We´ve got this great big lump of a dog called Brutus. One time, a few months ago, Leo used the internet to try to find out exactly what breed he is. He narrowed it down to some kind of mastiff. He is a bit scary to look at. He looks like the kind of dog that would take your hand off. But appearances can be deceptive, Brutus is as gentle as a lamb.

Brutus has only got one working eye but this doesn´t seem to hold him back in any way. When we walk each day he sees the world, like most dogs, pretty much at knee level. It is often dark by the time we head out anyway and so not having two good working eyes, or even one, is no great loss.

If you let a dog take you for a walk each day you will know that theirs is a world of smells and Brutus has a very sensitive and educated nose. During our walks we are accompanied by three other dogs; Chica, Barney and Boris. When they walk, or run as the younger ones do, they frequently stop to deposit their own scent. This is usually a quick lifting of the leg, or lowering of the rear.

But it´s not like that for Brutus. When Brutus takes a piss it´s like someone just opened a valve on an irrigation tube. I quite admire that about him. He doesn´t do things in half measures. It´s the same with drinking. When he gets his head in the water bowl you can hear him from half a mile away.

I don´t know what Brutus´ name is which might sound like an odd thing to say. This is because Brutus is not our dog. He belonged to a local farmer and was chained up for much of the time. I would pass him each day and he would look at us, never barking, through one forlorn eye.

Then one night he showed up at our place. Of course he set all the other dogs off and so I went outside in the moonlight to shoo him off towards the gap in the fence through which he had presumably entered. I didn´t know then what I know now, that he is basically a big lamb with canines, and so I was a little wary of him.

This happened night after night and he even turned up in the day and started hanging around with our own dogs and, being pretty smart, he soon cottoned on to the fact that he was on to a pretty good thing. I later learned that Leo, who had developed a soft spot for our new visitor, had been tempting him in with lumps of chorizo!

One day when the farmer was around I went to see him and explained that his dog had switched allegiance and was hanging around with us most of the time. “Okay” says the farmer “you may as well have him then.”

And that was that.


No half measures!

No half measures!