Brutus, circa 2005 - 14 December 2016
Brutus came to us suddenly and unexpectedly, at the end of 2013. We heard from a friend that a veterinarian in Woodland Park, CO, was looking for a home for an eight-year-old Dane. This dog had spent most of its life with a single owner, an elderly gentleman who had traveled around quite a lot, living at times in his van. He'd been about a year in Colorado, and the staff at The Animal Clinic of Woodland Park had been taking good care of him and his owner for most of that time... pro bono. Early in December, Brutus's owner passed away, and the vet took him in and started looking for a new home.
We made several trips to Woodland Park with Maia, walking them together on leash, slowly letting them meet (since Maia can be quite reactive). They did well together, so we ended up bringing Brutus home, on Christmas Eve. Except for a few minor disagreements about who gets the couch (and it isn't the people anymore), the two got on just fine. When we got Brutus, he was overweight (185 pounds) and out of shape- most likely because he ate too much of his ill owner's food and didn't get walked enough. We slowly got the weight off, and he got lots of exercise around the house. But he was still a very large dog; even Maia looked small next to him!
Brutus had curious minor medical issues, but was healthy until just a few weeks before he died, still going out, walking, and playing. He died peacefully on our couch almost exactly three years to the day when we gave him his last- and best- home.