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MISSING BUTTONS: A True Story About Man's Best Friend

Updated on February 1, 2013
Source:  (I must dig through many boxes to find Buttons puppy photos.)
Source: (I must dig through many boxes to find Buttons puppy photos.)

Browsing the pet store waiting for Lacey to be groomed, my sister Chris fell in love with a red toy Poodle for sale. She knew immediately that she just had to have him. He was $450 which was not something Chris should be spending at the time. But she spoke to her husband and they decided to buy the puppy. They figured the puppy would be company for their older Cocker Spaniel, Lacey.

When Chris told me that her three young children named the puppy Buttons. I said “what, Buttons, well that’s corny.” Maybe I shouldn’t have voiced my opinion, but I really thought the name Buttons was goofy. But then again, I didn’t like the name my sister chose for her first born either. I probably should’ve shut my mouth.

Buttons was an adorable fuzz ball of energy. Lacey didn’t like all that excitement and the two dogs were more like enemies than friends.

Source:  Photos of Buttons are below but this is what he truly looked like as a pup.
Source: Photos of Buttons are below but this is what he truly looked like as a pup.

During this time in 1996, I was going through a rough spell. I was having really bad panic attacks on a daily basis. Of course, initially, I didn’t know what was going on with me. I was living alone at the time and these attacks scared me so much that I ended up in the emergency room a few times. On top of the stress of physically and emotionally not feeling well, I was downsized from my job that I was loyal to for over 16 years. I was falling apart.

Chris knew I was going through a difficult time and did her best to be there for me. One day she called and said “listen, Lacey and Buttons don’t get along at all. Why don’t you take Buttons? He’ll keep you company.”

“Nah, I don’t think so.”

Chris tried to be convincing. “Come on, just try it. I’ll bring him over and you can have the cage and everything else. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just take him back.”

I honestly do not remember saying “Yes.” I never had a dog of my own. All the dogs in my life were either the “family dog” or my “lover’s dog,” and I had to suffer the tremendous loss when a relationship ended. I never had a pet that was 100% my responsibility.

The next evening, Chris brought Buttons to my home along with all his belongings. I must admit, he was really cute. About four months old, he was lightening fast as he ran to check out his new quarters.

Buttons and I spent the next 24 hours getting to know each other. I knew immediately, I was never giving him back. I called Chris, “sis, I’m keeping him, okay? I just love him. You’re not getting him back! Thank you so much. He is wonderful!”

Chris already knew that once Buttons was with me that I would feel this way. And so my new found friendship and love began. It was rather a blessing that I wasn’t working at the time so I could spend a lot of time training my new buddy. And boy was he smart! I was so proud of him.

Poodles were initially bred as water retrievers, fetching game fowl hunted by their owners. Over the years, Poodles have worked in every possible capacity including guide dog, bird dog, and circus ring master to name a few. But what Buttons did for me was more special than any other gift I could have received. He was my loyal companion for almost 15 years.

Most people conjure up the image of a Poodle as a pet with outlandish and sophisticated haircuts. Not Buttons, nope, never. He always had what was considered a “puppy cut.” Nothing too frilly.

Poodles have been a popular dog breed for hundreds of years and regarded as the second most intelligent after the Border Collie. They are easily trained, extremely cooperative and make graceful show dogs. Even though Poodles show much poise and elegance, underneath is a very rugged canine. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes three Poodle breed sizes determined by height, not weight: the standard, the miniature and the toy. Although Buttons official paperwork states Red Toy Poodle, his height made others question this statistic time and time again. The fact is that he was truly in between the normal size for a toy and a miniature.

Buttons soft curly coat required frequent professional grooming. The coat of a Poodle is hypoallergenic and does not shed making them a perfect pet option for someone who is allergic to dogs that shed. Their hair does not stop growing at a certain length - just like humans.

One day when Buttons was about two years old, I heard him scurrying across the kitchen floor and down one step into the family room. I just thought he was pushing then chasing one of his toy balls. But when I saw him, he was shaking and his legs would not hold him up, kind of like the old Gumby cartoon. When I got closer, his eyes were glossy and when I picked him up, he would not give me his normal kisses I was used to. Something was obviously wrong.

I really never had experience with seizures before but it became obvious that this was a “big one.” I was so scared and thought he was going to die. This episode lasted over four minutes which I learned afterwards that it was an extremely long time frame for a seizure.

Buttons was placed on Phenobarb immediately. Through lots of tests and many more seizures, we finally regulated the medication dosage. Over the years, Buttons and I took many trips to the Veterinarian. It was important to make sure the Phenobarb levels were not affecting his liver. Yet, as you see, we took really good care of each other for a very long time.

Buttons was loaded with personality and I thought, amazingly human like. When new people and animals came into our life, Buttons adjusted so well. He was very playful and always eager to please. He loved and craved human interaction. Yes, I will admit he was spoiled.

Through our life together, Buttons and I were best of friends. He helped me through panic attacks. I helped him through seizures. No matter what was going on in our lives, we were always there for each other.

There are so many other fun memories about Buttons that I will keep in my heart forever. Everyone adored him. For me, Buttons was the love of my life. We took great care of each other. He went through more ups and downs with me than anyone else ever did. Our relationship was filled with unconditional love like I have never felt before and maybe will not ever feel again. It’s been almost one year December 16, 1995 – August 20, 2010. I’m missing Buttons.

This is Sharyn's Slant

SnowBear, Buttons & Betsy Posing So Nicely . . .
SnowBear, Buttons & Betsy Posing So Nicely . . .
Buttons & Betsy Napping
Buttons & Betsy Napping
Buttons & Punkin Sharing A Basket
Buttons & Punkin Sharing A Basket
Buttons & Great Grandma - she was his official babysitter!  Buttons lived to be almost 105 in dog years; Grandma lived to be almost 103.  They adored each other!
Buttons & Great Grandma - she was his official babysitter! Buttons lived to be almost 105 in dog years; Grandma lived to be almost 103. They adored each other!
Buttons & Peanut Playing
Buttons & Peanut Playing
Buttons Napping On Betsy's Head
Buttons Napping On Betsy's Head
SnowBear, Buttons  & Betsy Enjoying The Fall Colors
SnowBear, Buttons & Betsy Enjoying The Fall Colors
SnowBear, Buttons & Betsy Were NOT Happy
SnowBear, Buttons & Betsy Were NOT Happy
Buttons August 18, 2010
Buttons August 18, 2010
My Precious Buttons Last Ride To The Vet :(  -- December 16, 1995 - August 20, 2010
My Precious Buttons Last Ride To The Vet :( -- December 16, 1995 - August 20, 2010


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    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Sen.Sush ~ Aw thank you. Buttons was so adorable to me. It is extremely difficult when they are gone but I wouldn't change all the wonderful years that I did have. Now, I love looking at pictures of Buttons and just smiling. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.


    • sen.sush23 profile image


      8 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Buttons is so cute. I am glad you enjoyed a long companionship. I know just how hard it is to let go of these sweet dear ones. I had to do that - a couple of times. But when memories and photos are there- you have something to look back upon and re-live the moments. Voted up.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello HBN,

      Thank you so much for your comments and votes. Buttons and I were best of buddies. I wish I could find another dog just like him. I wouldn't change a thing.

      Hope you are enjoying this holiday season!


    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      What a beautiful tribute to Buttons. This true story was extremely well written, poignant and also so inspiring. I loved the photos and also the fact that you made it clear that you and Buttons loved and helped each other through some tough times.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Sunshine,

      Thank YOU! I'm back in a "minimal capacity" at least. I wouldn't wish what I've gone through the past couple months on anyone. I have thought about writing something on panic attacks. They definitely are no fun. I've missed you and everybody too.


    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awwww this hub was just too sweet, mushy and lovable! I'm so glad Buttons was there for you and you were there for him. Thank you for sharing Sharyn! Panic attacks are no fun, how about creating a hub about them? Miss ya! Glad to see you back!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning kipronor,

      Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment. Have a great day!


    • kipronor profile image


      9 years ago from Nairobi

      Cool Hub, good writing.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Eiddwen,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. It seems that some of my hubs never got added to emails sent to followers ~ not sure why? Anyway, yes, isn't that pic adorable with Grandma. I miss them both SO much! Have a beautiful day!


    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      Oh Sharyn ,I don't know how I missed out on this one. It's beautiful and so so touching,I have bookmarked as one of my favourites, I particularly liked the photo of Buttons and Great-Grandma.

      A true gem.

      Thank you so much;

      Take care


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning Maria,

      I absolutely know that you can relate :) When our animal friends leave us, it is difficult to fill the void. Buttons was extremely loved by many. He still is. I hope you have a wonderful day!


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Ah Sharyn,

      You know I can relate to "your smiles, your frowns, your ups, your downs"... because our fur babies surely become "second nature to us" and it hurts so when they leave us. I do know that Buttons was one loved baby.

      Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Voted UP & AB-- have a peaceful night, mar.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you my sweet friend!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Buttons was lucky to have YOU, too! Many people would've given up on him early on...not wanting to deal with such a bad medical problem right from the start. The love you had and clearly still have for Buttons runs deep. That's very evident to me.

      You are truly a very special lady, Share. (:

      Love and hugs,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Angie,

      Sorry you are soggy :) I definitely have paw prints on my heart! Thank you for your kind comments. I hope you are enjoying your weekend!


    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      9 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      I've got to stop reading these sorts of hubs, Sharyn ... I'm ending up too soggy! Poignant hub, m'dear ... but we all know animals leave paw prints on your heart - to quote a well-known fridge magnet.

      I know how much you miss Buttons ... everyone who comments here will know ...

      Bless you.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear Diana,

      Gosh, Buttons did have the cutest lil face - I agree :) Thanks!

      Boy, you sure have experience with seizures. I really never thought Buttons would live so long considering how bad the seizures were early on. He was seizure free for many of his later adult years until about the last six months. The vet didn't think they were seizures though but that he had a brain tumor. He began to spin around in circles, constantly, for hours at a time if I would let him (which I didn't). He was lost and confused. I would constantly hold him and comfort him. We tried different medications and special food which didn't help these long spinning episodes. I felt so bad for him. It was an extremely hard decision to take him on his last ride. It took me awhile to actually go through with it. I had to plan the timing and get the support of friends and family first. It was heartbreaking.

      All of your animals are so lucky to have you with your kind and loving heart. Thank you for sharing about more of your "kids." You are a great friend to me and I appreciate YOU. Love,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning drbj,

      Ha, I love the name Mimi Rouge! So cute. I do have extremely fond memories of my Buttons. He was extremely smart and very dedicated to his "mommy." Thanks so much for stopping by - have a great weekend!


    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 

      9 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      I'm so sorry about Buttons, Share. ): He has such a sweet little face. Beautiful, wise eyes.

      Having a doggie with Grand Mahl seizures is a difficult thing indeed. I don't know exactly why, but God has given me 4 dogs throughout my life who have had GM seizures. No two of them ever crossed paths though. They were on different foods. Different environments. Different vaccination brands. Different de-wormers. It was just the luck of the draw, I s'pose. The dogs were: "Half Shot" (Australian Shepherd), "Cheyenne" (Siberian Husky), "Ju-ni" (Siberian Husky) and "Droopy" (Beagle/Shar Pei/Dachshund mix). Three have since passed on but I still have my little "Droopy Doo." He's on Phenobarbitol and doing pretty well for a 17 year old. He's also on Previcox for arthritis pain though and still runs like a puppy from time to time!

      The hardest part is knowing when they've finally had enough and it really is time to let them go...that last ride to the vet.

      I'm so glad you got to spend an entire 15 years with your precious little Buttons. Keep those good memories of him close to your heart, and only remember him that way.

      Many hugs and much love to you, sweetheart.

      Your friend,


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      What a sweet story, Sharyn, I'm happy for you that you have such sweet memories of your lovable Buttons. Poodles are adorable loving pets and among the most intelligent. I once had a toy poodle, Mimi Rouge, (she had reddish fur, too) and she learned to open and close the door to my den.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      I know, of course, I love the name Buttons too. I didn't have the heart to change the name in fear of upsetting my nieces and nephew. But it certainly grew on me and I do love the name :)

      It has been almost one year since Buttons is gone. I just couldn't write about him until now. It still breaks my heart, especially when I look at pictures.

      I'm so sorry to hear about Bugle Boy. Our pets are definitely family members and losing them is similar to a human loss. Maybe even in some cases more difficult because we miss that unconditional love we received on a daily basis. I hope you are doing well. Thank you for your sincere comments.


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Debra,

      I really appreciate your wonderful comments. I wish I had the time to dig out older pictures of Buttons and scan them. He was so adorable and funny too, would make me laugh all the time. Thank you for stopping by.


    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      9 years ago from Jamaica

      There is nothing wrong with the name Buttons as you have discovered. Oh! I can't believe Buttons is gone. When I saw the title I thought that he ran away and came back. I am so sorry for your loss.

      When my Bugle Boy (my three month old goat) died two weeks ago I was torn up inside. I know how you must feel. Some people (like my fiance') just can't understand why we cry for our pets. They are family and we develop bonds just like human.

      Cheer up girl, remember the good times you had with Buttons, I promise it will get better.

    • Debra Charney profile image

      Debra Buckland 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, for writing such a beautiful story in memory of your beloved Buttons. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures as well. I often reflect back on some of the great pets I've had throughout my lifetime, too. And believe me, there were many . . .

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. Buttons was extremely intelligent and he made everything in my life more tolerable and less difficult. Even when he was a "little stinker" at times, I adored him 100%.

      Thanks again, have a great day.


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Hyph,

      I do believe that Buttons had a great life. Considering all the medical issues he had early on, he lived a normal life span and I feel extremely blessed. And yes, the photo of Buttons and Grandma is one that I cherish. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. Take care,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear Kathy,

      You are so sweet. I know you understand all the emotions that go along with losing a dear pet. I also wish our animal friends could live as long as we do. But I believe the time we do have with them is so wonderful, that it is worth the heartache we experience when they are gone. I now have my cats and am so thankful they are in my life. Buttons was already about 9 years old when "I became a cat lover" too. I'm not sure if and when I'll get another dog that is truly mine. Maybe some day. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts and friendship! Sending a hug your way,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Jim,

      How are you? I truly understand your loss. I lost my Mom first and then Buttons. They were the hardest deaths I think I'll ever go through. No need to be embarrassed. Talking about how you feel about Sammy says a lot about your kind heart and character. Thanks for stopping by!


    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Dogs are wonderful and give so much to us. Beautiful story. Poodles are one of the more intelligent breeds. Enjoyed reading about your life with Buttons. Great pictures too!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Shucks, now I am crying. I am so happy though to know Buttons had a great life and lots of love. She seemed to have fun where ever she went. I adore that photo of Buttons and great Grandma.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      9 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Oh Sharyn, you know how I feel for you and the loss of sweet little Buttons. God, this is terribly difficult. How I know and How I empathize with you Sharyn. What a sweet and beautiful tribute to your dear little companion of so long. A great 'mom' you were to this little boy...a loving soul; two loving souls who found one another and gave comfort and unconditional love. I totally understand this, Sharyn, and your feelings, your memories and your loss of little Buttons are shared, understood and much empathy comes to you, my friend. I wish our animal companions lived as long as we do, can you imagine how great that would be? It takes an incredibly strong and caring person to love an animal, knowing that that day will come when we must say goodbye. I have pictures of my sweet these gorgeous photos of Buttons and your other animal family members....oh, I am so very sorry. Love you, my frined and prayers for Buttons who is romping happily, healthy and free. Kathy

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      9 years ago from Tucson, Az.


      This was difficult to read. I lost my Sammy a few years ago, about six months after losing Mom. I've gotten over Mom, but I'll never get over Sammy I'm embarrised to say. She was my partner. Shoot, I still can't talk about her. Anyway, It was a good hub kid.



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