Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Update To My Last Two Posts

Need I say more?  :)

An Update To My Last Post

So, after sitting at the house waiting for about thirty minutes, I decided I better be proactive in my search for Brutus. If he would have taken off across the open field, I wouldn't have felt so worried, but he took off in the middle of the woods, so I was a little more concerned. There are a few miscellaneous fences throughout the woods, and my gut just didn't feel right, so off I went.

First, I walked back up and down the road calling for him. Not a sound. Ugh. My legs are going to be so sore tomorrow. This would be walk number three for today. It isn't that I don't need the exercise, but lets be serious here, I don't enjoy it! After not even hearing a leaf rustle, I decided to head back home and put on my thinking cap. Driving wasn't going to do any good because I wouldn't be able to hear him. We have a four wheeler, but it was my Dad's, and is a good thirty years old, and my chances of getting it to start are about zero, otherwise I would have been on that in a heartbeat. Brutus loves to chase the four wheeler, and that's how Don got him back when he went after the deer when they were on a walk. So, what's almost as good as a four wheeler? Yep, the riding lawn mower. I felt like such an ass. It's a good thing that I know all of my neighbors really well.

So yes my friends, I put on my heavy duty flip-flops and saddled up on the riding lawn mower. I made sure the blade was in the up position, and down the road I went. First I did the road, again with no success, next I decided to go in on the trails that run along the corn field, and another one that runs through the woods. Still no luck. I turned the mower off several times and just sat back in the woods and called for Brutus. I was hoping that if he was hurt he would cry out. He truly never barks. He was practically drowning one time at the end of the dock, and just let out a little whimper. I'm surprised Don found him, but when he did, Brutus had a rope twisted around his neck behind the pontoon boat. That rope is now gone.

On with the story. I had no luck. I came home defeated and heart broken. I had been standing in the house for about ten minutes when the phone rang, and it was our friend Gary who lives down toward the end of the road where Brutus had taken off into the woods. The first thing he asked was how my day was going. If you knew Gary, you would know that this is not a normal question to come out of his mouth. I can't repeat what would be! LOL!! He is a hoot. I knew immediately that he had my dog. He said that he didn't technically "have" him, but that Brutus had just been at his house, so I headed back down the road on foot, calling out his name. I got all the way down to Gary's house, and NO DOG. I can't even tell you how defeated I felt by this point. I turned around to start walking back toward the house, and I saw just the back side of him down the road taking the turn that you take in to the cul-de-sac that goes to our home. Thank God. He was finally heading home. It took me about fifteen minutes to get there myself, but I figured when I did, he would be sitting in his purple pool cooling off, but he wasn't. OH MY GOD!! By this point, I was livid.

He had his e-collar on, but up to this point I hadn't used it. I called for him for a good five minutes, and no dog. That was it. I pushed the zap button. Believe it or not, he came trotting up the back hill of the yard. I was just furious with him. We were going on three hours of this nonsense, and whether he was just being a dog or not, he hadn't listened at all, and I had had it. I marched him right in to the bath tub, bubbled him up with his skin healing shampoo, which he needed because his entire underside was all scraped up from going through the brush, cleaned his ears, which really made him mad, and then gave him a full hour time out in the laundry room. I have never done that before. I didn't shut the door, I just put up the baby gate. He whimpered once, and I told him to "knock it off", and I didn't hear another peep out of him. He has been pretty sheepish the rest of the day.

I love this boy. It's amazing how attached I get to my animals, and I have put nine months of daily training, and I'm talking full time down and dirty training in to this dog to get him to where he is today, and I wasn't about to lose him now. I have every protective device on him, like a micro-chip, and a collar with both of our addresses and our phone numbers on it, but like I said in my previous post, his free walking days are over, at least for a while. It's just too risky. Plus, deer hunting season is just around the corner, and if you put my boy next to a deer, he doesn't look all that different from a small doe.

So, long story short, he is safe. Maybe not happy, but safe, and loved. I am now making a cosmo and heading in to take a nice long bubble bath. I may have to put some baking soda in it to soothe all of my bug bites, damn it!!

Every Beginning Has An End

Whenever something begins, good or bad, it always has to come to an end, and today marks the end of Brutus getting to go for walks at the lake off leash. For the third time, fourth if you count Don's little excursion, Brutus and this guy (see below) have decided to play chase, and I have had it.

Today we were out for our usual walk, and I saw the above horned bandit in my neighbors driveway eating the flowers. He was probably a good twenty feet in, so I tried to keep Brutus's attention, and we managed to get past him and keep on going. Whew! I was so relieved. We got to the end of the road and were just getting ready to turn around and head back when the deer literally came running over toward us.

DOG GONE IT!!! Literally.

Man, Brutus was on that deers trail like nothing I had ever seen. I barely had time to say "NO, STOP, BRUTUS COME", and I couldn't even hear the brush in the woods moving anymore. Damn it. I walked back down to the end of the road where it meets up with the corn field, and there was no sign or sound of him, so I headed back down the road from where we had come from. I wasn't really planning on a double walk when I left the house this morning, and it is incredibly muggy out, so by now my shirt is dripping wet, and I am really not happy. Is this starting to sound like a broken record??

Part way down the road there is a trail that runs between the woods and the corn field, and since the wood ticks have died down considerably, I decided I might as well walk down the trail and do some calling to see if I can find him. No luck. Not even a sound. All I came out of there with is enough mosquito bites and deer fly bites to look like I have a minor case of the chicken pox.

So, I am once again sitting here wondering if I am:
1) Going to have a dog come home
2) If I do, is he going to be dragging deer parts with him, or
3) Is he going to be injured

If he does what he's supposed to do (from habit) and comes home and takes a dip in his purple pool to cool down from his excursion, he is going to get a bubble bath, and a very big time out. Grrrr! That'll show him.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boat Ride

This weekend was stinky hot, but we managed to sneak in a nice boat ride. For some reason, all of the mosquitoes have decided to all come out at once too, so the middle of the lake seems to be the safest place to be! We took with some cocktails for Don and I, and some water and treats for Brutus, and off we went. It was heavenly. We cranked up "Bob", the radio station that we have come to enjoy very much, and hung out until the sun went behind the trees. It was fun and lovely. I hope everyone else had a great weekend. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doggy Daycare :)

Today was going to be an incredibly busy day for me, and it was either take Brutus to doggy daycare, or lock him in his crate for seven hours, so I chose daycare. Big surprise there!! Believe me, it's a steal! He gets to spend all day running around playing with friends, having snacks and getting loved up, and he comes home to me exhausted. It's awesome. Don woke him up at 6:30 AM, which was a big shock to his system. Since we've been back in Bloomington, Brutus has gone back to sleeping in until 8:00-8:30. I think it's walking up those steep hills on the walking trails that does him in!

Anyway, back to the story. So, Don woke him up at 6:30, and Brutus wouldn't get out of bed, so Don said "Brutus, do you want to go for a walk?" to which he went flying out of bed, only to be put on the leash, pottied and then put in the truck. Don said he (Brutus) was very confused. I had packed up his things the night before (bed, snacks, lunch and stuffed Kong) so Don would have everything ready to go. When they got to PetSmart, there was apparently something behind the building that completely freaked Brutus out, and he started to growl, and the fur on the back of his neck was standing straight up. Don's thinking "great, he's already upset about being pulled out of bed, and now he's being vicious". This wasn't looking good, so Don talked him down and got him relaxed. He said that after he got the paperwork filled out, the girl (petite) went to take Brutus back to the daycare center, and Brutus pulled her all the way across the floor to get back to Don. He wasn't going, no way, no how. Don walked him back in to the center, and when the girl tried to walk him back again, Brutus wouldn't move. The girl couldn't make him budge, so Don ended up walking in to the back area with him, and once Brutus was through the door he must have remembered where he was, because he took off and was ready to go play. Whew, that was close. He had spent two weeks there when my mom was sick and done great, so we really weren't expecting problems, but you just never know.

I headed back to pick him up at 4:00 this afternoon, and I explained to the girl that I was writing this blog, and I would love to get some pictures of him without him knowing. There is a little hallway between the training room where Brutus took classes, and the play room where the "big" dogs were playing, so we very quietly walked in there, and Brutus must have smelled me. I held up my camera, and this is what I saw. Disclaimer: Keep in mind that the glass is not only filthy, but has a film on it, so all of the pictures are hazy.I know, excuses, excuses!! I'm learning to get fussy about pictures!
As my camera is clicking away (it was only seconds, I promise) I saw this horribly pathetic face looking at me. It was like he was screaming "MOM, SERIOUSLY, PUT THE DAMN CAMERA AWAY AND GET ME OUT OF HERE!
 Pretty soon, he's trying to open the door. This is getting to be too much!!!
OK, at this point the abuse had to stop. The girl who worked at the check out counter and I decided we had put him through enough, even though it had honestly only been a minute or less, so we turned to walk away. When I turned around, this is what I saw. Oh my God, my heart just broke. He's like "wait, no, what, where are you going? I'm still here, no, wait!"
Being the huge sap that I am for my boy, I decided there was some making up to do. After a whole bunch of nose rubbing and kisses, I decided he needed a nice cold treat, so I MAYBE took him to McDonald's for a vanilla shake. Actually, I did, and he nursed that frosty treat like a puppy that had never eaten anything better in his life. I was having a little trouble driving because I was holding the shake with my right hand, and he had one of his paws on my right arm to make sure it didn't move, and he closed his eyes and just licked it the whole drive home. When I pulled in the driveway, Don was standing there, so he grabbed my camera out of my purse and took the following picture. NOT a good picture of me, but it's the moment that counts. It was priceless. To my children who I didn't hold the cup for and let you lick out of it, sorry, you didn't have big brown eyes and a sappy face. :) But, you do need to remember all of those bowls of cookie dough that we ate while we snuggled up and watched movies in bed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brutus Survived His Doctor's Visit! Yay!!

Today was Brutus's first check-up at the vet since we were told that they wouldn't be able to see him unless he was sedated. I have been an absolute wreck. I mean downright pop an anxiety pill wreck. It was literally breaking my heart to think of him not only being muzzled, but being stabbed with a needle during a full on fight to knock him out.

In the doctor's defense, when we first adopted Brutus and took him to the vet, our little lovey did try to kill the vet, twice. It wasn't pretty, so their thought of needing to sedate him was justified. I just didn't like it, and I'm sure that if Brutus knew what was coming, he wouldn't like it either.

As luck would have it, we pulled in to the parking lot, and there was Brutus's teacher Libby. She came buzzing over to the car and said a big "hello" to both of us, and it was so good to see her. I'm really looking forward to getting back in to classes this fall when we move back to the city. I went to PetSmart, which is attached to the pet hospital, a little early so we would have some time for Brutus to walk around and get acclimated. Amazingly, he got up on the scale, and even sat and stayed. I pointed this out to the receptionist, and she made note of his weight. A very healthy (overweight by 4.7 lbs.) 74.7 lbs. We'll take it. He's been getting lots of treats since every day has been a training day. After they took his weight, we walked around the store some more since they didn't have a room ready yet.

Finally, the time had come, and suddenly, Brutus knew it. He took off for the front door, and the entire length of his leather leash went burning across the palm of my hand and my little finger. OK, I will admit that there were a couple four letter words muttered under my breath as I was talking baby talk to coax him back into the clinic, but I managed to get him in the clinic, and in to the room. I knew things were bad when the paper work that they normally insist you sign before you even enter a room was sitting on the counter in the exam room. That meant the staff was already worried, which is never good. My anxiety went up a level.
As soon as we got in the room and the door shut, Brutus decided that if he stared at the door hard enough, it just might open. He stared at that door for a good fifteen minutes. I even tried liver treats, and he wasn't moving. Was I a bad mom to keep taking pictures?
The door didn't magically open from him staring at it, so after fifteen minutes, he turned around and gave me this look. Yeah, that didn't melt my heart at all. Ugh! Kind of says "HELP" doesn't it.
About this time, the door opened. The most amazing vet tech that I have ever had the pleasure of having for my animals came through that door. I swear that there were harps playing. She came in and pretty much ignored Brutus, and talked to me. We both sat on the floor, and as she was talking to me about Brutus (and not typing on the computer) she started to gently pet him, and pretty soon she was rubbing his head, and his ears and then his tummy. I was amazed. Brutus was going for it. I handed her the bag of liver treats that I had brought with, and Brutus was eating them out of her hand. I was in love with this girl. Denise at Banfield in Eden Prairie if anyone wants to request her. She was AMAZING!! She didn't try to take his temperature knowing that it would ruin the good vibe, but instead tried to make this a good experience for Brutus. She spent a good half an hour with him, and then went to get the veterinarian. She said that she would ask the doctor to remove her coat, and she took the liver treats with her so the doctor could come in prepared with the good stuff.

Brutus and I had to wait another twenty minutes before the doctor got in there, but sure enough, she came in without her coat off, and treats in hand. She played it pretty cool too, and used a really positive voice with Brutus. Things were going pretty well. Then came exam time. This was the point where they had said they would have to sedate him, but she suggested that we just try muzzling him, so they handed me the muzzle which I put on Brutus without a fuss, and on we went. The first thing she did was look in Brutus's ears, and he went at her like a bear going after a donut. Thankfully, she didn't have an instrument in her hand, she was just eyeballing it, and his ears looked great from that vantage point. He didn't fuss at all through the rest of the exam, even when she gave him his shots. He just has some kind of issue with his ears. I was so excited when that visit was over that I wanted to dance on the ceiling. Brutus wasn't quite as excited, as you can see in the picture below. I think he was saying "get me the hell out of here, please".
As soon as the bill was paid, I took Brutus and buzzed over to Libby's office and threw my arms around her and said "NO SEDATION". She was just about as excited as I was, as she has a very special place in her heart for rescued animals too. She was SOOO proud of Brutus, and so am I. What a huge relief. After hugging Libby and doing a little happy dance, I took Brutus shopping for a new Frisbee and a stuffed animal to destroy. This boy definitely deserved it. Job well done. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

It Was A Long Fun Day!

Well, it is the end of a very busy day for Brutus. I'm wondering if he isn't thinking that the lake is a more relaxing place to be!! We started out early this morning dropping his two feline sisters off at the vet, from there we went to the dog park where he met four new friends to play with. From there it was to McDonald's for a somewhat healthy breakfast and a big bottle of water, and then home for a little break while mom took a shower. After my shower, I was going to run back to the vet to pick up the girls, but Brutus insisted on coming with, so come along he did. It's probably a good thing, because his appointment is tomorrow, and the more familiar he is with the place, the better. I really hate to see him be sedated when he is such a gentle dog, but who knows what he went through in his prior life. And I do consider it an entirely prior life, because I can't imagine anyone living with him and being willing to not only throw him away, but allowing it to go so far as letting his time run out so he was facing the gas chamber. I still get sick just thinking about it.

So, we went in and picked up the girls, which went fine. I took Brutus in first to say "hello" to everyone, and then I took him out to the air conditioned car while I went back in and picked up the girls in their little kennels. Both had done really well during their check-ups, so no worries there. Brutus is going to have to have a booster shot tomorrow, and he isn't going to like it. If they do sedate him, I'm going to have them trim up his nails too. They have worn down a bit this summer just from walking on the gravel every day, but they could still use a trim, and when he sees me take out the nail trimmer, he starts jumping around the house like a bucking bronco!

I had a medical appointment this afternoon, so once all of the critters were back home, Brute had to go in his kennel for a couple hours. He seemed to handle it pretty well. Here's the sad part of the story. When I got home from my appointment, Don had gotten home just ahead of me and was heading down the road with Brutus for a walk. I stopped and said "hello" to them, and from that point on, Brutus would no longer walk with don. He drug Don back to the house to me. Kind of funny actually. So, we ate dinner, sat around for a little and waited for it to cool down, and all went for a walk together. Now Brutus is officially pooped. Goodnight everyone out there. Sleep tight!

On The Wrong Side Of The Fence :(

This morning I had to take Sophie and Bernice to the Vet for their six month well checks, and Brutus wouldn't take "no" for an answer when it came time to get in the car to go, so along he came. If he was the one actually going to the Vet, he would have been at home hiding in the furnace room, but there's just this small part of me that thinks he wanted to be there to say "neener neener" to his feline sisters. Anyway, I chose to drop them off and pick them up after lunch instead of waiting this time. I know, I am a much less loving mother these days. lol!!

Since I wasn't cleaned up yet for the day, and it felt too muggy out to go for a big walk, I decided to take Brutus to a dog park that I hadn't been to since last winter. I always get nervous going to new places by myself, but I decided to give it a shot. It turned out well. There were two very nice men there with their dogs, and a little later another girl showed up with her two dogs, one who could quite possibly belong to the mob. I think it was a lab, but this was the biggest chocolate lab I had ever seen in my life, and he wanted to show everyone that he was the boss. He wasn't mean. He just needed to do a little humping on each dog to say "hey buddy, I could own you and your family, so don't mess with me". Cracked me up. Would have been even funnier if he had a name like Fluffy or something, but his name was Hershey, which actually did fit. I kept waiting for quotes from The Godfather to come out of his mouth!!

Brutus did his normal chipmunk search. He smelled and smelled and smelled. Once he was done smelling the whole back side of the fence line, he finally gave up and just looked out into the wilderness on the other side with a sad face. Anyone who has followed this blog knows just how much Brutus would have loved to have scaled that six foot fence and gone after anything that moved!
Is it ever wrong to wonder if the right thing to do was save their life? I know that we have given him the best life that any dog could possibly ask for, but if he was thrown away, and spent who knows how long running free, going after critters, I wonder which he would choose. Hmmm.
Anyway, we finished up the morning outing with a trip to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin and a bottle of nice cold water. He seemed really happy after that, and quite tired out by the time we got home. I just have to believe that an Egg McMuffin would be so much better than a chipmunk. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Tired Today

I got out of the tub today to find Brutus snuggled up with his toy, totally zonked out on the bed. He's such a tough guy. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mmm, Yeah, A Little Inappropriate. Oh Well

This morning was GORGEOUS! I was just getting ready to finish up a couple things and take Brutus out for his walk when my friend Pam called to see if I wanted to go for a walk. Talk about perfect timing, and Brutus adores Pam, so I knew it would be OK to bring him with. Once Brutus is familiar with someone, he doesn't do the whole "gotta jump all over you to say hello" thing. That makes me crazy, especially when I don't hear cars come in the driveway so I can't be out there to stand on his tie to hold him down while people say "hello" to him. Once he says "hi", he is typically fine. If you ignore him, you're on your own. You have to say "hi Brutus", pat him on the head so he feels acknowledged, and then he's good to go. I know, annoying, but he likes to feel important.

Anyway, I digress as usual. Pam and I took Brutus and headed out for a really nice long walk. If we go down the private dirt road and back, it's a little over two miles, and today we went a ways beyond that, so it was a really nice long walk. On our way back, we were about a quarter of a mile from home, and Brutus disappeared. I beeped him, and called for him, but he was gone. Our friend Russ went by on his four wheeler, and we asked him to keep his eye out for Brutus, but when he headed back down the road, he said he hadn't seen him. Honestly, I wasn't worried. I have gotten to know Brutus well enough to know that if he takes off, he will come home if able, and if he is warm, there is a 99% chance that I will find him in his purple pool (I still say it was the best $10.00 I have ever spent). Pam was pretty worried when we parted, but sure enough, I got home, and there he sat, in his purple pool. I kind of figured that he was getting overheated and decided to head home and take a little swim. It would have been nice if he could have told us.

After Brutus and I had cooled down from our walk, I needed to head out to get my picture of the day for my photo club that I joined. Now I'm jumping ahead. Let me go back a little. Yesterday afternoon I took Brutus to Eau Claire shopping at PetSmart. He needed a new leash, and some chicken strips, and he picked out a stuffed "flea". He gets very attached to his stuffed items, until he unstuffs them and then they end up in the toy box with the rest of the toys that he gets bored with, but right now he is in love with his stuffed flea, so it goes everywhere with him. I had to trick him to get him out the door for our walk this morning without it. I was only going the equivalent of a block to get my pictures today, so I didn't care if it came with. What cracked me up is that I was talking to him while we were going down the road, and kind of verbally teasing him about needing to bring with his toy, and he kept giving me this look like "what, doesn't every big boy bring with their stuffed flea when they go on walks?". He is just too cute.
Here is where it gets inappropriate. Fair warning. I'm snapping pictures of Brutus as we're walking down the road to my photo opportunity destination, and he can't even put down his stuffed toy to go potty. I'm sorry, but I just don't even know what to say about that. I thought it was funny. He didn't miss a beat.
And, in case anyone is curious about the picture I took for the photo club, here it is. Have a happy! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brutus's New Trick

When we adopted Brutus, we were thrilled that he wasn't a "barker". Barking tends to make us crazy! The downfall, we never knew when he had to go to the bathroom. He would just stand there and look at us, and it took us a while to try and figure out a schedule for him, and even that didn't always work. He went from just staring at us to scratching at the door. It wasn't really bad scratching, considering what it could be, but none the less, it was leaving marks on the doors. So we purchased a set of Poochie Bells to hang on the door, and trained him how to hit the bells with his paw when he wanted to go outside. He picked up on the whole concept pretty quickly, which made us wish that we would have done it sooner rather than later.

These days Brutus is a champ at ringing the bells. He barely even touches the door. The problem you ask? When we were training him to go outside to go potty, we also trained him with the positive reinforcement of a treat for being such a good boy, as in NOT peeing in the house! Now that he's gotten to be a pro at going outside to go to the bathroom, the treat giving has lessened considerably. About a week ago, Brutus started ringing the bells to go outside much more often. I would let him out, but he would just go out on the top step, wait until I shut the door, turn around and then knock on the door to get in, walk over to the counter where we keep the treats and stand there. At first I didn't really "get it", but it continued and became blatantly obvious.

Brutus was now trying to train me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ooooh Deer!

So, at the beginning of the summer I had talked about how I was nervous walking Brutus because there was a mama bear with three cubs in the neighborhood, and I wasn't sure what Brutus's reaction would be to the bears if we just happened to run in to them. If today was any indication, I am very thankful that we never did, or at least haven't yet.

We were out for our morning walk, and Brutus usually tools along several feet ahead of me. I keep his e-collar on him in case of an emergency, but I truly have never had an issue with him running off. He isn't great with his commands, which is my fault. If I say "heel", he will stop where he is instead of coming to my side and sitting down. If I was more strict, what would I write about?? Anyway, we were walking along, like this, and I was snapping pictures like I usually do.
As I'm snapping pictures, all of a sudden I see this. 
And then this. At this point I'm thinking OH SHIT, dropping the camera around my neck and starting to yell.You can see Brutus at the bottom of the picture in full on running mode.

Do you think he could have gone after the doe that ran to the corn field? Nope. He had to chase the little buck that ran all the way across the big open field and in to the woods. I called for him for quite a while, and yes my friends, I even zapped him. He didn't even break his stride. I'm sure that the adrenalin blasting through his body was much more powerful than the little punch he got from me. I was so mad. I finally gave up yelling for him and thought to myself "fine, go ahead and run away, I've had it". Childish wasn't it. In my defense, he did go to the neighbors yesterday and roll around in horse poop, so it hasn't been the greatest couple of days.

I walked back to the house and laid on the floor and wondered about all of the places that I could run away to. I've wanted to go visit Ashley all summer. Packing up and leaving sounded really good, but I'm not sure that the 110 degree heat index sounded good. I decided to keep thinking. I probably laid there pouting for a good half hour when I heard a noise outside. Really? Could he have possibly dared to come back after that great escape? I got up and looked out the door, and this is what I saw. Kind of impossible to kill a big boy in a purple pool. Good thinking on his part.
I picked the pickers off of him, washed the little bit of blood off from under his eye and we had a little chat. After all of that was over, he went to lay down on his green blanket and pout for a little bit. I turned around to look at him before I went back in to the house, and everything I had left in me just came barreling out. Some very ridiculous frog decided it was a good idea to go hang out with Brutus. Like I said, I give up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day Dream

Today my boy was day dreaming (excuse the booger in his eye). 
 Then I realized what he was dreaming about, and the chase was on! Oy Vey!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feeling Guilty? Really??

Today, life gets back to normal. Don is back to work again, Don's parents, after a very nice five day visit headed home this morning, and Brutus WAS back to being bored. The heat here is excruciating (sorry people that live in the south), so there's no way that I'm going to hang out outside today and play with him. If he wants to play, he can play inside. :)

But no. Brutus had other plans. Now that Dad and Grandpa have both gone home, it was time to catch a chipmunk. I really wonder if he does this just to gross me out, or if the timing just happens to be so perfect that I am always the one stuck throwing the lifeless little buggers out in the woods. Anyway, he did his normal routine of coddling it for about four hours, and then the flies started to come in. Like I said, it is HOT today, and I'm sure it was speeding up the decomposition process. If I walked over to him, he would stick his butt up in the air, and lay his chin over the little guy. He is very protective of his chipmunks, so I had to let it be. Finally, he wanted to come in the house, without the chipmunk, thank goodness. He wanted to go out on the deck on the back of the house, so while he was out there, I ran to the garage, picked up the towel that was on his bed, which also held the victim, and flung it out into the woods. I ran as fast as I could with the towel in to the laundry room, threw it in with a load of laundry (hot water, bleach included) grabbed a new towel to put on Brutus's bed, came back in the house and sterilized my hands all before he could see me doing a thing. I thought I had fooled him, but he must have heard me shut the door, because the very second he got in from the deck, he went flying to the front door and rang the bells to get out like his life depended on it. As soon as I opened the front door he ran to see if his chipmunk was still there, and when it wasn't, he looked around for it, looked at me, and just hung his head and laid down.

OK people. Do I really have to feel bad about this? Because I do!! I have literally gone from a person that called Don at work practically screaming about how grossed out I was because Brutus had caught a chipmunk, to feeling bad about taking one away. I can't tell if I've made personal progress, or if I'm sliding in to some deep dark hole of horribleness. I do know that he will be getting a bath and having his teeth brushed before he crawls up onto the bed with me tonight. I can still say YUCK!

I will leave you with a cute picture of Brutus chasing chipmunks under the blackberry bushes this weekend. Of course, he didn't catch one this weekend, because Dad and Grandpa were here, and that just simply would have been too convenient.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If You Can't Stand The Heat, Go In The House!

Brutus is so confused. He is a "house" dog, but this summer he has become a house dog that only comes in when it's time for bed, kind of like children used to be. There are just too many fun things to do and listen to outside. Especially at the lake.

Enter this weeks heat, and he just doesn't know what to do with himself. I have finally figured out that this must be the reason why he has been going in and out of the house enough times to make me wish I would have sent him back to the cities with Dad!! It is just plain frickin hot. There is no nicer way to say it. It's hard to breathe. You walk a few steps outside, and the back of your shirt is soaked. The first thing I do in the morning is fill up Brutus's purple pool, but even the water gets warm, which has been kind of nice because it's perfect for giving him a bath outside at night!

Anyway, I'm quite certain that he goes outside and gets too hot and doesn't know what to do, so he knocks on the door to come inside (I barely have a screen left on the front door from his knocking), then he instantly gets bored inside where it's nice and cool, so he rings the bells to go back outside. He has been doing this all day for the last three days.

Dear Mr.Weatherman, make something change, or you will be finding a very sweet but psychotic lab named Brutus on your doorstep!

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Escape Artist And A Tattle-Tail

First-Brutus is making me NUTS today! He has been in and out of every single door at least thirty times. I have had "discussions" with him that involved words like "knock" and "it" and "off", but to no avail. He is possessed, and probably bored. Dad went home last night, and since Brutus has gotten very comfortable in the neighborhood, I just can't leave him off leash all the time unless I can have an eye on him.

Second-we have two Calico cats. One is Sophie, who is my loud, friendly, in your face frat cat. The second is Bernice, who is very delicate, and I only see her a couple times a day when SHE decides that it is time for me to love her up. She is still very afraid of Brutus, and stays away from him at all costs.

So, after getting tired of letting Brutus in and out of every door in the house a bazillion times today, I decided to ignore him for a while. I got busy doing some laundry, and unloading the dishwasher. When I was in the kitchen, my little Bernice came in and made her arrival pretty well known. She actually meowed, which was kind of funny. I picked her up and gave her her usual snuggle and back rub and then put her down. She jumped up on a chair and meowed at me again. I kept talking to her, and she jumped off the chair and over to the ledge by the table and sat there and meowed. Great, not only was Brutus making me nuts, but Bernice was being bazaar too.Wait a minute......Brutus, where was that boy? He hadn't bugged me in a good fifteen minutes, and if Bernice was upstairs in the kitchen, Brutus couldn't be anywhere on the main floor of the house. Oh crap.

The first thing that came to my mind was that the door to the screened in porch on the lower level of the house wasn't latched, and he had snuck out the main door of the house, which we leave cracked open a little so the cats can hang out in the screened in porch, and pushed the screen door open. Doggone it! No wonder Bernice was in the kitchen yelling at me. The little punkin was trying to tell me that her big stupid brother snuck out of the house.

First, I went down and latched the two hooks on the screen door. Then I started calling for Brutus. In about five minutes here he came, tooling through the woods across the road. Grrrrr.

This proves two things to me. One, he's a stinker, which I already knew, and kind of love about him, although it isn't funny every day, and Two, he actually does have a brain to think things through. He had to think about the fact that I wasn't going to let him out of the upstairs door, so maybe the door downstairs would be unlatched. It took me back to a moment during dog classes when his teacher Libby was talking about her own dog not being the sharpest tool in the shed, and she used to say to him "is the elevator ever going to go up in that brain of yours?". We always have to be one step ahead of that boy. I bet Bernice laughed all the way back to her hiding spot.