“His name is Butters. He is a mud dog, that is why they call him Old Mud Dog Butters. He sometimes thinks he is a snow dog, but he is not a snow dog, he is just a mud dog.” It seems like a long time ago, but less than three years ago, Katryn brought home a yellow looking puppy in a cage.
It was her first real dog. She and the two boys had begged me for a dog, and I had refused them for as long as I could remember, but eventually they decided to get one regardless of my objections. On a Saturday morning in the Spring, Katryn had her puppy. It was a yellow lab retriever, which could barely run, and who like most puppies still made a mess all the time. In the yard, the boys wondered what to name him. Apparently the puppy was a gift from a girlfriend to her boyfriend, and the situation ended up that the man no longer wanted either of them, so the girl ended up giving the puppy away to anyone who could take him. So this free dog of sorts looked kind of dumb to me, and names like Max and Rover are just too common and did not feel right. I ended up suggesting the name “Butters”, after my favorite South Park character. The boys did not object and so here was our new puppy, Butters.
Today, Butters weighs around 90 pounds and is a full size dog. He has taken over the house and is mostly an inside dog. Labs are working dogs, but Butters does not work. He mostly sleeps all day and begs for food the rest of the time. He is not much of a barking dog either, he mostly barks to complain but never barks or growls at people. He hates to be alone and rather wants the company of people. He is the perfect family dog and gets along great with our youngest boy, who is currently less than two years old.
Although it is Katryn’s dog, Butters spends most of his time with me. He eagerly awaits my return from work every day and meets me at the stairs. He is always happy to see me. I take him on walks around the neighborhood and wrestle with him. In the evenings he sleeps in my room and jumps on top of the bed to claim his spot. Butters is a good companion. He complains very little, likes my company, and always forgives my personal failings.
In my lifetime I have had many names. From Jr, to Pancho, to Cisco, to Olaguez, to my old school high school name, Goose, to my online names: Player, Old School, Burrito Luv, and Muffman. Sometime around the NBA Playoffs season, I get this feeling of being younger and stronger than I really am and that’s when my “Player” mentality kicks in and I find myself at the local basketball court trying to make some jumpshots. 36 made shots later I crawl back home and deal with the pains and aches of basketball and think man, how the hell does Gary Payton and Sam Cassell do it? They are my age and they still manage to play somehow. This weekend I took on both boys, the 10 year old is now five feet tall and the six year old really can’t play yet. Regardless, the older boy has strong hands and shoulders and he has gotten stronger from last year and can now start to push out in the post. I guess I’m going to have to be more like Old School than Player now on the court with him. It is strange to be a father and have one son trying to please you all the time and the other trying to beat you all the time. I’m not sure what the third one will be like, but I hope he is on my side.
This summer, the girlfriend decided she was finally getting a dog. She has been wanting one for years now and our two boys are old enough now that they can help out. I tried to convince her that we really did not need a dog, and that instead we should have another baby. Somehow, the 39 weeks of pregnancy with all the throwing up and other personal discomforts did not appeal to her. Sometime in June, she brought home a yellow lab puppy who I ended up naming Butters, after the South Park character. The name fits, cause Butters is not very smart, gets into trouble all the time, and is sometimes a pain.
Butters is now about five months old and is a medium size dog. He has gone through multiple leashes and harnesses (all of which he has destroyed)! However the thing he loves best are my socks! He is absolutely enamored with them. After spending most of the summer with the dog, I have learned the following:
- A dog can add stress to your life.
- A lot of people love dogs, I meet someone new every week just by walking Butters.
- Dogs love socks more than chasing rabbits.
- You have to teach puppies to lift their leg when they pee, this is something they have to be taught!
- Their sense of smell is their most important sense of all. They smell constantly.
I’d have to say, that I’m surprised that Butters has not destroyed the house. My stereo equipment has been left untouched. Katryn has enforced a lot of rules on him and he has followed through on most of them. The hard part of course has been the constant training. I look forward to the day when I can let Butters in the living room and not have to worry about him getting in trouble.