Neelix and Brutus

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Neelix - cat,kat,gato - Kats R Us Neelix - cat,kat,gato - Kats R Us Neelix - cat,kat,gato - Kats R Us

Neelix - cat,kat,gato - Kats R Us Neelix - cat,kat,gato - Kats R Us

Brutus Stories

I have been thinking of Brutus all night. He was an amazing dog. A rescue, he found us at a shelter in a town not far from here. Young guy, not quite six months old, sitting patiently waiting for us to see him. He really wasn't much to look at. A bit gaunt, dull coat, it was his expression as he sat there, a sense of willingness, a desire to please that caught our attention. I felt like I could hear him say "I will do my best to be what ever you want me to be". We took him out to the yard and although he didn't run, stuck close to us, watching intently trying to decipher what we wanted from him, he didn't respond to any of the basic commands I tried. Later we would learn both of his ears were infected, had been a long time and he was effectively deaf. After some discussion we decided to bring him home. We were interviewed and it was decided we would be a good match for him; we were given a leash and sent home. The pup was so excited to be leaving with us he pulled me along out to the parking lot then surprised me by leading us to our truck. I know he had to have followed our scent but it made us laugh seeing him sitting, waiting for the door to be opened like we had done this a hundred times.

As we didn't know what kind of dog we would find when we started our search for we hadn't bought any supplies so we stopped at PetSmart on the way home. Brutus was not pleased; he did not want out of the truck and fought entering the store. We quickly grabbed some basic supplies, dishes, food, treats, and returned to the truck which he desperately pawed at until it was opened. I think he thought we were going to leave him there, that it was another shelter. He was such a happy boy once he was back in the truck, sitting proudly between us.

It was a long ride home and the boys tummy rebelled about half way, he was sick. We pulled over to a Sheetz and had a heck of a time getting him out of the truck. I'm certain he thought we were angry and going to get rid of him now. It took both of us to pull him out so we could clean the mess up. As soon as we were done he broke loose (his new leash was in the bag, he was still wearing the cheep one provided by the shelter) and leaped back into the truck. We continued our trip home. As we entered our city limits he started become excited, climbing on me to get his head out the open window. We thought he was starting to feel sick again but only a few blocks to go so didn't pull over. His excitement escalated as we entered our neighborhood, I rolled the window down so he could get enough air as he started to bounce all over the cab. My husband quickly parked the truck as we reached our house and I started to open the door, tightly gripping the remnants of the shelter leash. Not tight enough, he broke away and leaped through the window. I was sure we would never see him again, that he would dash off in a strange town and be lost. But he didn't. He ran to the side gate, sat and waited. My husband opened to gate and he dashed though, giving the porch and deck a quick sniff, and then sat by the back door expectantly. He was home.

There are so many stories I can (and do) tell about this amazing dog. The time he saved me when a tornado touched down in our back yard (he dragged me into the house just before it touched down, tearing my new jeans. I was angry for about 10 seconds until a wall of water slammed into every window of the house). The time he saved the neighbor when he passed out mowing after drinking a case of beer (how did that dog know he was laying there with self propelled mower heading to his hand?). There was the time a neighbor left their mama dog chained in an unfenced yard with 6 puppies wandering the neighborhood and left for work. He jumped the fence to retrieve each pup out of the street and bring them to the safety of our yard. Then there was the time he opened the front door (I was upstairs doing chores) and brought an escaped two year old, a little boy that had managed to slip away from his grand parents, into the house. I became aware of the problem when I heard a scream and rushed downstairs to find the child's family at the door, terrified the dog was going to maul their child. They had tried to open the door when he snarled and snapped at them, placing himself between the child and the adults, protecting his new friend. He was very disappointed when I wouldn't let him keep the boy.

He would have made a wonderful service dog. Only a few weeks after he came to live with us he realized I have trouble bending down and often drop things. He started picking things up and handing them to me. He made it his job to help me.

He loved to watch TV, even figured out the remote control! He could turn the TV on and set it to Animal Planet (channel 66) and did so every day at 4 pm when his favorite show was on, a program called "Alpha Dog". I thought I was loosing it at first, hearing the TV when I knew I hadn't turned it on until I caught him carefully manipulating the remote one day. He wound up breaking it, they aren't designed for dog jaws, but I kept taping it up for him.

There are so many other stories but it would take a book to tell them all.

We said goodbye to Brutus six years ago Tuesday. Although Brutus's feet were small compared to Johan's Johan has some big paw prints to grow into.

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