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  • Daniel Botkin

OBITUARY: Buttercup Botkin 2008 - 2023

Buttercup Botkin of East Peoria passed away on January 31, 2023, just a couple weeks shy of her 15th birthday.

Buttercup was born in Eureka, IL on February 17, 2008. She graduated from the PetSmart Obedience School in East Peoria, and was employed as the family pet and watchdog at the Botkin home from her puppyhood until her death.

She is survived by her master and her mistress, Daniel and Teresa Botkin, and by her owner, Autumn Sunshine Botkin, and by several siblings and cousins.

Hobbies that Buttercup enjoyed included eating, sleeping, running, and spending time with her humans. She also enjoyed barking at strangers.

There will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Gates of Eden. Buttercup was given a proper burial in the Botkin Pet Cemetery at the edge of their yard in East Peoria.


How did I let myself be talked into getting a dog? In 2008 we had four daughters still at home. Twins Abby and Anna, 13; Emily, 9; and Autumn, 7. The girls asked me if we could get a pet dog.

“Let’s get some goldfish instead,” I said. “They’re easier to take care of.”

So we got some goldfish. Then one day Abby and Anna came home from a yard sale with a big bird cage. “Dad, look at this bird cage we got for only $5! Can we get a couple of parakeets to put in it?”

Well, an empty bird cage is kind of useless, so I let them get two parakeets. Later on, they persuaded me to let them get a cat.

They still wanted a dog, but I was determined to not have a dog. Then one day Autumn came into the living room where I was sitting. Autumn has Down syndrome and autism, and cannot talk. Back then, she could say a few short, simple words, but she very rarely spoke. That day, she walked up to me and said very clearly, “I want dog.”

How could I refuse? So we got a yellow lab and called her name Buttercup. The girls were delighted.

A few years later, I found out that Autumn had not said “I want dog” by her own volition. Her sisters had coached her. They took Autumn aside and said, “Autumn, say ‘I want dog. I want dog.’ Say that! Say ‘I... want... dog’!”

After their speech therapy sessions enabled Autumn to say those three words together, they said to her, “Now go and tell Daddy, ‘I want dog’! Go tell him!” So I was set up, a victim of manipulation.


The loss of a pet often raises the question of whether or not we will see our pets again in the age to come. Many years ago I knew a man who was a Baptist pastor. One day he was helping a family bury their pet dog that had been hit by a car. As he was digging the hole, the little boy who owned the dog was standing there weeping. The boy’s mother said, “Don’t worry, Jimmy. Your puppy is in heaven with Jesus now. Isn’t that right, Pastor?”

I asked the pastor what he said. “I didn’t say anything,” he told me. “I just kept digging.”

The Bible does not say that we will see our pets again in the afterlife. However, the Bible does not say that we won’t see them again. So maybe we will.

The Messianic kingdom described in Isaiah chapter 11 includes various kinds of animals, not only domestic animals but also wild animals like wolves, leopards, lions, and even snakes. Apparently even now there are some sort of animals in the heavenly realm. Elisha saw chariots of fire being pulled by horses of fire. Zechariah saw some sort of heavenly horses in his visions (chapters 1 & 6). In Revelation, John also sawhorses, as well as living creatures like a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle.

So apparently there is some sort of animal life in the heavenly realm. This fact (as well as Isaiah chapter 11) strongly suggests that there will likewise be some sort of animal life on the new earth. It is possible that this animal life in the new earth will include our pets in resurrected or recreated bodies.

In Romans 8:22, Paul says that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Animals are a part of “the whole creation.” Furthermore, Paul says that “the creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21). Pets are part of “creation itself,” so maybe our pets will experience some sort of deliverance “from the bondage of corruption.”

I’m not going to tell grieving children that their dead pets are in heaven with Jesus now. But I’m also not going to tell them that they will never again see their beloved pets someday, because maybe they will. I will not be surprised if I see Buttercup in the new earth, as well as Mutt, Sniffy, Raffles, Adolph, Booger, and Bardolph, the other dogs I had in this life. Actually, I think I will be more surprised if I do not see them in some form.

I did not expect to be so sad when Buttercup died. She was almost 15 years old, so I knew her time was coming. I thought I was emotionally prepared for her death, but I wasn’t. I did not realize that I was so attached to her. I did not expect to cry. My grief took me by surprise. I was and still am very sad about losing her. I’m crying right now as I type this. I feel angry at myself for being so sad. I almost feel guilty for being so grieved over the loss of a dog.

In my puzzled state I was wondering why I am so sad about this loss, and these words came to me:

“The more deeply you love,

the more deeply you grieve.”

I do not know if those words were from the Holy Spirit or not, but they do not give me any comfort. All they give me is an explanation of why I am so sad, and that does not comfort me.

I also find no comfort in all the good memories. The wonderful memories bring me more grief than comfort, because they remind me of what we have lost.

I think that one reason for my unexpected grief is because we had Buttercup for so many years. All the other dogs I had in the past either died, or were given away, or ran off and disappeared after just a couple years or so. But Buttercup was with us for almost 15 years.

I think another reason for my grief is because Abby, Anna, and Emily were so much a part of Buttercup’s life. All three of those daughters now live hundreds of miles away from us and we seldom see them. The loss of Buttercup is a sad reminder that those three daughters are no longer with us. Losing Buttercup is sort of like losing another piece of Abby, Anna, and Emily.

I know Buttercup was an animal, not a person, but she had a personality of her own, a wonderful, loving, joyful distinct personality. It’s difficult for me to believe that the personality that dwelt in that canine body is now forever gone, and irretrievably lost, and will never ever come back again. It seems to me that all of the love, affection, fidelity, and joy that God poured through that dog will someday, somehow be restored to me in some form.

I do not know if pets will be resurrected, or if brand new bodies will be created to contain a composite of all the pets we had, and all the good qualities that they embodied. I don’t care how God does it, but He is a God of restoration, so I expect some sort of restoration in some form. After all, dogs are not sinners like us, so why should they be eternally deprived of life? Dogs did not bring sin into this world, we humans did. So I expect some sort of restoration in some form. Maybe our pets will even be able to talk to us. Why not? In the Bible, Balaam’s donkey talked to him, and the serpent spoke to Eve. So who knows? We’ll see what happens.

I am reminded of Billy Graham’s answer to a man who asked him, “Rev. Graham, will I be able to play golf in heaven?” Billy said something like this: “If you need to play golf in heaven to be happy there, then you will be able to play golf.”

| DB


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Aug 23, 2023

Thank you. I chose to believe that my previous Mr.Bean will be there waiting for me when we are resurrected/ or caught up to be with Yeshua. I loved Mr.Bean so very deeply and I greatly mourn his passing. May he be in heaven now happy and at peace with Yeshua.

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