Brutus

When I was a kid in Pleasant Plain Ohio, my grandparents had a dog named Shep. A sheepdog by breed, he was a staple at mamaw's even in my earliest memories. I remember pulling into their driveway and seeing him waiting for me everyday as I was dropped off before school. He was one of many dogs that I had growing up, from the 'beagle" named Max (my dad got him and told us he was a beagle, but he clearly was a much larger breed) to the beer drinking Simon,  who would get drunk and wrestle a basketball in the yard.

As I got older and became a father I decided my boys should have similar experiences. I wanted them to learn the responsibility that comes along with having a pet, and I wanted them to have the same experiences I had with Shep growing up. Oliver was really the first animal we had become a true part of the family. A tan cocker spaniel, he immediately took to the boys and became John-Michael's best friend. He is a lazy, stoic guy who at this very moment is laying on the couch behind me, as he isn't ready to get up and start his day yet.

When Tiffany and I got together, we decided to bring another four legged child into our family. I began looking for a pug, as she has spent her life around this breed and knows a lot about them. Once running a rescue for the little Chinese dogs, Tiffany had cared for literally dozens of them over the last few years. She told me about all of them, including her favorite, Brutus. A blind in one eye and stubborn as heck senior dog, Brutus had become her sidekick. When she moved to California and had to re-home her animals and close her rescue, the one that upset her the most was Brutus.

As we looked on Craigslist, an amazing thing happened. There he was, in the pet section, looking for a new home. Sure it was him, she asked if we could try to get him before someone else did. 24 hours later we were driving him home, back where he belonged - with her. He was more excited to see her than she was him, and it was like they never skipped a beat. He followed her everywhere and would run the house looking for her when she wasn't there.

Last Thursday we had to say good-bye to Brutus. He has developed some very serious health issues and, being 9 years old, there was nothing we could do to make them better. As we drove away from the vets office, I thought about how remarkable it was that he had found his way back to Tiffany and lived out his last days with her. He was meant to be her dog, and his last few months were undoubtedly the best of his life.

This blog is off the path of what I normally write about. But Brutus was part of our family, and it only seemed fitting to pay tribute to him here. I know many of you have or have had your own four legged children who you care for just as much as we do ours. And whether their names are Shep, Toby, Trixie, Stryker, Brennan, Buck, Libby, or Brutus, they leave a lasting imprint on our lives. And while I am sure that there will be other pugs in our future, none will ever replace the one eyed, stubborn little fat guy we lost last week.

More blogs to come, so stay tuned. Have a great day all................

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