We have always had a wide array of pets from the domestic cat to ducks to the diabolical chinchilla we lovingly call Chico. We always had a self replenishing supply of animals. Cats birthed kitties which we gave most of them away and kept our favorites, our dog Macarena was always popping out a new batch of puppies that looked nothing like her. So it's safe to say, we love our animals.
That day we went to the shelter we looked around and saw all the sad dogs, but one stood out to us the most. An old German Shepherd with sad, kind eyes. We asked the owners if we could take him for a walk and after two laps around the yard, we knew he was going home with us. It was good timing too because he was scheduled to be put down the next day since he was older and no one had chosen him.
We loaded him into the car and soon after dubbed him Brutus Apollo Barnes. A fitting name for a studly dog. Brutus was the best guard dog we could ever ask for. He scared off would-be burglars with his deep bark yet he was as gentle as a butterfly. He would always follow us when we went out for walks despite the pain he had in his joints and he "smiled" the whole way. He would squeak and whine when he saw that we were coming to pet him or brush his forever shedding fur. Brutus was always there when we got home from school, when we came home late from an event, and in our later years, when we would come home for Christmas or any other homesick visit. He was always there.
Last weekend my parents told me that he could no longer move his legs (on top of already being deaf) and ask how I (and the rest of the kids) felt about putting him down. Today he is going into the vet and I know that when I come home this Christmas, he wont be there to greet me with nuzzles and stinky dog licks. I didn't think I would be this affected by it but he is a member of our family and is most loved. He has always been a constant in my life but now he will be sorely missed by our whole family and our friends. I love my Brutus and I will miss him.