he ended up losing.  And after cancelling the card, he then found it.  Groan.)

Fast forward to Friday.

I had a terrible spell.  It lasted for hours.  Usually when I’m tired, or stressed, I seem to have them more frequently.  I sat at work having chest pain and dizziness.  Off balance and feeling like I was in a furnace.  I couldn’t wait to go home.  Besides, my son was in Phoenix and Butters had been unattended all day.

When I felt safe enough to drive home, I took the chance and went for it.

I pulled into my parking spot and saw the most beautiful sight.

Blurred to protect the innocent

Blurred to protect the innocent

Boxes on the porch!  Lots of boxes!  My fiancée’s possessions had arrived.

But first on my list of things to do, was to get in, take my much-needed medicine, check on Butters and take my poor girl outside!  She has to be leash walked in the yard for at least 10 days … so she doesn’t ‘overdo’ it.

I go inside – and was greeted by another sight.

Not so beautiful.

My VERY house trained girl could not hold it all day.  I’m not surprised considering the medicines she’s on.  But I was already not feeling well & now had 3 messes to clean up.

First things first though!  Medicine?  No.  Take Butters out.  Because I knew she was probably embarrassed about those accidents and she comes first.

Out we go.

Then she notices the boxes.

And to say she freaked out would be an understatement.

I can’t bring a box or bag in the house without her looking at it like I invited a vampire in.  She fusses and frets until I ‘touch’ the strange new object and then she’ll get comfortable enough to sniff it – but keeps her eye on it, just in case.

Well, the boxes were just too much for her.  And she must have been going bonkers when they were delivered – I imagine she was barking maniacally at the poor UPS driver when he or she was depositing the boxes on the porch.

So there’s mulitple ‘strange objects’ and ‘scent of stranger’ surrounding her.

She yanked on the leash, and it tightened – and she backed up to the edge of the porch ready to leap!

I had two choices, let her leap … which could do her wound much damage, or, I could pull tighter on that leash and cut off her air supply.  I only had seconds to decide.  I know doggy CPR.  I chose pull, and get her back inside.

I locked her in my bedroom, stepping over the accidents.

I then cleaned up the accidents, as she whined urgently and pawed at the door … an occasional pitiful bark of protest.

I still had to handle the boxes, because I knew she still had to go out, and would not walk past them.

So I carried each box in, straining at the weight of them – heart pounding more than it already had been.  Placed the boxes in the kitchen and released the hound.

I was finally able to take her outside.

And as I walked her, remembered, I still needed my heart medicine.

We eventually calmed down – and I put the boxes in new places so that she could walk in the kitchen without fear.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I indulged in a Netflix binge … needing the rest.  Watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (at the suggestion of my friend Penny).

Okay, I watched the entire Season. (GREAT show by the way, bravo Tina Fey!)


Pausing only to take Butters out and fix a snack.

Then came the ‘incident’.

Stay with me.

Butters has a path.  She’s walked it so many times, it’s indelibly etched into our desert dirt yard.

We took the path.  Oh, I should mention.  I was in my Netflix day underwear and a t-shirt.  Ok, not technically ‘underwear’ underwear, not the type I drop on the laundromat floor.  They’re boxer briefs that are so comfy and look like bicycle shorts from afar.  Decent for the yard.

On said path, is a palm.

This one.


That’s the front view – as we approach … here it is from the other side, which, took me longer to see.


So – here’s what happened.  I’ll usually discourage her from this part of the path.   But, I wanted her to go her route.  I decided I could fit under the archway.

Only, I didn’t factor in her pulling, and me holding the leash.

I lost my balance.

Luckly, the palm caught most of my fall.   By hooking my underwear to it.

I’m hanging, by my underwear, not letting go of the leash, and I realize – I’m in pain.

It did not just have me by the undies.

I had palm imbeded in my leg and arm.

I kept calm.  Kept hold of the leash and reached up to unhook myself from the palm, only to drop, very gracefully (not) to the ground.

Not one to be detered by a mere palm incidient, we finished the little walk and she successfully went potty as I felt blood running down my arm – and felt the ache of my leg.

Once inside I inspected the damage.


My arm was already swelling – my leg needed some barb removal, and was already bruising and swelling too.

Let’s talk about palm trees for a second shall we?

They’re so exotic and beautiful no?


NO!  They are nature’s serrated knives!

Evil, barbed, serrated knives!


That is what I had hooked into me.  You know what – they’re more like natures chain saws!

Here’s my leg today …


Trust me when I say, it looks worse in person … and feels like I was bitten by a strange object vampire.

Hurts to walk – hurts to sit.

I shall not be going under that palm again!

But I will be walking Butter’s path – many, many times for the next week.  Because after almost $500 she’s my biggest asset at this moment – and also, I discovered how much I loved her when she was at her worst.

I called my future mother-in-law the day of the surgery – looking for advice when she wouldn’t settle.   She told me dogs pick up on our stress.

Well then, Butters is screwed – I am a stress ball.  I’m the one who worries for everyone.   I can’t wait until Jim joins his boxes, because he soothes me.  He’s my calm.

Speaking of worrying for everyone – as I was finishing up at the laundromat, the little man who I wanted to put in my pocket came back.  He’d been gone for two weeks, in the hospital for most of it.

He walked over, wearing an oxygen apparatus and said: “Thank you for your kindness.”  I’m tearing up just remembering that simple sentence.  To make a connection with a stranger – to have them thank you.   My little pocket man promised he would be there next week too, after I said to him and his wife as I made my way out of the laundromat “It’s so good to see you BOTH here.”

I’m so grateful for all I have, all I don’t have.   For Butters, for my love, my family and friends – and for that stupid palm that reminded me, even if you get hung up or snagged on something painful, you keep going and finish what you started.


My first snowday – By Butters

It was very loud and windy last night. I know ‘windy’ because mom says that’s what when things fall over and noises happen outside.  I told her a lot all night that was happening by barking and I was walking around a lot too.

We did not sleep very well.

This morning, mom’s alarm went off, I usually get up and stand over her to say ‘It’s time!’ but today I was too tired.

She pressed the button she presses when she is too sleepy too.  A LOT of times.

Here is me not wanting to go out in the wind.  Mom ALWAYS takes pictures! It makes me crazy.  But, I’m glad she wants pictures of me.


Mom said “It’s New Years Eve!  I won’t be gone all day, so if you can’t go potty, I’ll be home by just after lunch ok?”

I knew she would make me go potty anyway … she always does, and I won’t leave the porch if she is not outside with me.  Even though she was late, she put on more layers of cloth and came outside.

I love the word ‘Outside’.


Mom was home WAY sooner than lunch!

We live in the desert (she calls it that.)

All I know is, when I have hair it’s too hot in the Summer, but mom doesn’t want me shaved because then I’ll be ‘sunburned’.   I know when I found my family in 2011 I have never been too cold or too hot.

Mom used to leave the front door open enough for me during ‘Summer’  Mumbled things about air-conditioning the entire neighborhood (then laughing about how other ‘adults’ used to say that?) so I could nudge my way in and out all day.

She didn’t do that this last Summer.

I live near people she didn’t want me nudging out to.

That’s all I understand about it.


When mom was at work today – something happened that hasn’t happened EVER in my life!  It hadn’t happened ever in my mom’s life here either!!!

Mom said it was called, Snow.

She got to be home early because of ‘snow’.

It started out like this at mom’s work:


Then she came home and let me see it!


This was my very first snow day!!! ( I told you mom takes a lot of pictures)


This is a blurry picture of me first seeing the white stuff.


Then things got crazy!

These fluffy things kept coming out of the sky!!! I didn’t mind them.  I love rain.  I loved the fluffy things too!  Mom was with me – and kept making excited noises about it all.


This is my boy going to his car to get something … he said his ‘thing’ from the car was frozen … mom kept singing ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ even though she’s never seen the movie I hear it’s from.

But she DID make one!


It had blueberry eyes that I got to eat!!!!!!!

This was the best day ever!

Here are some more pictures mom took of me.



And here are my pawprints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I was sad about my tennis ball …


But mom said it would ‘warm up’ again.

All my things outside are wet …

This is my bed … and my green thing!


Mom said they would dry.

It got too cold outside.  (I still love that word ‘OUTSIDE!’)

So mom and my boy said snow could come INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I liked the ‘snowballs’ they made – because they tasted like water and felt like a ball.




My mom says I can’t leave out this photo … I was ‘being cute’

here it is – and I was cold!


but OH so happy!  And now, I’m snuggly on my couch … and my mom says I should say ‘thank you’ because a lot of people have read about me this year and she says I have a lot of ‘fans’.


A message from Butters


I know Butters, I know. And I’m trying.

I’ve tried alerting the manager of the home.  I’ve tried visiting the home – under the guise of passing off some old toys for the pup.

I try telling the pup “Good Boy!” when I get home.

Today – I was playing outside with Butters – and the neighbors dog ran for his tennis ball that we had given him.  He wanted to play.

I couldn’t play with him.

And no one inside his ‘home’ will play with him.

So how long until he just ‘gives up’?

I noticed him outside earlier with the toys we’d given him, and am sharing here.

Before I played with Butters:



After playing with Butters, and the tennis ball retrieved in attempt to join in:


It gets cold here … freezing at night and to see this pup curled up into the tightest ball to stay warm.  He hears someone in the house close to the door and digs and scratches at the door wanting to be inside.

It breaks my heart.

If the ‘owners’ ever respond to the notices that they are not allowed to have this dog – I hope I can count on you to help me find him a forever home.



God rest ye gentle animals …

If I ever wished for a God, it’s for the innocent. The children, the lacking of mind and abilities and the animals.

The kindest, gentlest, most meek of us all.

My neighbor, I’ve spoken much about, (type ‘neighbor’ into my search bar for more info) became pet owners a while ago.

I say ‘owners’ with every intention of sounding spiteful and literal.

After knowing how they treated their children, I was incredulous when they walzted home a dog.  (This was shortly after having a break-in *rumor has it)

Dog turned out to be lovely. It’s name is Old Yeller.

It gets left out all the time.

It also gets ignored all the time.  Which is a GOOD thing now.   Because before, when the kids were allowed to ‘play’ out back, all it got was hit.

I don’t know where the children would find their footing now, the back yard is covered in feces.  NOT the dogs fault.

Let me clarify for those who haven’t been following along – I am not a curtain twitcher.   My main rooms have a front row seat to the neighbors antics.  My thin walls have a speaker bar of dysfunction into their home. 
I go outside with Butters when I’m home.  I’ll let her alone as long as I hear ‘quiet’ (oxymoron?)  but if she barks, I’m out there and on her.  I don’t want a fence runner – I also don’t want her or me/us (when Nic is home) hurt by what ever she’s barking about.

I pay renters insurance every month – which equals an entire months rent each year – to keep Butters.  I also paid a $200 pet deposit.  Because I was honest.  Because I am forthright.  Because I’m … stupid?

Neighbors got this dog and during my inspection – dog was noticed.  I was assured dog would not stay – I was not comfortable with that, considering the pound is not a utopia, but considering the yelling inside, the beatings outside, … perhaps even death was better.


Dog is still there.

Today, my son and I decided we needed to share a toy with it.

It has no toys.

“Okay, when you go take the garbage, toss the squeaky toy over the fence!”

Roger that.

Um, except, that didn’t work.

“Wait! Wait! I think they can see.”

(Time out … how sad is this that we have to go to such measures to get a toy to a dog? I mean seriously???)

After several attempts, I decided, pretend to play with Butters and ‘over throw’ a toy.

Yeah, I overthrew – lol – but it landed JUST outside the poor pups reach.

“Nic!  Get it!  Toss it!”

Nic went from the garbage area to the fence and swiftly scooped up the toy and launched it over the fence.

Then VERY quickly got in his car and bailed on my arse.

I don’t blame him.

I played with Butters outside longer than I would have – incase they came out.  Then I could have lied and said “Oh, yeah – sorry, he can keep that!”

Anyway – long and short of it is – this dog needs a new home.  And here he is when I got brave and shot some pics from our unscreened window. (So they’re really not great shots, but I think I captured his sweet and sour situation. And no, those aren’t chocolate chips amongst the kids toys)

Feces infested yard

Feces infested yard

A toy?

A toy?

It IS a toy!

It IS a toy!





And I’ll end with a shot of the door he scratches on … that he asks for attention at.



All about Butters – and a glimpse at past pets


I was raised to believe that they were family members.  And they always were.

My mum raised Guide Dogs for the Blind in England – we had pups come and go – always happy when they passed and went on to be of service to someone who would be their forever person.

I got used to saying goodbye – but not always for the right reasons.

My Zebra Finches?  Killed each other one night. My goldfish?  Always seemed to meet an ominous end – one time my mum confessed that she was the cause, having put the kettle on next to the bowl. I can laugh about this now.

My rabbit, Rafferty, a very large albino, had his head cut off by a neighbor.  We came home and I thought he was sunbathing. “No!” my mum said, “Don’t go outside.” She knew – I didn’t.  I found out very quickly he wasn’t sunbathing and nightmares ensued.

Fast forward.

Teen years in the USA – anything that showed up, stayed.  Was neutered/spayed and adopted out according to my mum’s strict rules.  She interviewed prospects, visited their homes and if they measured up, let the animal go with the caveat “If it doesn’t work out, you call ME first!”

lots of pets

My son’s first official pet was Mortimer. Morty. Me-mo. (You know how names evolve lol).  Long haired dachshund mix.  We rescued him from the Santa Cruz SPCA and what a bonkers dog he was.  Always running away – even from 3 1/2 acres of land to run on. Something about a gate or a wall just had him needing to explore it.

We brought him to the desert with us – and one fateful day he was being walked on leash around the block when another dog attacked him.  Morty ran home, leash dangling, with a broken leg and internal injuries too severe to fix.  He ran home. To me.  On a broken leg!

I called my mum, took him to the vet and came home per their suggestion.  And when I ordered the euthanasia, I wasn’t with him.  I’ll never forgive myself for that.

A cat adopted us next.  Peej.  PJ to be exact. He resembled my mum’s cat Plucky, so we went with Plucky Junior.

After I paid for an abscess to be mended and for him to be neutered, I advised his original owners he was mine.  He was the coolest cat!


Next came Cadence.  Cady.  Cady love. Black lab – from the pound.

peej and cady

She became very ill.  One day there was just a *thud* and when I checked on her, her eyes were bulging.

In the next few months, she lost the ability to walk unaided, I was carrying her outside to relieve herself. She was so young!  I put little baby socks on the toes she would drag, hoping she wouldn’t painfully scrape them.  And in a moment of unselfishness, realized, I was doing her no favors.

Can anyone reading this afford neurological surgery for their pet?  No, me either –  I took her by myself to the vet knowing I wasn’t bringing her back.

The euthanasia went wrong.

She refused to go with them ‘to the back’ to have her leg shaved.  I told them to do it with me.  They hesitated, but did so.

When the vet injected ‘the dose’ – my sweet, sweet Cady not so delicately convulsed.

I knew this was wrong!

I was sat on the floor, her head in my lap and I knew she wasn’t being ‘put to sleep’ – did they skip a step???

“Give her more! She’s still alive!” I told the vet.  She gave me the ‘you don’t know what I know’ look, but then looked panicked and injected more into my sweet pet.

I DID know.

It’s supposed to go like this: Sedate dog, overdose dog with sedation.

That did not happen, and also is something I will never forget nor forgive.

That was March 2010.


February 27th, 2011 – someone showed up in the yard.


As you can imagine, I was not ready for another dog.  This stray showed up and I threw it chicken.  I then gave ‘it’ cat food (all I had)

It looked like a boy and it looked intimidating.  I decided to go for it.  After feeding ‘it’ – I sat on the ground and threw a frisbee.  It rushed toward me, not the frisbee and I braced myself.

A pup like ‘attack’ of epic proportions ensued.  Such love and play from this stray.

I was determined to find its owner.

After discovering it was a ‘she’ I posted flyers, and put her on local TV.  She knew ‘Sit’ and was potty trained.

After no one came forward, I worked toward finding her a forever family.  I knew I couldn’t afford a dog.  Not just the food – but I’m an advocate for being financially able to care in all aspects for a pet!  Shots, Check Ups, Accidents etc. etc.


Yeah, we ended up keeping her.

Not long after, Peej was next to pass.  Money may not buy happiness, but it sure as hell would have saved Peej.  He became ill and was in a lot of pain – I held him as the euthanasia went right.

So fast forward again to last night.

Butters sleeps with me.  Actually, she hogs the bed.  I don’t care.  Pets are family. I’m fine with the inches I have of my California King bed.

She trembled … I held her.

She drooled – I wiped her mouth.

I KNOW I can’t afford a vet – so I prayed (yes, the agnostic prayed) that she was just going into heat (another thing, I have a friend who has donated 1/2 of her spaying cost, and she STILL isn’t spayed – the amount of times I kick myself and berate myself for that – but see!  You must be able to AFFORD a pet before you take one on! I only kept Butters because the alternative was the pound. The pound was a death sentence.)

Today, my son was home and I asked my work if they minded me leaving early.

I did not want her taking a turn for the worse alone, and knew Nic was leaving soon.

No, they did not mind.  (I love them for that.)

Here’s Butters enjoying a ‘puddle’ when the desert met the rain.

imageI didn’t care how dirty she got, I had a towel. LOL!

imageHere’s Butters being a dork with Nic – I love that she fits in by being a dork.

me & buttersHere’s me copping a selfie with Butters, and Butters not being amused.

The point is – she has become such an important and vital part of our family!

Here she was after I got home early today ….


The sagging tail on her one venture to the window (I think after we got some residual California rain and something CRASHED outside)

And this ….


Before and after … Her body is hurting, she’s limp and sad.

But I’m home and loving her.

Butters, you weren’t invited, but I’m so glad you became a part of our family.