Aside from the fact that Brutus really did go in to hospital, the rest of the story is based on fictitious events and any bearing to anyone or anything in real life is purely coincidental.
The little white dog in the story is entirely made up but saying that, I could just imagine him can’t you?
This story is meant in good fun with no harm intended. It has mild course language and content so parental supervision is advised with regards to its suitability for children.
It is a long read of nearly 5,000 words so you are probably best off reading it over a cuppa and a chocolate digestive or even a Tim Tam (that’s what I would do anyway).
Those darned nails again!
My Brutus has been a bit unlucky with his nails – in particular his dew claws. On the Monday he managed to injure one of his front dew claws yet again and as it looked particularly nasty, I decided to take him off to the vet.
‘But I don’t want to go to the vet!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky smirked behind his back and called him a ‘baby’ and then made crying gestures with his paws causing Gordon the cat to snort with laughter.
Rocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Ignoring his protests I bundled up his big brown self into the back of he car and drove off to the vets while blasting Usher out on the stereo.
‘I shall vomit any second now and then you will be sorry’ Brutus muttered under his breath as we pulled up outside the vets in the car.
I shall vomit any second now – said Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘No you won’t Brutus, you are too mean to part with your food’ I laughed.
Brutus looked thoughtful and decided that perhaps he was, in fact he definitely did not like parting with his food, especially through vomiting because he knows that there is many a dog glad of a hot meal.
‘Ouch, don’t touch them, leave me alone, I shall cry if you don’t!’ Brutus shouted before the vet had even touched him. Brutus hates having his feet and wrists touched and I only have to look at them and he is doing the doggy Riverdance across the floor giving Michael Flatley a run for his money.
Brutus not being the brightest dog on the block fell for the old ‘give me a paw’ trick when the vet handed him a treat in return for his paw giving her a second to assess the damage while leaving Brutus fairly smug that he had not allowed the vet to check his paws which in all fairness to him, were bloody sore.
It was decided as he keeps injuring his dew claws, that it would be better to remove them as the injured one was pretty bad and Brutus was duly booked in for surgery for the Wednesday to give us chance to raise the funds (yes we had to pull from the mortgage – but hey, we love him and wouldn’t have it any other way, let’s hope the insurance pay up quick)
On the morning of the operation
‘Please don’t make me go, I am scared, it’s going to hurt’ Brutus cried like a baby. Torn between being terrified of going in hospital and being mortified that he had been fasted, the gentle giant was so overcome with emotion that he didn’t quite know what to do.
Even the usual calm and and collected Rocky was nervous about his brother going to the vet. Normally Rocky gets insanely jealous when Brutus goes in the car and he doesn’t but this time Rocky knew, he just knew and for the first time ever he avoided my car like the flea rinse at the dog wash.
At the Vets
Brutus stood with me in reception as I signed the consent form. Clutching his little brown ‘Brutus-suitcase’ which contained his Tony Abbott doll, a book titled ‘How to be a good boy’ and a mouldy bone plus his blue and white striped pyjamas, his suitcase had everything that he needed for the day.
Brutus looks for a distraction
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Brutus shuffled around from foot to foot and looked around for a distraction. The smell of the vet hospital infiltrated his nostrils and he just knew that it was not a nice smell for any animal and usually heralded a thermometer up the bum or something equally horrific.
Brutus and his beloved Tony Abbot doll that he really did take in to hospital
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
A little white dog sat in the waiting room patiently waiting his turn. Desperately needing to be comforted and given some sympathy from a fellow canine, Brutus smiled gratefully at the little dog who smiled nervously back at him.
‘Dew claw removal’ Brutus said to the little dog and then demonstrated the horror of it all by holding up his wrists and nodding in the direction of his wrists.
‘They are cutting my balls off’ growled the little white dog and then flashed his bottom to Brutus just to prove it. Although his testicles could not be seen due to all the fluff surrounding his bottom.
‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.
‘Yes I think I do’ The little white dog replied in a resigned voice and then started to wash his testicles in a final act of rebellion while whispering ‘Goodbye old friends, it’s been fun’.
Brutus briefly remembered when he was de-sexed and had to say goodbye to his own testicles, he was kind of glad to get rid of them as they got in the way and promised to be the size of grapefruits had he been allowed to keep them.
‘We have made him up a kennel out the back for him, say goodbye to Mum’ The nurse said to Brutus who then gave me a wash on my neck.
‘Love you Mum’ Brutus said quickly and then trying to fight back the tears from nerves, dutifully trotted after the nurse dragging his little suitcase behind him.
On the ward
Just ten minutes later Brutus was tucked up in his bed wearing his stripey pyjamas, with the blankets right up to his neck and his Tony Abbott doll snuggled up beside him.
Not really being in the mood to read but thought it might take his mind off things, Brutus started to read his book ‘How to be a good boy’. There was a marvellous section on there about how to get yourself out of trouble and make your owners forgive you.
This would have been useful last week when he jumped on the bonnet of Dad’s car but that was OK, he could save it for next time.
The white fluffy dog was in the bed next to Brutus and was wearing his own set of red and white stripey pyjamas and had a blue rubber bone beside him for comfort. You see all the dogs like to bring in their own toys in to hospital, it is important to them.
‘Are you nervous?’ Brutus asked the white fluffy dog who was reading his own book on ‘How to say goodbye to your bollocks and still hump cushions’.
The white dog shrugged his shoulders and said in a confident voice ‘No of course not’ and then after checking to see who was listening, added ‘Yes I am, terrified. Are you scared?’
Brutus sighed and bit his bottom lip to try and stop himself from crying and replied ‘Yes, I am and I want my Mum’.
(Photograph from Google images)
Nothing more was said between the two dogs, they both pretended to be engrossed in their reading material but both secretly hoped that it would all soon be over and done with.
‘Your turn Brutus’ said the nurse as Brutus was taken from his bed to go to the prep area for his anesthetic.
‘I want to take my Tony Abbott doll!’ Brutus barked and when the nurse wouldn’t let him, all thoughts of being a brave dog were forgotten and he cried like a baby.
‘But what about my Tony?’ Brutus sobbed as he was restrained for his injection.
‘Don’t you worry about Tony’ the vet smiled as she placed the IV drip into his vein so that he wouldn’t become dehydrated during his surgery.
‘Ouch, that hurt, I am going to tell my Mum, she said I am a good boy, I won the Good Boy Award so why are you doing that to me?’ Brutus cried loudly as his huge chunky body tried to resist the restraint of the nurses.
‘I am a good boy!, I am a good boy!’ Brutus sobbed and he kept on saying it because he hoped it would make everything stop and also because he believed it.
Being a good boy is important to Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
But before he could say anything else, he found himself relaxing and sinking down to the table and was soon fast asleep dreaming of his Iggy friends Pippin Pringle and the gang, his hero Cop Dog ‘Rumble’ and Tony Abbott.
‘Is he dead?’ a high pitched voice demanded.
‘Don’t be silly, of course he isn’t dead’ snapped another voice impatiently.
‘He looks dead, why is his tongue sticking out like a yard of Christmas ham?’ someone else asked.
‘Did someone say ham?’ another voice barked excitedly.
‘If he is dead then I want his Tony Abbott doll’ someone barked.
‘If he is dead I want his Christmas ham, it’s like a bloody famine here and I haven’t eaten in ten years’ said another voice.
Brutus could hear muffled familiar voices but could not quite recognise them. He felt dizzy and unable to lift his head so he slowly opened one eye at a time and he wondered where the hell he was. From the corner of one eye he saw a familiar hideously ugly face of his Tony Abbott doll that had been carefully placed beside him.
Then through blurred vision, Brutus saw a gang of pointy snouts surrounding his bed in the form of Italian greyhounds plus Chewy, Starbuck, Poppy and Vader.
‘Oh look, he has opened his eyes, he isn’t dead!’ Madam Gigi barked in delight.
‘I told you he wasn’t dead, don’t be so dramatic’ Pippin said impatiently and then looked at Brutus and said ‘How are you old chap, bearing up?’
Looking surprisingly tiny and frail in his bed with his sheets tucked up to his neck, his enormous radar ears sticking out and his blue stripey pyjamas rolled up on his arms to reveal bandages on both paws and his IV drip in his arm, Brutus could have melted the hardest of hearts.
Brutus fast asleep while his friends poke him to see if he is alive
(Photograph by Google Images)
It is amazing just how small and vulnerable any dog can look when it is sick or unwell. I recall my little whippet bitch Rema when she was put to sleep due to kidney failure/old age and she was such a big character yet when I sent her to Rainbow Bridge, her huge character had literally left her body along with her heartbeat leaving the smallest of bodies behind.
‘Pippin, is that you? where am I? Who stole my Tony Abbott doll? Don’t let them take my Tony Abbott doll, who has got the ham?’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice. Making futile attempts to sit up, Brutus just flopped back down heavily on to his bed.
‘Take it easy old boy, you are still half asleep. How are you feeling?’ Pippin asked his friend.
‘My paws hurt, where is my Mum?’ Brutus said in a confused voice.
‘It’s OK Brutus; you don’t need your Mum, you have got us’ a familiar ‘special’ voice piped up from the back. Clutching a bunch of stolen daffodils with most of them snapped at the stems, stood Vader the boxer (and his tongue) – Brutus’s good friend and partner in crime.
Brutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
For those of you that don’t know; Vader the boxer has a fat tongue and like all boxer dogs, speaks in a slow boxer type voice. Vader had sneaked away from his Mum to visit Brutus and felt quite proud that he had managed to steal flowers from someone’s garden even if half of them were only stalks – it’s the thought that counts.
‘Oh I say, he is rather nice’ Nica whispered to Madam Gigi nodding in the direction of the white fluffy dog that had just been desexed.
‘Not bad at all’ Madam Gigi giggled and then gasped ‘Oh my goodness Harry what are you doing?’.
Harry was now wearing a white doctors coat that he had found plus a stethoscope and had that draped around his neck. Picking up the fluffy dogs medical chart that was hanging at the end of the bed, Harry nodded to the girls knowingly.
Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘As there doesn’t seem to be one around, I am stepping in as the vet for today and you can call me Dr Harry’ and this dog isn’t a complete man’ said he has had his balls cut off’. Fat Harry said matter-of-factly.
‘That’s OK, he is still cute, testicles are so overrated’ Gigi said to Nica who giggled and then feigned disgust at Gigi’s comments.
The Iggies were really quite naughty and were running amok in the hospital. Chewy had started up the ‘Hump-train’ and was busy humping Dash who was humping Apollo who was trying to give Mako one on the head. All of this of course was being supervised by a disapproving Woody and Fletch who were shaking their pointy snouts so vigorously that they both looked like a pair of ‘angry biro pens’.
Bronte was busy admiring herself in the mirror while Rocco fought with his invisible friend and told it to ‘piss off’ and Fat Harry was still dressed as a doctor and was checking the vomit bowls for scraps and looking at the charts on the beds. Really they were being very raucous and badly behaved and how the nurses didn’t kick them out was anyone’s guess.
Suddenly they could hear a commotion coming from the bed next to Brutus. ‘Someone stole my testicles!’ the little white fluffy dog sobbed drowsily from his bed and then started to make random prayers asking whoever had stolen them to return them instantly.
‘Totally understand mate, mine were stolen as well’ Rocco nodded towards the fluffy dog who was still off his face on painkillers and anaesthetic.
‘Shhh Rocco, don’t get involved in other dogs testicles, it could get messy’ Pippin said in a firm voice.
‘I am still a complete woman if anyone is interested’ Bronte said loudly making Madam Gigi and Nica poke her in her ribs to keep her quiet.
‘You never brag about that kind of stuff in the vets’ Nica said to Bronte, ‘It is simply not ladylike, it’s like taking ones collar off in public – you just don’t do it’.
Zara, Olive, Ari, Ayla and Bambi had all been instructed to sit in the corner and behave which was simply not happening as Zara and Olive had pinched some face masks and were wearing them while threatening to insert thermometers into each others bottoms.
Starbuck, Poppy the Chinese crested, Carlo, Cino, Pino, and Gidget were all having heated discussions about getting de-sexed and whether or not having testicles/uterus made you ‘more or less of a man/woman’.
‘I think I am a big brave boy and my Mum loves me and so does Rumble’ Brutus said in a sleepy voice.
‘What is he on?’ Rocco mouthed to Pippin.
‘Don’t know but I wouldn’t mind some’ Vader laughed.
‘Here Pippin, I dare you to put on a doctors coat’ Vader dared the little Italian greyhound who is known for being straight laced and sensible, well except for when he went ballroom dancing with Eugene the Angry Afghan but we shall say no more on that.
‘Go on Pippin, we dare you’ Rocco and Chewie barked.
Feeling up for a dare, Pippin looked around to check that nobody was looking and put on a spare white coat and then placed his half rimmed spectacles on the end of his nose.
Picking up Brutus’s medical charts to try and decipher them he replied ‘Oh yeah, he is just on drugs and stuff’ and then paraded up to Fat Harry and said ‘You are not the only doctor on the ward you know’.
Fat Harry (left and Pippin Pringle (right) playing doctors
(Photograph by Google Images)
Woody and Fletch were so shocked at Pippin’s unusually juvenile behaviour that they made a mental note to address the issue at the next Iggie meeting.
‘Nice work Dr Pringle’ Rocco laughed and patted Pippin on the back to congratulate him. Pippin blushed becomingly because he was so rarely naughty that when he was, he did it so well.
All the commotion of course had disturbed Brutus who was rambling away in his own little drug induced world.
‘When I go for a shit I do monster turds bigger than you’ Brutus said to nobody in particular ‘I love my Tony Abbott and I love everyone, I am a good boy and I can shit dinosaurs’
Bronte, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Nica, Zara and Olive were now laughing. All of the dogs had gathered round Brutus’s bed aside from Fat Harry who was now winding up the white fluffy dog and had convinced him that the vet had sold his testicles on eBay.
‘Harry will you come here now and stop teasing him about his testicles!’ Woody growled at Harry who looking thoroughly naughty; reluctantly went back to Brutus’s bed.
‘Rumble, it’s Rumble! My hero, I knew you would find me, have you come to save me?’ Brutus said drowsily. His flappy jowls and deformed bottom lip drooped open, his tongue was so dry it kept sticking to the pillow.
‘Rumble? What is he talking about Rumble for, he must be hallucinating’ Bronte said to Pippin in a concerned voice.
‘Rumble!, is that you?’ Brutus said again.
‘Just ignore him, it’s the drugs’ Pippin whispered to the others. Poor old Brutus was seeing things that were not there.
‘I am SO not going to let him live this down’ Rocco grinned at Chewy who was trying to look disapproving which is a look that Chewy does that look so well.
Chewy does disapproving very well you know
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Well well well Brutus, a little birdie tells me that you haven’t been very well’ A deep and authoritative voice growled from behind all of the Iggies.
Turning round to see who had spoken, Rocco splutters ‘Holy shit, it’s Rumble’.
Standing there in his cop uniform in all his glory was Rumble the cop dog complete with his gun and stuff (ask a cop if you don’t know what ‘stuff’ is). Next to him stood the beautifully stunning female cop dog ‘Z’ in her cop dog uniform also with her gun and stuff.
‘Z’ is Brutus’s friend (left) and Rumble (right) is Brutus’s hero
Photograph by Google Images and Tameka
Brutus knew ‘Z’ from lure coursing and had chatted to her a couple of times when he asked about being a cop dog himself, but luckily ‘Z’ had talked him out of it on grounds that it was too violent for him. But we all know that Brutus is not cut out to be a cop dog we just don’t tell him that.
Sounds of crackling could be heard as a voice was heard over Rumble’s radio. ‘Can you give me your location PD Rumble – over’.
‘Yes I am at the vet hospital just visiting a mate, won’t be long – over’ Rumble spoke into his radio.
PD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA
(Photograph by Tameka and fit the cop under Rumbles head remains anonymous)
‘Oh my god he is totally gorgeous’ Nica gushed and then pulled out her make up mirror from her back and checked her teeth. Tempted to remove her collar and throw it at Rumble the way in which women throw their panties at a Tom Jones concert, Nica thought better of it and just loosened it a few notches instead.
Even Zara was star struck over the handsome cop dog. They had heard Brutus go on about Rumble and knew that Brutus kept a photo of Rumble in his bedroom titled ‘Rumble – my hero’ but they never thought for one moment that Rumble would take time out of his day to see Brutus let alone refer to him as a ‘mate’. Little did they all know that ‘Z’ had organised this for her buddy Brutus, it was all down to her.
‘Hello there officer pleased to meet you’, Bronte extended her paw towards Rumble.
‘Pleased to meet you ma’am’ Rumble said politely as he tried to ignore Bronte’s impossibly short dress that flashed her Iggy bum.
‘I think I am going to faint’ Gigi whispered to Nica who couldn’t decide whether or not to faint or vomit or do both for good measure.
‘Rumble, is that really you?’ Brutus stuttered in shock. Staring at Pippin Brutus whispered ‘Is that Rumble? Is that really Rumble?’
Pippin who was still wearing the doctors coat smiled and nodded that yes, it was Rumble and the other dogs were just as shocked to meet him as Brutus who had always managed to bring Rumble into a conversation whenever he could and continually spoke about him.
‘Yes Brutus it really is me, what have you been up to then?’ Rumble grinned at the sleepy brown dog who was still neatly tucked up in his bed with Tony Abbott beside him.
‘I have had my paws operated on, they took my nails away and they stole that dogs testicles’ Brutus said drowsily.
Shuddering at the testicle comment Rumble glanced round at the white fluffy dog who was now ranting about his balls being sold on Ebay – thanks to Fat Harry for telling him that.
‘Well I thought I would come and pay you a visit, ‘Z’ has told me that you have always wanted to be a cop dog’ Rumble said to Brutus.
‘Yes but it is a bit too violent for me so I don’t think I would be very good at it’ Brutus blushed and glanced down at his bandaged paws.
Brutus looked up at Rumble, he looked so smart in his uniform with his gun on his holster. He had a real job to do and so did ‘Z’, they both served and protected their community. Brutus couldn’t quite believe that ‘Z’ had organised this for him, he vowed to pay her back somehow.
‘I can’t believe Rumble and ‘Z’ have come to visit Brutus – OUR Brutus’ Rocco said to Fat Harry who agreed with him.
It was all getting too much for Zara and Olive who were now being typical teenagers and threatening to throw their panties at Rumble because they had seen the female dogs do it at a ‘Lassie’ concert once. It was only Madam Gigi who told them that nice dogs didn’t throw their panties at handsome cop dogs but it was perfectly acceptable to drool though.
Suddenly Rumble’s radio went off ‘PD Rumble please can you get to Leighton Beach in Freo, a beagle is threatening to eat everyone’s lunch, a great Dane has done a shit on someones handbag and it is all getting rather heated – over’.
‘PD Rumble and ‘Z’ are able to respond and will be there right away – over’ Rumble said into his radio as Brutus watched him in awe.
‘Catch ya later Brutus, hopefully lure coursing next week if you can come?’ ‘Z’ winked at him.
(Photograph by Google Images)
‘I won’t be allowed to race but I can come and watch’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice.
‘Sounds good’ ‘Z’ the cop dog replied and handed him a couple of business cards and then mouthed the words ‘Call me’ as she demonstrated with her paws like a telephone.
Brutus could not believe his eyes, was this really happening? Not only had Rumble rocked up to see him – Brutus, but ‘Z’ had given him her business card and asked her to call him and even though Brutus felt sore from his operation, this had totally made his day. If this was a drug induced dream then it sure was a good one.
‘Get yourself some rest, there’s a good boy and you lot, don’t over excite Brutus’ Rumble said to the others in his deep voice and when Rumble speaks, everyone listens as he just has that kind of authority. Hell that dog could make me eat a bone myself if he asked me nicely enough.
‘Sorry officer, it wasn’t me, honest it wasn’t’ Fat Harry said in a guilty voice to Rumble as he walked out.
‘What wasn’t you lad?’ Rumble’s eyes bored into Fat Harry making him blush.
‘These are not my testicles!’ squealed the little white fluffy dog who was clutching two tangerines in a handkerchief and sobbing loudly, ‘Mine were in better shape than that’
‘What can I say officer, the fruit was in the bowl so I made use of it, it’s a fair cop!’ Shrugged Fat Harry.
Shaking his head at Fat Harry, Rumble sighed as he turned round to ‘Z’ and said ‘Come on ‘Z’, let’s get going to Freo to find out about this beagle and the Great Dane’.
‘Take care Brutus’ Rumble barked at Brutus and gave him a pat on the head, ‘And you are a good boy’.
‘Goodbye Rumble’ said Brutus, he was torn between exhaustion and shitting himself from excitement – you all know Brutus and his bowel problems so you get the picture.
‘Pippin, Rumble said I am a good boy’ Brutus said to Pippin. Being a good boy is important to Brutus as you all know so for Rumble to say it made it extra special.
‘Yes Brutus you are a good boy. How cool is it that Rumble and ‘Z’ came to see you’ Pippin smiled.
‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.
‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied
‘Why are you and Fat Harry wearing white coats?’ Brutus demanded.
Fat Harry looked at Pippin, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘What are your thoughts?’
‘Well, it was like this…..’ Pippin started to say.
But that was as far as he got because when he looked at Brutus he was fast asleep with his tongue sticking out, his blue and white stripey pyjamas all rolled up displaying his bandages and in between his bandaged paws was his Tony Abbott doll.
‘Take care Brutus’ Pippin said quietly and then said to the gang ‘Come on you lot, Brutus needs his rest’.
As they all walked out all they could hear was the white fluffy dog sobbing to the nurse that his testicles had been swapped for tangerines and nothing the nurse said could convince him otherwise.
It was a drowsy Brutus that I collected from the vets that day, we even had to help him out of the car where he was put straight to bed.
Unimpressed with his ‘cone of shame’ Brutus sat on his bed crying but not quite knowing why he was crying in fact even to this day I don’t even think he remembers crying.
Brutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
The next day….
It was night time and the boys were in their respective beds chatting about Brutus’s operation the day before.
‘I had the most marvellous dream that Cop dogs Rumble and ‘Z’ came to visit me in hospital and Rumble said that I was a good boy’ Brutus said to Rocky as he lay on his bed.
Rocky raised his eyebrows and laughed ‘You had too many drugs I bet’ and then stood up and turned the several obligatory circles that dogs tend to do before they lie down. Taking a deep sigh, Rocky quickly fell asleep.
Brutus sighed and snuggled up to Tony Abbott who still smelt of hospitals and disinfectant. Feeling something prick his chest in his pyjamas, Brutus sat up and wondered what it was.
Tucked in his pyjama pocket were the two business cop cards that ‘Z’ had given him, one was ‘Z’s card with a message saying ‘See you at lure coursing’ and the other was Rumble’s card and on that one was written ‘Brutus – Catch up some time – Rumble’.
Tempted to wake Rocky up and tell him that it wasn’t a dream after all, Brutus decided against it as Rocky wouldn’t believe him.
But he did come and see him and he said that Brutus was a good boy and in Brutus’s eyes, that was all that mattered.
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015
Thanks and Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the vets and nurses of Spearwood Veterinary Hospital for the excellent high standard of care that they have given to my Brutus with his recent surgery (and with all of my pets).
It means a great deal to me to find a good compassionate veterinary hospital with a great team that my dogs actually love going to and that I can trust.
The fact that even after his surgery and despite being a bit sore, Brutus was absurdly pleased to go back for his post op visit so he could see the staff there, that really says something.
So thank you guys and keep up the good work.