Sunday, December 18, 2011

Puppy Love

It has been such a fun weekend. We had our "Christmas" with the kiddos a week early. Nick and Ashley both had troubles with scheduling a visit during the week of the 25th, so we just moved our gathering up by a week. Nick was able to bring his girlfriend Liz along for the whole visit this year, which was awesome. She is such a love, and such a perfect match for Nick. It's been so much fun to see them together.

Andrew's girlfriend Amber was able to join us on Friday and Saturday evening. She was scheduled to work this weekend so she had to come to the party a little late, but she was nice enough to let her dog Mabel come over and play with Brutus for the weekend while she was at work. Needless to say, Brutus is exhausted!! Every once in a while he would jump up on our bed to hide from Mabel (because she's very well trained and won't jump up on our bed) and he knows it. lol! They spent the weekend playing tug of war, wrestling, kissing, snuggling, and running around like crazy! I'm thinking he will sleep for a good two days! Ahhhhh...........puppy love.

Here's a little slide show of their play date.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dreaded Cone Of Shame

When Brutus woke up today, the sore on his foot looked even worse than it did yesterday. It was still swollen about the same amount, but one side of it was kind of white and oozy. Sorry for the gross word in there, but there was just no nice way to say it. It was definitely time to head to the doggy doctor. Ugh. :(

On a happy note, Andrew came home last night for a dentist appointment that he had today. Brutus adores Andrew, to the point that he actually slept downstairs in his crate last night to keep an eye on him. Brutus hates it downstairs. He'll typically only go down there to go outside to go to the bathroom, or if Don is down there with food. If there is food involved, as soon as it is swallowed, he's right back up those stairs. I will never know what happened to him in a basement that makes him so afraid, but our basement is warm and cozy, and it just doesn't matter. Even today, Andrew got all kinds of love and "pats". At one point Andrew was sitting on the bed doing some stuff on the laptop. Our oldest cat Princess jumped up to say "hello" to him, and Brutus about fell apart. All of a sudden he was rolling over on his back trying to get Andrew's attention, and tapping his leg. When that wasn't getting his attention away from Princess, the head in the lap had to take place. Finally Brutus had had it. He stood up and sneezed really loud at Princess. Problem solved. Life was as it should be Brutus land.

Anyway, I digress. So, as always, I call the clinic to schedule Brutus's appointment, and give the girl at the desk fair warning that Brutus may throw a bit of a "fuss". In my mind I'm thinking that if anyone touches that back foot, he'll take their head off, but I didn't want to go quite that far with my honesty. For all of you dog owners out there, you'll love what came out of the receptionist's mouth next. "Well, maybe we should just muzzle him before we even take him back to the room". That's right. Let's go in to this with a positive attitude. In her defense, I'm the one always reminding them that they may need to be prepared for a bit of trouble. Maybe I should just stop, although, it's right on the computer screen that Brutus is a "vicious dog". More like a big fraidy cat.

I am at the point in getting over the flu that when I am standing up for more than an hour, I break out in a sweat. Yes, it's been ten days. No, I have no idea why I am such a wimp when it comes to this. I have my physical tomorrow, and may ask for euthanasia. Anyway, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to handle Brutus alone, so Don came home to help. Thank goodness!! He literally had to pick him up just to get him in the room, and Brutus weighs 90 lbs. Not an easy task. We managed to get through the Vet Tech's interview without a muzzle, and even the doctor's eyeball exam of the foot. Things were going pretty well. Unfortunately, the foot was going to require a cortisone shot, and very close to the wound. I muzzled Brutus and held his leg while Don held Brutus. The doctor put the shot in gently, but as quickly as he could. He actually got almost the whole shot in, which should help to calm down the inflammation a lot. Brutus also has to take two weeks of antibiotics for the underlying infection, and wear the cone on his head when we aren't watching him close to keep him from licking. He has another appointment in two weeks to see if we need to repeat the shot and continue with the antibiotics. The lump on his foot was pretty big.

My heart felt thanks goes out to Cori Mason, a girl who I have watched grow up and become an amazing Veterinary Assistant. She gave me great advice to follow in the interim until the time came for me to take Brutus in to the doctor. I just wish Cori didn't live eight hours away!! Any vet clinic that has her is very lucky.

So, that is Brutus's update. I also want to thank Amber, Andrew's girlfriend, for the cute little "Cone of Shame" clip from the movie "Up". It's so sad, but it certainly made me laugh a little. I will share it below. Have a happy everyone!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Someone Needs Their Tongue Tied!

My Brutus Boy is such a nervous Nelly! It just breaks my heart. His nervous habit of choice is licking, and it isn't like he chooses to lick my floors and clean them up, or clean his whole body. No, my boy licks one spot on his body, over and over and over until he literally just can't lick it anymore.

This time it started with Don leaving to go deer hunting. As silly as this sounds, Brutus is very much a two parent dog. When dad doesn't come home between 4:00 and 5:00 (which is when Brutus starts sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for him) there is obviously a big reason to get nervous and start to worry. He gets a very sad face, and will pace around for a while. When he finally gives up and comes to bed, he lets out several big sighs and lays his head down on his paws and looks at me like he's saying "where's my dad, and how can you possibly just be laying there like that"?

To add insult to injury, I went to my mom's for Thanksgiving. I was only gone for the day, but since I would be gone the whole day, and Brutus couldn't come with, I had to kennel him. The kennel we take him to is great, and he's been there before, so it isn't like we're just dropping him off some place that he's never been. Actually, I had taken him in there a couple days prior to his drop off day just to say "hello" and get a belly rub and a treat to ease the stress of drop off day. But, he's used to getting a good ten hours of sleep a night on a king size bed in total peace and quiet, and at the kennel I'm sure there were dogs that cried all night for their families. Also, his kennel is located inside of PetSmart, and the store itself is closed on holidays, so I had to drop him off the night before Thanksgiving, and pick him up the day after, which meant two nights away from home. So now we have dad gone, and staying at a kennel. Double stress!!

Don came home from Thanksgiving and picked Brutus up from the kennel, which was like Christmas, but two days later I am hit by a Mac truck that happens to be carrying the flu in it, and honestly, I'm still not recovered, so he hasn't had a walk from me in quite a few days. So not good! He's used to getting walked close to every day, if for no other reason just to mark all of his territories. That's important boy stuff!! Now we're up to triple stress!!!

Now throw in Don taking him to the lake last weekend. Honestly, he was doing the right thing because Brutus LOVES being at the lake, but Don had plans on Friday night and Saturday night, so you guessed it, Brutus was home alone. Lick lick lick.

So this is where we are today. Fair warning, it isn't pretty. It's hard to tell, but this is his hind paw. He was very fussed up about me even taking a picture of it, as I'm sure it's very sore. I've been trying to put antibiotic cream on it, and a few times I've put a sock over it, but since he's licking it all the time, I'm sure the antibiotic cream isn't doing a whole lot of good. You can probably all imagine how long the sock stays on! I contacted our family friend Cori who is a veterinary assistant, and she thinks we can "lick" this thing at home. Pun totally intended. Somehow, I need to distract him long enough for the antibiotic cream to soak in. She also suggested getting one of those cone collar things to put around his head if he won't leave it alone. That would be great fun! Honestly, I can see a couple of the cats taking great advantage of that one!! Funniest home videos, here we come.

So, keep your fingers crossed, or paws crossed. Whatever works. A trip to the vet to look at something that "hurts" would definitely mean sedation for Brutus, or death for the vet. :(  We'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brotherly Love

Brutus's dad has been out of town for a few days, and Brutus has been pouting big time. He is really good at pouting. He does this thing where he lays his head down on his paws and lets out this big breath, like he's sighing. And labs have these incredibly soulful sad looking eyes to begin with, so even though he may not be completely miserable, he sure has been acting like he is!

Brutus and his brother Andrew
Andrew to the rescue. My son Andrew was in the Cities visiting a friend over the weekend, and he stopped in for a visit. I thought Brutus was going to jump through the roof. He was so excited when he saw Andrew pull in to the drive way. I'm sure that at first he thought it was his Dad, but he seems to love Andrew just as much, so it was OK when it wasn't Dad. Andrew got hugs and kisses, and the whole time that we were trying to visit, Brutus was putting toys in his lap. I got a phone call, and all of a sudden Andrew and Brutus disappeared. I could have kissed Andrew's whole face a million times!! He grabbed Brutus's leash and took him for a run. It seriously was the best thing he could have done. I walk Brutus, and we go at a fairly rapid pace, but Andrew runs, and Brutus LOVES it. Brutus was so happy and excited when they got back that he grabbed his favorite toy and just ran up and down the hallway.

Needless to say, he slept really really good that night. Thank you Andrew!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

If I Just Had A Red Nose That Blinked!

I am convinced that Brutus's second calling in life, the first being "Master Chipmunk Chaser" is to be Rudolph's replacement. If only those reindeer aged!! I mean, the boy loves snow, he can jump like Lebron James, and his enthusiasm when he's outside is never ending. And let's be honest here, his "boys" have been removed, so he may even talk like Rudolph. We don't really know for sure what his real speaking voice sounds like.

We are having our first snow fall this morning, and when it started, it started in full force. Brutus had been outside just an hour earlier and the sky was clear, but when I opened the door to let him out again his face lit up like a Christmas tree!! First he smelled the drive way, then he licked it, and from there it was twenty minutes of jumping and running and sliding around. He love love loves the snow, and I have decided that that must be the reason why he suddenly seems to gain about ten pounds right before the snow flies, and then manages to drop it in the spring. I gain ten pounds right before the snow flies because I buy way too much Halloween candy!!

So, enjoy the following pictures of my "Rudolph wanna be" having fun this morning, and everyone be safe out there. Since I took these pictures, we have gained at least an inch more of snow on the roads.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Price of Gas

I have to laugh, because in our home, the cost of gas lately has been tears, laughter and a lot of blankets over our nose! When we were first married, it was Don's fault. I am totally sticking with that story, and nothing you can say is going to change it. Now, it is Brutus's fault, and Don will completely agree with me!

Most of the time his digestive system isn't too bad, but when we give him a treat that he hasn't had before, or a bite of something that might be more fatty than what he's used to, everyone within a fifty foot radius pays for it! His reaction to his gas is the funniest part. There are the silent but deadlies. When those fly, he doesn't even move. Don and I can be laying on the bed literally hiding under the covers gagging, and Brutus just looks at us like "what's your problem?" Although, coming from a guy who will carry a dead chipmunk around in his mouth on a hot summer afternoon, for hours, I would have to say that his "gross" radar doesn't function properly.

Then there are what I like to call the slippery ones. Those usually get his attention. I can always tell because he'll all of a sudden jump up and look at his bum to see if something bit him. I'm guessing they burn a little!

The funniest of all are the noisy ones. For example, I was sitting in the kitchen today, and Brutus had quite a loud toot. He literally had no idea where the noise came from and jumped up to stand at attention and look around to see what was making the noise. He had that look on his face like he was ready to bark at whatever it was that was making noise, perched with one paw half way up and all.

What a goof.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brutus Apparently Has A Story To Tell

Now that it has finally cooled down a little, I've been spending more time walking Brutus. I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but he has a very definite "marking" pattern. We tend to walk on the same path every day, and I'm starting to think that the other dogs and their owners do too. I could almost walk it alone and tell you which shrub he's going to mark. The funniest part is when we've made it through the woods, and he doesn't have anything left in him to "mark" with. He still has about five spots left to lift his leg on, but nothing happens. He's such a "guy".

So anyone out there that has read prior posts on here knows that I am not an experienced dog owner. I had a stray dog as a young girl (Oscar, who was my best friend ever), and now Brutus. I read a lot of books on positive reinforcement training, and adopting an older dog, but I can guarantee that nothing prepares you for the actual process. Anyway, I digress. Does anyone out there know if dogs search out for each others smells? It seems gross, but I'm really seeing a pattern here.

I took Brutus to the dog park today, and it always brings a smile to my face. Whenever a new dog comes to the park, all of the dogs that are already there have to come running to the gate to say "hello" to the new dog. There's the mandatory butt sniffing, a little rough housing, and then off they go. I felt so bad for a young girl who came with a small dog. There were probably eight large labs there today, and all of them went running to the gate to say "hi" to her when she stepped in to the first entry gate where you take your dog off of their leash. Her dog maybe weighed five lbs., and I don't think that she was over 115. Most of the owners were half way across the field, so I finally walked over there and got in front of the dogs to help her get through the crowd. Honestly, if I were her I maybe would have turned around and come back another day, but I give her credit. She got in there and held her puppy out so everyone could smell her bottom, and then put her down to run. Everything went fine.

So, I guess in essence, this is my story about smells. Sorry about that. The whole thing just kind of fascinates me. Brutus can smell a mouse or chipmunk three blocks away, so I guess it doesn't surprise me if he's playing "mark where you've been" with the neighbor dogs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That Mouse Didn't Have A Chance :(

If there's one thing Brutus is really really good at, it's catching rodents. Mice and chipmunks don't have a chance. They can be 100 yards away, and my boy can smell them. His nose will go up in the air and start to twitch, and no matter what you offer him, he is GONE! My dog training friend, Sandra, once told me that if I wanted Brutus to respond to the "come" command, it better be equal to filet mignon or forget it. When we were training him, we actually tried little pieces of steak to get him to come to us, but nothing equals the fun of chasing a rodent for Brutus. So, aside from chasing him, I just say forget it. Try to picture a running mouse, Brutus chasing the running mouse, and me chasing Brutus. Yeah, the only thing missing from that comic strip is a cat in the mix somewhere! Thankfully, they aren't allowed outside!

Much to Don's dismay, there are a lot of mice that hang out in "his" wood pile. I can't even tell you how many times he has restacked the wood pile this year, and for the sake of his happiness, I'm not going to include this particular wood pile in any of the pictures in this post!! Just don't think about it honey. I'm sure the wood pile fairies will come along and fix it.

So, today's antics started with me deciding it was such a nice, beautiful, cool day that Brutus and I should go down and sit by the lake for a while. He walked past the wood pile and had different ideas. Pretty soon he came walking past me with a log. Not just a little log, a BIG log!

Obviously, there was a critter of some sort in this log, and Brutus was going to get it.

He scratched and pawed.....
Rolled it around trying to throw whatever was inside, out....

Peeked and waited.........
Until, yes, he was successful. Somehow, that little booger knew that there was a tiny little mouse hiding for his life in that log. Poor thing! Now Brutus is going through the "sad face" pouts, because it won't play any more. I'm not feeling too bad for him.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brutus Has Been Feeling Very Smart(ie) This Week

**Disclaimer....these pictures are horrible, but they needed to be taken quickly due to the content of this story.

So, Brutus has been getting in a little trouble this week for eating the Smarties candy. I keep a little candy dish on the kitchen counter, and I vary what is in it. I have never had a problem with him counter surfing and getting in to the candy dish before, so I was really surprised when he decided to go after the Smarties. Chocolate is usually his weakness!! A boy after my own heart.

I was busy editing some pictures today, and I heard the candy dish bounce on the counter. I went buzzing out to the kitchen to scold Brutus, and this is what I found.......................................

And.............nicely delivered on to the floor for Brutus. Who could possibly resist that!!

I think I owe Brutus an apology. That little Sophie is SO NAUGHTY!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

White Rice and Dead Daylilies

I'm guessing that you are wondering what one has to do with the other. Fair warning, it isn't a pretty story.

Let me start by saying that the best made plans never go unpunished. I know that that isn't technically the "real" saying, but it's my saying. Every time I think something is going to go really awesome, it usually has a glitch, and when something isn't planned, it usually goes awesome. I call it LIFE. So anyway, If you read the prior post, you know that Brutus went to the doctor on Thursday, had anesthesia and stayed home from the lake this weekend. My great plan was that he was going to be sleepy sleepy sleepy, and I was going to get a ton of work done on my website, and a LOT of sleep. The Vet assured me that Brutus would be sleepy for 24 hours from having anesthesia, and I was supposed to give him two Benadryl twice a day to help relieve the itching from the rash on his skin, and that would make him drowsy too. Even Better!! Well, it totally backfired, and I mean that literally and figuratively.

Brutus got terrible diarrhea. I hate even typing that word, because it isn't the greatest subject, but it was bad. I don't know if it was from the stress of going to the Vet, the anesthesia, the antibiotics or Dad leaving without him, but the poor guy was sick. Not only did he get up every three hours during the night, but he whined......constantly. I haven't gotten any work done on my website (for my big up and coming business...insert smiley face here) and I didn't get any sleep. I am beat. Now on to the white rice and dead flowers.

Every time Brutus needed to go to the bathroom, he ran to the front door. I wasn't about to waste time coaxing a dog with diarrhea to the downstairs door, so I just opened the front door to the house and let him go. For some reason, every time he went out, he chose to poop on my daylilies. I went out a little bit ago to check the damage, and they were massacred. Let's just say that it took many plastic grocery bags, and the gardening scissors to clean up the mess. Ugh!! And as for the white rice, it will be the diet Brutus will be on for the next 48 hours. White rice and browned hamburger. The good news is that he likes it better than his dog food.

I talked to Don a couple hours ago. He's had a great weekend having cocktails with the neighbors and fishing. Most of me is really happy for him, but there's that little part of me that wants to beat him up. It takes me back to being a new mom. The child care is never balanced!! I made him well aware that when he gets home, Brutus is Daddy's boy!! I will gather the plastic bags for him ahead of time. ;D

Friday, August 19, 2011


Totally Passed Out
Brutus did such a good job at his vet appointment today. He just melted my heart. He's gone from having to be pulled across the floor and lifted up on to the scale, to actually walking across the floor all by himself and sitting on the scale like a good boy. He was very sweet with the receptionist instead of growling at her, and he didn't get scared until they had to close the door to the exam room.

I had called ahead of time and talked to the receptionist about Brutus and his past experiences at the clinic, so she had everything ready. The paper work was ready to sign, and she let us stay out in the lobby area until the very last minute. The Vet Tech had the sedative ready to go when we got to the room so there was no time for Brutus to get upset. She said a friendly hello to Brutus and "pow", she got him. He didn't even have time to know what hit him. It took a good fifteen minutes for him to go "down", but he did. He didn't ever completely go to sleep, but he was definitely mellow. The funniest part was when the Vet Tech came in to put the IV in him, and I had muzzled him, but he tried so hard to growl at her. It almost sounded more like a purr. Mission accomplished. Honestly, I don't think that he will remember the experience.

His check up went great. At his last appointment, the Vet wanted Brutus to lose a few pounds, and he has done that. He is down six pounds, and the doctor today said if he loses five more he will be perfectly fine. He had his teeth cleaned up, but he chews bones so often that there was very little build up. I was afraid that he had fleas, but he actually has a bacterial infection on his skin from being in the lake and being wet so much. Plus, the Vet said to only rinse him off and not actually shampoo him each night. Yuck. That makes for a very stinky dog after being in our lake!! Nails were clipped, shots were given and he's good for another six months. Whew.

I had picked up the stuffed monkey that Brutus has in his mouth in the picture above at the PetSmart store while he was at the clinic. Brutus loves stuffed animals (so he can unstuff them), and I wanted to bring him something to make him happy when I picked him up. Truth be told, he's still pretty drugged up. It's in his mouth, but he's sound asleep!! The joy of drugs. Hopefully he will stay asleep for a little longer so he doesn't realize that dad is going to the lake without him this weekend. He needs to keep his skin dry for a few days to let the rash heal, and there is absolutely no way to keep that boy out of the water when he is at the lake.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I think Brutus is chasing chipmunks in his sleep. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shaking In Our Paws

See that face? That is the face of a boy who seems to know that he has a vet appointment tomorrow. How he knows is beyond me! He's had this worried look on his face all day. Everytime I look at him he gives me this big sad face and moves his eyebrows up and down. It's that face that makes you want to give him the whole bag of string cheese.

Brutus loves everyone, and honestly, I would trust him with a brand new baby alone on the floor. With that said, there is a disclaimer. He does hate the vet, and I think he would probably kill him or her if he needed to in order to get away. I don't know what has happened in his past to instill that fear in to him, but he literally shakes in his boots/paws. As soon as we get in the front door, I have to drag him across the floor up to the desk to check him in, lift his butt up on to the scale (all 90 lbs. of it) and then push him across the floor in to the exam room. Once we're in the exam room, he tries to open the door with his paws. He fusses and starts to sweat and pant. If the Vet Tech or Veterinarian even come near him, he bares his teeth and starts to growl, which means that the muzzle has to come out. The last time I took him to the vet, even with him muzzled, he still tried to kill the vet, and she said that she would no longer see him unless he was sedated.

So, sedate him we did, or at least we tried. The Vet Tech came in and gave him the first shot. She said that within a few minutes he should start to stumble a little, and then get very sleepy. Well, after thirty minutes, he showed absolutely no signs of ANYTHING. So, they gave him a second shot. It literally took a good twenty minutes longer before he started stumbling even a little bit. By then, Don had gotten to the clinic to join me. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. Brutus never did go to sleep, but we were able to lift him up on to the exam table and complete his exam.

When I called to make the appointment for tomorrow, I warned them ahead of time that Brutus would need to be sedated. Hopefully we won't have to go through all of the waiting and trauma. Hopefully they will have the syringe ready and waiting for us. I would like to be sedated too.

I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your paws crossed!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Additional Charges Since My Earlier Post.....Um Yeah!

So, apparently, Riding While Intoxicated wasn't bad enough for Brutus today, he decided to get in to a fight with a raccoon tonight too. Thankfully, he walked away unscathed. He had a good bath, and is now locked in the house, away from the liquor and doors!!

Good night all.

An Open Container Ticket For Brutus???

So, what do you suppose this picture of Brutus sound asleep in the back seat of my car

has to do with this

and this??

A LOT!! Brutus was a very naughty boy today, and almost got me in HUGE trouble!!

I have a friend coming to the lake tomorrow, and I had stopped at the liquor store in the cities to pick up a few things to make some Long Island Iced Teas. There were four bottles all packed nicely together in a bag, and since the back of my car was full of luggage and groceries, and the middle seat was full of Brutus, I put the bag of liquor behind the driver's seat. It was safely tucked in, and I knew it wouldn't go flying around anywhere. I was about one hour in to the trip when I started to smell something funny. Almost fruity. It wasn't something that I was familiar with, and I just couldn't figure it out......until I turned around. There was Brutus, sitting up in the back seat, having a few swigs out of the Southern Comfort bottle!! I couldn't believe it! Actually, I could, in the sense that he loves alcohol, but I was driving 65 mph down a major freeway.

Now, keep in mind that I have never even had a speeding ticket. The first thing I did was reach back and grab the bottle away from him, so now I'm driving 65 mph down the freeway holding a partially gone bottle of Southern Comfort. Oh.....My.....God!! I will be the first to admit that in high school I made some pretty stupid mistakes when it came to drinking and driving, and thankfully no harm was ever done, but since we have become aware of the risks, dangers, and LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS, I am super careful. All I kept thinking was "how would I ever explain this to a police officer". Does it fall in to the same category as "my dog ate my homework"? For some reason, I'm thinking that a good old boy in uniform might not think that it's quite as funny as I thought it was. Yep, I actually thought it was funny. If you really think about it long enough, all you can do is laugh.

I pulled off at the first exit I came to and managed to find the mangled cap. I gathered up ALL of the liquor bottles and put them in the back of the car. Brutus had a pretty good nap for the rest of the ride, other than a few "burps".


Friday, July 22, 2011

Heaven Baby, Pure Heaven

Leaving for the lake couldn't come fast enough for Brutus today. He seemed to know as soon as I got in the shower that it was going to be a great day. I needed to run to PetSmart, so I didn't even bother packing my stuff for the lake in the car before running errands, because I knew Brutus wouldn't understand. As soon as I put a suit case of any sort in the car, it's time to hit the road.

Brutus and Kiera "Mousing" in the Heat
As soon as we got to the lake, Brutus was out of the car and gone. He was down at the wood pile seeing if his chipmunk "friends" were still around, and then checking out the lake. If either Don or I went anywhere near the car, he would panic. He seems to know that Friday means mom and dad meet their friends for dinner and leave him in the house. Dogs are so incredibly smart. It just amazes me that he can figure out that on the day we get to the lake, there is a very good chance that we will lock him in the house and leave for a few hours. Kind of on the same level as Brutus heading out to the garage to wait for dad to get home from work in the afternoon. He seems to have this sense of what time it is, and he scratches at the door to get out. I don't even have to leash him anymore. He goes out in the garage, I open the door, and he lays there and waits to greet Don when he drives in to the drive way. It's precious, every single day.

I just didn't have the heart to put him in the house tonight. He had been so miserable in the city this week. It was way too hot to go walking, so he had pretty much been in the house the whole week. I decided I would stay home so he could be outside and play. I suggested to Don that we skip going out for dinner and just have some cheese, crackers and a cocktail down by the lake instead. It turned out to be perfect. Brutus's girlfriend Kiera just happened to be outside with her mom Catherine, so Kiera got to come over and play for a couple hours, and Catherine came over and relaxed with us. It was wonderful all the way around.

Brutus's Girlfriend Kiera
The dogs, especially Brutus, played in the wood pile, knocking several pieces of wood over, but it was completely worth it. At one point Brutus caught a mouse and decided to take it swimming. It had already passed away, but he played with it in the water until it sunk. Then he couldn't figure out where it had gone. Brutus's friend Kiera is afraid to go in the lake, so she was jumping all over furiously trying to get him to come back out of the lake. It was hot outside, and I walked Kiera down to the lake to try to get her to go in, but she just wouldn't do it. She is an American Bulldog with very thin fur, but she was getting way overheated from playing so hard, so about 8:00 her mom took her home to cool down, and Brutus went up the hill for an outdoor bath with the hose. I absolutely love having hot water outside the house so we can bathe Brutus (thank you Bob!!).

Don headed out to play pool with his buddies, and Brutus and I cozied in to the house. Unfortunately, I wasn't good enough. Brute still had a couple tantrums, and threw all of the pillows off of my sofas. He isn't allowed to touch them, so he was being really naughty, and ended up getting himself locked in the bedroom with me. Finally he settled down and dozed off. He LOVES his daddy, and I guess he wanted him here. There's just so much we can give in to his wants! lol!! After all, I think we are in charge??

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can Anyone Say POUT???

Holy bow wow Batman. Brutus went from being let out the front door to play all day at the lake, to being stuck in the house in the Cities, and he isn't a happy camper. Putting it mildly, huh!! Not only are we having a record breaking heat wave, but he just doesn't have the freedom in the city that he does at the lake. We have spent more time working with him on his boundaries at the lake, mostly because we're more relaxed at the lake and spend a lot more time outside. And, we want him to be able to swim and play. In the city, those boundaries are a LOT more clear to the neighbors, and watched. Sometimes right through a great big glass window!

Yesterday morning I let Brutus outside to go to the bathroom, and I didn't put him on his outdoor tie. I don't trust him if I'm in the house (and it isn't legal to have him unleashed), but I was standing in the doorway of our screened in porch watching him. He was tooling all over the yard looking for a place to do his business, and just wasn't finding one to his satisfaction. We hadn't been here for the last three weeks, so he was out of his usual habit of peeing on the pine tree and then backtracking to poo on the hill. So after looking around for about five minutes he took off for the neighbor's yard. I was still in my pajamas, so I didn't go running after him, but was definitely yelling for him to come back home. He found a lovely spot to poop right in front of the neighbor's big family room window, and I could see them in their family room watching the morning news. Ugh. Way to go Brute!! Time to put on a bra and grab a plastic bag. So of course, the minute I get half way across the lawn to pick up his poop, still in my jammies (looking like hell), my adorable neighbor comes outside to let her teeny tiny poodle outside to go potty. I immediately start apologizing, and she says "Sheri, what are you doing here?" Are you kidding me? You didn't just see that 90 lb. lab pooping in front of your window??? I wanted to die. I pointed to the ground and said "that's why I'm over here". She started laughing, and thanked me for coming over to pick it up, but they honestly hadn't even noticed him. I guess I'm not the only person who is still sleepy in the morning. We had a nice visit anyway, and caught up on each other's kids. It would have been even nicer if it was ten hours later and we had a glass of wine in our hands!! Oh well. I picked up my "little" Brutus present and headed back home. Brutus was waiting patiently in the porch, as if to say "where have you been mom, it's hotter than blazes out here". It was 8:00 in the morning, and already 96 degrees. So yucky!

Tomorrow he gets to go back to the lake. I haven't even dared to tell him, or he would be down by the front door waiting to get in the car. He has learned the meaning of "lake", "boat ride", "go for a ride", and "w..a..l..k". Yes, he's learned how to spell. He had learned the meaning of "walk", so we started spelling it, just in case we couldn't actually follow through with our word, and now the little goober has learned how to spell. Time to Google synonyms!!

And time to turn this frown upside down. :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

Busy Busy Busy Boy!!

Wow, where does the time go. I was talking with my Father in-law this weekend about my Brutus Blog, and he mentioned that I don't write updates nearly as often as I used to. I told him that I tried to update about once a week, but he pointed out that I hadn't written an update since the end of June. He wasn't kidding. Summer time hits, and the company arrives, and we just get busy. So, it's time for a Brutus update. Brutus is definitely a summer boy, and he would spend every single minute at the lake if he could. Whenever we go back to the city, he pouts, and will stand by the car door and beg to get back in to the car, as if getting in the car will magically take him back to the lake. At least we know he's kind of smart!

He love love loves to chase after chipmunks. Thankfully, this summer he doesn't seem to be killing them. Last summer he wasn't trained to stay in our yard yet, so he was on a long leash outside. Somehow, he managed to catch little chippies all of the time. It made me nuts, because he would bring them to me and drop them at my feet and kind of pat them, wondering why they wouldn't play anymore. Obviously, they couldn't!! This summer he's a "big boy", and for the most part stays very close to our yard's boundaries. We're so proud of him. It took a little over a year of training, but he finally "got it". It was so important to us that he be trained to know his boundaries so he could run and play and swim, and honestly, be free. Coming from the horrible situation that he did, we wanted him to be able to enjoy his life to the fullest, while still being safe. He runs up and down the hill, swims in the lake, chases critters, gets overheated and comes up to sit in his little purple pool, and then does it all over again. It melts my heart every time. We're on year number two for the purple pool, and I'm going to be sad when it wears
out. It's getting in pretty rough shape from him jumping in with his rough nails, so I'm afraid this summer is going to be it. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for another one next Spring, much to my husband's dismay!! It isn't quite manly enough for Don's taste. lol!

Brute's other big love is boating. He loves to ride on the pontoon, and if Don is going out fishing, Brutus ALWAYS goes along. Don made the mistake of leaving without him this last Saturday, and Brutus pouted big time. On Sunday, Don couldn't go anywhere without Brutus shadowing him. There was no way that that was ever going to happen again!!

Waiting to Get On The Boat

Bringing Dad The Buoy....Um!!
The Best Seat In The Boat!!
 The Other awesome thing that Brutus has learned to do is to take treats from someone very gently. When we first adopted Brutus, he would practically take your hand off if you offered him a treat. Now he will take the treat slowly with his little teeth, and your fingers will remain intact. Grandpa was giving him some treats on our boat ride. He and Grandpa got along really well. Grandpa likes treats almost as much as Brutus does, so they did a good job of sharing. :D

Thank You Grandpa!!
So, that's what Brutus has been up to the last few weeks. Mainly just loving life, and doing a good job of being as spoiled and loved as he possibly can. Life is good. :D

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Big Helper

Thankfully, Brutus has lost his big fear of my camera, and will now happily travel around the yard with me taking pictures. Tonight I wanted to hop in the car and go back to a spot that we walked by on our walk this morning. I didn't really feel like walking another two miles, so in the car we went. He had to wait in the car while I took my pictures, but he didn't seem to mind too much. He kept a watch out for anything that moved, and was there to greet me when I got back with a big kiss. He's such a buddy.

Brutus watching out for strangers.

Welcoming me back when I walked up to the car. :)

And some of the wild flowers that we took pictures of.

Lets Go Fishing!!

Don and Brutus had a boy weekend at the lake, and had a great time. The first picture just cracks me up. Don had gotten the lawn mowed and taken Brutus off of his leash to go down to the lake. You can see him running down to the dock to jump in. It's his favorite thing in the whole world to do! All we have to do is say "lake" and his ears perk right up!!

Don had been doing some fishing off the dock, and caught a little fish. I can't remember what it was called, but he said that it was a "junk" fish that isn't good for the lake, so he had put it up on the shore until he was done fishing and could take care of it. Well, Brutus wasn't going to leave it alone. He walked over and picked it up and put it back in the lake. It was pretty dead at this point and sank to the bottom. He apparently couldn't figure out why it wasn't coming back up to play, and started trying to get it. He could see it through the water, but couldn't get it, so he started trying to get it with his paws, and at one point stuck most of his face in the water. Too funny!! Brutus had a great day. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Is Here, and Brutus Is FINE

There is nothing that Brutus loves more than summer, because summer means going to the lake. He's gotten to know Don's work schedule well enough that he starts begging to get out in the garage after lunch on Fridays, knowing that Don comes home early to go to the lake. Dogs are so incredibly smart. I don't even have to put him on his leash. I am completely sure that he will stay right where he is. As soon as he sees Don pull around the corner and in to our cul-de-sac, he starts jumping about four feet in the air. Don gets out of his truck, Brutus does the happy dance and gives him a hug, and in the back seat he goes. He's a perfect passenger, and as soon as we get to the lake it's free flyin time!

This is when he has a slight brain fart, to put it bluntly. We all get out of the car, and one of us, or sometimes both of us at the same time tell Brutus to "stay close". Brutus on the other hand is running down the hill to the lake so fast that his ears are flying off to the side of his head, and splash, he is swimming. He is a lab after all, and apparently this is what they are born to do! He's such a goof. The whole swimming thing is fine, but for some reason, this spring there has been a large number of dead fish around the edge of the lake, and Brutus likes to take them on shore and roll in them. That is NOT cool!! We normally have about six resident eagles, and they seem to have disappeared, and maybe that is why we are seeing more dead fish. Typically they are eaten up. It's troubling that our eagles are gone, but no one has been able to figure out why. Until they come back, Brutus will continue to get MANY bubble baths! Thankfully, our good friend Bob installed a wonderful hot water faucet outside at the lake for us, and it has been so great. I was thrilled enough to not have to drag a dirty dog through the house to the bathtub, but to not have to take a dog covered in dead fish guts through the house is more amazing than I can even say!!

So, Brutus spends every weekend swimming, and begging to go on boat rides. He will literally stand and stare at the boat. He likes to try to use his E.S.P. to get us to cooperate with him. It's amazing how often it works. :)  Sometimes if Don doesn't have time to take him out in the boat, he'll just open the door to the boat, and Brutus will crawl in under the tarp and hang out for a while. He's such a goof.

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer too.