Speed Reads

heartbreaking

Family gives homeless, dying dog the best days of his life

Butch the Boston terrier had a rough life, but for one week, he knew what it was like to be loved.

After being abandoned by his owners in Pinson, Alabama, Butch spent two years on the street, eating garbage and barely surviving through the harsh winter. Alicia Buzbee and her daughter, Kansas Humphrey, found Butch before Thanksgiving, and rushed him to the vet, who shared the bad news: Butch had a swollen heart, limited lung capacity, and a leaky trachea. For his sake, a humane euthanasia was the right thing to do.

Buzbee and Humphrey agreed, but not before asking to delay the euthanasia so Butch could experience joy in his final days. The pair took him to the fire station and to meet Santa, and a big party filled with presents was held in his honor at a local park.

He ate cheeseburgers and pumpkin pie, and snuggled against Humphrey at night. Throughout his adventures, Butch had the time of his life; he didn't struggle to breathe, and Buzbee and Humphrey held out hope that maybe a miracle would occur. "The heart can do so many things when it gets what it needs," Buzbee told AL.com.

After Thanksgiving, though, Butch took a turn for the worse, and on Saturday, with his new family by his side, he died. Buzbee made sure she looked into his eyes as he went, and told him how much she loved him. "I want him to hear those words and see those faces of the people who love him," she said.