Dad was going to send her back to the pound with a sizeable check when he couldn’t keep Butterscotch anymore. In his defense, he didn’t really know what happened to nine year old dogs who aren’t well in the pound in upstate New York. “That’s not going to happen,” I told him. “I will take her when the time comes.” He was happy with that, knowing what I do for a living and what kind of a home I could provide for her.

The time came in early March of 2011. Driving through the Adirondacks to a place just shy of the Canadian border that time of year can be dicey, but we were very fortunate. My dad was in the hospital and we all knew he would not be returning to his home, so getting Butterscotch was urgent. We’d met her before, but we fell in love with her very quickly on that trip. I also realized, within a half hour of getting to my dad’s home, that she had undiagnosed medical issues. I called my vet. “You know that appointment I made for Butterscotch in a couple weeks? I need to move that up.”

Butterscotch had Cushings Syndrome, was put on Trilostain, and turned out to be the poster dog for Trilostain. Our vet wished all dogs responded so positively and quickly to the meds. She was quite a bit overweight, because of the Cushings, and couldn’t even walk down the block without practically collapsing.

Dad and Butterscotch


Over the next year we took 20% of her weight off, and she discovered her inner athlete. She took and loved a Rally Obedience class. One of her favorite things was to run in the fields, usually with Paris. She even loved walks for a while with a pack of Ridgebacks! At my dad’s house she had a modest fenced-in space, and now she loved nothing more than to RUN.


She and Paris were good buddies. Paris had hated another rescue dog we’d tried out for adoption, but he and Butterscotch were friends instantly. They competed on walks. Neither liked being behind the other. But they were often found sleeping next to each other, and there was rarely any serious animosity between them.



It would be hard to overstate how much Butterscotch loved belly rubs, even from total strangers. I brought her to events where we were promoting our pet sitting business and she would stop total strangers and roll over on her back, and look expectantly in their eyes waiting for a belly rub. We got her a tag for her collar that read: “Won’t you please rub my belly?” She may have spent more time on her back than any dog you’ve ever met. She would roll on her back even in the waiting or exam rooms at the vet’s office. Not a stressed out bone in her body.

She loved sleeping in the bedroom with us, and even on the bed before the arthritis made that difficult. She was a bit of a bed hog, just like Paris. But she loved nothing more than to curl up with us, tucked in tight against us.

I did the front legs, she says…can you do the back ones?

In the last few months she started to decline, which isn’t all that surprising for a 16 year old dog. Her hearing starting to go first, and then her sight. But most difficult for us and for her too, I think, was the cognitive function. Over the last few months the slippage in her ability to know where she was, what was happening, and to feel at ease in the world got more noticeable by the week. She could no longer climb stairs, so she couldn’t sleep with us anymore, or hang out in the office with me, which was one of her great joys. Her chiropractor helped enormously with the arthritis for a few months, but eventually that won too, and walks became shorter and shorter. Her world shrank every week, until it was about the size of the bathroom throw rugs we put in the wood floors to help her stay upright. She slept probably 21 hours a day, and when she was awake she was usually pacing and barking anxiously and fearfully, and incessantly. When she stopped eating a couple days ago (and eating has always been one of her great joys) we knew it was time.

I hope that she is romping the fields with Paris somewhere, and visiting again with Dad, who she loved dearly (especially since he fed her the last of his ice cream dish every night!) She was one of the sweetest, gentlest dogs anyone could ask for, and we will miss her terribly.

She was also amazingly photogenic, and mostly tolerant of my pointing the camera at her, so I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures of her. She was a beautiful dog, inside and out.

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Me and Butterscotch


Butterscotch who loves the snow!


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38 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Butterscotch

  1. So sorry for your loss. It has been a week of letting of go. Butterscotch had such a wonderful time with you all. I believe we will all meet again on the other side if the rainbow. Take care 💜

    1. I believe we will all meet on the bridge too, and will be glad to see her again.

  2. So sorry to read about your loss. Please cherish all the beautiful and warm memories of Butterscotch deep in your heart. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

  3. Sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post in Butterscotch’s memory x

  4. They do become family, don’t they. I guarantee this did make me cry. Thank you for giving this sweet dog a happy final stage of her life. Clearly her life blessed yours as much as you blessed hers.

  5. Such a beautiful and moving tribute. I am so glad that Butterscotch had the time that she did with you (and you with her). I can imagine how much you must be missing her. It is so hard when they leave us! You and Butterscotch will be in my thoughts.

  6. I would love to add something to this… but I can’t. Wonderful Post… RIP Butterscotch

    On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 2:01 AM, The Blessing of Animal Companions wrote:

    > derrycats posted: “Dad was going to send her back to the pound with a > sizeable check when he couldn’t keep Butterscotch anymore. In his defense, > he didn’t really know what happened to nine year old dogs who aren’t well > in the pound in upstate New York. “That’s not going to ” >

    1. Butterscotch loves everyone. She will be thrilled to meet Jake. Our cat, Hiro, will really miss walking Butterscotch.

  7. Butterscotch was a beautiful girl and this tribute to her is lovely. I am so sorry. This has not been a good week or a good year for our little furry ones. I am just so very sorry. Rest in peace, sweet Butterscotch.

  8. what a beautiful love story. bless your two dog angels as they bask in the joy of their reunion. and yet, we sure do miss them here on earth.

    1. It is very strange not having any dogs in the house, I must admit. We do miss them.

  9. So sorry for your loss. Butterscotch was a beautiful girl. Perhaps my Callie is playing with your girl in between her guardian angel duties.

  10. My little dog will be 17 next year. I know the time is coming and I am not looking forward it. The other two are long gone, but I would like to believe they are waiting for Teddy. He still loves his food and his loving. But the long walks have been gone for a couple of years. He was not meant to be my dog. He had been my daughter’s. He is so affectionate. I am so glad that Butterscotch found love and caring in his late years.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you had a lot of wonderful years together, and oh my, she really was photogenic! Lots of beautiful memories. I love the shot of her front-legs-up on the bed, so cute.

    1. That shot was after her arthritis started getting bad. She could get her front legs up but not the back ones. I was sorry for her hurt, but it was cute when she got half way up and looked to us for help.

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