Remembering Butch: Family memories

On Friday afternoon, I received this delightful e-mail from my grandfather-in-law (my husband’s grandfather), who is seriously one of the most wonderful human beings I’ve ever met.

A German shepherd with a big ol’ head. Click for source.

If you are thinking about a German shepherd, I need to tell you about Butch.

We lived in a very small (6,000-person) town and Grandmother Tillman’s home was about two blocks from downtown.  She lived alone, but had Butch to be her guard and companion.

Two tales of Butch the German Shepherd:

Most mornings, about ten, Butch would walk downtown, into the drugstore, and make a straight line to the soda fountain.  The manager would greet him and hand him a little tin pan with a scoop of ice cream.  It went on the bill for the month. Butch would eat and exit gracefully. Sometimes he would come back in a little while and try again. But the manager would shake his head and say, “No more, Butch”. So off he went home.

Because there were many children in Lake Wales, the mothers would visit with Grandmother Tillman on the porch and let the children play in the yard while they visited. One day while they talked, they missed the toddler who was wobbling out towards the sidewalk and the street. As they watched, Butch walked quickly up behind him, gently mouthed the seat of his diaper, and pulled him back onto the lawn.

The local paper praised him in the next edition.

And many years later, when Butch died, the Lake Wales news had a memorial article, complete with a picture of Butch.

Have a nice weekend.

Granddad T

Isn’t that sweet? Butch sounds like he could have played in some Americana film from the 1940s with his good sense and everyday heroism. I particularly love that the local paper published an article about him when he died. Dogs live so differently in our neighborhoods today, but I love imagining what it might have been like to have had a dog like Butch in such a time. Such sweet family stories about a remarkable dog! Thanks so much for sharing, Granddad. Love you!


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