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Brut Quotes

Brut Quotes

Friday, April 14, 2017

Second Step of Integration-The Door

First I'd like to thank our readers and supporters.  You guys are terrific!  We wouldn't be this far in our dog journey if it wasn't for all of you.  So, THANK YOU!

I started a couple of weeks ago with step 1 of integrating the two dogs packs, which was separating them while fixing their food, because they were fighting at the door that divides them.  It is something that has went on for some time, on occasion, but since Brut's death and recently with Silver's passing the fighting (growling, snarling, snapping, teeth bared) has increased in frequency and intensity.  So I took them away from the door, by putting them in their rooms while I get their meals together.  Worked out great!

That same day after they ate for the first time without all that worked up anxiety, I started blocking the door with my body, making them back up from it to stop the barking at the door.  When I got one side settled I went to the other side and settle that dog.  And I just kept going back and forth until they gave up.

Now Chance has a habit of rushing the door when he comes in from outside and Zappa is always on the other side ready to do battle.  I couldn't figure out how to stop him for the longest time.  It took a couple of days before it dawned on me I could open the fridge door and block the hallway that leads to separation door.  Don't worry, hubby is making me a board to slide back and forth.  No need to pay the energy company more than they need!  So after Chance circles back after seeing the blockage, I give him a treat when he comes to me.  Then I go to the other side and make Zappa back up and sit then treat.  Problem he's caught on how to get a treat, bark and here I come.  So one time when Zappa was being a royal pain and wouldn't stop barking because I wouldn't give him a treat, I put him in his room, he shut up and that worked out great.

And for those times I don't make it in time to stop a debate, I have a shaker can and a cowbell to get their attention.  Thankfully I have only had to use them a few times, but they are nice to have around.

So far it is going good.  The first 4 or 5 days were a little hairy, but now they only bark at the door with each other, instead of fight. At least the ones I don't get to in time.  They are short burst of "talking."  Things have really calmed down this last week.  I doubt it is all over, given the chance they would do it again, but for now we are moving forward with our "plan" as it comes to me.  :)

Here's a short video of our progress:  (or on YouTube)

Forgive me if this post may seem a little jumbly, for some reason it was difficult to write.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

STEP 1 of INTEGRATING THE TWO PACKS-Diffuse the Tension!

Please forgive my silence as I have been grieving again.  Two years ago in the spring we saw the first signs of Brut's tumor on his spleen.  Now that can only be seen in retrospect and I am remembering my dear boy and Silver.   I miss them so much.  Some days are harder than others.

With that said, their spirits haven't left me and Silver in particular guided me through this next experience.  The beginning of the integration of our two packs starts with:
Diffusing the tension!

Two packs of dogs, each with their own side of the house and a door that separates them. The boys, Zappa and Chance only fight/talk with each other, while the girls, Fiona and Blaze keep to each other as well. Most of the time Zappa is the instigator, but Chance has gotten many digs in as well. 

This door is the focal point for the two packs.  Most of the time they "talk" to each other, but there are other times when there are "fights."  Growling, snarling and just being nasty to each other at the door.   And mealtime was the worst!  I used to have their dinners prepared so there was no time but to bark and be happy about food.  As they've aged I've added to their menus, which takes more time which in turn has grown into an all out riot while preparing their food!

I have never known how to stop this behavior.   I could never figure out how to be on both sides of the door.  

The light bulb.... I put Chance and Blaze in their room and Zappa and Fiona in theirs and then I got their food ready.  Cutting the tension in half, theirs and mine.  They ate a little slower and I notice a huge differences in their demeanor.  All that pent up anxiety, fear and anger was diffused.  Finally!

I finally had made a breakthrough.

It was a step in the right direction.

I hadn't realize until that first time of putting them in their rooms, just how much tension there really was and the impact it was having them.  This is a sort a new thing with the food since Brut and Silver died, with each death it increased.  It's not like I am oblivious to the strain and tension between them, their behavior at the door has been going on since Chance and Blaze first moved back with us, I just hadn't found a solution.  It's not in any book I know of, so we just keep plugging along until the next light bulb goes off.

I'll tell you more about the next step of diffusing the situation in my next post and I will try to have some video too!  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Exciting News!

There's been a lot happening here at the 24 Paws of Love, so it will take a few post to get it all in.  The best and most exciting news is in relation to the post about Silver's Last Song.  It seemed like within days of writing that post and sharing how quiet the house was since Silver was the one who always starting the Howling Choir, the four pups sang!

Blaze started it, followed by Chance, then Fiona and Zappa.  They sang their little hearts out.  They blew the roof off and it was beautiful.  So completely awesome.

So all it takes is Blaze to start and the others follow.

And the Howling Choir tradition carries on with this little girl...

"And a 1 and a 2 and a..."

And this is just the beginning of the good news.  Stay tuned for more!

Friday, March 24, 2017

sadness overload

It's been 10 weeks today that we buried Silver.  It seems like it was so, so long ago.  Like eons of time have past.  Sometimes it seems so long that I wonder if she was ever really here.  I can't explain how it feels but it is an eerie feeling.  I see and feel all of the aftereffects of her death, the dogs, the cats all still stressing now that the mortar of the family is gone, but I don't feel her.  I don't feel my Silver.  She has just vanished somehow, someway, in ways I don't understand.  It leaves me so empty and open and vulnerable.  I feel like I can't reach her and will never be able to do so again.

Grave sadness that kills the soul.  I've lost my girl.  My Silver.

This is how I feel:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Changing Pack Dynamics

I've been struggling to wrap my head around the fact that both Brut and Silver are gone.  The Back Dogs look so empty with just Zappa and Fiona.  There is a huge space missing without Daddy Dog Brut and Momma Dog Silver.  There are changes happening within the Back Dogs as a pack now that Brut and Silver are gone.

At first when Brut died, Fiona took over the pack, as she has always done when Brut was away.  His death was no different, she took the leading role and kept everyone in line.  When Silver died, things stay the same for a little while, Fiona keeping them together, but eventually as time has worn on  Zappa is taking the place of Brut.  He gives off warning barks to Fiona who turns her head or when with hubby, Mark, is on the couch with Zappa, Zappa becomes possessive.  Just like his dad, Brut.  Only not to the degree that Brut would have taken it, but all with the same attitude and style.  As if to say, now we are going to play by MY rules!  It is my turn to be KING!

He is so ready to prove his royalty to Chance, except with Chance, Zappa doesn't stand a chance.  Any one-on-one they have had together, Zappa submits to Chance and in all actuality is scare of him.  No matter how many times he barks otherwise.

It kind of tears me up that Zappa is acting like Brut and carrying on about himself.  He has really come out of his shell, with the death of his parents.  It is amazing how much they can really change when the pack changes.  Zappa has never been innocent.  I've seen this sly side of him many times through the years, but it only came out in little blips.  Now it full fledged.  It's a lot to take in, in such a short period of time.  Silver's only been gone 9 weeks.  It is like Zappa and Fiona are babies anymore and suddenly grew up.  So hard to believe sometimes.  Hard to imagine.  And it makes for interesting pack dynamics.

I just wonder what it will be like now, when we start the integration between the two packs....

Friday, March 10, 2017

Brut Thursday-The Fight Within

Brut Thursday, a day late, but not forgotten.

I was thinking about Brut today.  My husband, Mark and I were a little huffy with one another and I my boy came to mind.

Nobody really understood Brut's anger issues.  I don't even think Mark could fully comprehend them, but I got it.  It made total sense to me once I discovered his puppy hood before us.  I knew what it was like to be betrayed and to fight for yourself by yourself.  From a depth that is scarring and sacred, you hold on to survive with that last breath.  Because it is all you have.  It becomes all you know as the fear swells in you, fighting to destroy everything you have, your heart and soul.  You become the fight you feared to save them.  Only to find you are killing yourself in the process. So you thrash harder not understanding why it hurts so.  But it is the only way you know.

I don't know how Brut and I ever picked apart all those needles in our gut, but we did it together.  I don't know that either of us "healed" right but learned in each other that we were not alone in our fight.  In fact Brut taught me how to fight and stand up for myself turning that turmoil inside out.

Brut had a way of calming me because I was understood.  Something I hadn't found in my journey until him.  I witnessed first hand the "home" life he had before me.  Vicious.  Daunting.  Many angry dogs all living on survival mode.  Scary.  It was no wonder Brut scared the crap out of me from a young puppy.  The boy was crazy with fear.  And hurting so deep.  Was it any wonder we bonded so deeply?

To say I was blessed with Brut is an understatement.  I don't know that there is a word for it that would do our relationship justice.  I miss my boy every day.  If I didn't know his spirit is right there for me, I don't know what I would do.  Connecting with Brut is my strength.  Knowing and healing with him brings me right back here.  To this blog to share my story of the greatest dog I have ever known.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Silver's Last Song

Just a song, before I go...

Silver sung one last time with her 4 pups the day she died.  

Here is her song...

(Watch here or on YouTube)

For the most part Silver was the one who would get the dogs singing and  which started the Howling Choir. She always got everybody to sing along.  They usually sang about 2 or 3 times a day. Their music bust through the walls. You couldn't stop to think.  You just had to listen or sing along.

 It's been a very quiet since she's been gone.  :(

I miss my girl and the dog concerts.  Some things will never be the same again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Would you/ Do you own a slobbery dog?

The closest I've come to owning a slobbery dog is having a slobbery cat!  He wipes drool all over my hand when he rubs his head on me. It completely grosses me out.

Our dogs might foam or drool around food or if they are hot. Even though it only happens once in a while and I find it disgusting, it is within reason. 

Some breeds of dogs does drool continuously...I don't think I could handle it.

Could you?

My gag reflexes go on overload when I see a drooling dog.  I don't think it is something I could get used to over time or for my love for a dog.  It is just one of the things that puts me off about dogs and I don't see it changing any time soon.  

So how about you?  Could you live with a breed of dog that slobbers all the time?

 I do not slobber!  It is my love juice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Check out Brut's Shirt!

For Christmas I had a sweatshirt printed with a picture of Brut on it for my husband, Mark, the year we lost Brut using the above picture.

The print of Brut was faded when we got it.  I don't know if it was poor quality or if that was the way it came.

In less than a year, you could barely see Brut anymore, it had faded so badly.

So I bit the bullet and painted over it with fabric paint.  And it turned out like this:

It is the closest I've been able to come to painting Brut.  It was a very healing and spiritual experience and I don't know that I ever want to do it again.  LOL!

Mark loves the shirt especially having Brut stand out so bright and strong, just like the dog he was.  Awesome!

And I couldn't do it without my little helper Blaze.  Sticking right by me and guiding my every move!  Thank you sweetheart!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Silver's Song and the Power of Music

Long time readers may remember that our animals whom have passed on have a song.  While there may be personal meaning or not with the song, these songs start playing in my head and fit my relationship with that pet.

Silver has been the exception.

I've had a slew of songs running through my mind that all fit in some way or form, but nothing that really sticks.
And then I heard Aerosmith's song "Dream On" and something clicked.  Being that Silver was the mother of the group, she has taken care of all the dogs and me.  She always knew the right thing to say or do at just the right time.  Silver always understood what I was feeling, as only a mother could.  She didn't try to change my feelings when I was down, she would just come and sit next to me and feel it with me.

"Dream On" has always been a favorite song of mine and one I would call epic.  I felt this song come straight from Silver's heart to me.   Instead of me giving her a song, Silver gave one to me, in her motherly ways telling me never to give up on my dreams.  Gives me chills just listening to it.  My girl, reaching out to me when I need it most to "Dream On until my dreams come true."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2-Dog Sled Ride

We were finally able to get out dog sledding a few weeks ago.  We just beat the January thaw by one day.  

This is Blaze (left) and Chance (right) taking you for a trip down our road before we try and turn around.  Going forward is great, but since we don't have a circuit to run, we have to go down a straight road and turn around.  After that it's just a tangled mess with dogs who think they are done pulling and in charge.  lol

Hope you enjoy!

or watch here;YouTube

One thing I love about dog sledding is it still gives me a rush that can't be matched.  It is an awesome time with the dogs, no matter what happens and it is just a thrill to know they still love doing it.  
And really that's what it is all about.  :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Burial or cremation?

Brut's roses adjacent to Alex's ferns and flowering bushes.
The open space next to Brut is where Silver now lies.

If you've been around us here at 24 Paws of Love you probably know that we prefer to bury our pets than cremate them.  It's just our preference.

Silver is buried next to Brut as one would guess and adjacent to Alex, her first love.  Then going counter clockwise from Alex are our two cats, Claw and Sparky.  Next to them are the ducks, Luigi, Mojo, Bandit and Lucky.

All of their graves are created into a memorial garden with flowering bushes that bloom around the time of their deaths.  I actually just completed planting the ducks garden this past fall, with a Holly bush for Luigi.  I thought I was all done for a while.

And now there is Silver.  My baby girl Silver.  Out there in the cold as the new addition to the "family."  Because there was a foot of snow and ice (at least) on the ground, we didn't know if we would be able to dig a grave for her or not.  We weren't sure how frozen the ground would be or how far the freeze line would go.  We considered cremation for her.  We didn't know if we were going to have an option.  And neither of us liked the idea.

My fear was that I wouldn't really get Silver "all back."  That there might be other dogs or cats mixed in somehow or that would be a mix up of sorts and I wouldn't really get her at all.  Mark has never liked the idea of cremation at all.  We were both uneasy at the thought, but didn't know if we had a choice or not.

Enter the beginning of a January thaw and two determined spirits.  We removed the snow and found only the top layer of the ground to be frozen as the snow had insulated the ground.  Add a little rain and some wind and we were able to dig a four foot deep grave for our girl.  This was two days before we buried her, something we had never done before, have an early grave.

We rested and breathed a sigh of relief.  Our girl would not be cremated, but buried beside her two loves in the way we felt was right.

And when we laid her down we were both quite grateful for being able to bury her as we have done with all of our other animals and we were thankful for Silver being no different.  She was right where she belongs with Brut and Alex and I feel her body is at true rest and peace.  And that gives me true rest and peace.

So how about you?  What do you prefer burial or cremation and why?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Today's First Step

Being a stay-at-home dog mom, I don't have the structure of a job.  Nothing is set in stone and the dogs and I operate on a flexible schedule.

I don't know if it makes it better or worse after a dog dies to be home all the time.

All day is a constant reminder.  Every nook and cranny of the house holds some memory.  And with my every actions centered around the dogs, it becomes difficult to think of nothing else, but them.

It took me until 2pm to get out of my robe today.  Getting dressed seems like a big feat in between tears.  It seems to take a thousand steps to grasp the idea of getting up and putting on clothes.  But I did it.

The dogs help.  They tend to nudge me along.  They know when mommy gets dressed, it's time to go outside.  I've been struggling lately to go outside with them.  I'd rather curl up in a blanket and dream the world away.

The dogs have been in mourning as well.  Fiona seems to be taking Silver's death much harder than I would have thought.  We thought Zappa, being a Momma's Boy, would be having the harder time of the two of them.  Fiona practically slept on top of me last night and stays clinging to Mark and I.  Zappa acts more like a comforter for us and our tears.

I looked into Blaze's eyes today and burst into tears.  They are so close to the color of Silver's.

My second big step today...writing this down to post.  Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Losing Silver

I'm not sure how I'm feeling, but I will try to explain the best I can.

It has been 4 days since Silver has been gone.  It feels like it has been an eternity.

I feel her spirit here and yet I can feel her in the grave.

Losing Brut was like a hole blown through my gut.  Losing Silver has been like a cold wind blowing through my body.

I am feeling and yet I am numb to the loss.

So many things I wish to understand, yet it all makes sense.

She was not well those last few days.  The cancer had taken over.  Yet she remained fairly alert and alive.  It was still a tough decision.

On Silver's last trip outside, Zappa and Fiona came over to their mother and each nosed her.

Her last few hours she lead the Howling Chorus in a song.  Everyone joined in.  I was finally able to capture it on film.

And when it came her time, the dogs sang their goodbye to Silver.  It was beautiful.

It feels like a legacy is over. The foundation of which the 24 Paws of Love were built on are gone.  It is still hard to comprehend Momma Dog Silver and Daddy Dog Brut are gone.  Yet, somehow it still feels like a beginning.  The beginning of something beautiful that will carry their legacy on because we will always be the 24 Paws of Love.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Silver : July 22, 2003- Jan. 13, 2017

Run Free as the wind my Baby Girl.
You will never know how much you are missed
Look out Heaven, there's a new Princess Warrior in town!

Love you forever

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me

As we journey in the last stages of Momma Dog's life, it is the males, Chance and Zappa who comfort me.  Who stand by my side and lean on my leg while I pet them.  It is from their strength that I am able to carry on.  It is that part of Brut that I have missed so much that channels through both of them.  It is their courage that drives me on to take care of Silver, them, their sisters, the cats, plus myself and Mark.

It is a gentle but strong spirit that wraps their paws around my heart and body and keeps me moving forward.  For whatever tomorrow brings, their love will see me through.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sometimes you've just gotta let the dog lead

The roads were snow packed and were suppose to turn icy sometime during the evening.  I was in a dilemma about who to walk and how many at a time.  My sciatica had been acting up all day and the pain was always less in the evening.  Back and forth with my decision, when I finally decided to walk Chance and Blaze, but separately.  I could use the reprieve on my back, but it meant two walks.

I hadn't completely given up on walking the Back Dog Trio, when Blaze and I started out, but I wasn't sold on the idea either.

The evening was misty, foggy and glowed in white between the overcast sky and the snow on the ground.  The soft white brightened the walk and gave a warm and cozy feeling.

Blaze set a quick pace, just enough for me to keep up with her without totally losing my breath.  There was a difference in her tonight, she was relaxed and comfortable and for once we didn't feel at odds with each other.  She didn't pull or tug or dart but kept her path forward.  With each step I was letting go of the day's worries and letting Blaze lead the way.

She walked with confidence without being dominant or demanding as we went this way than that.  When we met our turnaround spot, Blaze gently led me forward.  She wanted this time with me and our special walk together.  So we carried on along the path, just her and I in a quiet, peaceful manner.  Enjoying every step that didn't lead to pain radiating down my arm that held the leash to my lower back.  This was wonderful!

Somewhere half way through I realized the Back Dogs were going to have to wait until tomorrow for their walks.  This was too precious to give up.  I wish I really had the words to describe it.  With Blaze, I have always been intimidated by her wit and smarts.  So I have always went into many walks with her trying to outwit and control her.  It has only lead to her painfully pulling me every which way, especially in the winter time when she has that Husky energy.  The battle of wits leaves me exhausted, frustrated and in severe pain.  Tonight I just went with her.  Followed her. And she proved her trust and maturity, as well as love.  This isn't the first time this has happened.  There have been a handful of other times we have walked with her in the lead, but this was the first time that she didn't try to take advantage of it and that was truly heartfelt.  Blaze spoke of her trust loud and clear.  If I let her, she will guide me.

The power of this evening's walk was tested a bit as we got closer to home and Blaze tugged me the opposite direction.  She wasn't ready for the walk to end and I obliged her.  We walked a little ways downtown, then turned around to come home and that seemed to prove I was listening and heard her.  Such simple blessings.

Maybe if I don't lead with so much fear when it comes to Blaze, we will have more walks like this.  I know we can walk further this way, which I would really love.  I was so amazed by the definition she gave me of herself, that I was truly blown away at how much she took care of me on the walk.  Peace, understanding and simple unconditional love.  All a girl could really want.  Especially when it goes both ways.

Aren't dogs beautiful?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy 9th Birthday to our little puppies!

They will always be our puppies.
No matter how old they get.

I can not believe they are turning 9 years old today!

Time has really flown.

Seems  like it was just yesterday they were all running around the house and yard and it was all just puppy crazy around here.

Like this... 

And now they are in their second year of being seniors.

Can it really be possible?

Happy Birthday to our little forever puppies...

Zappa, Fiona, Chance, Blaze, Red, Rocket, Grumpy, Angel, V-girl and Jack