Best Friend to All Brutus Colter

A pet tribute is not easy to write  when you  have lost a loyal  companion.  We had  been without  a pet  for two years  after our 15 year old border collie  passed away  with  cancer  in  the  winter  of 1995.  We have been told  that pets can get  the  same diseases and illnesses as humans. We found that we were feeling more stressed and uncomfortable with ourselves upon arriving home after a long day at work. What was different in our lives?

Then we realized that we did not have a pet to come home to who wagged his tail repeatedly to greet us at the door, who wanted some attention or maybe a treat, and who wanted to play or go for a walk. A pet who made us laugh often.

We were invited to a farm to see some puppies old enough to leave their mother.  We intended to  just look  but when  
we saw the puppies we chose one very quickly. I was willing to train him at home as I had just retired from teaching. We realized that we wanted a pet as a companion and a friend.

We were not very creative about dog names as our children and ourselves settled for Brutus, the third. Although he went to puppy school to learn good manners, he seemed to have a mind of his own. The veterinarian who was the trainer almost failed him. We decided he had selective hearing and we would work with him at home.

Brutus loved his walks before bed at night. He went through the usual puppy chewing phase including chewing my husband’s brand new pair of glasses after a family Thanks giving. It was so funny watching the dog hiding under the pool table as my husband chased after him to retrieve what was left of his glasses.

Upon house training, I would take him outside every three hours until he was able to go longer. He was so small as a pup I would lift him up and put him in the flower beds for safety in case he ran away in the dark. One dark night out of nowhere a large German Sheppard approached us and I did not know what to do when I heard a voice in the dark say, “He’s friendly. He’s friendly.” For the next few years these two dogs played together and walked together during the day and sometimes at night.

Here I was enjoying retirement while training our new pet and the young owner of the German Sheppard, named Riley was just beginning his career as the newest minister in town. When I realized he was a minister, I immediately looked to the sky and said, “What is in the future for me to have a minister on my doorstep?”

As it was for the future, the dogs became very good friends as the pet world was recognizing that dogs should be socialized with other dogs.

As Brutus aged his hind legs were tired and he had to be boosted up the steps. He even had laser treatments on his long back due to back problems. But by this time, it was not known how much longer we would have him as our pet. Just before he turned 15 years old a family member gave us another puppy as she knew we needed a pet in our lives. In the pictures, the two dogs quickly became close friends. 

Then one day we knew we had to make a decision to say good-bye to the old guy as we called him. He was not having good quality of life. He was losing control of his kidneys as he was always a clean pet in the house.

He was 15 years old and according to dog years as 7 years for every human year, he was 105 years old in human years. At that time, we realized we were being selfish as we did not want to let him go but for his lack of quality of life the only kind thing we could do was to have him euthanized by the same veterinarian who had puppy trained him many years ago.

There is a beautiful pet poem that I once read that talked about being kind to your pet when you know they are suffering. My husband took him to the vet and I stayed home with our other dog who is an Australian Cattle dog and a best friend of Brutus. Since my husband returned home without Brutus in the truck, she has refused to go in the truck with him. 

If my husband goes outside she will wait until I go outside. If I am in the house alone, she wants to be with me. We have no idea as to what she is thinking. We have thought about getting another dog for a friend for her but she is now ten years old and we do not look forward to saying good-bye again to a loving loyal pet. Brutus’s memory and his ashes are with us.

We still miss him. This is my “WOW Pet Tribute.”

Contributed by WOW Gal Sharron Colter
Thank YOU to Our WOW Pet Angel Sponsor whose mission is helping individuals & families through the process of losing a pet

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