Saturday, July 31, 2010

Too Close For Comfort

We headed back to the lake yesterday, and had a LOT of stuff to bring back with us, so all four of our furry friends had to sit in the middle seat of the Durango. The two Calico cats always ride in their little crates. Trust me, it's safer for everyone, and they don't fuss at all once they are in them. Princess is much older and wiser, and would be quite offended being put in a crate. She prefers to lay cozied in on the seat, or find a tight little spot on the floor. Brutus? Well, that's anyone's guess. He kind of flops in to whatever position he can.

So, we stacked the two kitty crates on one side of the seat, Princess laid right next to them, and Brutus took up the other 3/4 of the seat. Princess glared at him the whole time. A couple times Brutus accidentally rolled over a little bit and laid his head back, thus laying his head on her, and she let him have it. He'd look at us with those big pathetic eyes like "do I really have to sit by her?". I tried to get Princess to sit on my lap, but she actually walked right back to the same spot by Brutus, so I figured she could fend for herself. It was a crazy ride.
Can't you just hear the bad words coming out of that look!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When Mom Is Busy.....Let's Ruin The Garden!

I am in Minnesota this week working on a few things, and one of them is cleaning the screened in porch on the back of the house. It was filthy, and it really is one of the prettier parts of our home, so I love it when it's nice and clean. Anyway, Brutus's tie is out back, and I figured it would be perfect. He could play out there while I worked. Well, I got a little involved in what I was doing, and he went a little crazy. The pictures tell their own story. The first one is my Cinderella shot. Every girl has to have that moment. I think my Prince Charming will be home shortly to order pizza and cheese bread to eat in bed while we watch TV. Sounds awesome!! I am very sure that I'm way too tired to cook!!
I am quite surprised that Brutus didn't choke himself to death today. Brother!!
I know there's a chippy there, I just know it!
Ruh Roh!!
Oh, Dad is going to be very unhappy about this. :(

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prozac or Electric Shock Therapy

I am wondering what the best way to desensitize a dogs love for chipmunks is. Drugs or electric shock therapy? Nothing else seems to be working!! Last night he actually ripped the stairs off the landing in the garage to get to a chippy. Unbelievable!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ruh Roh!

I took Brutus down to the lake to play for a while today, which was a good thing.
But, on the way back up to the house, I noticed that he had done a little damage to the walkway during his little adventures yesterday. I'm sure it was yesterday, because the booger hasn't been out of my sight today. I guess I have a little work to do before Don gets back to the lake for the weekend!! There must have been one heck of a chipmunk teasing him under those steps!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tried To Make Him Happy

After Brutus's horrible day today, I had about had it, so what do you do when your child has been really horrible and you can't take it anymore?? Take him shopping of course.

I loaded Brutus into the car and headed to Eau Claire to go to PetSmart. If we were going to shop, it obviously had to be somewhere where he could actually partake. I did have to put his gentle leader on him while we were in the store so I would have some control, and that didn't make him very happy. He spent a lot of the time trying to scratch it off his nose, but other than that, I think he had fun. After we finished up our shopping trip, we headed over to Culver's for a burger. It was yummy!! Don always teases me about getting to eat Culver's Butter Burgers because there is one right by where he works. I love them, but I never eat there, so it was really a treat for me too.

And for dessert, on the way home I saw my first big black bear of the summer cross the road. I was driving down the road thinking "that goofy dog needs to get out of the road so it doesn't get hit". Well, that goofy dog turned out to be a black bear, and it did head back in to the corn field as I was approaching it. I had a teenager tailgating my car, I'm sure because he couldn't see the bear ahead of me and didn't know why I had slowed down. When he actually saw the bear walk back off to the side of the road, he stopped dead in his tracks. That will teach him to tailgate!!

When Brutus and I got home, I opened the door to the back seat so he could jump out, but he wouldn't move. I unloaded all of the stuff that we had bought, and he still wouldn't move. I finally had to bribe him out of the car with food. Not sure what that was all about. Maybe he had bad memories of our day at the lake too.

Let's all hope for a better day tomorrow. I feel some more dog training in the days to come. How on earth do you teach a dog that it's OK to leave the property with a parent, but not alone?? Man, just when I thought I was one step ahead, I took three steps backwards!

Brutus Is Having The "Dad Is Gone" Blues

Ugh! Let me repeat that. Ugh!! Three weeks ago, I thought I had the dog by the tail, literally. Brutus and I had come to this great understanding, and I was finally able to leave him off leash without worrying about him wandering. He even knocked on the door before going in the back yard. It was GREAT!! Boy has life changed.

Don was here for the last two and a half weeks for his summer vacation, which was wonderful, but that also meant that Brutus got to spend the majority of his day down by the lake, or going over to our neighbor Bennie's, or chasing the four wheeler down the road, or fishing on the boat. He played and played and played. Now he seems to have it in his head that even though Dad is no longer here, he can still do all of those things, and it isn't funny.

I let him out this morning, and went in the kitchen to make breakfast. When I went to check on him a few minutes later, he was gone. And I mean gone. He didn't come back for thirty minutes, no matter how much calling I did. I finally heard the neighbor dogs barking, so I went out on the deck where I could see their back yard, and there was Brutus, teasing them in their kennel. Again, not funny! I called for him to come, and this time he did "mosey" on home. When he got closer and could tell I was mad, he declined coming up the deck steps on the back of the house, and tooled around to the front of the house and sat in his purple pool. Odd choice of things to do, but probably not a bad idea since he was all muddy from his little adventure.

So, I had a little chat with him, and put him on his leash. About twenty minutes later I went to see how he was doing, and there laid his leash, and his collar, and NO BRUTUS. It looked like he had probably been chasing something under the stairs and ripped his collar off during the chase. This time when I called him, he came back in about five minutes, and again, sat in his purple pool. What's with the pool?? I wonder if he thinks that he'll be safe in the middle of his pool? It's not like I've ever hit him. Cripes, I barely raise my voice to him. Maybe that's the problem!!

This time I put on his e-collar. He still doesn't like it, but he seems to respect the fact that when it's on, he stays put. Or so I thought..........So, I went to check on him after about ten minutes, and he was, wait for the drum roll, GONE! I couldn't believe it. After calling for him for a few minutes, I grabbed the beeper and ran to the deck to see if I could spot him in the back yard. Sure enough, he had a chipmunk up a tree. I called him twice, and he wasn't budging, so I hit the tone button. He looked at me like "yeah, right". What was with this attitude? Normally the sound of the tone had him running to me like the kid who always wants to be first in line for lunch. I had even managed to break him of the whole chipmunk chase thing so he would stop when I told him "no". What on earth was going on?

So, I walked down the hill and beeped him again. This time, he walked further away from me onto the dock. This was just crazy. I called him twice again, and he wouldn't come, so I beeped him again. He went in the lake. Now I was mad. I marched right down to the lake, told him to get his butt out of the water and marched him up to the garage. He's darn lucky I don't have the heart to zap him. He would have been toast!

Brutus is now in the front of the house, with his collar on, on the outdoor leash, and with the e-collar on. If he escapes all of these, it's to the kennel with that boy. I know these next several words are meaningless, but here it goes. I'm just not sure I can let those boys (Don and Brutus) have that much fun all of the time. When Don leaves, I'm left with a really naughty boy. Wow. I sound like the mom of a toddler.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Ninety nine percent of the time on this blog, you DON'T see me. There are a couple good reasons for that. One, I'm the one with the camera, and two, I absolutely hate pictures of myself. Pictures don't lie, and unless you are a size six, it just isn't pretty. But today I handed Don the camera and said "I want some pictures with me in them". Since I certainly wasn't willing to pose alone, I needed Brutus with me. So, here they are. Me and my boy. Enjoy them, because it may be another year before you see me again!!

This is Brutus's "Please get that camera out of my face" face!! He's still doing great off leash. Once in a while he sneaks next door, but rarely. We are very proud of him!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wild Goose Chase.......Literally

Today was such a beautiful day that we decided to take Brutus and go fishing. He loves riding on the boat, and typically, he likes to think of himself as another Leonardo DiCaprio. I'll give him that. He is quite handsome. He loves to stand at the front of the ship (pontoon boat) and let the wind blow through his beautiful golden locks of hair (OK, reddish golden ears) and feel the small drops of the ocean (the lake) on his face (snout?).
OK, back to reality. So, we're buzzing across the lake after we had given up on fishing. Neither one of us had gotten a single bite, and we were dying from the heat. Time to give it up. We decided to take a little detour to see if the eagles were on their nest, which is at the opposite end of the lake, and when we were over there, we ran in to these......
Now "these" were minding their own business, and didn't even freak out when we drove past, but Brutus had a very visceral reaction. Suddenly, he was looking like this.......
This is where the photo part of this story ends. In the mere seconds it took me to lower my camera, I heard Don yell "NO BRUTUS". I looked, and Brutus had climbed over the railing on the back of the boat and SPLASH, he was in the lake swimming toward the geese. I absolutely couldn't believe it. We were a long way from the geese. I have a pretty good telephoto lens on my camera, so this guy was going to have quite a swim. Of course, in the time I was processing all of this, Don whipped the pontoon around and started driving toward Brutus going pretty fast. He told me to take the wheel and drive right for him, so I did. There were a lot of boats out on the lake, and I'm sure they were all having a great time watching this go down.

Don opened the front gate to the boat, and when I got just up to Brutus with the boat I put it in reverse and Don tried to grab him, but he swam under the side pontoon and off to the side to get away. Ugh, all I could think about was how mad Don was going to be. So, I backed the boat up again and headed straight for him again. This time when I got close to him, Don yelled "NO" again, and Brutus actually froze right where he was. I went to the front of the boat and helped Don lift him back in. I was waiting for all hell to break loose, but honestly, it was so funny that all we could do was laugh, and he was a good boy to stop and let us bring him in. For as bad as he wanted those geese, he certainly could have kept swimming.

We kept a much closer eye on him until the geese were completely out of sight, and spent the rest of the boat ride home breaking out in occasional laughter. We were soaked from pulling Brutus up on the boat, which actually felt pretty good, but you know what, life is never dull, and we certainly have Brutus to thank for that one. Oy Vey!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Out Of Routine or Feeling Left Out?

There isn't anything in this big wide world that Brutus loves more (OK, disclaimer here, dried liver does come first) other than his Dad. He can't wait for Don to get to the lake on the weekends. It always means more walks, usually fishing, and definitely playing catch with toys in the lake. But last night, for some reason that we can't figure out, Don was on Brutus's naughty list.

He was fine during the day, and we even went fishing and had a great time, but then we had to come home. It had started to rain, and it was really hot outside. Brutus has been doing some "nervous" licking this past week, and has gotten what they call "hot spots" on his legs. They are raw red areas that apparently itch, and he licks and licks and licks them. They can be from bugs, but I think we have that area pretty well covered, or allergies, but we haven't made any changes there, so we have narrowed it down to his nervousness. We know that he hates to be left alone, and we were gone a few times the past couple weeks with company, and he probably started licking then, and it has just continued. Anyway......

When we got home, I brought him in for a nice luke warm bath with some oatmeal shampoo to try to cleanse his hot spots. Unfortunately, about the same time I was marching him down the hall to the bath tub, Don was heading down the stairs to go fishing again. Brutus turned on his heels and headed right after him, but Don said "No", and you can imagine how happy that made Brutus. Not only did he NOT get to go fishing with Dad, but he had to have a bath and get his ears cleaned too. Big Bummer in Brutus land.

I wanted to keep him in the house after his bath, and a sure way to do that is to have him "help" me make the bed. He loves to get all tangled up in the sheets, and this time when he did it, he fell asleep. When he woke up, Dad was back, and putting his dry collar on him. For some reason Brutus jumped up and gave Don a head-butt, jumped off the bed and ran around the house like some kind of crazy horse. He was really upset. Don let him outside, and the first thing he did was grab his bed and start humping it like he was going to show it who was boss. This was ridiculous. We let him sit out there and have his little temper tantrum while I finished making dinner. By then he was knocking on the door. He was really good all through dinner, and just sat on the floor by us, so Don took his plate with a little piece of steak over to where Brutus normally eats, and let him have a bite since he had been so good, and to try to make peace. Brutus ate it, walked over and right in front of us peed on the love seat!! What the hell??? I couldn't believe it. We grabbed him and said "NO" and put him right outside while I cleaned up the mess.

I am no dog professional here, hence the blog, but I figure we have two choices. We can continue to be all pissy with him for something he probably doesn't remember doing, or try to calm him down and calm whatever is troubling him. I pick number two. From everything I have read, staying mad at a dog is a huge waste of time and energy. When I had finished the dishes I brought him in to the bed with me to snuggle, and no sooner had he hit the bed then he was out for the night. I will never know what caused his grumpy behavior. Don has been here for the last week and a half on vacation. Is Brutus out of routine, or was he upset that he got left out of fishing. Or......most I reading too much into this.

If Brutus could be Don's shadow he would, he would just need to be able to give it kisses. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nothing Like A Sunset Swim

Today was one of those days where you could hardly breathe outside. The temperature was 88 degrees, but it was the dew point that was so intolerable. It had to be close to 70 degrees. By 10:00 this morning I saw Brutus standing in his empty purple pool digging for the water, so I headed right out and started filling it up. He was definitely going to need it! Don and I had to go to Eau Claire today to run some errands, so we shut the garage door all but about three feet, put a big dish of ice water in the garage and made sure the pool was full before we left. Brutus prefers to hang out on the garage floor during warm weather because the cement stays nice and cool.

By tonight, the humidity had even gotten to the garage floor, and it looked like someone had left the water hose running in the garage, so I decided to take Brutus down to the lake for a nice cool swim. He was more than willing. I rarely have him on his leash anymore, and he pretty much stays in the front of the house unless we are in the back yard, but I walked out the front door and said "Brutus, do you want to go to the lake?" and he was gone.

Enjoy, and here's hoping for a big old thunder storm to clear this air. :)

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