A Day in Butter's Life

The other day on our evening walk, some of the neighborhood kids stopped Butter and I so they could pet him. They love Butter and will shout his name even if we're a few blocks away when they see him. They can't ever remember my name, but that's OK. I'm not four-legged and furry.

On this particular evening, after the kids grew tired of petting Butter and getting licked in return, they raised a serious concern with me.

"How come Butter never gets to go outside?" one of them asked.

Never mind the fact that we were outside on a walk when we saw them.

What they meant, I learned, was that whenever they passed by our house, Butter was always sitting as his window, staring outside.

To them, this meant he was cooped up and longing to get out and play.

I assured them that Butter was not neglected in any way and that he actually gets lots of time outside.

In fact, all he has to do is ask (which, despite his lack of verbal abilities, he's quite skilled at) and we'll put him outside on his chain. He can stay out there as long as he likes, and he often takes advantage of the opportunity to chase rabbits and squirrels, sniff around, get tangled in the bushes, relax in the sun, and, of course, guard my flowers.

Lately, he's also ventured into the front yard—sans chain—with me while I work in the garden or water the plants. This is particularly enjoyable for him because he has new places to sniff, can watch traffic, and even gets some time in the neighbors' yards until he gets caught. (Apparently, without an invisible fence, dogs aren't too concerned about property lines.)

Then, of course, there are Butter's daily walks or runs.

And even when Butter is inside, it's not like he's bored. He has a busy agenda.

There are lots of naps to be taken.

And here and there, a little play time with favorite toy.

He has to follow me around and lick up spills on the kitchen floor.

There are hot laps to run around the couch.

And, of course, he has to spend time at his window. Not because he's feeling woefully neglected and is yearning for fresh air, but just because it's his favorite spot to sit and keep an eye on things.

Besides, if he didn't sit in the window, where would the neighbors find him to wave at him?

Then, at the end of a long, busy day, Butter likes to retreat to the basement. Couch time with Conservative Hubby and I is a favorite part of his day, and he'll often take off down the stairs anytime we get near the kitchen in the evening because he thinks it must be TV time.

On the weekends, however, he doesn't spend as much time on the couch as he does at another key spot in the basement: the bar. Even a busy guy like Butter has time for good beer and good friends.

Every dog should be so lucky.

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