There is just one toy that Brutus, a bullmastiff living with his family in Northern California, has refrained from shredding to pieces: the sacred fluffball.
The fluffball is an indistinct plush yellow thing that Brutus likes to carry around in his mouth. “It’s the only toy that he won’t tear apart in five minutes,” Bonnie Michalek, Brutus’ human, told The Dodo.
Despite Brutus’ penchant for destroying toys, he’s the most loyal and gentle dog.
Bonnie Michalek and her husband have had Brutus since they got him in 2016, as soon as they had a house big enough for a big dog like him. “I call him my first baby,” Michalek said.
Michalek has to make the distinction of “first” now because she gave birth to their first human child 11 weeks ago: a son named Kayden.
Even though Kayden is a new experience for the whole family, the Michaleks had no concerns about whether Brutus would get along well with the new baby.
“He’s always loved kids,” Michalek said. “Every time he’s heard kids outside laughing he gets excited.”
Indeed, Brutus actually knew the Michaleks were expecting even before they did.
“Brutus knew I was pregnant before I did — he definitely sensed it before I knew,” Michalek said. “On the nights my husband was working Brutus refused to be in his crate.”
Even when Michalek adjusted the crate to give Brutus more room, he refused — he just wanted to be near her. “Looking back I thought he was just being a brat but really he was trying to protect me,” she said.
And because Brutus is such a mama’s boy, she was careful to include him in the changes occurring in the family as they got ready for little Kayden to arrive.