Kansas Humphrey and her mom Alicia Buzbee are big animal lovers. They have eight dogs of their own and are selfless animal advocates. So when Humphrey received a phone call from a friend about an abandoned Boston Terrier that was struggling to breathe in Pinson, Ala., the mother-daughter duo sprang into action.
When Humphrey and Buzbee found the dog, named Butch, they knew he was sick. Residents in the Pinson neighborhood said that Butch had been a stray for over two years. He was occasionally fed by neighbors, but otherwise survived by eating garbage.
The mother and daughter scooped Butch into their arms and took him to the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue. “We decided to contact the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue because we have eight dogs ourselves and we knew financially and room wise we could not take on another one,” Humphrey told Pet360 in an email. “Also, we wanted him to find a loving and forever home.”
But when the rescue group’s veterinarian examined Butch, the outlook was grim. According to AL.com, Butch had a swollen heart, very little lung capacity and his trachea was leaking. Due to the severity of his medical problems the rescue group and the veterinarian decided to end Butch’s suffering. They scheduled him for a humane euthanasia procedure.
But when Humphrey and Buzbee heard about Butch’s fate, the mother and daughter decided to make Butch’s last days on earth the best days of his life. “Hearing about Butch’s prognosis,” said Humphrey, “it never crossed our minds not to give him the love, compassion and the feeling of belonging to a family that we give our own dogs.”
Over the course of the next week, Humphrey and her mother made Butch extremely comfortable and blissfully happy. They took him into their home, bought him delicious dog food and showered him with toys and treats. Butch went on outings to meet the local fire department, and he even had a special sit-down with Santa. And after years of sleeping on the streets, for the last few days of his life, Butch snuggled close to Humphrey in her warm bed.
All the human love buoyed Butch’s spirits, and he enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with Buzbee’s family. Humphrey says that her relatives welcomed Butch “with open arms.” The sick pooch even enjoyed a piece of pumpkin pie.
But by Friday evening, Butch’s condition worsened, and there was nothing more that veterinary care could do. Humphrey and her mom gave the dog one last gift—they stayed by his side as he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
“He was surrounded by love,” said Humphrey. “As my mother held his paw, she said a prayer, looked in his eyes, and told him, ‘You are beautiful, you are smart, you are perfect, you are good and you are loved.’”
Although Humphrey and Buzbee didn’t know Butch for very long, the little dog made a lasting impression on their lives. And for that, Humphrey is forever grateful. “He renewed our spirit, our faith, and touched our souls,” she said. “He will forever be a part of this family.”
Images: Courtesy Kansas Humphrey
Deidre Grieves is a content strategist and digital producer. Wiener dogs are her life.