At the end of every sports season, student athletes in their final year of eligibility walk out onto the field or court for the last time of their high school or collegiate career.
Senior Day is an event that is most often celebrated with the athlete’s family. The crowd cheers and their teammates show respect as the student athlete walks out in front of the crowd one last time.
When it came time for Josh Butler, a Michigan State University football player, to walk through the tunnel into Spartan Stadium one last time he wasn’t joined by his mother and father. His two dogs Roxy and Remi were by his side.
Josh’s parents both died before they were able to celebrate the fifth-year student’s accomplishments.
The 23-year-old’s father, Steven, died of a heart attack in 2017. Josh learned of his father’s death hours before he was set to start against a top-10 team.
“I just felt I had to play for him,” he told the Lansing State Journal.
In April 2019, Josh was faced with more heartbreak, his mother was dying of stage 4 breast cancer. He drove 18 hours to Dallas, Texas to be with her as she took her final breath.
In between his parents’ deaths he adopted two boxer-pit bull mixes that have become like family to him.
On Senior Day he chose to have his dogs, Roxy and Remi walk alongside him.
They have become a source of comfort and have helped him navigate through the process of grieving the loss of his parents.
Even though he wasn’t able to walk out onto the field with his parents, Josh called the moment he shared with Roxy and Remi a “dream come true.”
Aww, this is so sweet! I’m so happy Josh has found some comfort in his dogs.
Share this if you believe your dogs are just like family.