After earning his stripes by becoming the first dog to complete the NH Winter 4000’ers on the summit of Mt Pierce on Jan 18, 2003, Brutus, and his human companion Kevin Rooney, started to plan for the year ahead. It was decided that they would look to test themselves and pursue the “All-In-One-Winter” game.
A careful plan was developed, taking into consideration such things as: the number of days available for them to hike, the routes available to them during winter conditions, weather concerns that would dictate a 2nd plan for any given hike day, and appropriate number of rest days after longer hikes.
During Brutus’ early hiking days, he had accompanied many hikers to summits that were being collected for their own NH 4’s lists. These hikers became a sort of entourage for him as the winter of 2004-2005 unfolded. As his notoriety grew during that season, increasing numbers of people followed his hiking reports on the Internet, while others came out to join him and his companion Kevin for hikes. The Brutus Brigade was born out of this convergence of winter hikers and one very large Newfoundland. The Brigade was made up of folks interested in hiking with Brutus, because, well, he’s a really neat dog. When coming across other folks on the trails, one would often would hear “This must be Brutus!” So much so, in fact, that Kevin even contemplated starting his own website -- www.hewhochauffuersBrutus.com
Always the trailblazers, Kevin and Brutus sniffed out a route on the western side of the mass of Owl’s Head, which is now commonly referred to as The Brutie Bushwhack Route. It avoids the slide route, which can sport treacherous conditions during any time of year, and can be extremely unfriendly for both human or four paw travel in snowy and icy conditions.
Being the first canine to hike the NH 48 in one calendar winter, Mr. B. was inducted into the extremely prestigious organization F.L.E.A. (Four Legged Explorers Association) and was presented with the fabled Order of the Golden Biscuit award, complete with a golden Bone Medallion and Certificate of Proclamation. The Legends of Canine exploration are members of F.L.E.A., which include Tuckerman Ray, Barkley Mayer, Celo LaRue, Echo Oreskes and countless other fine White Mountain canines. Brutus, rightfully belongs near the top of their four-legged ranks.
So what do you do when you’ve accomplished these notable feats here in NH’s White Mountain region? You pack up the Brutie mobile, with your buddy the cat and two human companions, and set up a retirement oasis in the high desert of California. There, you discover canine friendship with a sweet little girl named Lola, who just happens to be a retired Greyhound. Life couldn’t get any better.