The Rock’s puppy died after eating a poisonous mushroom, is ‘in pup heaven’

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

Most days, I’d love to receive a hug from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Right now, the urge is strong. As the Rock mentioned in early September, he adopted two new puppies named Brutus and Hobbs. Immediately after he brought his boys home, they gave him a run for his superhero ways by diving into his swimming pool. The Rock jumped in and rescued both dogs from drowning. Then Brutus got sick and had to go to the vet (that photo is at the bottom of this post). These dogs were both a complete handful to the Rock, but he dearly loves both of them.

After only a few weeks, Brutus got into more trouble. He ate a poisonous mushroom and had an immediate reaction. Brutus then suffered organ failure. Not too much time passed before the Rock and his lady, Lauren Hashain, had to make the decision to take him off life support, and this is all so sad:

Another reminder we have to live and love as greatly as we can today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. At approximately 11:15pm last night myself and @laurenhashianofficial had to make the painful decision to end Brutus’ suffering by taking him off of life support and sending his soul to pup heaven. I held his lil’ paw as he was finally at peace. As all puppies and dogs do, he ate a mushroom while playing outside with his brother Hobbs. This mushroom happened to have a lethal toxicity and within hours it was rapidly destroying his liver and immune system to the point of no return. I encourage all of you out there to be mindful of mushrooms in your yards, parks or anywhere outside your dogs play. What looks innocent, can be deadly to your lil’ family members.

[From The Rock on Instagram]

Big guy, little puppies, and so many tears. The Rock isn’t necessarily looking for sympathy. He’s spreading the word about poisonous mushrooms because he doesn’t want any other dog to suffer in the same way. Just one week ago, little Brutus was giving his dad a terribly difficult time by refusing to walk on a leash. Oh, Brutus got into everything, but at least he’s no longer suffering. His buddy, Hobbs, must miss him too.

Here's a fun Labor Day weekend story… We just decided to add two new members to our Johnson family. Baby French Bulldogs. In my right hand is BRUTUS and in my left hand is HOBBS. Bring them home and immediately take them outside so they can start learning how to "handle their business and potty like big boys". I set them both down and they both take off in a full sprint and fall right into the deep end of our pool. HOBBS immediately starts doggy paddling while BRUTUS (like a brick) sink heads first to the bottom of the pool. I take off into a full sprint, fully clothed, dive in the pool, swim to the bottom, rescue my brick, I mean BRUTUS and bring him back to the edge of the pool. He was a little delirious.. took a moment, threw up all the water he swallowed and looked up at me as if to say, "Thank God you didn't have to give me mouth to mouth!" and then ran off to play with his brother. A few lessons I've learned today.. A) Not all puppies have the instinct to doggie paddle. B) Some puppies (like BRUTUS) will be so in shock by experiencing water they will sink extremely fast so react quick. C) While spiriting to save your puppies life, before you dive in, try and throw your cel phone to safety. Don't keep it in your pocket… like I did. #BRUTUSLives #HOBBSCanSwim #MyCelPhonesDead #AndNoMouthToMouthNeeded #HappyLaborDay

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

Photos courtesy of Dwayne Johnson on Instagram & WENN

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56 Responses to “The Rock’s puppy died after eating a poisonous mushroom, is ‘in pup heaven’”

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  1. Lora says:

    I love this man soo much

  2. Nancy says:

    Oh man this isn’t a good way to start the day. God bless the children, two legged and four.

  3. Betti says:

    Aww – sorry to hear this, Brutus you were a cutie who brought a lot of job into your families life. I love dogs that have personality and Brutus seemed to have it in spades.

  4. dr mantis toboggan says:

    Sweet little Brutus. You were too beautiful for this world

  5. Ankhel says:

    I probably shouldn’t say this since I love this guy, but his backyard sounds like a perilous obstacle course. Dude, you have a baby now.

  6. OriginallyBlue says:

    I actually cried when he posted this yesterday. Sad story and hormones in overdrive make for an ugly cry. RIP Brutus.

    • V4Real says:

      The Rock isn’t looking for sympathy but he gets plenty of it from me. His heart must be breaking. I don’t even want to imagine the pain I would feel if I lost my pup or kitten. They are like my kids. Animal lovers know that pets are like a part of your family. I cried for a day when I had to have my guinea pig euthanize.

  7. Lindy79 says:

    🙁 Poor little Brutus, at least he got to know a good home and a caring owner in his little life.

    This happened to the cat of a friend, she ate some of a neighbours plant while out wandering, went into kidney failure as it was poisonous to cats. Luckily they caught it pretty much immediately so she pulled through after spending over a week in the vets.

    • Kitten says:

      Oh I always get so scared about that with my cats, and my guys don’t go outside. Well my boy goes out on the patio but on his harness. But I get very nervous with all the indoor plants I have..
      I’m happy to hear your friend’s kitty is ok.

      On another note, I really don’t like English bulldogs (sorry if I offended anyone! they’re just not my thing) but I LOVE Frenchies for some reason.

      • Wren says:

        I rigorously screen houseplants just so we don’t have this situation on our hands. My cat is not very bright so I don’t trust her to stay away from the poisonous plants.

      • claire says:

        @Wren: same. every time I’m at the market or florist I end up spending about 20 minutes on my phone looking at all the tags and googling them to see if they’re on the toxic or non-toxic list. I’ve had customer service people ask me before what I’m doing, LOL, but then they’re like, “ahhhh, of course. I hadn’t thought of that.”

        Super sad for the Rock. I had a border collie years ago that got super sick after a hike and had to spend time at the vet. He pulled through but their best guess was the mushroom theory. It’s crazy and unexpected and really difficult to watch for when they can down one so fast.

      • Robin says:

        Kitten, search online for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control center. They have veterinary toxicologists on duty at all times AND they have an extensive list posted of plants that are toxic to animals.

      • Somegirl says:

        Kitten, I’ve always enjoyed your comments, but HOW can you not love English Bulldogs?!?! My bullie boy is the best thing ever- all he wants is to eat, snuggle, and snore, and his faces when he doesn’t get his way are ridiculous. My husband wasn’t sure about the English bullies either, but he’s done a complete turnaround after having one. The dog, not me, is his screen saver lol

    • sauvage says:

      Thank you, Lindy79! I needed something positive. I’m happy that your kitty is safe.

  8. Incognito says:

    Aww. I feel for the Rock. It’s hard losing a pet and I can honestly say I’ve never given much though to the toxicity of mushrooms. We get a few in our front yard but my dogs have never paid attention to them, luckily. RIP Brutus.

    • Wren says:

      Honestly me either. You’re warned about not eating random mushrooms you find growing but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to also keep the dog away from them too. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, dogs eat anything and everything that has a passing resemblance to food.

      There’s always the couldawouldashoulda but at the end of the day, it’s a series of bad luck. I suppose he could have gone over his yard with a fine tooth comb, but I don’t blame him. Accidents happen and this one is tragic.

  9. SusanneToo says:

    I am so sorry for them and for little Brutus. That’s such a difficultdecision to make. RIP little guy.

  10. Zingara says:

    Aw, how sad is this story? I don’t know who this guy is, but he seems like a really nice fella. Poor little Brutus. RIP, beautiful boy.

    We had a horrible kittie experience this weekend. In January we got a Bengal kitten as a mate for our rescue cat, and what a delight he is! At the time, my daughter signed on to a cat adoption site for owners who need good homes for their kitties if they need to give them up. She was contacted by a couple last Wednesday, and told they were relocating interstate for their work, and needed to give their Bengal kittens up, as they discovered, too late, they were not permitted in their university accommodation. After some questioning that went on throughout the day, they agreed she seemed like a kind, responsible pet owner.

    It turned out there were three kittens. She put the owner in touch with her brother, who rescues two 2-day-old kittens after he found their mother dead at a building site on Christmas Eve 2013. He fed them with an eye dropper until they were able to eat alone. He still has them, and they are gorgeous. He agreed to take one of the kittens. On Thursday, we were told the kittens would be put on a plane and flown to Sydney from Darwin – long way from us. On Friday we heard they’d departed and would be delivered to us on the Saturday morning. There were delayed, as the plane stopped in Brisbane, and Customs said they would not release them to fly to our state because they hadn’t had certain injections. After getting advice from our vet, and umpteen calls backwards and forwards, we informed them that the two injections were not required until the kitties were 16 and then 24 weeks old, and since they were 12 weeks old, we’d get them vaccinated when the time came. Customs said they’d do it for $1000, but my daughter told them this was extortion. Finally, they agreed to fly them on Sunday. Next came a call saying they’d be on a later flight, because one kitten was vomiting. She told them they’d be vomiting, too, if they been in a small cage since Friday… They didn’t arrive. On Monday we got a call from Quarantine to say that kitten had died, and they were doing tests to find the cause. They were keeping the other two in quarantine, it turned out that one had cat peritonitis, which gad developed into the deadly form, and by yesterday morning the other two were showing the same symptoms, so they were put down yesterday afternoon. I know we didn’t ever own them, but we already had lots of photos of them, they had names, and a loving home to come to. It made us so sad.

    • Kitten says:

      Oh my god, that is a really awful story! So sorry to hear this happened.

      Is this just an Oz thing? Because I know the customs are tight there when it comes to animals.

      I have two purebred Scottish Folds that I got from two different catteries. I drove 22 hours (11 hours each way) to get my girl and just a couple hours to get my boy. There are a lot of breeders that offer to ship for a fee and I have a few friends who have gotten rescue pups from Petfinder that were shipped to them. I understand why people do it but it’s because of stories like yours that I avoid it. It just seems too risky.

      Again, so sorry to hear this and internet hugs to you ♥

      • Robin says:

        Sadly, it is not just an Oz thing. Feline infectious peritonitis is one of the suckiest diseases out there, because there is no adequate pre-mortem test, no vaccine, no effective treatment, and no cure. We vets hate it with a passion.

    • Hawkeye says:

      I’m an Internet stranger completely unrelated to this story and my heart breaks for those kittens. Poor kitties!

  11. leigh says:

    I might get called the big B word here , but I am going to call bad pet parent. When you get kittens/puppies you watch them like a hawk–or in his case pay someone to watch them like a hawk.

    • Nicolette says:

      Sometimes things happen and you don’t realize it. A friend’s Dalmatian passed away several years ago after he quickly licked anti-freeze on the street while being walked. Dogs are attracted to the taste and smell. I wouldn’t call The Rock a bad pet parent at all. He saved Brutus from drowning and obviously got him all the medical care possible to try and save him. He was a cutie and it’s just sad.

    • shutterbug99 says:

      I agree, Leigh. You watch them like a hawk and clear your garden of any potentially hazardous material before you let them out to play – dogs will eat anything and everything but this could have been prevented with more responsible puppy parenting.

      Also, when you gets a dog, you have to educate yourself as to what might be potentially dangerous/poisonous to them. Swimming pools, poisonous mushrooms etc. Because that is your responsibility as a pet owner. Cluelessness is not an excuse.

    • Redd says:

      Sometimes shit happens. Mushrooms can literally grow overnight in the right weather, and they’re usually in weird places that maybe tiny puppies can sniff out bit people don’t see right away.

      I volunteered at animal shelters for a while and my perspective on bad pet parents is the dude who chains his dog all day and doesn’t know what heartworm is (his dog has heartworm), and relinquishes the dog for “barking”. The Rock clearly cares about his animals, provides vet care, etc.

      • Msmlnp says:


      • I Choose Me says:

        Thank you! Don’t understand the need to rush to judgment esp., about someone like the Rock who clearly adored Brutus. You can do everything right and still lose a pet.

        RIP Brutus. What makes this story slightly less sad is knowing that he was loved.

    • Msmlnp says:

      Exactly! They are horrible “pet parents”. Accidents never ever happen at all. They should have trained that dog already to eat only its food. I personally never let my 2 rescue dogs out alone in my Texas yard and watch them every minute…there might be a rattlesnake out there! Or a mushroom that they might find under a rock! That sh*t is never happening to us!

      (I don’t think you’re a B, but I do think your statement is a bit ridiculous.)

      • Wren says:

        Of course! Just like how good pet parents have impeccably trained animals that never ever do anything wrong or mess up. Dogs totally aren’t curious scavengers at heart who will inhale just about anything in the blink of an eye.


        You can watch them like a hawk but it only takes a fraction of a second for them to get into trouble. Accidents happen. Perhaps I wouldn’t have let them run around off leash by a pool, but again, shit happens. Mushrooms sprout almost in front of your eyes and all it takes is a split second for the dog to decide it’s worth a try.

      • mimif says:

        Yeah and if you’ve ever had any experience with a Destroying Angel (which I’m sure is what the dog ate), you know it only takes a very small amount to poison a person, let alone a small dog.

    • justagirl says:

      @Leigh @Shuttbug99 He clearly was watching them like a hawk…he flew into the pool fully-clothed with his phone still in his pocket. And tiny mushrooms could do damage to a tiny puppy body yet not be visible to those of us on two feet…

      Puppies, kittens, and even full-grown dogs & cats can find trouble, despite the absolute best kid-proofing. I’m meticulous and have still had “how the…?” and “what the…?” moments.

      Having empathy towards others, especially those in pain, is so much more attractive than being judgmental.

    • ol cranky says:

      I worry that people will see “a poisonous mushroom” and think it was the particular mushroom that is dangerous to dogs. ALL MUSHROOMS ARE TOXIC TO DOGS as are onions, grapes/raisins and xylitol (a common sweetener is sugar-free human foods – even some nut butters)

  12. frisbee says:

    That’s a terrible shame. I’ve lost dogs and it’s felt just like losing a member of the family (which to me it is) my heart goes out to them but at least they did the right thing, they gave the pup a good life and at the end they put Brutus first and let him go.

  13. The Original Mia says:

    Poor Brutus! He was an adorable, little scamp. Bet Hobbs misses his brother a lot. So sad. This is why I’m paranoid about my Lulu. Pets get into everything.

  14. Illyra says:

    I keep a supply of activated charcoal powder on hand just in case of something like this. Food poisoning, accidental (or not) drug overdoses, stings… it’s great for absorbing countless types of toxins. Amazing stuff, especially if you can’t get to a hospital immediately.

    RIP pup

    • anniefannie says:

      I had never heard of charcoal as an antidote til a friend brought it to me to cure a dose of food poisoning and practically ( maybe literally ) saved my life. NOW I keep it on hand!

      • Illyra says:

        Awesome! I really wish more people knew about it. It’s something that should be in every home, IMO

    • Kitten says:

      This is really good to know, thanks!

      • Illyra says:

        No problem! 🙂

      • jns says:


        Work at a veterinary ER. Generally we administer activated charcoal to dogs after inducing vomiting and calling ASPCA Poison Control. In my experience, cat toxicity cases are often related to ingestion of lilies, and activated charcoal does nothing for that. Lily ingestion can lead to acute renal failure, and the only remedy to this is dioresces for 24-72 hours, depending on the severity. Other cases of cats Eating Things They Ought Not are usually foreign bodies such as buttons, string, hair ties, etc.

        Activated charcoal is not without risk also. Administration should also be accompanied by periodic bloodwork (usually every 12-24 hours) because there is risk of electrolytes, especially sodium, becoming imbalanced. Furthermore, if you discover that your dog/cat has gotten into something and you have no idea what time– if they are already vomiting, acting lethargic, hiding, or simply not themselves, the GI system has already absorbed it and activated charcoal will have no effect.

        Hope that helps.

    • sills says:

      Thank you for this tip! Awesome.

    • AceMom2 says:

      Thank you so much for this tip! I’m going to get some ASAP and keep it on hand.

      RIP to poor ‘lil Brutus… and I, for one, am not going to lay an ounce of blame at The Rock’s feet. I have an alaskan malamute who is 120+ pounds, he’s literally the size of a small pony and he is a STEALTH KING at getting into stuff!!! I swear he’s worse than three toddlers…. and it only takes a split second for them to scarf something down. So no shade from me and condolences to the Rock & his lady on their loss 🙁

  15. Adrien says:

    Oh my! My dog is the type who chews on mushrooms that sprout in the backyard after heavy rain. I thought they were harmless. I let him loose every morning. Now I’m scared. RIP Brutus.

  16. Murphy says:

    I’m thankful he used this as an opportunity to spread awareness and respect for animals.

  17. sills says:

    Wow, I’m shocked. Where I live, everyone goes mushroom hunting in the woods on fall weekends and brings their dogs along, including me. It’s honestly never even occurred to me that she could die from chomping on a poisonous mushroom (she hates veggies on principle). So I sure can’t judge. So sorry for his loss.

  18. Hawkeye says:

    Oh man, this is sad! My husband and I have a herd of 7 cats, all indoor. When I get home and count who is at the door and if I don’t count 7, I feel anxious. I don’t know what I’d do if one of mine ate something poisonous and died.

  19. eribra says:

    I have a Brutus- only mine is an 11 month old black lab. He walked right through the neighbors burning fire pit- RIGHT THROUGH IT! !!!!! How he did not have one single burn I swear I will never understand. He also chews everything, electrical cords, anything made of plastic or fabric (except dog toys, he doesn’t chew dog toys) I was not prepared for this slobbering goofy beast who ate first and may or may not vomit later. He crawled out of his 2 for high pen in 11seconds at 14 weeks old. I had to eventually find things like bitter apple spray to spray on cords so he didn’t electrocute himself- it’s a learning process! I can’t call him a bad dog parent he obviously loves his doggies.

  20. Amy M. says:

    This is so incredibly sad! Poor little Brutus!! My heart goes out to the Rock. This used to be one of my fears with my family bichon frisé. So many times that dog nearly died: jumping into a freezing stream and nearly getting swept away by the current, running away multiple times (never far though), eating and methodically unwrapping several pieces of Swiss chocolate including my sister’s lactaid pills, nearly drowning after he fell off our boat, eating mice poison which luckily gave him no side effects apart from turquoise poop, eating pieces of carpet fiber which ended up with him in doggie ER (this was probably the closest call). Never showed any interest in mushrooms though he feasted on grass once in awhile. It can be exhausting when you have to watch them like a hawk.

  21. shoochai says:

    the leash vid is the cutest thing ever!!! RIP little Brutus 🙁

  22. sauvage says:

    My heart-felt condolences to the Johnson family.

  23. Fluff says:

    I feel bad for him, but his dogs were put in a potentially fatal situation twice in a month? If my pets kept having experiences like that due to being exposed to dangerous things, I’d start looking at how to better ensure their safety.

  24. Oliver says:

    Sorry but he does not get a pass from me. As a responsible dog owner and one of considerable means, his lawn should be free of mushrooms. These are not his first dogs. It’s not like he is a newbie. He should have known better. Everyone experienced knows pups are mouthy. RIP Brutus. You are gone to soon and needlessly.