Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where Are My Bells?

Well, Brutus and I are back "home", and it's been a bit of a culture shock for Brutus. The biggest adjustment by far has been his freedom to ring his string of bells hanging from the door, and having the freedom to go outside when he wants. This is both a blessing and a curse.

For one thing, our home at the lake is a "ranch" style home with a walk out basement, so I was always on the main floor, and letting him outside wasn't a big deal. Our home in the city is a split level, and our lot is a pie shape. The only place that we can have an outdoor tie for him is in the back yard. There are a bunch of rules in our city about having a dog on an outdoor tie, and how close they can be to other peoples property, and whether or not they can be in the front yard. Because of the shape of our yard, the front yard is basically a big no no. So, every time he wants to go outside, it means going down to the lower level family room to let him out. The other issue that comes in to play with that is that he doesn't like to be where he can't find me at a moments notice, so if I put him outside and go back upstairs, he isn't happy. He won't sit out there and bark, but he'll "dog talk". I'll be in the kitchen, and I'll here something like this "ar arrr arr awrr rrr r". Did you understand that? It said, "mom, where did you go, I can't see you?" Sometimes when I go back downstairs and he can see me, he'll head back out  in the yard to play. It doesn't make me very happy, but it's something we need to work on. Again, I go back to the fact that we don't know what he's gone through in his life, so I don't get too upset about it. The thing that does tick me off is that he's perfectly fine when he runs away for an hour or two to chase a chipmunk or deer. I guess it's selective separation anxiety!

The other thing that we have to get used to is our walks. Big difference between here and the lake. At the lake, we maybe saw one person during the whole walk, and that was if the road was busy. Today we actually had to step over to the side of the road so that we were almost on someone's lawn because there were so many cars on the road. I was afriad we would get hit. Most of the roads have sidewalks, but there is one long stretch that doesn't, and it's very curvy, so you have to be really careful.

Also, Brutus would "mark" everything that he could reach, and I didn't have to worry about offending anyone. Big change. Here, he has to be on a six foot or less leash, and I have to have a poop bag in my hand or I can be ticketed. He also has to have his collar on with his registration and rabies tags on it, or again, I could be ticketed. At the lake he was often getting wet, so we had three different collars that we would switch around. All of them have his information and phone numbers on them, but not his city registration and rabies tag. We didn't have duplicates of those. Also, no more marking every few feet. If anyone sees him peeing on their flowers or shrubbery, they get very unhappy, and I don't blame them. He has to keep his peeing to trees and street signs. Definitely an adjustment, but we'll get back in to it. The funny thing is that he completely remembers the route that we take. I deviated a little from our normal walk yesterday so I could take a couple pictures, and he fought me. I assured him it would be fine, and he could smell some new things. He lived!! On a funny side note, we had a city police officer pass by us twice this morning. Good thing we were prepared. :) I know that all of these rules are not only for the respect of us humans, but it also keeps the animals safer, and our environment cleaner.

The very best part about being back home is that Dad is here. Dad is the best, and Brutus is back to looking out the front window starting at 4:00. As soon as he sees Don's truck come around the corner, he is bolting down to the front door to greet him with big "hugs". For all of you that have met Brutus, you know what I mean about his "hugs". For those of you that haven't met him, he stands up with a paw on each side of you, and lays his head next to your cheek. At first we thought he was trying to jump on people to knock them down, but he isn't. He is actually trying to give a little love. We obviously don't allow him to do this to people that come over unless they are family, or close friends that are aware of his actions, but to us, it is endearing.

In the meantime, he continues to be the very spoiled happy boy that he deserves to be. Until next time, have a great day. :)

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