Goodbye My Friend

It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I write this post.  Our best friend and companion, Butch passed away last night.  My grumpy teddy is gone from our lives.

Here is how it panned out.  I warn you now that I leave out no detail.

Kim rang me in a panic at about 1630 at work and told me to get home because Butch had lost the function of his hind quarter  He simply collapsed due to old age.  Essentially he was paralysed from the waist down, and could not walk any more.  Kim rushed him to the vet with the assistance of our lovely neighbour Renata.  Ben came along as well because Kim believed that it was important that he was a part of what was going on.  They had to leave Holly at home by herself.

I rushed straight to the vets from the train station and was ushered into what I can only describe as a funeral parlour for pets.  Kim had Butch in her arms and both Ben and her were crying.  I started as well.  She let me know that our vet, Gloria (one of the nicest vets I know), said that there was no guarantee that he would regain the function of his legs if he underwent an operation and that it was probably best if he was put to sleep, which is vet speak for euthanasia.  Butch was 15 and half years old which was 108.5 in dog years, so the chances of him recovering were minimal indeed.  So to spare him any further pain, we had a big decision to make.  At this stage Renata took Ben home, as we thought it would be too much for him to bare.

So, after much deliberation we made the decision to have him put to sleep.  Taking full responsibility for our decision, we spent about 15 minutes talking to Butch hoping he would forgive us, we signed the release form and the vet came in and gave him a sedative to calm him down.  We gave him a final kiss and he gave us a lick each as if to tell us that it was alright.  After a further 10 minutes of tears, Gloria came in with the big green needle, and Butch passed away in my lap at 1830.  I balled my ears out and so did Kim, and we left soon afterwards.  When we got home, Holly started looking for him, and we had to comfort her as well.

He will be returned to us in about a week cremated, and we will scatter his ashes around a fruit tree in the front yard that we will plant in his honour.  He always loved to mooch around the front yard when he was around.  A fitting resting place for a wonderful pet and friend.

I haven’t stopped crying during this entire post, and the emotions are still raw.  So as a tribute to my grumpy little teddy, here is an expose of pictures throughout his lifetime.  Please indulge me.

Me and my mate when we were both a few years younger.

When Ben was a baby.  We had him for a long, long time.

Sporting his technicolour dream coat.

Pretending to be a cowboy.

Stealing my snow peas.

Watching Signs.  It was a scary movie, even for a brave dog like Butch!

Enjoying a good curry.

With his girlfriend Holly, who misses him terribly, as we all do.

Helping out with the chicken house.  He loved the chooks and looked out for them.

To finish off the post here is a wonderful poem that a friend sent us.

Goodbye my friend.  You are missed.  Until we meet again. 

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…..
Author unknown.


  1. Anonymous says

    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of a dear member of your family.

  2. Mistyhollows says

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your furry friend Gavin, I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. Ours is our 3rd child :-) and their love is unconditional which makes it all the harder.

  3. says

    I’ve cried more over the loss of my pets than over the loss of human loved ones. It is so sad to have a pet leave, maybe because they loved unconditionally. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time of grieving.

  4. says

    Gavin I am so sorry to hear this sad news. It will be hard for you all for a while, especially Holley but it is better to have loved and lost, than never have loved at all.
    I just want to run home and give my little Rossi the biggest cuddle ever!

  5. says

    Best wishes from me… Losing a Furry-One especially in this way, and especially when they trust you with their all, is very hard…

    Best wishes from our Family,
    MKBJZBQ & the Nutty Jemma Dog
    (& Prince in the clouds with Butch)

  6. says

    I was very sorry to read about you and your families loss. We lost a dear cat that we had been given to us by a friend who was Ill. We only had Champ for a short while and he became very sick with diabetes. Despite all our efforts he passed away, it was such a sad time as we had lost our friend and her cat. After about 2 months we decided to donate the rest of the money that was given for Champs care to the RSPCA. When we arrived we thought we would go into the cat pen and give the cats a pat. All of a sudden a tiny grey moggie jumped into my arms and gave the loudest purr. I knew then that the best thing I could do was to give this little moggie a loving home. So we bought my dear departed friend a new cat in memory of her old cat, Champ. Champ was cremated and his ashes were scattered with my dear friends ashes. The new cat has helped heal our loss but we will never forget my dear friend Julie Ann and her cat Champ. I hope one day you will have a new pet to wag a tail and give you a big lick.
    Kind regards Marilyn

  7. says

    My tears are flowing with you and your family. I know this is not an easy time. My thoughts are with you. I smile through the tears as I think of animals “kids” that have been in my life. I always have their memories and they bring me smiles. It is hard to smile through your tears right now, but the smiles will come more freely soon. Not soon enough, but they will come. Emily

  8. Tracey says

    Gavin, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s always hard to lose a loved one, and even harder when the decision to let them go is placed in your hands. It sounds like he had a wonderful life full of love, though.

  9. says

    Hi Gavin,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Butch. It’s terrible when you have to decide to let a furkid go. I think you guys and Butch were so lucky to have found each other.

  10. says

    Oh Gavin, I’m really sad to hear that Butch has passed on, I know you’ll all miss him so much. I’m glad that you know Rainbow Bridge, do take comfort from it.

  11. says

    Dear Gavin, Kim, Ben and Holly,

    It has taken me a full hour to be able to come back to your post – after my first reading I shed many tears for that lovely wee huggable Butch (and Mickle is a cat lover). A few individual dogs have made an impression with me, and your Butch was an important one who did so.

    I keep glancing over at my more than “mature” rescue cat, Zebby, and admit I am so thankful for his love and affection, 4 1/2 years into our mutual adoption of each other.

    Over the rainbow bridge there might now be a new group started up, busily attempting home brewing with an enthusiastic Butch encouraging them all to make one good enough for his humans.

    So my imagination has run away …..

    My genuine care and love for all living in your home hasn’t, sending special care and many huggles, Michelle in Wellington and my Zebbycat (apologies – he is off drinking water from the shower base …. coz he’s a cat)

  12. Laurie says

    I am so very,very sorry for your loss. I know too well the sadness of the loss of a pet ~ really a member of the family.

  13. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss Gavin. Our Zoe dog is getting on and I make sure I treasure every day with her. I feel for you.

  14. sawn61 says

    We, too, lost a long time pet this summer. The best dog we have ever had in our 32 years of marriage.I had posted about her a few times, thinking she was closer to 21 years, and still going, but recently a neighbor, who found her for us, figured it as close as possible, according to the events of her life at that time, and we have concluded now,that our dog,Dixie, was closer to 17 years,as was your Butch.That is a really long life for a dog, but I feel if they are loved like ours was, it is highly possible. We feel for you,since we have just went through the same grieving process with our Dixie.

  15. says

    I have tears for you and your sweet little friend. I am so sorry you have lost him. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure you will meet again another day and you’ll receive another lick of love…

    Take care of yourself, your family and his little Holly…


  16. Anonymous says


  17. says

    I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to your little buddy. We’ve had to make that decision ourselves several years ago, and even though you know you are doing the right thing, it still hurts a lot. Hang in there and remember all the happy times you shared!

  18. says


    It’s always sad to say goodbye to a furry friend, especially one as much loved as Butch, but the knowledge he had the best life that you could give him, and was very much loved, brings comfort. I’m sure he will be waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge.

    Even though, I always bawl when I read that poem, it is quite comforting to read especially when you have just said goodby to a loved pet.


  19. says

    Oh Gavin I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a friend is heartbreaking and having to make the tough decision to put them to sleep is even harder.

    My heart is broken with you and your family!

    Just remember all the great times you had together!

    my thoughts are with you

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