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.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LONG Lovely Day

Snuggled Up Chewing Bones Together On The Bed
Well, today little Lily Girl joined our family. We are so excited. It's a little scary too, only in the sense that we didn't realize just how grown up (lazy) Brutus had gotten! Wow, what a difference. This little girl is filled with energy. I'm guessing that she'll be that way for a couple more years. :)

Brutus went with me to pick Lily up, so he was in the car for a really long time today. It took me about two and a half hours to get to Fairmont, MN, to meet up with Amy and her son Ryan, who were two members of Lily's amazing Foster Family. I always capitalize Foster Family, because honestly, the people that Foster these cats and dogs are angels. They take animals that have sometimes been beaten, starved, neglected or worse, and nurse them back to health. Lily fell in to those categories, and this little punkin is amazing. Because of this family, she has a twinkle in her eye, a spring in her step (a giant one) and gives kisses so freely that you wouldn't believe it. All the way home she kept sneaking up behind my seat and sneaking kisses to me.

I will admit that I was pretty frazzled by the time I got to Fairmont to pick Lily up. After posting on my blog last night that I was going to be picking her up, and that she was a Beagle, I had a couple negative comments about how awful Beagles are. It got me worrying. I heard comments like "she'll eat your cats", "she'll run away every chance she gets", etc. I am a worrier anyway, so worry away I did. When I finally calmed myself down and reminded myself that Brutus came to us as an adolescent with absolutely no manners or training, and he has turned out to be an amazing dog, then I started worrying that I wouldn't wake up in time. I needed to be up at 7:00 to be on the road by 8:30. I didn't need the whole time for myself to get ready, but Brutus wakes up about as slow as I do in the morning, and I knew that he would need a good fifteen minutes to get moving and get his "business" taken care of. And, I needed to stop and get gas. So yeah, I think I slept about three hours last night. Not cool.

Ryan and our twisted up dogs!
I got to the meeting place to meet Lily's Foster Mom and Brother, and I was kind of a wreck. It was SO WINDY, and then Brutus was so excited that he wouldn't listen to me, so the leashes kept getting tangled. Lily had just been spayed this past week, and her tummy is still tender, and I swear that anytime I would try to get a hold of her to separate the leashes, I would end up getting the wrong part of her tummy. Ugh! You know how you want to make a good impression, and you leave feeling like a big fat failure? That was me today. Foster Family, if you're reading this, please know that Lily has gone to a family that couldn't possibly love her more. Brutus hasn't put in his vote yet. I think he needs about two more days to get used to being jumped on. :)

So anyway, we got home, and Lily ran right up to Don and planted a bunch of kisses all over his face. Adorable. Princess, our oldest kitty came up to say hello, and Lily got scared and decided to hide behind me. So much for eating the cats! Then Sophie, our youngest cat came running up the stairs. At first Sophie was scared of Lily, and Lily was scared of Sophie, but tonight they were smelling each other up on the bed, and I don't think they'll be fast friends, but at least they have become acquainted. We never see Bernice, our middle kitty. She still hates Brutus, and it's been two and a half years. Only once has she gotten brave enough to hiss at him and put him in his place. She was in desperate need of some loving from mom, and when Brutus came walking in the bedroom she stood up and let him have it. He hung his head and walked away. Pretty pathetic.

So, forward we go. I can honestly say that my Brutus Blog will have a whole new twist to it now that Brutus has a little sister. She might get that boy in shape!

And, unfortunately, all of my pictures turned out kind of blurry today. I don't know if it was the wind, or my nervousness! I'm so bummed. Ryan, Lily's Foster Brother is absolutely adorable, and I really wanted to post some awesome pictures of him with Lily. Ryan, if you're reading this, email me some cool pictures that I can put on my blog.

Welcome Lily Girl.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lily Bear

Tonight Brutus boy had a bath, had his ears cleaned, and had lots and lots of wrestle time with dad, and snuggle time with mom. Tomorrow Brutus is meeting his little sister Lily. I know what a LOT of you out there are thinking. WHAT??? I know, I know. We already have three cats, that I adore, and we have Brutus who is like a mini tornado of energy and love all wrapped up in to one. Trust me when I say that we had never planned on adding another pup to our family. BUT, and there is always a but, I saw this little face. I am blaming my cousin Janice for this one.

Janice runs an animal rescue called P.A.W.S. of Jackson County in Southern Minnesota. She also has a Facebook page for her rescue, so when these precious little faces come along, I see them. The majority of the animals that come through her rescue are cats, and I am at my city limit, thank goodness. Otherwise, I would be the cat lady, and probably divorced. Don is so patient (and I think he might even secretly love) the cats. He has always been a dog lover, and I was the cat lover. After we adopted Brutus, I became a "both" lover. They are completely different animals, and both offer such wonderful companionship and unconditional love.

So, about Lily. Lily lived in a home where she was beaten, had food withheld, and probably many more things that I don't even want to know about. Her Foster Mom Amy took her in to her home without reservation. She said that she could just see the hurt and fear in this little girl's face. Amy has fallen in love with Lily, and would keep her herself, but she already has three dogs, so..... she gets to come and be Brutus's little sister. As all of you who know us know, she will be one spoiled little girl. She is very small. She only weighs 15 lbs. and stands 13 inches tall. She is one year old.

Our hope is that she and Brutus will become fast friends. Brutus is fearful of large dogs, and tiny yippy dogs, so Lily should be just right. When we go to the dog park, or when Brutus goes to daycare, Lily is the type of dog that Brutus usually hangs with. Actually, it's usually the type of dog trying to hump him, but that's a whole different story! Lily isn't a barker, and she has been bell trained to go outside to go potty, which Brutus is also bell trained. We understand that it is going to take some time for this little to adjust to the house and to us, as well as the cats and Brutus, so I'm sure there will be accidents. Nothing can compare to Brutus's first couple days here. The first day he lifted his leg and peed all over my white sofa, and the second day here was our first day alone together. Do any of you remember this? Yeah, two minutes alone and there was white pillow stuffing all over my living room! I couldn't scold him because I was too busy laughing and trying to take his picture. This is still Don's screen saver at work. It's definitely a great conversation starter!

We should be home by dinner time tomorrow, and after some warming up and loving time, I will be sure to log back on to the blog and update everyone, hopefully with pictures and some great news.

Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow. I'm going to have a long drive with the two dogs together on my way back home, and I'm really hoping it goes OK. I feel bad for little Lily being pulled from the first family that loved her enough to show her kindness. Hopefully she will adjust quickly.

Until tomorrow........

Saturday, March 24, 2012

If Heaven Is Blue, This Is It

The ice went out at the lake this week, which is a huge relief. As the owner of a dog who loves the lake, I hate that sort of in between time. I have this terrible fear that Brutus will go running out on the ice and fall through, but we won't be able to save him. We have a canoe that we keep next to the shed that we could grab in a heart beat, but the thought of it still scares the heck out of me. Thankfully, we made it through another spring with no ice accidents.

It's hard to comprehend, but Brutus probably went swimming four or five times today. He picked up right where he left off last Fall. He remembered the same rotting log along the shore that holds the little critters he likes to go after, and the same shrub on the bank that he likes to pee on. It was like there was never a winter in between. I love it. In my head it just means that he's "home".

I was checking out the purple pool today, and I'm afraid it isn't going to make it through another summer. I'm so sad about that, because Brutus adores his big purple pool. Maybe the store will have purple again this year. Brutus is going to have a new little sister this summer to show the ropes to, so he'll have to share his pool, no matter what the color. I can't wait for all of the photo opportunities.

More updates to come on "Lily Bear" in the next few days.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Missing Out


Between my camera and my keyboard, I have missed out on sharing so many awesome moments in the last few weeks, darn it! It always bums me out when something inspires me to write, and then I get distracted (lazy) and don't get it done. So, today I'm going to do a little bit of back tracking.

Let's go back about two weeks ago. It had been warm enough outside to melt the little bit of snow that we had finally gotten in Minnesota, but not warm enough to make the melted snow really go anywhere. Thus, our back yard turned in to a virtual skating rink. Brutus always does his business in the back yard, and that morning when I let him outside, it was a bit of a challenge. Lifting his leg on the shrub wasn't too bad because there is mulch there to dig his nails in to, but heading out to the yard to do the rest of his business turned in to a comedy, at least for me, and probably our neighbors.

He always does this little dance of going back and forth several times until suddenly he squats. It's like all of a sudden his body says "now"! Well, first he was having trouble getting his grip while he was pacing back and forth, and then when he was finally ready to squat, he went sliding right down the hill. It completely freaked him out. He slowly crawled his way back up the slope of the yard and tried again (there's only one area that he's willing to poo). The same thing happened. This time he gave up and came crawling to me, but the problem with that scenario was that it got his tie twisted around the tree. That meant that I had to go out and get him untangled. I headed out to get him and landed right on my bum. It didn't feel that funny to me, but I was convinced that if the neighbors were watching, they were probably laughing so hard that they had wet their pants by that point. Just the site of watching a poor dog who's trying to poop sliding down a hill was funny enough. I was finally able to reach Brutus, and instead of untangling his tie, I just unhooked him. We both crawled to the screened in porch. He did end up taking care of his business out front by the garage, but he wasn't happy about it. He's a creature of habit!

The other funny thing that has disrupted Brutus's life in the last couple weeks is that Don and I switched sides of the bed. You are probably wondering why. Well, in a nutshell, I'm always warm at night, and Don is always cold. Don sleeps on the side of the bed where the heating vent is, and even though it's blowing warm air, he still doesn't like the feeling of the air blowing on him. We've talked about this for the last fifteen years, and we finally just decided to make the change. It has completely thrown all of the animals for a loop. I don't think that Don and I had more than two or three hours of sleep the first night. He didn't realize how often the cats sneak in and snuggle with me after Brutus goes to sleep, and they give off a lot of body heat. I didn't realize how often Brutus lays right on top of Don's legs.

The first night we both woke up at midnight. I said "I can't feel my legs". Don said "I am covered in cats and I am so hot"! It went like that the whole night. The second night was a little better, mostly just because I couldn't sleep and at about 1:00 I finally went in to Ashley's old room and crawled in to bed in there. The cats followed me, so Don was very comfortable in the bed with just Brutus. Night number three, Don slept in Ashley's room. I think we both actually slept in the same bed on Thursday, and then Don and Brutus went to the lake for the weekend. I WILL say that I enjoy having that little breeze on me at night, and Don seems to be staying nice and warm on my old side of the bed, so we'll keep giving it a chance. We are all creatures of habit!

Other than that, Brutus's life is still awesome. He spent the weekend at the lake running and playing outside, and visiting with the neighbor dog Kiera. He loves being at the lake, and always pouts for a while when he gets back to the Cities. Especially when mom insists that he have a bath, which I did! He was filthy, just like he wanted to be. :)

It's just about purple pool time again. Woot Woot!