Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where Did Summer Go...And I Want It Back!

Brutus isn't liking this being a house dog business. Summer was so much easier. If I had to go somewhere (while living at the lake), I would simply make sure that his water bowl was nice and full, put him on his outdoor tie and leave the garage door open about two feet. It was perfect. He could spend the whole time guarding the house from chipmunks, which frankly was a full time and very interesting job for him, and I knew that he would be fine and entertained while I was gone. We have neighbors close enough to us that I knew he wasn't sitting there crying the whole time. If he was, I would have heard about it. He did one night, but there were deer hanging out in our yard, just beyond his reach. That wasn't even fair. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. I can just see them standing there eating my baby trees, and the conversation going something like this; "Wow, let's just stand here and see if we can really irritate that dog. Oh my gosh, look at him bark, that's so funny. How long do you think he'll keep doing that? I'll bet you that bush over there that he'll bark for thirty minutes!!". Um yeah. It probably wasn't a good night for our poor neighbors.

So now that we're living back in the city and winter has hit, Brutus is officially an indoor dog. If I leave the house and he can't come with me, he has to be crated. He has terrible separation anxiety, and even though I plan to train him to eventually be in the house alone, he had enough other issues that were higher on the list to conquer before that one. If I were to leave him in the house out of his crate, I wouldn't have a front door left when I got home. He would freak! We still try to walk him every day, but it is gradually getting a little tougher too, even for his own well being. This morning it was 3 degrees Fahrenheit when I woke up, and I don't want him freezing the little pads on the bottom of his feet, and I can guarantee that he isn't a "boot" dog. We have trouble getting close enough to his feet to trim his nails, so if we were trying to fashion him up with some boots he would have a fit and also chew them up in a New York minute. Plus, I find dog fashion to be a little embarrassing. I get the whole sweater thing, especially for small or short haired dogs, but the ruffled dog dresses are so BAD! Our neighbors black poodle was outside last weekend trying to jump around through the snow in a red ruffled dress. So not cool.

Anyway, now that it's cold out and stays dark so much later in the morning, Brutus likes to sleep in until around 9:30 in the morning. I had to leave at 8:30 today to go to the doctor, and he couldn't come with, so I had to get him out of bed and outside to go to the bathroom before I could leave. I would have liked for him to eat a little breakfast too, but he knew I was up to something, and he sat right at the front door. His instincts are incredible. I started the car to warm it up for a few minutes before I left because it was SO cold out, and then he started jumping in circles. He loves to go for rides. You can only imagine his dismay when I said "crate". It took a piece of cheese to get him down the stairs, but he went. As soon as I shut the door to his crate he started to cry, not bark, but literally cry. All the books say to never make a big deal about leaving your dog, so I just said "see you in a bit". When I got back three hours later, he was one very sad pup. I couldn't move a foot without him practically running in to me.

We did go out and play outside for a while, and he tooled around the yard while I cleaned up some of his "piles". We're expecting more snow tonight, so I figured I better get them picked up before they get buried. Those little spring surprises are no fun! lol! By tonight, I knew it was bath time. The last bath he had was right before the kids came home for Thanksgiving, and he was getting pretty stinky from playing in the snow. Wet dog equals stinky dog, and for some reason he can't go outside without doing head dives and sliding around in the fresh snow.

Don helped me get him in the tub and scrub him down and get his ears all cleaned out, and at this point I think he probably thought that it was one of the worst days he had ever had. He has those eyebrows that he looks at you with, and even though they usually look sad and make you feel so bad for him, I also think that they know a few swear words, and I'm sure I heard a couple come flying off of the left one a couple times tonight!

I found one of his Kong's and filled it up with some kibble and peanut butter. He took it from my hand, took his big wet body and laid on MY side of the bed and licked it until he practically fell asleep.

Tomorrow will be a better day buddy. Mom doesn't have to go anywhere. :)

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