Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuesday was a BIG day

It's been quite a week, so I haven't had the chance to get in here and update, but I needed to get to it before I forgot about our first Tuesday together. We had a big day, and I definitely learned a lot about our new big boy Brutus. I had thought about changing that name, Brutus, but the more his personality keeps coming out, the more I seem to think that it fits him. He is one big bundle of boy, and seems like a Brute on the outside, but is a big softy on the inside, thank goodness!!

So Tuesday was Brutus's first visit to our family veterinarian. I was really anxious for this visit, not only to make sure that Brutus was healthy, but I wanted a better idea of how old he was. He just seemed too active to be any older than three, and he certainly wasn't five years old like the certificate from the shelter in Missouri said he was. So, we got up a little early that day, went for our two mile walk to tire him out a little bit and I got showered and ready to go. When I had picked Brutus up from Joan, he practically flew into my car, so I was expecting him to do the same on that day. We got out in the garage and I opened the car door, and he put his two front paws on the back seat and froze. He looked at me with his big sad eyes, and literally wouldn't move, so our day started out with me lifting his sixty pound butt into the car. This was strange. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. I thought he loved riding in the car. So, anyway, off to the vet we went. When we got there, he wouldn't get out. In my head, I'm sitting there thinking that he's thinking like a human. "Where are they taking me now?" "What have I done wrong?" It was breaking my heart for him all over again. I kept talking to him in a very upbeat tone, and giving him little treats. Once we got in the door, there were people and dogs, and he seemed a little more excited, but very uncontrollable. Of course, everyone fell in love with him. Impossible not to!

Time to get on the scale. My boy is afraid to get on the scale. His little legs started to shake. Again, not understanding this fear. We gave him another treat, praised him, and found out he is up to sixty five pounds. Go Brutus. I promise that he has had no table treats from us. We have been very good about only feeding him his required amount of kibble. Especially since he's getting so many little treats with his training.

The vet tech took us into a room (rather small room) and did all of the typical routine stuff, and let me ask a ton of questions. I am new at this being a doggy mom business, and there were things I needed to know. She was fabulous, but again, Brutus started to get very edgy. I could tell that being in an enclosed room made him nervous, so what did he do? He stood up, pushed down on the door handle and opened the door. Problem solved for him, but we had to high tail it to catch him before he headed out into the vet registration area and PetSmart, which is attached. Caught him. Long story short, she took him to the back room, updated his shots, trimmed one of his claws that was missed and brought him back to me with the vet. The vet said that he was in great health, and was nowhere near 3-5 years old. More like 1-2 years old. That would explain a LOT!! Such as chewing and playfulness. This boy is still a pup!! Anyway, all went well, and we are done for another three weeks until we head back for boosters.

After the vet, I needed to go to PetSmart to pick up a couple things. I have always thought it was so adorable how people shopped with their dogs, and being a cat owner, I have never gotten to do that, so I was kind of excited. I didn't really think about the consequences of having an untrained sixty-five pound dog, a purse, paper work, and a bag of medicine in my hands while I was trying to do it. First thing on the list, a cart. Even with a cart it was a chore, but I kind of had it under control. Basically, Brutus was pulling me around. I looked ridiculous. We had gone down a couple aisles, and I had picked up a couple more chew bones and toys to keep him entertained and away from MY things when all of a sudden he saw this strange orange looking toy, and he decided it was HIS! He had that thing off the rack, out of the package and in his mouth before I could say waaiiiit!! I got to the checkout, and bless the girls heart, she says to me "your dog has a toy in his mouth". I said 'yes, here's the tag from the package". Duh. I honestly wouldn't have stolen it, even though Brutus appears to be a kleptomaniac, I am not.

If you would have told me that a dog knows what they are looking for when they are shopping, I would have told you you were nuts. Since that was Tuesday, and this is Friday, I can tell you that Brutus doesn't let this toy out of his sight. He truly loves that toy, and apparently NEEDED it. It melts my heart that he has something that he loves so much. I know, big softy mom!!

After this exhausting experience, we went home and crashed for the afternoon. Puppy classes were coming up, and I needed a nap. We napped with the orange toy.

We were hanging out on the bed when Don got home at five o'clock, and even though Brutus had only been with us for four days at this point, he heard the garage door start to open, and his head flew like it was going to spin around in circles, and he was off the bed and flying down the stairs. Dad was home!! Yay!! Home, and we were off to class, which unfortunately would take us an hour to get to in the rush hour traffic. Again, Brutus didn't want to get in the car. I have to believe that he just doesn't trust that we aren't taking him to a bad place again. I'll be so glad when he knows that he is really a part of our family.

We were so excited to start obedience class. I am completely convinced that Brutus had a family that loved him up. He is just too sweet and snugly to have been completely neglected, and yet, they neglected him in the sense that they didn't teach him any manners or discipline, and therefore I am guessing they no longer liked having him around and threw him away. He is so smart, and I just know that he will be a fast learner. The kind of classes that we are doing are referred to as positive training classes. When they do what we want them to, they are rewarded, which enforces the good behavior and makes them want to do it again. The instructor was over talking to Brutus, and was just handing him a treat when a man working on the door frame in the next room shot off a nail gun. It startled Brutus, but we tried to distract him, and continue. She talked to him, and was going to reward him again, and just as she was handing him another treat, and gun went off again. This was a nightmare. Now he was associating her treats with a horrible noise. His legs started to shake and his tail went between his legs and he completely shut down. We actually had to take him out of the class room until the guy was done working on the door frame, and then when we did bring him back in, he could only sit and tremble. I was so upset. I just stood and watched what the instructor was teaching the rest of the dogs with the hope that I could teach Brutus at home during the week. What a bummer. On a bright note, I have been working with him every day, and without distractions, he can sit, lay down, and watch me (which is having eye contact for a few seconds). When I feed him, I have gotten him to sit and watch me to wait for his food. He is AWESOME!!

We are still having no luck with the cat/dog relationship. Brutus wants so badly to be friends with the cats, and they will have nothing to do with him. They hiss, and he pouts, and poor Bernice is still behind the furnace. Every night I take food and water in to her, and give her hugs and kisses. I really miss snuggling with my girls. Everything I have read says that it will take weeks for that relationship to form, so I need to be patient.

Boy did we all sleep on Tuesday. That was one heck of a day.

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