Within 18 months between 2017 and 2018, Josh Butler lost both his parents and was left all alone. Well, maybe, not all alone. In order to cope with the sickening grief, he had adopted two dogs soon after the parents passed away. And the loving dogs accompanied this college student on senior day- a day when parents usually accompany their kids.
Senior day in America is an emotional affair. Parents are invited to march on the field with their wards just before their college careers end. Josh was one such cornerback passing out from Michigan State. But unfortunately, none of his parents could accompany him on this special day. He lost his father, Steven, to a stroke or heart attack back in November of 2017. This was just before Josh played against Penn State. Ladrida Bagley, Josh’s mother was suffering from breast cancer and she too left the earth 18 months after her husband.
Josh Butler’s parents didn’t live to see him graduate from Michigan State. But luckily his adopted fur family- Roxy and Remi, were by his side on Senior Day for his run across the field. #congratsJosh #dogsarefamily pic.twitter.com/YrCwsmdha9
— Woof Blitzer (@WoofBlitzerNews) December 2, 2019
In such difficult times, Josh decided to adopt a red-nosed bulldog mix and a boxer. They were to be his support-system and help him face his reality. Remi and Roxy went on to become Instagram on the cornerback’s Instagram account @joshbutlertv. So naturally, these loving dogs accompanied this college student on senior day when Josh had no one else.
Josh put up a moving post on Instagram soon after his senior dog. Recounting his journey, from prevailing through his father’s death to losing his mother in his own arms, Josh is still thankful that he could pursue his master’s degree from Michigan State in Media and Information. He expressed his gratitude towards God for strengthening him and also to others who helped him along the way. He doesn’t forget to mention his loving dogs who went on to accompany him on senior day.
View this post on Instagram
Definitely been a blessed journey since taking the greyhound bus as a kid all the way up to Michigan State, being able to prevail through losing my father in 2017, and seeing my mother pass away in my arms just this year in April from Cancer; it has strengthened me as a person, man of God, and leader. I love everyone who has had a impact on my life! My next big step in earning my Masters this December. Was great to be apart of the Dantonio Era! My Dogs mean the world to me! GO GREEN! 💚🙏🏾 I love y’all 💚 JBTV📺 out ✌🏾 May my angels keep watching over me above. Joshua 1:9 • • • #explorepage #football #gogreen #michiganstate #collegefootball @bleacherreport @complex @bigtennetwork @espn @complexsports @msu_football @theellenshow
In memory of his mother, Josh has a pink ribbon tattoo and wears the crematory tag of his father round his neck. He also has a Bible verse tattooed across his chest: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid.”
In an interview with Lansing State Journal, Josh said how it is perfectly fine to cry at times. But even after every difficult day, Josh remembers the impact his parents had on him and he tries to honor their memory each day. And when the loving dogs accompanied this college student on senior day, he was overwhelmed with happiness.