Sunday, December 03, 2006

Big Dog Blogging, Butch's Edition

Butch is an English Mastiff. He's 11 years old and I dearly hope that he survives to be 12. For a big guy that's a problem. Right now, he has some pretty severe arthritis, he keeps getting (benign) tumors, some of which have begun to press on his lungs and heart. He refuses to ride in a car. My vet is gracious enough to make house calls for my dear old buddy. When he was in his prime Butch had his job mainly in and around the garage. He kept my mechanical toys (dragster, sand goodies, and various motorcycles) all safe from light fingered visitors. The sight of him alone discourages all intruders.

Don't let the fearsome visage let you think that he's anything but a total sweetheart. Kids, puppies, cats, and his very own pet, Lucy the Chihuaua are all fond of him.

I loves me some big dogs.

Butch's Theme song is

No Lonesome Tune by Townes Van Zandt (who loved Butchie too)

Ain't gonna sing no lonesome tune
Ah Babe, I'm a comin' soon
Cannot believe I been so long away
But a man must look around
You're the sweetest thing I found
Your lost high roller's rollin' home today

Well my daddy said to me
"Son it's hard as you will see
To find someone on whom ya can rely."
In the kitchen Mama sneezed
And he grinned big as you please
Said "God Bless You."
And a tear come to his eye.

Ain't gonna sing. . .

I did decide that very day
That I'd like to live that way
Now I know I've just been wastin' time
It is with you that I would be
And if you feel the same 'bout me
I'm heading home along the straightest line

Ain't gonna sing. . .

He perks up and wags his tail in time when I sing it.


Blogger litbrit said...


Oh my, I share your hope that he lives a lot longer. We had a lovely American Staffordshire Terrier (aka pitbull, one kind anyway) who lived a really, really long time. Record-book long. They're big dogs who rarely make it past 11 or 12, and Shitbird (R's name for her before we ever met) made it to 17. When they know they're loved and safe (as opposed to being the weak link in the pack, facing certain doom from rivals or predators), they often hang in there for a while, I believe.

Bless you, Butch. Clearly you're one of the greats we dog-lovers talk about so much.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Vervet said...

Butch is a VERY handsome fellow. He reminds me a bit of a lovely very old female random-bred dog who lives near us. She also has tumors and is very arthritic, yet she never misses a chance to bark at the temerity of our 3 little dogs to walk past HER house. Her name is Brandy and I think she and Butch both belong in the Great Dog Hall of Fame.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Vervet said...

And of course I also hope that Butch has a very long time yet to spend with you.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi: Let me introduce myself. I am Queen Mum II, otherwise known as Litbrit's mum.

Yes, I too have a big Butchie dog who must be about nine or ten now. I live in the Florida countryside and folks around here call dogs like my Butch "Cow Dogs" There part Lab, Pit-bull with a little bit of Mastiff and some Chow chaser. Anyway he developed arthirtis to where he winced every time he put his rear paws down. Roaming on EBAY, I found "DR.GARY'S all natural Glucosamine Chondroitin complete hip joint formula" The results from giving him just one capsule a day have been amazing. Almost immediately his pain disappeared and he again runs with enthusiasm.

My best to you and your beautiful dog.


4:42 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Butch, in his retirement, has his very own, electrically heated big ass huge pad for sleeping. I got it from Cabella's hunting and fishing catalog. I give him both Glucosamine/Chondroitin and, every 6 to 8 hours aspirin. I put a dab of peanut butter on my finger with the tablets mushed inside. Butch has gotten to where he actually can tell time. At the appropriate interval he gets up and lumbers over to the counter where the peanut butter lives and looks up at it expectantly. When I'm gone my house sitters always end up spoiling him totally. Which is fine by me. I have always refused to have children or animals in the house that are not spoiled rotten. Thank you all for your kind comments. Butchie is such a great dog. He used to go with my children to the bus stop for school, he was his own one dog neighborhood watch. Every afternoon when the bus was due, Butch would be out at the stop. Sitting patiently, awaiting his charges. He was taught the ins and outs of being a big dog by the Mighty Harlem (who will get his own big dog blog entry once my head clears from all my christmas prep work and mall gigs)

5:30 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I think I saw his twin Saturday in the back of a car Saturday morning. This big happy face was looking at me with drool running down his face.

I too have an old but little dog. Each day with him is a gift as are your days with Butch.

4:04 AM  
Blogger tree hugging sister said...

He is a most beauteous boy. And twelve is a lovely, ripe old age.

He deserves to see it.

We were so thankful our Schweet Schmacks got within grasp of it.

Those damn big dogs tear your heart out.

8:34 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yes, they do. i tell people that god really fucked up when he decided that we should outlive our dogs. then, again, maybe that continuing lesson of loyalty, trust, and all the other great things about them is our lesson, that, along with, "time is short, make the most of it today."

i say in AA meetings "I'm just trying to be a fraction of the man my dogs think I am."

my condolences on the passing of schmack daddy. those labbies are so wonderful.

8:45 AM  
Blogger konagod said...

That is a BIG boy... refusing to ride in a car.. now that's a new one for a dog.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

I give my dog the Glu/Chron also.
Peanut butter on the finger/half tablet.

It actually saved her.
Last winter when we went hiking at the farm she would limp for two days.
She has been fine since she received her second dose.

BTW..medium dog.
Half border collie/half basset hound.
Her name is Lani Girl (Lani is Hawaiian for heaven).

7:26 PM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

Was going to the vet's the only time Butch ever was asked to ride in the car?

Just curious cause the answer is yes to the dogs of two of my sisters and they hate car rides.

But I babysit the dog of the third sister and he loves car rides cause he thinks he's going to my house or to the farm.
Just curious.

7:30 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

no, he used to ride all over the place with me. then one day he just decided that he was done riding in cars. he made the trip to arizona in the horse trailer. i think it's more of a claustrophopia thing. he's just too big to be comfortable in a car.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Askedweb said...

I am so sorry...
Every dog my family has ever had has lived to be at least 14 years old. Therefore, we're quite familiar with all the ailments that go along with living to such a ripe old age.

Quite honestly, we've never given our dogs medicine for arthritis. We fed them "Senior" dog food, gave them lots of love and comfortable places to rest their weary bones, and understood when they became slower and less playful, and all of that seemed to work.

I'm sure you'll have many more wonderful years with Butch. He seems like a great boy!
Jason Homan

8:30 AM  

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