Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's All In How You Look At It

For the past few weeks there has been a part of me that has wanted to put a little super glue on
someones' mouth. I know, that sounds incredibly mean, but I am seriously tired of hearing about how "I need to train Brutus". For cripes sake. If this certain someone who keeps telling me how I need to train Brutus had any idea how far we have come and from what we have worked with, I think he would shut his trap, at least I sure hope so.

This is where it started. This summer I finally got Brutus to be able to go outside with me in the yard in the Cities without him leaving the yard. UNLESS, and it's an unless that I readily admit to, his favorite playmate is also out of his house. Then all bets are off. He has no control and feels the urge to run over and smell butts and run and play and mark territory like there's no tomorrow. Brutus's buddy will do the same thing, but here's the difference. Brutus's buddy was raised from a tiny pup, and when his owner says "come" he actually does. Brutus wasn't in our household until he was at least two, was more than likely a failed attempt at a hunting dog and was probably trained by being electrocuted every time he didn't do what he was told. We made this assessment by the fact that just putting an e-collar on him and hitting the tone button brought him to the ground trembling. There was no electricity required. Before you panic, we never intended to shock him. Our intent was to train him with tones with the help of the seller of the e-collar. They are obviously not opposed to using voltage, but were very aware of our situation and didn't recommend it on any level. And, as always, I digress. All of that is documented in prior posts. It isn't pretty, but it's there. It's no wonder Brutus likes to drink!

So, on one particularly lovely summer evening a few weeks ago, I took Brutus outside to go potty. I didn't realize that the neighbors were out back having a campfire, and before I could even get a hold of Brutus's collar he was headed next door to see his friend. His friend doesn't live next door, but he is always hanging out over there. I called for him a few times to come home and of course, he didn't. I was already in my pajamas with my makeup off, but over I went. Thank goodness it was kind of dark out! As I pulled Brutus away from his friend and apologized, my neighbor decided to blurt out that I "really needed to train him". If I would have been dressed and hiding behind the confidence of a good layer of mascara I would have verbally decked him, but instead I walked away. I was pissed. He has been told Brutus's story, so honestly, he was just messing with me. I'm sure that he thinks he would have the ability to train Brutus to come on demand. His boy dog also squats to pee and doesn't mark anything. I commend him on some pretty awesome training, but his dog also has the most laid back personality I have ever seen in my life. A squirrel could probably sit two inches in front of his nose and this dog wouldn't care.

Here is where my pat on the back came in. If you have read this blog from the beginning, you probably know that there was a time when Brutus would try to literally kill the veterinarian. Thanks to many non scheduled visits to the vet and the patience of an amazing staff, Brutus has gotten to be so much better about going in for his appointments. When I went to pick him up yesterday, the girl at the desk actually took the time to tell me what an adorable boy he had been all day, and he had been a love every time he was out of his cage. He hadn't growled or tried to kill anyone, and they had looked at him several times throughout the day. She had remembered his first visit, and him trying to bite the vet. It was traumatic. We had to muzzle him, I had to call Don to come and help and we had to give him two shots of tranquilizer just to get him settled down enough so he could be looked at. Don was upset, I was crying and Brutus was labeled as vicious by the end of that appointment. I am so thankful that his true sweetness is showing through.

So, is he perfect? Absolutely not. Has he made great strides for a boy that had a very long road to
travel? You bet. Take that, neighbor who only adopts new puppies. Wow, that was super snotty. Oh well, it's my blog, and I'm feeling a little boogerish today.