Forever Our Sweet Angel
Oct. 1997 to Oct. 2010
As many of you already know, our Sweet Brutus succumbed to bone cancer this past Saturday, October 2nd. We are so sad for our loss but are taking comfort in the support we are receiving through the wonderful e-mails, cards, phone calls and visits from our friends and family in the "dog community". Only time will help us through our pain. Our Brutus will never be forgotten.
There are no words that can truly justify what Brutus meant to me but I thought I'd let you all know the path "Mr. B" took me on because you are all connected to the story.
On the Labour Day weekend in September 2000, Brutus and I attended the "Doggy Swim" at CG Brown Pool in Burnaby. At the end of summer, the last day was dedicated to a doggy swim where they allowed dogs to swim in the public pool. I had heard about the swim and since Brutus loved the water, I thought I'd go check it out and take my buddy for a little dip. Well.....what can I say.....it was absolute mayhem! Crazed, over-stimulated dogs, racing around, barking at each other, jumping in, splashing around – I thought about leaving but, when I saw his smiley face, I knew he wanted to play so, I let him dive in. That's when I discovered I had made a poor fashion choice for the day – shorts and a white t-shirt – a very wet white t-shirt!!! So, while I spent most of the time there trying to "cover up", Brutus spent his time swimming and bringing me the floating dumbbells which were in the pool. Then a gentleman came on the loud speaker announcing that there was going to be a contest and anyone who wanted to enter, please come see him. Brutus and I entered. They were going to give a prize to the first dog to jump into the pool and retrieve the yellow rubber ducky and bring it back to its owner.
When they threw the yellow ducky into the pool amongst all the floating dumbbells, and blew the whistle for the contest to start, Brutus jumped in along with the 25 other contestants. There was more water on the pool deck (and on my t-shirt) than there was in the pool !!!!
Brutus was the first to reach the rubber ducky! He gently took it into his mouth only to have a bossy chocolate lab yank it from his jaws. So Brutus swam a little further picked up a dumbbell to retrieve back to me. Seeing the dumbbell in Brutus' mouth, the chocolate lab spat out the yellow ducky and once again yanked Brutus' toy out of his mouth. The yellow ducky landed right in front of Brutus who then picked it up and swam it back to me. Yeah!! We Won!!!!! I had no idea what the prize was – maybe a new toy or a bag of dog food...
The man on the loud speaker announced for me to come claim my prize. Brutus had won 6 free lesson for dog agility. What the heck is dog agility?!?
So....what can I say....the rest is history.
The circumstances of that day led me to where I am now. I don't know that I would have ever traveled to this spot if it weren't for Brutus.
And here's the part where you all come into play......
I thank Brutus every day that he guided me on the path to find my friends and students which I have made through agility. Some of my dearest best friends have come from the agility community, some who I competed with and some who were students and are now close friends. He took me on a new path in my life and career. He helped to teach me to work hard and to succeed and to have lots of fun doing it. I am forever grateful.
For those of you who first met Brutus in Puppy Socialization Classes, I have had so many wonderful comments about how good he was with teaching the young puppies good manners. He was so patient and I thank him daily for all the hard work over the years.
Brutus was Zeena's partner in life - best friends for almost 13 years – the dynamic duo! He was Lewis' guardian – taking care of him especially when Lewis first became paralyzed. He was Sam-WOW!'s idol – big brother who could do no wrong – Sam wants to be just like him.
He was Scott's fishing/camping buddy, forever loyal friend, family. He was my majestic boy – my family. Always smiling, never growing up - what a great way to view life.
So, at 13 years of age, Brutus' Bucket List was full. He held off the cancer so that we could enjoy one more family summer together. A summer which took us to Quesnel for agility camp, to Calgary to compete with our friends at Sam-WOW!'s first Nationals, to camp at Tunnel Mt in Banff, Roche Lake and Lac le Jeune, to play on the beach with all his buddies. And as life would have it.....last Wednesday night, after all my students left to go home after class, Brutus decided to run through the chute one last time. He did it without my prompting him – he saw it there – he took it. The chute had always been his most favourite obstacle. I'm not sure why he took it but he left me with yet another enjoyable memory – the joy on his face when he charged out from under the chute's fabric.
I hope that where he is now, there are lakes for him to swim in and chutes for him to run through.
Brutus, you will always be in our hearts. Thank you for all you have given us and for showing us the path to each other.