Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What A Week

Wow, it's been a while since I've had time to sit down and catch up on the good old Brutus Blog. The last time that I blogged, Don was in Wisconsin deer hunting, and was supposed to be that way for a few more days. As it turned out, he ended up with a molar that needed a root canal, and came home four days early. As any of you women know, it's never fair when men come home during your "alone time" week, no matter how much we love them. Thankfully, he was on vicodin for most of the week, and I really did feel pretty bad for him, so he was forgiven this time. He just better not make a habit of it.

Needless to say, Brutus was more than thrilled to have dad back. He was so pouty and sad the whole time Don was gone. I have said many times that Brutus is definitely a two parent dog. If one of us is gone, he sits and waits for the other one to come home. He is probably worse about that if I am gone, but he really misses his dad too. The difference there is that he knows dad leaves every day and comes home every night. When that routine is goofed up, he just doesn't understand. He usually starts sitting in the entryway around 4:00-4:30 so he's sure to be able to greet Don with a big hug when he comes in the door. When he did that after Don left to go hunting, and Don didn't come home, it was pretty pathetic. He was like a big mopey child.

On Wednesday evening, we had to drop Brutus off at doggy daycare. It really broke my heart, because Don had just gotten home and made Brutus all happy again, and then we had to turn around and take him to the kennel. He technically didn't need to be there until Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) when we went to my Mom's in Wisconsin, but the PetSmart that houses the daycare where we take Brutus was going to be closed on Thanksgiving Day, so we had to drop him off a day early, which meant staying there for two nights. We took his bed, blanket, two of his favorite toys and his food. He has always had a great time at their doggy daycare, but this was a little different because he was staying overnight. I felt SO guilty. Don actually took him there to drop him off because I was too much of a wimp, and he said that Brutus just looked at the door as he left, like "don't leave without me!!!". I would have died. Side note: the kennel was fully staffed during the holiday. There just wasn't a way for people to get in and out being it's a facility within a facility.

Andrew and Karri came on Wednesday night so that we could head to my mom's early on Thursday morning. We weren't going to spend the night at mom's, but we wanted to be able to spend the whole day with her, and my brother and sister-in-law and nephew. We had kind of a bad snowstorm on Wednesday, so I was really worried about the kids making it, but they did, and everything went as planned. We had a great day at my mom's. Plenty of food and beverages were had by all. Don was our sober driver for the day, which made him our hero. Not only was his mouth sore from having a big time root canal, but he was spending the day with my fun loving silly side of the family, and NOT drinking! He's a really good sport!

Friday morning we didn't wake up until 9:30 in the morning. I couldn't believe it! Don never sleeps past 6:00, so this was a real shocker. I'm guessing his happy pills had something to do with it! I was supposed to pick up Brutus between 7:00-9:00 because they need the kennels for the next days dogs that are coming in unless you are booked for that day too, and they were completely booked because of the holidays. Needless to say, I had to pay a little extra. Ugh!! When we got home, I put Brutus's dog bed back in the bedroom on the floor. Pretty soon he comes walking out to the living room with his bed in his mouth, tearing it apart, and humping it. He was definitely trying to show that bed who was boss. I was laughing pretty hard, but at the same time, it was pretty sad. He was so upset. He didn't act like this when he just went to the daycare that was during the day, and I really didn't understand what the problem was with his bed.

He finally settled down and had been OK for about an hour when Sophie, one of our cats, walked in to his bed. He jumped up and growled at her, which he never does. He has always been really gentle with the cats. That time he got scolded. Andrew was sitting the closest to him, and a few minutes after Brutus had his tantrum, Andrew reached over toward him, but also had his hand toward the bed, and Brutus did the same thing to Andrew. The really bad thing was that Brutus actually bit Andrew and broke the skin on the back of one of his fingers. NOT cool. We got Andrew's finger cleaned up, and being Andrew is amazing with animals, the first thing he did was go right back to Brutus to make friends with him. He knew Brutus was upset, and not necessarily with him. Later that afternoon Andrew took Brutus out for a run, and after that they were best buds for the rest of the weekend, but it was scary there for a while. This just wasn't my gentle Brutus boy.

On Friday night Ashley flew in from Kansas. We were all so excited to see her. I thought Brutus was going to knock her over. The funny thing is, when we went to Joan's (Brutus's foster mom's) to pick Brutus up when we adopted him, Brutus saw Ashley's face, and that was it. It was love at first sight, and no matter how long they are apart, that love just comes rolling back full force. He adores that girl, almost too much. Ashley has always been a "kitty" girl, and the three cats were also quite happy to see her, but Brutus would get really jealous. There was a little grumbling, head butting and pushing done by Brutus if the cats just happened to be getting more attention than he was. It was kind of embarrassing. He was acting like an undisciplined child.
The time with the kids always goes too fast, but it was so much fun. Saturday we just hung out at the house and talked and relaxed. It was wonderful! Ashley stayed up the night before with Karri and Andrew until 4:30 in the morning, which meant that she had been awake for twenty-three hours straight, so she was in bed by 8:00 that night, but she needed it. She rarely gets to sleep in in the morning, so the more sleep she could get, the better. I was just so glad that the kids had some time to "catch up" the night before.

On Sunday, my mom and her friend Carsten drove out to see the kids for a couple hours, and then Karri and Andrew had to pack up and head back to St. Cloud. Leaving is such a bummer. Just the whole packing and driving and saying "good-bye". After all of the "trauma" from having been in the kennel for two nights, and then having all of the company show up, Brutus was very unhappy when Andrew and Karri left. It was just one more change in his life that he didn't like. He tore through the house throwing his toys around, and nipping at us. His behavior was off the charts naughty, but I could only attribute it to all of the chaos in his doggy life. Getting mad at him wasn't going to do any good. All we could do was try to bring some normalcy and calm in to his life. It wasn't going to happen yet, but we would get working on it!!

Monday was "girl day" for Ashley and I, which meant crate time for Brutus. We didn't leave for lunch until 1:00 in the afternoon, but he wasn't happy. When we walked out to the garage after crating him, he was crying terribly. I can only hope that he settled down after a few minutes. By the time that we got home at 5:00, Don was already home. Ash and I crawled in to bed and watched movies all night and snuggled up with Brutus, and a couple of the cats that aren't too afraid to put him in his place. He still wasn't even close to "himself", but he seemed to calm down a little bit.

Today Brutus and I took Ashley to the airport. He loves to go for car rides, and he rode in the back seat the whole way there, and when Ashley got out to leave, he stepped to the front seat to give her a kiss. Since we have been home, he has been snoozing on the bed. I can only think that this past week was just too much for him. Thankfully, during the Christmas holiday he won't have to be kenneled at all. Maybe that will help him to adjust to the addition of each person that comes to stay. This will be our first Christmas with Brutus, and I'm going to end today's post on this note. It occurred to me today that we probably shouldn't put up a Christmas tree until the day before the kids come home. To Brutus, it would be the equivalent of bringing a great big potty chair in to the house. How do you explain to a dog that he can pee on the pine tree in the back yard, but not the one you just put in the family room?? If we would have trained him from puppyhood, this maybe wouldn't even be an issue, but since we trained him from God knows what hood, I think it would be a big issue, and one that we would be better off just avoiding until I am in the right mind set to watch his every move for a couple days.

And on that note, I wish you all a wonderful week. :)

1 comment:

  1. I love your post about Brutus and look forward to them. I LOVE your patience because they need it. I also love that you really understand that they are like children and need routine and normalacy. I always tell myself that I am done taking fosters when they leace because it is so hard on many levels but their unrelenting love that they give us is astounding! I laughed so hard about the tree. When I brought Brutus in my home for the first time, I had just started taking down the Christmas tree and what does he do, he goes right to it and lifts his leg. OMG, my children and I were dying! I love that big guy.