Brutus Black Labrador Retriever Male 3 Years Old

January 26, 2020
Brutus has continued to improve this week! His play skills have gotten better, and he now seems to pick up on external cues from our other dogs.  He loves to eat and can finish a peanut butter Kong in minutes.  Leash walking has greatly improved and his barking has lessened with other dogs.  He’s still definitely not a fan of Amish horse and buggies, but we’re working on that.  He did have a small incident with our ducks yesterday; he was in the pen on a leash with my husband letting them out, which he had done all week without issue.  For some reason, yesterday as one came out of the house, he grabbed her in his mouth.  Luckily he did not break the skin and she will be okay, but we did have to really work with him to get him to let her go.  He figured out pretty quickly he had messed up and was subdued for the rest of the morning.
He cuddles so nicely on the couch and loves his belly rubs.  He is definitely a chewer, so we keep redirecting him to chew toys instead of furniture.  I do think he may have been abused at some point, as this morning when we were outside, I had brought a hiking stick down to our creek just to help me keep my balance since it’s so wet down there after all the rain.  As I lost my footing at one point, my arm holding the stick flew up to keep my balance, and he cowered pretty badly..  We took a few minutes to reassure him and love on him a bit so he felt more secure, and now he seems better.  That was hard to watch though.
All in all, he is progressing very well and is fitting in nicely!  We are happy to have him.
January 21, 2020
Brutus is now on his third full day with us, and it’s been a busy few days!  He is settling in nicely.  Our first night together went fairly well, and on Sunday there was a good deal of walking and play time.  Brutus is very keen on playing with his foster siblings, but he doesn’t understand cues yet on when enough is enough.  Fenway would play for a while and then correct him when he was over it, which let Brutus to stand in front of him and demand bark for 30 to 45 minutes, which ended up stressing out Fenway to the point that he started vomiting all over the house.
Sunday was a lot calmer and he played better with our dogs.  Monday was the same, and you could really start to see a bit of his true personality come through.  For a dog that wasn’t used to homes and human affection, he is a huge fan of the couch, and snuggles up easily to get belly rubs or just to sleep.  As I type this, he is curled up with is head on my chest.  He really is a sweetheart.

We are working on some basic training with him; he now knows “sit” and will do it fairly easily when offered a treat.  Leash walking has not been bad; he pulls a bit and sometimes will just stop and sit, but I think that’s because he’s not very used to it yet.  However, for a dog with no leash experience, this is not bad at all!  He is learning play skills and is a big fan of soft toys and nylabones, not to mention kongs filled with peanut butter.  The other day, I was filling those up in the morning and about to put them in the freezer; I had turned my back to the sink for a second and during that moment, he stole one off the counter and gave it to Stella.  He’s got game, that’s for sure!

He has helped me take care of our ducks a few times, and is very curious but not aggressive or threatening to them.  All in all, he’s coming along very well and I look forward to seeing more of his personality come through in the coming weeks.
January 18, 2020
My rescue ride and the start of the rest of my life

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