EAST LANCING, Mich. (CNN) — It’s a tradition in college football for seniors to emerge from the tunnel for the final game of their collegiate career and run onto the field to one last cheer, an event players usually celebrate with family.
Michigan State University cornerback Josh Butler lost both of his parents. But he didn’t walk out alone on Saturday.
The 23-year-old had his two best friends at his side his two dogs, Roxy and Remi.
His mother, Ladrida Bagley, died in April 2019 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, his father Steven, died in 2017.
In between their deaths, he adopted Roxy and Remi, sister boxer-pit bull mixes and Butler’s best canine friends.
Butler received his undergraduate degree in December 2018 and is set to receive his master’s degree in media and information this month. He said his dogs and his teammates have helped him work through his grief and focus on the good in his life, too.