Friday, February 11, 2011

For the Love of Brutus

As many of you know, we are obsessed with English bulldogs. The latest addition to our brood is Brutus. He is a 5 year old, tan and white male who we adopted last summer. This is the story of how we came to be his forever home.

We never planned on getting a second English bulldog. As most owners of this breed know, one is usually more than an enough. However, the dominant bitchiness inherent in our 2-year old English bulldog, Hope, never subsided even after we had her spayed and she reached adulthood. She woke up every morning to make another valiant attempt at ruling the world. However, she has always gotten along well with other animals. After deep thought and discussion, we decided that it would be best if she was not an only child. . . er, bulldog.

We knew we did not want a puppy because potty training and "chew patrol" is a full-time job that we did not have time for. Instead, we decided to attempt to adopt an older English bulldog, so we spent an entire Sunday afternoon on and contacted every rescue organization within a day's drive that had an English bulldog that was dog friendly, cat friendly, and child friendly. That was a pretty short list to be sure. All Tails R Waggin' in Pataskala, OH (just outside of Columbus) was the first rescue organization that we contacted, and they were the first to respond to our inquiry. All Tails R Waggin' ( is a boarding and grooming business that also does volunteer rescue work on the side. The rescue dogs stay in the extra kennels they have at their beautiful, clean facility.

We learned that Brutus had just been placed on the rescue website that day. He was a happy, healthy dog that was surrendered for financial reasons. Essentially, Brutus was yet another casualty of the economic collapse that occurred in late 2008. His previous family's primary breadwinner had lost his/her job, and the family could no longer afford Brutus. All Tails R Waggin' completed our background check for Brutus in less than 1 week. By Saturday, we loaded up Liam, Hope, and the dog crate in the Subaru Outback and headed off for the 5 hour journey to Pataskala with our fingers crossed that all would turn out okay. We eventually arrived at All Tails R Waggin' , picked up Brutus, placed him in the dog crate, and headed home right away.

After just a short time on the road, we were afraid Brutus was not going to make it home. Like many English Bulldogs, he overheats very easily. He was panting for dear life in the back of the car, so we placed him in the backseat with Liam in the car seat in the middle and Hope on the other side. It was quite a sight, but thankfully they all got along very well. However, Brutus was still panting, so we put him on the front floor board with all of the air conditioning vents on high and on him. He eventually cooled down, and we made it home safely.

Brutus fit in very well at The Ponderosa Lodge from the very beginning. He truly fits the bulldog stereotype in every way. He is beyond easy going, and he loves nothing more than a good bone, a nice toy, and a little bit of love. He would sleep in his crate all day if we would let him, but he has gotten used to climbing the mountains around here with us. He is also a first-rate snorer and farter. What more could an English bulldog lover ask for? He is such a good, good boy, and we feel very blessed to have been chosen to be his forever home.

Unfortunately, our veterinarian diagnosed Brutus with entropium shortly after we brought him home. This is a very common condition in English bulldogs. Essentially, the wrinkles near their eyes droop into they eyes which causes the fur on the skin to scratch the cornea. It requires an operation which is basically an eye-lift for dogs. His surgery went well, but poor Brutus's temperature spiked very high as the anesthesia was wearing off. Our veterinarian placed him in an ice bath and kept him over night for observation. Thankfully, we were allowed to bring him home the next day. It looks like he may require another entropium surgery in the future, but we are keeping our fingers crossed for the best. (The photos above and below are of Brutus's (AKA Frankendog's) eyes right after surgery with the stitches still in place).

Brutus gets along with all the guests at The Ponderosa Lodge. He is in our private area most of the time, but he especially likes to sneak down to the kitchen and hide in the cubby next to the trash can hoping that some guests will drop him some food while they are cooking.

Most importantly, Brutus has been very good for Hope. They are not exactly best friends, but they do get along well and his older, more subdued personality seems to keep her in her place. Hope still wakes up every morning with the goal to rule the world. She probably always will, but, thankfully, Hope finally seems to realize that that world does not revolve completely around her.

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