Brutus Update – Thou Shalt Not Chew Drains

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Brutus and Rocky establish friendships and boundaries

Brutus has been so hungry that trying to keep up with his growth spurt in terms of energy requirements/expenditure has been very hard so I have bitten the bullet and doubled his dietary intake in the morning and evening feed and just left the smaller meal midday and one before bed.

I kid you not when I say that when I get up to him in the morning he looks very ‘ribby’ and thin so I don’t think he is ready to cut down his meals yet. I am assuming that because his growth was stunted when he was so sick, his body is now demanding nutritional catch up which is fine, he is a growing boy.

This morning I was a bit late with his breakfast as I wasn’t well last night so slept in, I had let him out at 6am and he wasn’t happy about it.

‘What, really?’ Brutus said and then did a loud puppy yawn – you know the type that I mean.

Rocky pretended he was still asleep, he had no intention of taking a pee this early.

‘Yes really, come on you have to go in the garden’ I said, trying to sound firm but felt bloody knackered at the same time. I didn’t blame the pair of them, I wouldn’t fancy going out at stupid o-clock but needs must when toilet training.

I let them out and went back to bed with the intention of feeding him an hour later but actually woke up at 8am, went to give Brutus his newly increased portion of puppy meal.

‘Is that for me, all of it, really?’ He shouted excitedly and then bragged to Rocky who vowed to bash him for showing off as Rocky is on strictly controlled dietary intake to keep his weight constant as he has HD.

Leaving Brutus to scoff his breakfast in the crate, I went outside and did a ‘poo run’ and put the toys back in the toy box – the dogs love that toy box as they have such fun removing them. I enjoy filling that toy box, I have ordered Brutus a set of Nylabone teething keys from the USA as it is half the price of what they cost here even with delivery and next week we are buying him a clam shell sandpit from Bunnings with some ‘safe sand’ so he can have his own ‘legal sandpit’. (spoiled – much!)

That was when I noticed the ‘crime scene’ – I found a round plastic grid, semi chewed. ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I thought, scratching my head, scouring the garden.

Spotting a large drainage hole uncovered, I realised that Brutus had pulled off the plastic from the drain hole, leaving the drain open, large enough so he could have got his head stuck if he so wished.

Damn it, it was a large hole as well – you know the round drains – they are quite big.

Carefully putting the plastic back over the hole, I then placed a couple of small pavers over it, thinking that is bloody marvellous as when it rains, it won’t be able to drain so a trip to Bunnings is in order but if any of you that have puppies that have discovered the joys of sewer drains, could give me some tips on securing the plastic grid so that Brutus cannot dig it up, I would be most grateful.

The garden looks like a bomb site so Abdel decided to sweep the fake lawn and remove the bits of fabric from the ‘bone incident’ the other day. You will notice there are a lot of ‘incidents’ of varying degrees of naughtiness, I do in fact believe that they could be put in a book for naughty dogs.

Well sweeping the garden is a challenge as you can see in the video below and whilst it is highly amusing to watch Brutus jumping around like a disabled springbok, it is nigh on impossible to sweep the garden with him in it, so that was given up as a bad job and we shall do it when he is in his crate to try and desensitise him because he also thinks that the vacuum is an alien which is out to kill the world and also needs attacking.

We are going to take him for a walk later, both him and Rocky, we won’t go far as he gets overwhelmed with traffic/sights/sounds, so baby steps and all that.

The main thing is he is very receptive to people and other dogs, which considering what he has been through is amazing.

Then tonight, Sunny – my friends red heeler is coming round, Brutus met him last night on his walk and Sunny is an alpha senior male dog and he is Rockys best friend, so I took Brutus to meet him on his own as Brutus is still being leash trained and needed 100% of my attention, that all went ever so well and both dogs got on just fine.  Rocky was insanely jealous and screamed the garden down when he saw me take Brutus out, he knew exactly where we were going and you could hear him shouting ‘He is my friend not yours!’.

So Sunny will come round tonight for a play date with Rocky and Brutus. Tomorrow Brutus will go to the beach and I will see how he goes there.

This morning my friend Dave brought his son round to my house and Brutus met him and instantly took to the gorgeous little boy who is almost a year old, Brutus seems to love people and was quite taken with the baby so that is also something I am pleased about because having missed out on some early socialisation when he was sick, it could have affected how he interacted with people later.

Finally, I just want to add when I first took on Brutus I was somewhat overwhelmed and thinking ‘how do I bring this puppy up’ because when you have a puppy you have a blank slate and how that dog turns out is pretty much down to you and that is daunting in my book.

I have had an aggressive dog before – a whippet bitch called Rema, she was aggressive when I got her and I thought I could change her and I couldnt despite having bahavioural therapy, she had to be muzzled in public and had even nipped people that had chosen to ignore my ‘please don’t go near her face’ commands. Not to mention if dogs got too close to her when she was on the leash, she would beat the crap out of them.

The sleepless nights of having a puppy, the eyes in the back of your head to keep an eye on them, the crying when they are crated, the chewing, the naughtiness which is really just normal puppy behaviour, well it is easy to become so wrapped up in how hard it is to raise a well balanced good natured puppy and subsequently miss out on the fun and energy that having a new puppy can bring.

It is easy to wish away the puppy years, the digging, chewing, naughtiness and wish for them to grow up.

But I have learned and am still learning with Brutus that every day he changes, he seems to grow and fill out each day, he is discovering his world, forging his friendship with Rocky and Gordon, he is being guided by Rocky and learning to find his place within our pack in the home.

And if you take a step away from the hard work of looking after a pup and marvel in the developmental changes that are actually occurring, and get a routine that works for all concerned, you will realise that raising a puppy is exceptionally rewarding – you get out what you put in basically.

Last night I watched Brutus and Rocky curled up together on the bed, this morning I watched Brutus wriggling his tiny body to greet me this morning. Looking round the garden and seeing the mass of toys scattered everywhere, I realised that whilst our lives are messier and harder with Brutus around, we wouldn’t be without him.

He is part of our family now, chewed drains and ripped up toys and all.

And quite simply, we love him.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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