Monday, January 24, 2011

No News Is Good News

I realize more and more that I don't find myself wanting to run to the computer to write about something crazy that Brutus has done, and honestly, that's probably a good thing. When we first welcomed Brute into our family, it seemed like everything he did was kind of naughty or crazy, and all I wanted to do was tell people about it, but life has been pretty "normal".

Normal for Brutus seems to consist of hanging out with me until I take out my camera, and then running down to his crate to hide until he's sure that it's put away for the day. I'm not sure that he'll ever get used to having his picture taken again, which is a huge bummer, because personally I think he's a pretty handsome guy!

The one kind of sad thing that happened to Brutus happened last Thursday night. Don and I were eating dinner, and normally Brutus plants himself just outside of the kitchen and waits until we're done eating. He's figured out that if he waits patiently, he's more apt to get to lick the plates. Well, on Thursday, he came upstairs and sat by the kitchen entry and kind of hung his head. We talked to him a little bit, and he just turned his head like he was all sad. We went on eating our dinner, and all of a sudden I heard this noise that sounded like one of the cats was throwing up a fur ball, times ten. Brutus was sick. I couldn't bare the thought of cleaning it up until we were done eating, because then I would throw up too, so we just kept on with dinner, and pretty soon I heard him again. That ended dinner. Yuck. Don decided it was time to go run some errands, and I decided it was time to get the carpet shampooer out.

Poor Brutus. He must not have gotten sick much before we adopted him, because he seemed very freaked out about it. He walked up to his "pile" very cautiously and smelled it, acting like he was afraid that it was going to jump out and bite him! Before Don left, he calmed him down and put a quilt on our bed and got him settled there. At first I wasn't sure that was such a great idea, but thankfully he didn't get sick again. When I went downstairs to get the carpet cleaner, there was an enormous pile of vomit down there. No wonder he came upstairs looking all sad. The poor thing had gotten sick already and was probably trying to tell us that he didn't feel good.

So, I spent the next hour cleaning the carpet upstairs, and I had to clean the whole family room downstairs because if you only clean an area of that carpet, it leaves a mark, so you have to clean the whole floor. The next morning I got up to let Brutus out to go potty, and he literally tip toed down the stairs, walked very slowly toward where the vomit was and smelled all over. He was scared that the vomit was still there. Hopefully that won't happen again anytime soon!

Yesterday Andrew showed up for a wonderful unexpected visit, and when Don and Brutus got home from the lake (I had stayed home with a headache) Brutus figured out Andrew was here and came running in to the bedroom where we were watching TV to say hello. He literally has no idea how big he is. He jumped up on the bed and did one of those somersaults in to Andrew's lap that says "look how cute I am, rub my belly". When you have a seventy-five pound dog doing a somersault in to your lap, it can be a bit overwhelming! He's such a goof. Andrew got lots of hugs and love, which ended up giving him a couple scratches on his neck. Brutus is so gentle, but he just doesn't have a clue that he's big and has claws!

So, that's about it on the Brutus front. He seems to be happy and settled. I'm sure that as spring rolls around and it starts to get warmer outside, he'll be back to his normal mischief. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Brutus's First Birthday (With Us)

Today is the first anniversary of Brutus becoming a Peterson. If it weren't for the kind heart of someone working to save the lives of thousands of lovely animals that are killed every day, for reasons that seem incomprehensible to me, we would never have gotten to know this lovely soul. This sweet boy who gives soft nose kisses to his dad, and curls up with him at night to share his pillow. Or the funny jealous boy who gently head butts his feline sisters to make sure that they don't get any treats off of mom's plate when she's having a snack on the bed, because we all know that any leftovers on mom's plate certainly belong to Brutus. The boy who a year ago was peeing on what seemed like everything, and now literally jumps up and down on the bed to wake me up if he needs to go potty. Boy what a difference a year makes.

In honor of his birthday, I filled a Kong up with mostly peanut butter and just a little kibble, instead of the other way around, and put a candle on top (unlit of course). I dug out the "You Are Special Today" plate which was a wedding gift to Don and I, and which we used during any special occasions during our life. Mostly to make the kids nuts on their birthdays, but they are very happy memories. Especially when Andrew chose to have his birthday dinner at Wendy's, and we still made him eat on the red plate!! Anyway, I got it all set up and called Brutus upstairs, thinking that I could get him to sit for at least thirty seconds to get a picture of him. Boy was I WRONG!!

Two things happened. One, ever since I put the deer antlers on Brutus and embarrassed him, he has become scared of my camera. All he has to do is hear the click, and he runs and hides, and two, he smelled peanut butter! He was all over that Kong and outta there before I could even back up far enough to barely get him in the camera screen. So, here is a very blurry sequence of Brutus stealing his birthday Kong and dashing. The candle went with him, and by the time I got to him it was gone. Don, you should probably keep your eyes open for that one. lol!!

Happy One Year Anniversary/Birthday Brutus. It's been a great year!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Soooo D-Pressed!

I haven't posted on Brutus's blog for so many days, but honestly, it's because he's been depressed. It's hard to have "fun" things to write about when he spends most of his day in his crate. As anyone who has read this blog knows, Brutus hates his crate, AND, it's downstairs, which he has never liked either. It has been so weird not having my big guy tripping me every time I turn around.

We had our week at the lake after the kids went home after Christmas, and I thought he would be so excited. He did have some fun outside with Don. Thankfully it had snowed, so he got to be outside while Don was cleaning out the driveway, and Don is extremely good about taking him for walks at the lake too, but it was freezing outside. The temperature was usually close to zero, so even the walks had to be short and sweet. Brutus just moped. I have wondered if he is sick, but I've gone through the check list and nothing is really standing out.

My biggest concern with Brute is ear infections. He has never had one (since we adopted him), but labs are very susceptible to ear infections because they have those big droopy ears that trap moisture in their ear canal. In the summer I was cleaning his ears any and every day that he went in the water, so he was pretty safe, but in the winter he only gets bathed every two to three weeks, so I don't think of it as often. I realize that he isn't jumping in the lake, but what he is doing is head dives in to the snow. He does this every time he goes outside, so I should be more careful. I give him a good head massage a couple times a day to keep him comfortable with me touching his ears and mouth, and I smell his ears when I do this, and they don't have any odor. I cleaned them today, and there wasn't any debris in them when I wiped them out after massaging them with cleaner soaked cotton balls in them. He has been scratching at his ears a little bit, but not obsessively. Mainly just when he wakes up. The other symptom he has shown is not wanting to eat his kibble, but I am bad about giving him healthy people food, so I guess that could be my fault. What can I say, the dog loves broccoli and rice and chicken, which does lead me to one funny story.

Last night Don had to go back to his office for a meeting, and when he came home he surprised me with a Culver's concrete mixer. They come with these little domes over them that have a hole in the top for the spoon. I was on the bed on my computer, as usual, and Don came in and handed it to me, and Brutus had his big old tongue down the hole in that little dome cover before I could even figure out what Don had handed me! He was so excited. I guess that I had forgotten how happy Brutus would get when we would go to the Dairy Queen in the summer for his doggy sundaes. I managed to get him off of my cup and I did put a little in a bowl for him. The boy was in heaven.

If you have any ideas why Brutus could be acting so depressed, I'm open for suggestions. I'm trying at all costs to avoid taking him to the vet because it's always a big scary ordeal for him AND the vet, but if he doesn't cheer up pretty soon I think I'm going to have to.