Our Brutus (2001ish - 1/20/2012)
We rescued him from a Springfield, MO Humane Society in December of 2003. He was about 2 1//2 then. Travis was down to visit before heading home for winter break. We showed up at my parents house, I went to the door, peeked in and said "come here, I have a surprise." My parents came to the door and my mom and dad were staring at this mean looking dog with drool hanging down to the floor (he had just drank water from the fire pit). He was banished, I guess you could say, to a storage room in the basement. My mom doesn't like big dogs. We were all upstairs after getting him settled in (mom in the computer room) and all of a sudden Brutus is at the top of the stairs looking into the kitchen!!! We think somehow we must not have closed the door so we put him back downstairs. Next thing we know, he is back. And that is when he got his nickname Houdini. He actually opened the door himself!
He enjoyed his time with use at Northwest. We would take him on walks around campus. We remember one walk in particular that he pooped ON a tree branch in front of the admin building. Yes he was a talented dog!
Brutus was very loyal to us, particularly Travis. he guarded the house well. If you wanted to come in, you better have had a treat with you. While he seemed mean, he really was a big softy. He loved his 'babies.' His favorite was a squeaky mole that cost a $1. It fit perfect in his mouth. He would chase it and squeak it and very rarely did he actually destroy this particular toy. All others toys with a squeaker were 'dead' in 5 minutes time. The goal: get the squeaker out.
Brutus was very helpful in the kitchen. You just had to say “oops” and he would come running...no matter where he was in the house. In Indiana, we had 2 floors. He would be upstairs on the opposite side from the kitchen and would hear you barely say oops. He was there in a flash to help clean up whatever it was your dropped. While he loved just about every food, his favorite was probably watermelon. The second he saw Travis with it, he would sit behind the trash can drooling.
When we moved to VA. His favorite place was the sun room. He would spend hours just laying in the sun soaking up the rays. For bedtime he had to be “tucked” in. If he wasn't he would sit on Travis' side of the bed, stare, and whine until Travis got up to tuck him into bed. When RC came along, he didn't mind him too much, but he did get a little jealous when daddy would play with RC and not Brutus. Brutus was after all daddy's dog.
Christmas was one of Brutus' favorite times. He actually opened his presents. Each year, I would wrap treats that came in 'milk cartons.' He would tear the paper off then work on the carton to open to the top. Once accomplished he would stuff his nose in the small space to get the treats! He also knew what a stocking was. When RC opened his stocking on Christmas Eve from Great Aunt Jill, Brutus came up sniffing it and giving me a look of "why is it empty...it's supposed to have treats inside!"
January 18th, 2012 we decided to take Brutus to the vet. After several months of him losing weight, Travis and I both agreed that it seemed like there was something else wrong with him other than old age. His belly had become bloated. Off to the vet we went and found out he did indeed have fluid in his belly which also contained “suspicious” cells as the vet put it. It was irreversible. The doctor didn't have an exact time frame but said he would get progressively worse since it was fluid rather than blood. Blood meant he would just die peacefully one day...fluid, meant sicker and sicker and sicker. On January 19th, Brutus started hacking and breathing harder and harder. That night Travis decided it was time. Neither of us wanted Brutus to suffer through the sicker and sicker phase. We took him in on Friday, January 20, 2012 to say goodbye. The vet of surprised to see us back so soon. We said our goodbyes,(and one from specially from Gerrit, our second exchange student that loved Brutus very much) and they took him back. Travis and I decided we didn't want to watch. We know he went peacefully.
He had a great last day of his life eating some of his favorites. He got many treats from me all day and when daddy came home, he got an ice cream cone & double quarter pounder from McD's; one of his favorite places!
Brutus will be missed by many family and friends. RIP Brutus...
oh...and my mom who banished him to that storage room because he was big and drooled, well lets just say Brutus won her over, got free range of her house (provided of course his mouth was wiped after eating or drinking) and always sent a stocking at Christmas full of goodies for him!