the adventures of a low-rider in suburbia
Every year on Butters’ birthday, Mommy made her special meals and gave her special treats. And sometimes, Mommy and her friends would gather in a park with other corgis and celebrate some corgi birthdays together. Butters knew that she was a lucky puppy to have so much. So many friends, so many treats, so much space and so much love.
But Butters also knew that there were many dogs that weren’t as lucky as she was. After all, she herself had been shuttled from home to home until Mommy found her just before her 5th birthday.
On the eve of her 9th birthday, Mommy came home late at night after having gone to a party. When Butters greeted her at the door, Mommy leaned down and said, “It’s after midnight — happy birthday, Butters! I hope you get everything you ever wished for!”
Butters thought for a moment. All she ever wished for was a family who loved her, and she had that! She had Mommy and Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Priya and Uncle Geoff and more friends than she could count on her dainty corgi paws. So Butters decided to wish really, really hard that all the pets in the world who weren’t as lucky as she was would find as much love as she had. She knew that they deserved nothing less than families and wonderlands of their own.
One of Butters’ favorite friends, Rugby James, is a self-described “throw-away dogger” — he was rehomed several times before finding his loving and patient mama, a dog trainer. Rugby’s mama told Butters and Mommy about a place called the Daisy Farm Sanctuary, where a wonderful lady named Robin rescues senior dogs and other unwanted pets. In the words of Rugby’s mama, “[r]ather than let them die in a shelter, [Robin] gives them a great home with lots of love and good care to finish out their days. If she can find them a better home, she does, but she takes in every dog with the mind-set that they are home for the rest of their days.”
In honor of Butters’ birthday, Butters and Mommy are buying some of the items on the Daisy Farm Sanctuary’s Amazon wishlist to help Miss Robin do her labor of love and are making a donation to help her continue care for these sweet animals. Please go to the Facebook page and give them a like!
One evening, Butters saw Mommy packing some bags. Butters did not like to see Mommy packing bags — it usually meant that Mommy was going away and leaving her! Butters started barking at the bags and crying. But Mommy said, “Look, Butters — I’m packing a bag for you, too. We’re going on vacation!”
Butters watched Mommy as she packed up her bowls, toys and other things. Butters had gone to the beach with Mommy and Grandma once, but this was different. Mommy said they were going to a place called New Hampshire with two of Mommy’s friends from law school. Butters and Mommy woke up very early and went to Mommy’s friend’s house, and then the four girls drove and drove and drove and drove and drove to New Hampshire.
When they got to the house in New Hampshire, Mommy’s friend got out of the car and said, “I think there’s another corgi here!” Lo and behold, before Butters could even get out of the car, another corgi ran across the lawn. Butters ran and played and barked and frapped with the other corgi, whose name was Gus!
What a handsome boy! This vacation was already quite something! Butters settled in and looked around the house. She had a big front porch, a big yard and a screened-in back porch, and was determined to sniff and explore every inch!
So far, vacation was pretty exciting. As Butters settled in and made herself at home, Mommy brought in all of Butters’ things and set them up around the house: her water and food bowls went in the kitchen, her bed went upstairs and her playpen went in the living room. The playpen was new, Mommy had gotten it specifically for vacation. Butters knew she would stay in there while Mommy and her friends went out hiking or to get dinner. She decided she would be a very, very good girl so that Mommy would always want to take her on vacation.
Of course, Butters wasn’t left at the house very often. Mommy said, “Butters, this is your vacation, too! You need to see New Hampshire!” So, off Butters went, to explore the Granite State. She saw mountains and lakes and beautiful, old covered bridges.
Butters also got to go on a hike, just like Mommy and her friends!
Butters walked and walked and walked and walked through the woods on her hike with Mommy. She leapt over streams, climbed on hewn tree trunks and even kept going in the rain! Mommy was very proud of Butters, who walked a very long way on her tiny little legs. Once the hike was finished, Mommy gave Butters some treats, and Butters was almost too tired to eat them! But Butters was never too tired for treats — she gobbled them up and then it was time to rest.
The next day, Butters and Mommy drove back home and vacation was over. “Butters, did you have a nice vacation,” Mommy asked. Butters thought about it for a minute. Vacation was fun! She saw new places, met new people (and dogs!), tried new things and got more treats than usual! But the more Butters thought about her vacation, the more she thought that the very best part was spending extra time with family and friends, and she knew that Mommy would agree.
“Butters,” said Mommy, “today is a special day.” Butters cocked her head to one side and looked up at Mommy. What was she talking about? Mommy was dressed for work, so she wasn’t staying home to play. What could be special about today?
Mommy thought back to the day, two years ago, that she had gone to pick up Butters in the city. A few weeks earlier, she had gotten an e-mail forwarded from Aunt Priya with a subject line that read “Looking for a new home for Butters.” It went something like this:
Butters is a four-year-old Pembroke Corgi who is friendly and personable dog who needs a new home …. An extremely friendly girl, Butters loves to snuggle and cuddle and would be the absolutely perfect addition to a loving home.
Someone was looking for a new home for a corgi! Mommy thought about it — she had always wanted a dog, but it seemed like a lot of work, time and, well, trouble! But Mommy was taken with the photos of Butters attached to the e-mail and so she talked to her family and friends. One of Mommy’s friends (Aunt Michele!) said there was no reason Mommy couldn’t give a dog a good home. Aunt Priya and Uncle Geoff thought it was a good idea, too. So, Mommy went to the city and brought Butters to wonderland.
Mommy looked down at Butters, who was still wondering why today was so special. For two years, Butters had certainly proven to be a bit of extra work, had taken up a lot of time and was, well, trouble (in a good way)! But Mommy wouldn’t have it any other way. So she knelt down, looked into Butters’ face and said, “Butters, every day with you is a special day.”
Butters is not featured (as yet). However, it is, contrary to the name, both interesting AND full of talent. Just like Aunt Priya.
Mommy, Butters and Aunt Priya
Butters very quickly grew to know and love her family (although it’s impossible that she could love them as much as they loved her!). The next adventure was to explore her new home.
Butters’ mommy lived in an apartment on the second floor of an old brick schoolhouse in Suburbia. Once you entered the apartment, though, it didn’t look like a schoolhouse at all. Butters roamed through the different rooms and explored. At first, Mommy would leave her in the crate during the day while she was at work, so that Butters could grow accustomed to her new surroundings. But soon, Butters was allowed out during the afternoon and, soon afterward, she was free all day. Most of the time, Butters would move from spot to spot in the living room and nap.
Every once in a while, she’d hear a noise outside and she would bark and bark and bark — this was HER house and Mommy’s house, she thought, and everyone else must beware! Sometimes, she would pull all of her toys — and there were a lot of them! — out of her toy basket and when Mommy got home, they’d be strewn about the floor. Mommy didn’t seem to mind, though. She would just smile at Butters, pat her on the head and put them back in the toy basket so Butters could play with them again later.
Butters’ castle had a bed with her name on it — it matched Mommy’s couch, although Butters also liked to sit on the couch with Mommy. Mommy put a blanket on the couch for Butters, and Butters loved to jump up and snuggle with Mommy.
Butters also had another bed, in Mommy’s room — it was green and matched the bedroom. Mommy liked for Butters’ things to match her things, and Butters liked matching with Mommy.
Most of the time, all was calm and quiet in the castle. But sometimes, Butters got into a little trouble. Like the time she got up on the kitchen table and ate a bunch of spicy Indian snacks. Or the time she got up on the coffee table and chewed on a book that Mommy’s friend from college wrote. “How do you get into these things,” Mommy asked in amazement and exasperation. One day, Mommy and Grandma could do nothing but laugh when Butters managed to tear into a box of treats that arrived at the castle. Nancy the dogwalker, who Butters loved very much, brought the package upstairs and left it on the floor for Mommy to open when she got home. Butters sniffed the box, and, lo and behold! She smelled something amazing. She smelled TREATS. She licked the cardboard and licked and licked and licked until it was soft, and then ripped it open. Inside she found treasure — boxes and boxes of doggie treats, just for her! She ate a whole box of treats before Grandma discovered her and said, “Butters, what did you do?!” Butters’ ears went back and she tried to crouch behind the table. She always tried to hide when she was in trouble, and it never really seemed to work.
Once again, when Mommy got home, she said, “Butters, what did you do?” Butters made her “what did you do” face. As usual, Mommy chuckled and seemed more exasperated than angry. But this time, she seemed a little impressed. She said, “Butters, you are a smartypants. How did you get into this box??”
Butters looked up at Mommy, as if to say, “well, I kind of figured that these treats were for me, and why should I wait to have them?” After all, this was Butters’ castle, and she was the queen of it.