Thursday, January 21, 2010

First visit to the lake home

Brutus made his first trip to the lake home last weekend. I was a little worried that it was too soon to be going to yet another home for this big guy, but I figured that we would be there with him, so hopefully that would be enough security for him. It's about a two hour drive from our home in the cities, so we loaded up Brutus and the three cats and off we went. The trip itself went great. The cats were pretty quiet, and Brutus sat in his crate and didn't fuss at all. I actually felt kind of bad having him in the crate, but I knew he would be the most safe in there, especially with the three cats in the car too.

When we got to the lake, Don did the required trip around the interior of the house with Brutus to make sure he wouldn't "mark" any territories. So far so good. We had hooked a running line up to the front of the house a few weeks earlier when the dog named Jackson that we were hoping to adopt came to visit, so Don took Brutus outside and hooked him up so he could go potty. Brutus was just beside himself. He just looked around like he couldn't believe that he actually had all of this space and all of these smells (squirrels, deer, fox, etc.) to play in. He was literally jumping around. He was adorable. Don got out his red ball and threw it to him, and Brutus was jumping up in the air to catch it instead of letting it roll to a stop. This was one happy boy. Don was going up to the bar to meet our friends for the normal Friday night of pool and cocktails, but I stayed home with Brutus to get him cozied in. We had a good snugly night.

The next day, I was still feeling pretty cruddy with this cold that I had had for about a week, so Don was on Brutus duty. I think they put in about ten miles on Saturday. Don had a thirty foot umbilical leash that he hooked Brutus up to, and off they went. They even went out and played on the lake. Don said that Brutus would run to a snow bank and stick his whole head in it like he was looking for a little animal, but then he'd pop out and roll around in the snow and play. This boy was in doggy heaven!! He came in with Don at about 3:00 that afternoon, had his dinner and literally crashed. I let him get a good nap in, but my mom and her boyfriend Carsten were coming for dinner, and Brutus smelled like a stinky wet dog, so it was shower time. We have a walk in shower, and I figured he would just follow me right in there. I figured wrong, so I pulled the old "grab half a hot dog" trick and lured him into the shower. He was such a good boy, and came out smelling wonderful. Other than standing up on my mom to give her a smooch, he was a very good boy and won over my mom's heart. He laid on her feet for a while, stretched out to have his belly rubbed, and while we were eating, he laid on the rug by the front door. You can't ask for much more than that. What a love.

Sunday we always buzz through the house and clean the toilets and vacuum and get everything tidied up so when we come back the next weekend it's clean, and once we were done with that and all packed up we decided to take Brutus for one more walk before we loaded up the kitties and headed back to the cities. When we got back to the house, I put Bernice in her kitty crate and went to get Sophie. I literally could not find her anywhere. Don and I looked for over a half an hour. Then it occurred to me that he had cut a hole in Ashley's bedroom closet ceiling last summer to do some electrical work, and I looked in the closet, and sure enough, there were little claw marks on the wall, and a tuft of fur laying on the floor. That little stinker was in the downstairs ceiling, and there was nothing we could do. We called for her, we stomped on the upstairs floor, we put food to the entrance of the ceiling, we tried everything we could think of. Finally, we unloaded Bernice and plunked ourselves down on the couch to wait it out. We figured that once she heard us making "normal" noise, she'd come down. They always hide as soon as they hear us get the kitty crates out. They hate traveling, even though they love to be at the lake where they can watch all of the birds and chipmunks. We waited four hours, and she didn't budge. Don even cut a hole in the ceiling of the family room, and because of the way our house is built, we couldn't even see her. We finally had to leave, and leave her behind. I was devastated. I left two big bowls of water and two big bowls of food, but I was so worried that she would finally come out and be scared. These animals are treated like children. Needless to say, I cried most of the way home. In my head I knew she would be OK, but in my heart, I knew she would be scared. Being it was a holiday weekend, it was Monday night, and I knew I could get back on Thursday afternoon, so really, she only had to be alone for about three and a half days. I knew that she had it better than a lot of kitties. She had a nice warm home, plenty of food and her choice of four comfy beds to curl up on. She would be fine.

So we loaded Bernice back up, found Princess and put her in the truck (she is so calm that we just let her sit on my lap) and got Brutus to put him in the truck. When we left to go to the lake in the first place, Brutus practically flew into the truck. Now he wouldn't budge. Did he know that we were leaving the lake? Obviously he did. Don had to lift him into the truck, and push his little butt into his crate. It was very sad. Then, on top of everything else, we had packed up his dishes and food way before we left, and we forgot to feed him dinner. So, here it was, about 6:30 on the way home, and he's starting to seem restless. Duh, he's starving. We only feed him twice a day, and it was way past his dinner time. Being the good parents that we are, lol, we stopped at A&W and bought him a plain hamburger. We were back in his good graces.

The rest of the ride was fine, and we know that he'll be very happy to go back to the lake next weekend. : )

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