Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Butch and The Great Gatsby
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Butch's shadow is furry!
Gatsby, a puppy mill rescue, shadows Butch every where, including riding behind Butch's tractor seat, in a specially designed dog seat.  Gatsby, a 4-year-old, King Charles Cavalier, rides in style, like royalty, while other dogs have to walk!
When a poisonous rattlesnake's fangs sank into Butch and his wife Brigitte's dog, killing the family pet, they realized the snake could have bit them, and they weren't about to let this ever happen again to any person or animal they loved!
Butch and Brigitte promptly packed up their remaining pets, left the rattlesnakes in California  and moved to Oregon.

Once settled, they opened a cabinetry business and were hired by a couple to replace cabinetry.  Unbeknownst to Butch and Brigitte, their customers had an ugly secret that they kept hidden from everyone, even their neighbors.  They ran a filthy puppy mill!

Butch and Brigitte love all animals (except rattlesnakes) and have dedicated their lives to rescuing animals and finding them good homes.  The unbelievable sight before them in their customer's home was horrific.  Their minds could not fathom how anyone could breed animals and heartlessly treat them with no regard to their welfare.
It only takes seconds to breed a dog. If the resulting puppies are not cared for in a loving home, these few seconds can turn into two decades of  emotional and physical pain and suffering. Puppy mills perpetuate this misery.

Butch's thoughts on puppy mills reflect his horror upon seeing the dogs' living conditions.  "Society ought to slaughter puppy mill breeders and keep their dogs!" he said as his face twisted with a mixture of disgust and anger.
"Every room in the house and garage was packed full of fecal-encrusted, urine-soaked, rusted-wire cages.  Each cage held several trapped-small dogs, as filthy as their cages.  The cages and dogs were stacked on top of each other!  I can't even begin to describe the house's indescribable stench.  The house looked normal on the outside, but not on the inside!   Their neighbors had no clue what suffering and torture was taking place inside.  The dogs had no opportunity for a rescue.
As we began ripping out the old cabinets, we were shocked to discover four puppies trapped in the dryer's air vent!  The neglectful breeders had no clue that the puppies were even in there or missing! Who knows how long the pups had been in the vent?  It was a miracle they survived the heat.  We were both angry at the couple for the suffering they were intentionally inflicting on dozens and dozens of helpless dogs!
I looked into one bedroom and saw 40 dogs and puppies running around on a urine- and fecal-caked floor.  You could no longer see the carpet!  Imagine the health conditions!  The dogs' male abuser walked up beside me and tossed one can of cheap wet dog food over the top of the doggy-gate onto that disgusting floor.  All those poor hungry dogs and their babies fought for that one can of food!  I will never forget this desperate scene.  It is etched in my heart and mind forever.
I was outraged! We traded part of our labor for a 6-month-old puppy and wished we could have saved more. I urge others who discover a puppy or kitten mill to contact authorities anonymously. No animal should suffer like these dogs were.  Shame on pet stores for buying from breeders like this! They perpetuate the imprisoned breeding dog's misery.

We saved Gatsby, but he has hearing, eye sight, and digestive problems as a result of the living conditions and inbreeding."

Gatsy's name was chosen because of his personality and the movie, The Great Gatsby.  "Gatsby is a big phoney!" laughs Butch, "He is a good looking dog who acts with great bravado, but he is really a gentle pussy cat at heart."

Gatsby is appreciative of his life with Butch, and it is no wonder that they are inseparable. 

"Gatsby is a wonderful companion.  I have found that dogs are often better companions than humans.  They never lie or get mad at you.  They may briefly become upset but they are so forgiving."

With a shout of "Load Up" from Butch, Gatsby looks adoringly up at Butch, gives his best doggy-smile, runs to the yellow tractor, scampers aboard, and nestles down in his jerry-rigged wooden box built by Butch.  The box rests behind Butch's tractor seat. "Gatsby loves riding with me so much, that I used to carry him in a baby's front-pack.  But having him in his own little seat is much safer," admits Butch.

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Butch and Gatsby are off to work!

With they go....driving down the street....both smiling!

People who see Butch and Gatsby stop in their tracks, stare, and smile.  They instantly recognize the special bond between man and dog.  Not everyone knows Gatsby's true tale and understands to what depths he loves and appreciates Butch - but now you do!
If you live where rattlesnakes abide, have snakebite kits for people and pets on hand.

Today, Gatsby has more freedom than most dogs, he is a farm dog with 37 acres and a stream to explore.  He also has two dog pals--Mattie who is a golden Labrador and Tammie, a freeway mutt to play with.

Tammie was also rescued by Butch as she was running down a busy road in California.  Butch's pet tip is, "Always, carry dog slip-leads in case a stray dog needs rescuing.  Then check for the dog's tags.  If the dog has lost its license tags, place ads in the newspaper, hang posters with photos near schools, phone veterinary clinics, phone the local radio stations, and report the rescued dog to the humane society.  We have saved more than one dog with the slip-leads our family carries in our vehicles.   All the animals on our ranch are spayed and neutered; this saves untold suffering by keeping animals from running away and into danger or becoming lost."

Janetta Overholser, President of the Humane Society of Cottage suggests, "In Lane County -- inside city limits, contact the police department if you learn of a puppy/kitty mill or any kind of animal abuse/neglect.  Your police department can give you the proper authorities to contact.
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Butch wonders why he works like a dog, while Gatsby gets to take a catnap!

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