Saturday, October 27, 2012

Best Friends

Due to back and neck problems, I haven't been able to walk my Brutus boy since Spring. Needless to say, he has had a very big change to his routine, and hasn't been all that happy about it. He's still been able to go to the lake with Don on the weekends, thank the gods, but during the week he just lays around the house waiting for his dad to get home from work.

His inner clock lets him know to start watching out the window around 4:00. He may wait five minutes, or he may wait an hour and a half, but either way, when he sees that red truck turn the corner he goes flying. The weird thing is, after a quick "hello" he feels the need to grab a toy or bone of some sort and come running in to the bedroom where I usually am, and wait for Don to come in to say "hello" to me. Once that's done, then life is good. He'll chew on his bones, play with his toys and eat his food. Otherwise, forget it. He might as well be laying in a crate.

This week I was putting the garbage out when it was close to the time when Don usually gets home. Brutus was standing at attention looking for him, which was adorable. As soon as the truck came around the corner he started jumping around and getting all excited.

He was so beyond excited. Don left his truck at the end of the driveway, and Brutus could hardly stay in his fur. If I would have been thinking, I would have taken him off of his tie. The next few pictures speak for themselves. 

Now that the Welcome Home is done, it's time to go find a toy. For some reason, there aren't any outside, so he grabs some cleaning cloths and comes running with those. 

Now for the really sad part. When Brutus figured out that I was still outside, he kept running around. Don had gotten just out of reach of his tie, and Brutus was still extremely excited and went running after him. All of a sudden we heard a "yelp". Brutus had gotten yanked by the tie and fallen down on one of his legs. We felt beyond horrible. Needless to say, he got an extra treat and big time snuggles when we got in the house. I knew I should have taken him off his tie. Such a bummer. :(

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On A Search For Zeppelin's Previous Owner

Several weeks ago, I received a lovely response to a blog post that I had written about Lily, the little Beagle that stole my heart, and her new brother Zep. We were unable to keep Lily due to the interaction between her and the cats, and to be honest with you, Brutus hated her. My cousin Janice who runs the animal rescue Paws of Jackson County, MN, was able to find a new home for Lily, and as luck would have it, it was with a dear friend of the family and her sister (also my cousin) Darla. I won't go back in to long stories of how it all went down, but let's just say that they are angels!!

About the same time that this was going on in my life, there was a family going through anguish on what to do with a young dog named Zeppelin. I don't know the full story, but they finally had to make the decision to contact small animal rescue services, and Zeppelin was going to be rehomed. Well, as luck would have it, Zeppelin was placed in the home of Roger and Darla. So now, Lily and Zeppelin live and play and love together.

I am putting this post up here because Zeppelin's new parents would like to reach out to the previous owner, and let her know that they would like to have contact with her. It can be on Facebook or email, or whatever works. They just want to be able to share pictures, and to let her know that Zep is doing OK. If you see this message, and have any interest, just leave me a note on here. It will go to my email.
Nap Time With Roger

So, here is to reconnecting with old friends. And also, here's to lots and lots of happy puppies. :)  ***and Kitties

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Big Chase

I know that I've already put some pictures up today, but Brutus and I went outside to play this afternoon and I actually managed to snap some pictures of him in action. He's so camera shy that I just couldn't resist sharing.

We no sooner got around the back corner of the house and to the steps down to the lake when he smelled a chipmunk. They love to play under the deck and steps, and even though he's way too big, he's been known to crawl completely under the deck on his belly and come out the other side just to get one. I'm sure they probably run at a much slower pace to laugh at him as he's crawling on his belly in a space that's only big enough for a big cat.

He zipped around for quite a while going up and down the steps. Watching him made me tired. I'm not sure if the steps are so tiring because there are quite a few of them, or because the previous owner who built them made them so crooked, but they're a bugger! They're also narrow, so you need to hold on, especially after a few cocktails. We've gotten the giggles on those steps more than a few times, and sometimes it's best to just sit down!

Anyway, I finally just left him to play chase and went out on the dock. After about fifteen minutes he must have gotten hot, because he came running down the hill to go for a swim. He saw me pick up my camera, and I was sure that he was going to jump right over the bank and skip the dock all together so I couldn't take his picture, but I got him! He's fuzzy, but I got him.

He jumped right over this little Damselfly on his way by. She didn't even move. I wonder what it feels like to be almost invisible and have a 90 lb. dog jump over you.

Then it was time to cool off in his favorite spot...under the pontoon. I don't know why this is where he always goes, but he does. Probably to hide from my camera!

He cooled off for about five minutes, and then he was back up the hill to get the chipmunk. This time I went with him. I knew that he would end up in his pool, and I wanted to be sure to get a little skin soothing shampoo on his belly while he was in there. I've been walking him on a short walk in the morning, and the deer flies are eating his belly alive. Add to that the fact that the lake is extremely gross right now from the heat and the many inches of rain that we've had in the last three days, and I just wanted to make sure he got cleaned up.

So, we headed up the hill. Instantly his nose was tracking again. He just cracks me up.

He stepped right over this young lady on her way up to the road to lay her eggs. I think that she forgot to take a shower before she left home. ;)  She looked a little grumpy too.

Brute never did get the chipmunk, and since he's brought me my rodent quota for the month, I was completely good with that. He had a little swim in his pool, had a nice little bath (also in his pool) when he was done, and is now sound asleep at my feet.

It was a pretty awesome afternoon in Brutus land. I hope everyone out there had an awesome afternoon too.



We've been at the lake now for two weeks, and Brutus is so happy. This boy was born to live at a lake. Too bad he has to split his time between here and the city. He's so abused. ;-)

Last Sunday was a beautiful day for a boat ride, and it was my first pontoon ride of the season. Apparently Brutus had been out fishing with Don the weekend before that, and he remembered the routine as if winter had never happened. He did have one moment of panic. He had jumped in to the lake for a quick swim, and then jumped on to the boat with us. The problem was, Don's parents were on the boat with us too, and Brutus hadn't shaken the water off of himself. I knew him well enough to know that he would walk right over to them and shake away! Don coaxed him off of the boat and told him to "shake". He was so confused, and when he was standing on the dock the little door on the pontoon started to close. He panicked, thinking that we were going to leave without him, and he actually tried to jump through the little space at the top of the door. We got his head unstuck and let him on the boat, and of course, he walked right over to Don's parents and shook the water off of himself. Oh well. Thankfully it was a nice warm day.

For a while Brutus stood up and let the wind blow in his face, sending his ears flying in the wind like Dumbo's, but then he did something that I haven't seen him do before. He hung his nose over the edge of the front of the boat. It's a very good thing that he's a little too chubby to fit through the opening because his nose was wiggling and smelling the entire time, and we went pass plenty of critters, including a huge "only a mother could love that face" snapping turtle.

Can you just imagine what would have happened if Brutus would have gone after that guy? I don't think that Brutus would have won!

When we got back we sat around the camp fire for a while, and Brutus worked at thinning out the mouse population in the wood pile. He is possessed with the mice, chipmunks and moles at the lake, and the wood piles seem to be one of the best places to find them. The other place is any kind of tube, especially the downspouts. Our biggest challenge has been trying to train him to stay in our own yard so if he happens to get his nose stuck on the trail of a rodent and goes after it, the damage stays on our property. Brutus has done some damage to a couple of our neighbors property going after rodents, and we always feel so awful. Once he gets that smell in his nose, no amount of yelling or calling or bribing will get his mind off of it. It makes everyone crazy!

Anyway, he picked this particular log out of the wood pile and brought it over by us. He chewed on it, dropped it, sniffed it, scratched at it, spun around, dropped and repeated the whole process. He's done this before, and managed to come out with a critter. I can't imagine how scared whatever was inside the log was. Imagine being inside of a tube and watching these big teeth coming at you, knowing that you were going to be in that mouth. Ugh. Well, Don just couldn't stand it. He took a stick and poked it through the hole in the log and pushed out a mouse nest. There weren't any mice in it anymore, so I'm sure that Brutus was just smelling the remnants of what used to be there, but the look on his face was priceless. It was kind of like taking a piece of candy away from a child. Plus, if Brutus is entertained with something that actually isn't hurting anything, you leave him ALONE!!

Someday Don will learn. :) 

So, it was back to the swimming pool to hang out for a while. Ahhhh, a dog's life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beautiful Procrastination

There are so many things I should be doing today. Don's parents are coming to the lake tomorrow for their first visit in a very long time, and normally I have the house very clean, groceries bought and some food prepared. Today the house is a mess from the weekend, I haven't made it to the grocery store yet, and there is nothing cooking or baking! With that said, I know that they won't care. Usually they fuss that I have done too much, and they don't want to be a bother (which they never are).

For some reason, I feel like everything in my soul is just in slow motion lake mode today. The breezes are warm and humid, and it's the first day that Brutus and I have been alone at the lake this summer. Because of my bad back, I have hardly been at the lake at all, and it just feels good. It feels good to be in my nightgown at 2:00 in the afternoon, walking around, knowing that there is no one around to see me! Thank God!

I had also forgotten how happy Brutus is when he is here. He's gotten to be such a good boy, which makes being with him here so much more fun. No more chasing him down the road on the riding lawn mower in the rain. Oh man, what a day that was!

So today we played down by the lake for a while (he likes to stand on an old dead tree on the edge and look for critters). I laid on the dock and closed my eyes and pretended that I was still at the ocean. It's so windy today, and there are actual waves and white caps just from the wind, so it wasn't too hard to let my mind go. The only thing missing was the Seagulls. In their place was a pair of Cranes that have lived on our lake for the past couple years, and those buggers are LOUD!! So much for closing my eyes and daydreaming. Wow.

Last year Brutus's awesome purple pool finally wore out. He was definitely manly enough to handle his purple pool, but since Don was in charge of getting him a new pool, it is blue. He loves it just as much, but seemed a little embarrassed when I took his picture while he was soaking in it this morning. His routine is to always go in his pool after he has been in the lake. I have no idea why, but I am thrilled with his decision. He also goes in the pool if we call him to come in the house, and I'm not quite so thrilled with that decision. The goofball knows that it will keep him outside for a few minutes longer while he shakes off a little. Grrr!! He is much smarter than he appears to be.

We also had some fun playing ball. Mostly, Brutus had fun keeping his ball away from me. When I would finally get it, I would throw it to the end (well, as far to the end as I could throw) of the driveway, and Brutus would run after it and get it. He'd come running back toward me and go right past me . OK. That was fun. He's such a cool boy, and I'm so glad that we were able to be patient enough with him to get him to the point that he is at now, and that he has been able to get his drinking issue under control. ;)

He's hiding his ball from me.

Have a great week everyone. Brutus is looking forward to Grandpa and Grandma visiting, lots of extra head pats, belly rubs, and maybe a couple extra treats. :)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Were Just So Close

When my kids were little and they weren't feeling well, I tried to do whatever I could think of to make them feel better, especially if it meant a trip to the doctor. For Ashley, nothing was better than new jammies. We would get home, cozy in to some fresh sheets (usually in Mom and Dad's bed), get some great movies going and start the "getting better" process. For the boys, it usually involved food, even if they were feeling sick to their stomach. Nick loved McDonald's, and could say "fries" before he could say "Mom", well almost, and Andrew was all about Wendy's and Taco Bell. Once they had their favorite eats, they would also want to go home and cozy in to bed to watch their favorite movies. I hated having them be sick, but I have to admit that I somewhat enjoyed the fact that life slowed down during those times and it allowed me extra snuggle time with kids that were normally busy busy busy.

I have come to realize that with Brutus the pattern has continued, minus the whole movie watching part. Brutus isn't feeling good. He has a small mass on his groin, a little smaller than a walnut, that we have been watching for the last few months. It seems to have grown a little over the last two months, and when Don got home from the lake this past weekend, it seemed a little red and puffy. We decided it was time to get it looked at again. The veterinarian checked it at his physical in February, and we decided to just watch it until his tooth cleaning appointment in July.

Here is where it gets ridiculous sounding. You know how there are crazy politics about health care for humans? Well, I have health insurance for Brutus. Trust me, it saves me hundreds per year, and allows me to get him regular care to keep his health up to snuff. Anyway, if I decided to have the mass removed now, anesthesia and the procedure would cost around $1000.00. If I wait until July when his dental cleaning is due, it would only cost me $300.00, because the anesthesia is included under a "preventive" medicine procedure. I actually sat there speechless for a couple minutes. The majority of my life was spent processing medical insurance charges and payments, so I'm really familiar with how insurance works. I couldn't believe that it had transferred over to the animal world. It's wonderful that there are those of us that have the opportunity to purchase health insurance for our four legged loved ones, but it just goes to show how closely it correlates with the human world. Those that "have....can". Those that "don't....can't". On the one hand it pissed me off that because of an eight week time difference and $700.00, I had to make a decision that could have an effect on his life. In reality, I'm thankful I have choices at all.

So, being the self advocate that I am, I pulled myself together and asked for the compromise that I felt needed to be made, which was another suggestion. The suggestion that we agreed upon was a much less expensive sedation with an aspiration of the cyst and cytology to determine what it was. If it turns out to be cancerous, then I will pay the money NOW to have the mass removed. Chances are it's still encapsulated. If it isn't cancer, I will have them remove it while he's "under" getting his teeth cleaned in July. Don and I have agreed that we would not take any further measures other than surgical removal of the cyst if it is cancer. It was just a personal decision that had many pieces that were taken in to consideration.

Here is the WE WERE SO CLOSE part of this story. If you have followed this blog for the last two years, you know that Brutus has tried in the past to kill the vet. He has slowly been getting better and better with his manners. Yesterday was amazing. The vet tech came in, and he loved her up and gave her all kinds of kisses. He even let her examine the lump, which is in a very personal area. I was amazed. No growling or being upset involved. Then the vet came in. She was a little more leery because she had noticed on Brutus's chart that he was listed as viscous, but she took our cue and got down on the floor. Brutus loved her up and tried to shake with her and give her kisses too. She did his exam, and there were no problems........and then SNAP! She had been examining the lump while we were talking about it, and all of a sudden he growled and jumped up and snapped right in her face. He didn't bite her, but he sure could have. Was he warning her? I hope so. She handled it really well. She looked at him and said "Buddy, are you kidding me? We were doing so well!". I was heart broken. I actually thought that we were maybe over this veterinarian phobia. I guess we'll just keep working on it. I always go in to it telling them that their safety comes first, and I am more than willing to muzzle him, but they have found that he gets much more upset once he is muzzled. Next time, at the very least, I will have an extremely tight hold of his collar. We all got way too comfortable.

All in all, he just isn't feeling well. He's lost about four pounds this month, which he needed to do anyway, but preferably not from being sick. He's had terrible diarrhea since we got home from the vet, as in up every two hours all night, and still going out every hour this morning. I have pulled all food from him, and tomorrow I will start him on the rice and hamburger diet. Keep your fingers crossed that his tummy calms down. 

It will be a couple more days before we get the results, but in the meantime, Brutus has his new frog (which he desperately needed in order to feel better) and we are snuggling up while he is on the mend. The rest of the world will just have to wait.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Old Bait and Switch At It's Very Best

See that man up there? That's my husband Don, and he is not a happy camper today. Brutus pulled a fast one on him this morning. I haven't been able to quit laughing about it, but Don is pretty tired and hasn't quite been able to find the incredible humor in the situation yet.

Brutus had a tough night last night. I'm not sure what his problem was, but he was just uncomfortable. He typically sleeps at the foot of our bed. There was a time when he liked to sleep in between us, but lately (since our mattress has been losing some of it's firmness), Don has been sleeping more toward the middle of the bed, and it's pushed Brutus to the bottom of the bed.

Anyway, after getting on and off of the bed a few times, and trying to sleep on the floor and the occasional deep sigh, around 4:30 Brutus shook his head which makes his collar make noise and wakes me up so I will take him outside to go to the bathroom. OK, that was one very bad grammatical sentence! Anyway, I took him outside, got him his treat and figured that he'd crawl in and go back to sleep. I was exhausted from him not sleeping good during the night, so I crashed. Around 5:30 he decided to jump off the bed and shake his head again to wake someone up to "go outside to go potty". The thing is, he didn't really need to go.

I heard Don sit up and say "OK Buddy, let's go". Don got up and grabbed his robe and headed in to the bathroom and toward the hallway. Brutus waited until he was just out of the bedroom door, jumped in to his spot on the bed, put his head on Don's pillow and instantly pretended to be asleep. Don came walking back in the bedroom and was like "what the heck is this?". Brutus WOULD NOT move. I swear he was even pretending to snore. I seriously think that he was uncomfortable for most of the night and just figured he'd get Dad out of bed and steal his spot.

I immediately got the giggles. Honestly, Don laughed too, probably because he just couldn't believe what Brutus had just done. What a little bugger!  Needless to say, Don didn't go back to bed. He had to be up in a half an hour for work anyway, so he headed off to the computer. Brutus slept for three more hours......very comfortably. So funny!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Foot Love

I saw these awesome Converse® tennies on Pinterest, and through a series of links I was able to locate them and buy them on And you know what? They make me happy. Every time I wear them I feel like I have an extra little bounce in my step, and some days a girl just needs that! Brutus loves it when I have a little extra bounce in my step, because it usually means that he gets to bounce along with me. :) Have a happy day today!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Update On Lily Girl

Lily shortly after arriving at her new forever home.
I was hanging out on my computer this morning, like I always seem to be doing, and a little notice came up that I had a new email. When I looked and saw that it was from my cousin Darla, I was SO excited. Darla is part of a friend couple that adopted Lily the Beagle. The other half of the friend couple is Roger. They have been life long friends, and share a duplex, so Lily gets double the loving. She looks so adorable and happy, and from the sound of it, all of her wrestling and barking and digging and chasing needs are being fulfilled and adored. I truly couldn't be happier.

Lily and Zep wrestling! Thank goodness it isn't the cats!

Just a few days after Roger came to pick Lily up from our house, I received an email from him that he had also committed to adopting a little 9 month old male Pomeranian named Zeppelin. I'm thinking that Zep may have a little rock and roll in him. Darla said that he is the pack leader, which cracks me up. In our house, Lily definitely ruled Brutus, and she was about 1/5th of his size! I think she maybe needed someone that could put her in her place. Brutus would just get sad and go outside and pout. Apparently her new brother Zep loves to play and run and wrestle, and they are becoming true siblings. My gratitude to Janice and Roger and Darla is just over flowing right now!

Tug of war
Ryan buddy, hopefully these will make you as happy as they made me. It's wonderful to know that if we all work together, animals can be loved, well taken care of and definitely find the right forever home. :)

Lily and Darla enjoying a beautiful day.

Where is she going?

Lily and Zeppelin stand at the window and watch Darla leave for work. Roger is retired from working outside of the home, and is currently remodeling the duplex, so the "kids" get to play all day with Dad. Roger put a fenced area in the back yard, and a doggy door in, so Lily and Zep are able to go in and out to play. How awesome is that?!

This has to be the most adorable picture ever. Apparently Lily claimed this end of the sofa as soon as this became her home, and I'm guessing that Zep just had to find his little bit of space to squeeze in to the snuggle pile.
The best Daddy ever.


Friday, April 13, 2012


I can't seem to get my brain to quit running in circles tonight, and the best way for me to get it to at least slow down is to write about what is troubling me, take a look at it, and see if I should throw it away or share. Since these thoughts involve "dogs", I'm putting them down in my Brutus Blog.

Something happened that has left me feeling just awful. I'm sure it's a story that has been repeated over and over again, and I don't know what the right answer to this problem would have been. There are so many scenarios, and no winners. As most of you out there that have followed my blog for a while now know, I have such a soft spot for animals, and not so much for (adult) humans. When you look at the "chosen" relationship between humans and animals, humans have the control. We have the choice to be kind or cruel. I don't see a lot of grey area there.

So, the story, keeping in mind that this is a very abbreviated version:

My friend went to one of his friend's homes for dinner. His friends have an American Bull Dog that they are very comfortable with, but my friend who went there for dinner is not. When my friend was greeting the hostess and giving her a hug, the dog let out a growl. Shortly after that my friend was bent over doing something with his shoe, and the dog went for his face, biting his cheek, leaving a puncture wound and a very sore cheek. The host, I'm sure being mortified and embarrassed, beat the crap out of the dog as punishment. Before you start to panic, the friend and dog are currently both fine. I'm sure both are somewhat emotionally scarred from being a part of that experience though. Dog bites are incredibly scary, and being beaten up isn't much better. (I know, I know, I'm putting human feelings in the animal, but c'mon).

So here are my thoughts. First, the couple is aware that the friend is fearful of the dog, so the dog should have been put in her kennel. If not, when it was obvious that the dog was being protective of her owner from this person, the hug should have been stopped immediately, the dog should have been introduced to said friend.....and then kenneled.

My friend did nothing wrong. Yes, dogs can feel a person's fear, there is no doubt in my mind. She may have felt his fear and feared for her owner, but I also feel like her people failed her in this situation. I feel like everybody lost, and the whole thing just has me feeling so sad.

When we first got Brutus, he had no training, had been hurt and was very protective of his toys. Don's brother tested him a little too far, and Brutus broke skin on his hand. I had warned him to stop, so honestly, I didn't feel too bad for the human in that situation, other than the fact that he was hurt, and it was my dog's teeth that hurt him (as he was trying to take the stuffed duck out of his mouth). Feel that mama bear defensiveness there? As humans, we have the ability to look ahead as to what might happen in certain situations. Not all, but some. In Don's brother's defense, he felt bad too. I thought he should have had antibiotics, and I absolutely would have covered all expenses to see that he got them, but he wouldn't do it. I think he may have after he left our house. He came back the next summer for a visit at the lake, and he and Brutus were new friends.

Brutus's teeth also broke skin on Andrew's hand during the first couple months we had him. Andrew came over the top of a box in the living room and it startled Brutus. It wasn't a hard "bite", but I'm sure it didn't feel good either. We didn't scold Brutus either time. We calmed him down and assured him everything was OK. That was our job. He was new to our home, scared, and didn't have a clue what life held for him after coming from a terrible situation. My hands would never land on that dog. There isn't a vicious bone in his body, and now that he is comfortable in his surroundings and feels safe, as long as you don't tease him or try to kill me, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine. He and Andrew are great friends now, thank goodness.

So what's the answer? I don't see a clear one. I don't think that this dog has a biting history. It may have been completely out of the blue and unexpected. I know and adore the man who owns the dog, and he is a dog lover. He does have a different view of dog training than I do and tends to use more physical force, but he also raises dogs that have reputations for being vicious. I have absolutely no animal expertise other than my gut, a few books I read on "Positive Reinforcement" training (Brutes' is obviously chicken treats...just ask me how many times the vet has mentioned that he's just a few pounds overweight) and a heart that can't bare to mistreat an animal, which includes the need to train them. If we don't train them, how can we make them responsible for not having acceptable behavior. With that said, how do you train to "not bite". If I was afraid that Brutus would actually go after someone, I'm not sure what choice I would make. The liability would be too high to let him live the life that he does now, but I wouldn't put him in a shelter. The death he would suffer in a shelter as a dog with a biting history could be cruel and cold, and I took on the responsibility to be his caretaker. Would the humane thing to do be to euthanize him? I'm trying to not even go there, but it's hard.

So yeah, those are the things that have been zooming around in my mind. Like I said, I'm sure that people have to face those decisions every day.

I have no answers. I'm just sad, and needed to write.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Hardest Decision I Have Ever Made

I had to make a decision this past week that literally shredded me. I have been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. I often say that I am perfectly content to just hang out with my cats and Brutus for company. Their love is so unconditional, they have never hurt me, and honestly, throw them a little food and they are there. There is just such a cozy love about an animal.

I have always known that I am not capable of fostering. My heart isn't strong enough, in the sense that I would feel the need to keep every single animal, especially the cats. It wouldn't be good for my current pets, or my family. And quite honestly, I'm not sure that I would have a husband! Don and I differ on our views of how many pets a household needs, and he has been very patient with my love of animals.

So, when I saw little Lily's face on my cousin Janice's animal rescue website P.A.W.S., my heart jumped. It stated that she wasn't a barker, and she was bell trained to go outside to go potty. After rescuing Brutus and going through months and months of training to get him to a point where we could leave him in the house for any period of time if we were gone, I knew that I couldn't go through potty training again, and I'm not tolerant of barking, so if those two biggies weren't an issue, I could certainly give this little sweetie a home. Any other issues that she might have could be dealt with with a lot of love and patience, which Don and I both have in endless supply.

Heading to Her New Home
I picked her up on a Tuesday, and immediately fell in love with her tiny little face. She has a forehead that has wrinkles in it that give her the look of always having an inquisitive expression on her face, and quite honestly, I think it fit what she was probably thinking. This little girl was busy and curious about everything. We had a three hour ride home, and even though I had stopped and walked her twice, she did have an accident in the car, but I didn't think a thing of it. This was a big day for this little girl. It was a new car, a new human and a great big new furry brother riding in the car with her. I might have wet myself too! There wasn't any barking, and I was thrilled!

When we got home, she was just an absolute love. We already had Poochie Bells hanging on the door handles, because we had trained Brutus to be bell trained to go outside to go potty. I took Lily around the house and showed her around, showed her each strand of bells, helped her ring them and took her out each door. It took her no time to ring the front door bells, and my heart just burst. I was so excited. Then I went downstairs, and there were two big piles of poop in the middle of the family room. Well, it's day one, and I wasn't about to hold anything against her yet.

Lily continued to be the love that I knew she was, but the potty training really didn't improve. She was peeing several times a day on the carpet, even though I was taking her outside OFTEN, and for long periods of time. Also, it never seemed to fail, as soon as she came in, she would run to a room and poop. I just couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. I never yelled at her, since I learned before we adopted Brutus that yelling at a dog for having an accident often does more damage than good. If I was lucky enough to actually catch her in the act, I would just scoop her up and take her outside while saying "potty".

For the first two days, our cat Sophie took a real interest in Lily, and they seemed to be getting along pretty good. Then things changed, and Sophie became a great thing to bark and chase. My thought on this one was that Lily became comfortable enough to be her little self. In some ways this made me happy because I was glad that she was acclimating so quickly, and in other ways it broke my heart. I knew that if the cats were becoming prey, or even play toys, this relationship wasn't going to work. Plus, I had some new, deep scratches across the top of my wooden furniture that I wasn't too happy about where Sophie had been running and gone for a skid.

On day three of Lily being with us, I needed to leash her to me. I was hoping that if I leashed her to my side, not only would I prevent her from having "accidents" in the house, but it would also diminish her "leader of the pack" roll, and she may leave the cats alone. Neither worked. In her defense, we were only at it for a few days. Lily was only with us for a week, and that is barely time to say "hello". It takes a really really long time to get a rescue animal trained, or even retrained when they come to be a member of your home. It wasn't my impatience with these issues that was telling me we weren't the right family for Lily, it was my gut. It was screaming at me, and at this point I just didn't know what to do. There was no place for this little punkin to go, and I absolutely will not take an animal to a regular shelter. The thought of her going from our home, where she was loved up bigtime 24/7,  to a cage where she might have a little cot or a blanket, and be surrounded by sad, scared dogs, just wasn't going to happen. With every ounce of shame that I had, I contacted my cousin Janice from P.A.W.S.. and cried for help.

Lily helping me make the bed. :)
I am so thankful that Janice and I have gotten reacquainted through the wonderful invention of social media. We come from an enormous family, and even though we saw each other as children, as adults we had lost touch. Thanks to Face book, we had reconnected. We both love animals, only she can do what I can't! Plus, she has contacts that I don't. Thanks to this lovely lady and her sister Darla, Lily now has a wonderful home with Darla's life long friend Roger. Roger grew up with Beagles, and knows much more about training dogs then I do. He is retired, so Lily doesn't have to be in a crate during the day on a regular basis. When Roger showed up at my door, the man that I opened the door to was soft spoken, had a very gentle and sweet demeanor, and Lily took to him immediately.

We had been outside a lot that morning, and had just come in when Roger arrived. Lily was wound up big time. She practically bowled Roger over! Thankfully she did settle down long enough so he could actually get a look at her, and we had a little bit of a chance to talk about her history, behavior, and what I had observed while I had her. When it came time to go, Lily practically pulled him to his car, and she jumped right in. There was no looking back.

My heart goes out to everyone that has touched Lily's life in a positive way, from Amy, who saved Lily from her terrible situation in the first place, all the way down the line to Roger, who will hopefully be able to carry her through to being a really great little girl. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And Ryan, if you are reading this, please know that if I ever hear any updates about Lily, I will put a little note up here. You are always welcome to check in on my blog to check on your Lily Bear.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Busy Crazy Fun

Today was a much better day for Brutus and Lily. It kind of started last night in that Brutus hung out by the bed instead of going downstairs to pout on the sofa at bedtime. Definitely a good sign! This morning he came up on the bed and grabbed a few belly rubs before heading off to pout, so that was good too. Baby steps. :)

Don tried so hard to do me a huge favor this morning, and it went so terribly wrong. He gets up at 6:00 to get ready for work, and leaves at 6:30-6:40. That usually allows for some computer time. It helps when you don't wear makeup or have hair. Men have it so easy!

Anyway, he decided it would be a great idea to take Lily out to go potty before he went to work so I could sleep later. Truly an adorable thing to do. The problem was, Lily wasn't asking to go potty, and what ended up happening is that he woke her up.....big time. After she went potty, then Brutus, my normally "don't you dare wake me up until 9:30 boy" decided that he wanted to go outside too. Now it's 6:20, and Don hasn't had any computer time, or showered. He decided to skip the computer and head straight to the shower, but like I said, he had woke Lily up. Our bathroom has a door that opens to the bedroom and the hallway. Since Lily had already seen Dad, she wasn't happy about having either door closed off to her, even though I was laying right there, so each time he closed a door, she would paw at it and cry to get in the room with him. Problem was, as soon as he let her in, she would realize she was in a closed-in room and cry to get out. They played that game for a good five minutes. I finally intervened.

I heard Don head down to leave, but then he came back in the bedroom to grab a paper that he had forgotten. Lily perked right up again, and had to watch him leave. Then she cried at the front door because Dad had left for work. What a crazy morning. All I have to do is go back to the beginning of this blog to realize that we went through all of these things with Brutus, but I can honestly tell you that I feel like I have the new Mom tireds big time! I am not a morning person either, and I am never happy to see 6:00 in the morning permanently! Oy Vey!!

On a bright note, there was much more playing going on today. Brutus finally figured out that when Lily buzzed over and grabbed a toy out of his mouth, that she was actually trying to play with him. He just kept sitting there being patient, so I took the other side of the toy that Lily had grabbed and tried to get him to take it and pull back. Eventually they were playing tug of war. Every once in a while he would gently paw her away, and she would jump on him and bite his ears. She also likes to bite at something else that is just at her height, and as all you men know, I don't think that that is going to last very long. I gave Brutus full permission to put her in her place if that continues! Ouch!

During one of the times that we were outside today I shot off a bunch of pictures. There are almost 70 pictures, but it truly was done in about a three minute time period. Lily was being a little camera shy. I kept trying to get her to look at me or the camera, and she kept turning away. That's normally what Brutus does, but he was too busy paying attention to Lily today. For you dog owners out there, I know that it seems terribly unfair to have Lily on a tie, and Brutus off tie. There is supposedly a "rank" behavior that goes on when a leash is involved. Unfortunately, until we get to know Lily, we have to keep her safe. That's our number one priority. The day will come when she will get to play off leash too, but it's going to be a while. Right now there are just too many temptations, and she's just too young and unfamiliar with us and the neighborhood. And fortunately, it didn't seem to make a difference. She had no qualms about chasing Brutus around and jumping all over him. Leash or no leash, this little girl has no idea that she's little! She will do just fine.

Here is a link to the photo video for those of you that want to watch the play in motion. Don't worry, Brutus didn't ever actually attack her, even though it looks like he's going to. He would stop right before he got to her. Then she would jump on him. It was probably planned out that way. :) The photos get a little monotonous in the middle, because I swear that all they did was smell the ground for a good two minutes!! Sorry about that.

Til next time.....

VIDEO link


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Along Came Lily.......And There Went Brutus

Yep, the title pretty much says it all. My sweet boy has his nose bent out of shape in a big way.
We're going to start with the positives. Brutus has been more gentle than I could possibly have imagined, and when we're all outside he actually seems a little protective. Yesterday we had to finish getting our son's last things moved out of his old apartment, and in to his new apartment. We were gone for about four hours, which I felt horrible about, but I put Lily in her crate with her special bone, put her by the patio doors so she could see outside and yet wasn't in the sun, and assured her I would be back SOON! When I was in the driveway with all of the windows shut, I could hear her crying. Brutus was looking out the front door window with a look on his face that basically said "where are you going, and seriously, you're leaving me here with HER????". I was so tired from the day before that I was actually in tears. The guilt was overwhelming! And as always, I digress.

After we were done loading up the last load and cleaning Andrew's apartment, I came home to be with the pups while the guys did the unloading. When I got home, the house was quiet. Brutus was sleeping in the entryway, and Lily wasn't making a sound. I went right upstairs to check on her, and she cowered to the back of her crate. Ugh. My heart just broke. Is this what happened when her original owner would come home from work? Did she cower in fear? I opened the door very slowly while I talked to her in a sweet voice, and let her come out on her own. Amazingly her little kennel was dry (more on that later). I took her and Brutus to go outside, and as soon as she was in the front yard, the little girls from the circle came running over. They are to die for cute. If I could sum up "miniature old hens" they would be it. They were gushing over Lily, and the whole time they were doing that, they were throwing questions at me. When did I get her? How far did I have to drive, because you know, they had to go four whole hours to get their dog Mia! Does she shed a lot? Does she bark a lot? What's on her tummy? That was a fun one to explain to first graders. I said that she had had a little surgery so she won't have any puppies. One of the girls immediately looked at me and said "why?" and the other little girl said "OH, I know why!". I quickly changed the subject by letting the leash a little looser so Lily could smother them with more kisses. So, at this point, Brutus had been over at their house saying "hello" to Yager, their Golden Lab. He saw the girls pawing all over Lily and actually came running home. It was a true Wednesday miracle! lol! I usually have to drag him away from Yager. Plus, for some reason, Yager's yard is so much more fun to pee in. Is it a guy thing?

Night number two of sleeping went great, other than Brutus was once again no where to be found. I miss him. As much as we try to coax him up to hang out on the bed with us, he's so exhausted from Lily playing on him, that he won't. I found him at 4:00 this morning sleeping downstairs on the sofa. Anyone who has followed this blog knows that Brutus HATES being downstairs, but I guess it was peaceful down there. Brutus is also not a morning person, so when I took Lily down to go potty, she right away had to jump on him and give him kisses, and he just got up and walked away and went in his crate. He slept until 9:30. My kind of guy! Lily went back to sleep until 8:30, so that was pretty cool too. She hasn't done any crying at all (other than crate time yesterday). At night she snuggles right in next to me (it was Don for a while last night too) and goes to sleep. It's kind of fun to watch her go from 100 mph and slowly start to breathe a little slower until she just crashes. She dreams and wiggles and snores, and definitely has the hiccups. It's adorable.

Surprisingly, the animal that has turned out to have a "thing" for Lily is our cat Sophie. Cat's aren't allowed outside in Bloomington, but I have a baby gate on the deck to keep Lily on it, and Sophie seems content to just lay out in the sun with her. She follows her everywhere.

Sophie Girl
So, that's our day two update. I have to figure out how to cheer Brutus up. We are giving him just as much love and attention as always, he just isn't enjoying it as much. I see it as typical childish behavior, and am hoping that it will pass. He has a pretty cushy life here, and there isn't any reason why that would need to change. He just needs to realize that we were trying to make his life better and more fun! I still can't get over how much he ISN'T a puppy compared to little Lily. We thought Brutus was very high energy, and some of that may come back as he quits pouting, but he is nothing compared to this little girl. :)

My back is killing me from all of the car rides, so I think that Lily and I will be staying home this weekend, getting used to all of the doors that she has to choose from to go outside, and Brutus and dad will be going to the lake to play and be boys. I think that because we have so many places to go outside, and because Lily is unfamiliar with our home, she's been having some accidents. She'll get it figured out. When Brutus came to us he was two years old, and we had to start from scratch with him and figure out his schedule. We're so spoiled now that we know he does his business at 9:30, goes potty at 4:30 and his business again at 10:00 before bed. Obviously, when we're outside or walking there is a whole lot of leg lifting that goes on in between those times, but I know that if we hit those marks, he's good to go. We'll get Lily figured out too. That girl poops more than her weight in poo every day. It's amazing! OK, too much information! But I am a little envious. ;)

Lily and Brutus watching something out the car window. :)
Thank you so much for all of the well wishes, and I promise I'll be keeping everyone updated. If anyone has any advice on getting Brutus's nose unbent, I'm open.