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.
Butters’ first adventure in wonderland was getting to know her new family.
Mommy loved snuggling, and so did Butters. Mommy loved playing in the snow, and so did Butters. Mommy hated walking outside on hot days, and so did Butters. Most days, mommy would leave in the morning and come back in the evening. Butters soon recognized the sound of mommy’s car when it drove into the parking lot at Butters’ house in the evening. Her ears would perk up and her rear, where there was no tail, would wag and wiggle in anticipation. Moments later, the front door would open. Butters always looked over expectantly, and mommy would look back at her. Then, mommy would whisper, “Butters!” And Butters would run over at full speed to show mommy how much she had missed her.
There was grandma, whose house Butters visited so often that it was often referred to as “Butters’ country home.” Grandma was a great snuggler, too, and gave Butters lots of love and affection. Butters would also stay with grandma sometimes when mommy went on vacation.
Butters’ grandpa lived far away from wonderland, in a place called California, but he visited often. Although she was afraid of him at first, grandpa gave Butters lots of treats, belly rubs and love, and Butters soon grew to love him, too.
Butters soon discovered that Aunt Priya was a championship napper, and she often plopped herself atop her to take a nap as well. Butters loved napping, and so did her whole family. Aunt Priya also liked to pick Butters up, “like a barrel,” she would say.
And of course, there was Uncle Geoff — Butters met him on her first day in wonderland and loved him immediately. She could tell right away that he was warm, kind and generous. Over the days, weeks and months, she came to learn that he would give her lots of treats and the best belly rubs in the world.
And so, Butters basked in the love and attention she received from her new family.
This is the story of a Welsh Pembroke Corgi named Butters. The beginning of her story has been strung together in bits and pieces, but it seems to go something like this: Butters was born to a breeder in the country and was soon thereafter promised to a young family. She got off to a rough start when her brother Peanut bit her nose — she bears the scar to this day! She was happy to go home with the family, where she thought she would run, play and snuggle for the rest of her days. All was well, but something seemed to be missing. Then, suddenly, her family went away. Butters was bewildered — had she done something wrong? Why had the family abandoned her? Butters moved to the city with a nice young man. The young man was very kind, but something still seemed to be missing. He was very busy with work and when he wasn’t working, he wanted to go out and play late at night in the big city … without Butters.
Then, one winter day, Butters got a visitor. A lady with black hair came to the city and took Butters for a walk out in the newly fallen snow — her favorite! After their walk, the lady packed up Butters and all her things, put her in a car and started to drive. And drive and drive and drive. When she finally got out of the car, Butters looked around. She had no idea where she was, but by day’s end she knew one thing for certain: she was home! And the black-haired lady was the person she had been missing all along. She was in wonderland, and her adventures could finally begin ….
all photos © poornima ravishankar 2011-2012