Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Busy Week

Brutus has had a whirlwind of a week. I find myself blogging less and less the more accustomed that we get to having Brutus in our family, but I guess that that's a good thing. It probably means that he's settling down, and each and every thing he does freaks me out a little less each time. :)

Last Thursday we went to Kansas to get our daughter moved in to her first apartment. Brutus, of course, couldn't come with, and I was torn on what to do. Joan, Brutus's foster mom had said that we could always call her to take care of Brutus, and that was high on my list, but we had been attending classes at PetSmart for seven weeks at that point, and his class room is attached to the Pet Hotel, and I knew that he was pretty comfortable going there. Also, his teacher was going to be in her office two out of the four days we were gone, and she said she would go in and see how he was doing, and he knows Libby and really likes her. It was a hard decision to make, but we decided on the Pet Hotel. I was able to sign him up for "Doggy Day Camp" during the day, so he had a full day of playing with the other dogs and tearing around for the day, and I also got to sign up for him to receive a doggy ice cream treat each day, which I knew would make him very happy! When the day came to drop him off at the hotel, I couldn't do it, so Don had to. He took with his bed from home, and a shirt that I had slept in so he would have something with my smell on it, which is supposed to give him comfort, and a bag with all of his meals in it, a couple of his favorite toys, and a new bone. When Don got back he said that Brutus had growled at the girl when she tried to put the Pet Hotel collar on him, which didn't make me feel very comfortable, but then he realized that he had to take him through the veterinary clinic entrance because the actual PetSmart store wasn't open yet, and that definitely could have set his nerves on edge.

Three hours into our trip, I just couldn't stand it anymore, and I had to call and check on him. It really didn't make me feel any better. The girl said that she had taken over Brutus's care from the first girl because of the growling incident, and he had been a sweetie ever since, so that was good, but he was in the doggy day camp, and he was being very shy and skittish about getting friendly with the other dogs. Great....I probably had the biggest dog there, and also the biggest scaredy cat! I decided I wouldn't call again. If anything terrible was happening, they would call me.

When we got home on Sunday evening and picked him up, he was pulling so hard on the leash to get down the hall to see us that the girl finally gave up and just let go. He had big kisses for both of us, and honestly, I'm surprised he didn't wet the floor. He was so excited. That felt good! Once we were home, he couldn't keep his eyes open. It was pretty obvious that he had played hard all four days. When he's super tired he snores like a bear, and he was definitely snoring away. When he woke up the next day, he was just not tired enough to remember that Don had taken him to the Pet Hotel, and he was just a little pissed off about that, and decided to give Don the cold shoulder for a couple days. It has been absolutely hilarious. Don would sit down by him on the floor, and Brutus would get up and walk about three feet away from him. Same thing with sleeping on the bed. Brutus is practically on top of me so he can make his point. Last night he finally let Don give him a good belly rub, but it has been a slow warm up. What a booger.

Today was also his last day of his intermediate dog class. He wasn't scared at all to go to class, which is next to the Hotel, so again, that's a good sign. He actually got his little graduation certificate and had his picture taken in his graduation cap (we tried anyway). The picture will be mailed to our house, and depending on how it turns out, I will post it when it comes. He was way too interested in the treat on the teachers head that she had up there to get the dogs to look her way during the pictures! I thought he should retake this same class, but the teacher thinks he should move on to the next level. I've decided to work with him for a month or so, and then sign up for the next level. In all honesty, I've been pretty busy and haven't spent enough time just practicing what we've learned, so there is more work to be done.

We also went to our first outdoor dog park today, and it was amazing. We went with Brutus's friend London from class, and they played and romped and ran in the wind for a good forty five minutes. It was so good for Brutus. The two dogs had the whole park to themselves for the first half hour, and it was great. By the time a half dozen other dogs had shown up, and things were getting a little iffy, Brutus was tired and ready to go home. He panted for a good twenty minutes. This was the first time that he was "legally" able to just run to his hearts content, and it was beautiful. I still have to learn how to tell when dogs are just playing or actually fighting. London would bite at him and bark at him to run, and Brutus didn't seem to get it at first. I didn't either. I thought London, who is usually very docile was being kind of mean, but she wasn't. She was merely saying "come on pal, lets go"!! He eventually figured it out and they had a great time. I wish more than anything that he knew his boundaries so he could play fetch with us outside, and get his running in, but I doubt I will ever trust him off leash. I guess only time will tell.

So, as you can see, it's been a very busy week for Brutus, as well as his mom and dad. Soon, it's off to the lake again. The last time Brutus was at the lake it was frozen. I think he would be in for quite a surprise if he tried to run on it this time!! Hope the big guy can swim!

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