Bruno came to us in June 2016. He caught my eye because of his beautiful red coat. I followed his story on Facebook. He was a hard one to get into rescue as he was an expert escape artist. He even gave his foster mom a big scare when he and his foster brother Mocha went on a walkabout one day. He eventually returned from his adventure and we were lucky to adopt such a beautiful handsome red boy.
I was so happy to get him home. We had prepared for his arrival by buying the same dog beds that he had used at his foster home to make him more comfortable. Imagine my horror when he pushed past me at the front door and ran down the street 5 minutes after getting to our house. I chased him into a neighborhood yard and by the grace of God safely retrieved him.
Bruno clearly did not want to be with us. He stayed glued to the front door and looked for every opportunity to break free. When we would take him for walks he pulled to go in the direction of his previous failed path to freedom plotting how to get away. Calls to our adoption coordinator and texts with his foster mom reassured us that he just needed time to settle in. I realized my job with him was going to be making sure I kept him safe.
Over time Bruno moved from clinging to the front door in to the living room and to finally sleeping on his bed right next to us. It made my heart smile. I learned that Bruno had a very determined personality. He would let us know if he approved of something or not by just freezing and standing resolute until some capitulation or compromise was reached.
Bruno did not like being away from home once he had settled in. He did not like going to the vet or groomers and displayed that dissatisfaction on the way in to these visits by refusing to go in and by squeakily telling us “Let’s blow this joint!” and doing this funny little wiggling on the way out. Such a funny boy!
He loved his twice daily walks and the highlight of this was picking the 1.5, 1.75, or 2 mile path he would take. There were many discussions about which path to take with Bruno many times winning the decision with the 2 mile path over our objections. During the freeze, I would plead with him to pick the 1.5 mile path so we could get out of the cold. Fortunately, he agreed and I told him I would make it up to him.
Bruno gained a sister Dachshund named Isabelle who came to us when a family member passed away. He tolerated her but I knew he wanted to be an only dog. I let him know he was our only special boy. One thing I would do is silently motion for him to follow me as we snuck into the kitchen to get a secret snack without alerting Isabelle. This was our secret time where I would give him puppy kisses. One good thing that the pandemic gave me was more time with Bruno.
On his last day, Bruno told us he wanted to go for a final walk. We took him for a walk and when I tried to make it a short walk he voiced his objection by refusing to turn around. So we continued on. He and I talked about what a beautiful day it was and how nice it was to be in it with him. I am still amazed he was able to do the walk but so glad we had that experience with him.
After keeping him safe, we had to let him free to run across Rainbow Bridge so he could be happy and healthy. So many people who helped in his rescue have commented that Bruno was one of the special dogs which they hope to meet at the bridge someday. It is comforting to think he will be busy greeting these kind folks.
I have some lines from the song The Scientist by Coldplay which convey our feelings for our beloved Bruno Mars. I wish we could go back to the start so we would have the time with him again. We love you Bruno.
I will tell you I love you, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles, chasing our tails
Coming back as we are
Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I’m going back to the start
Bruno at the time of his rescue – back to the start…