Saying goodbye to Butter

Butter at 2 weeks old

It is with a broken heart that I have to tell readers that the wonderful inspiration for An Elk in the House has left us.

In early March, Butter got some hay stashed into her cheek, something we took her to get looked at. While the vet was able to clean out the wound, she never really bounced back from the infection. She remained tired, listless, and ignored even her most favourite of foods—apples, oranges, oats, and even cookies. She just didn’t regain her vitality and vigour.

On March 25, just shy of her 13th birthday, I spent the whole day with her and it sadly became clear that she was getting worse. She had begun to drool, she stopped eating altogether and her breathing was laboured. An abcess appeared in her neck and she was unable to swallow; we knew she was not long for this world.

And so we had to make the toughest decision any pet owner has to make. I gave her one last brush (she loved that so), and hugged her and kissed her before we had to put her down.

We dug a grave for Butter in the pasture beneath a giant spruce tree and buried her with a copy of An Elk in the House.

Butter was a truly remarkable creature and I will never have another relationship like ours. I lost a best friend.

Words cannot describe the void at not seeing her stare at me through the kitchen window every morning, as she called to me for her breakfast as I made my coffee. For the first time in over a decade there are no calls from her to start my mornings. I look out onto an empty pasture. It’s been a devastating loss.

We nursed Butter from a tiny thing into a wonderful creature that we grew to adore and considered part of the family. Her passing has left a void in all her hearts.

Beyond the sheer joy raising Butter brought to everyone in my family, I owe her a particular debt of gratitude for her role in changing the direction of my life. It was my experience of Butter, and the desire to share her story with others, that inspired me to actively pursue my great passion: writing.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read about my precious Butter, I would love to share her story with you. You can find more information about An Elk in the House here.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to send me their well-wishes at this difficult time.

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