Sunday, July 4, 2010

What A Week.......Whew!

Brutus has had a very busy last few days, and I am actually thankful for the rain today. Great excuse for everyone involved to just lay low and relax. :)

On Thursday, Don's brother Ron, his wife Lori and two boys, Quinn and Cody came to spend a couple nights with us before they headed to northern Minnesota for their summer vacation. They very lovingly brought Brutus a giant chipmunk (a squirrel) and I have never seen Brutus as excited to get anything as he was to get that. Ron tried right away to take it from him to play catch, and Brutus growled at him, actually showing his teeth and everything. No one was touching his new toy!! I don't condone the growling, but man, for him it was like winning the lottery. He was in heaven. Everywhere he went, the squirrel went too, including in the lake. Thankfully, it seemed to dry out pretty fast.
The first day of their visit was spent with Lori and I getting some great girl time in doing lunch and shopping, and the boys headed out fishing, with Brutus, of course. He has gotten to be quite the boater. Some of the time he spends laying in the shade, but it seemed like one of his favorite spots this time was also at the front of the boat watching the water zoom by. It was a very warm couple days, so the breeze and water mist probably felt great. And even though his Uncle Ron kept trying to take his toys away, and Brutus ended up biting him (sorry Ron) Brutus still wanted to sit by him and be friends with him, so that was good. I think he was just trying to tell Ron to leave him alone, and some Uncles just aren't that good at picking up on the clues. lol!!                                                                                                                                                                    We were on the boat for the majority of the day, and Brutus wasn't about to be left out of any of the trips, but by the end of the day our boy had had it. He crashed, under the table with his face in his water bowl. It was adorable! We even stopped off at a local bar on the lake to get a cocktail, and after Don took him ashore to go potty, he curled right back up on the boat to go to sleep. He is a trooper!

That night when he had recovered, and we were all sitting by the camp fire, the boys decided they needed a little more fishing, and took the canoe out. Brutus was right at the dock waiting for them to get back. He had to make sure they got the canoe in safely, and then planted a kiss on Quinn to welcome them home. I love this dog. I never would have thought in a million years that we would have been lucky enough to get a dog that would just meld itself into our family and routines so well. He is truly amazing.

And our biggest news of all, Brutus is LEASH FREE!!! We spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday working really hard on recall, and treating, and YES, I finally had to use the "tone" button on his leash to teach him the boundaries of the yard. It has taken me weeks to be able to do it, and I know that it's only a noise, but it really means something to Brutus, so if he went across the boundary of our yard, and I said "No Brutus", followed by a "Brutus Come" and he didn't respond, then I would hit the tone button once. He always stopped immediately, and as soon as he turned around and came toward me, I was waiting there with a treat. It was worth it, because now he runs and runs and runs and LOVES it!! Obviously, if we aren't home, or if the neighbor has their grand-dogs up for the weekend, we are much more careful about leashing him if he's going to be out of our sight for a period of time, but for the most part, he has picked up the concept of staying in the yard. The one thing he doesn't like to do is go from the front yard to the back yard by himself, and I am still PERFECTLY OK with that. He can continue to knock on the front door to ask permission. It still cracks me up every time anyway, and that in and of itself is worth the time it takes to open the two doors for him to get to the back yard.

 As for the squirrel, by the end of Ron and Lori's visit, the squirrel was in pieces, and Brutus is now down to snuggling the head and torso at separate times, but it really was the most amazing gift he has ever gotten. Thank You Uncle Ron and Aunt Lori, and Quinn and Cody too!!!!  To the right is Ron holding the head of the stuffed squirrel :(

Happy 4th of July to everyone. May the many wars end, and may our amazing Women and Men fighting for this country be safe. Thank You to each and every one of you. <3

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