By LeAnn Standish
In August 2011, the North Shore Animal League received a call from a kill shelter in NYC where a dog named Bruno had been surrendered. He had been adopted from the North Shore Animal League some eight years earlier, so he was chipped and still had his yellow collar tag on. The NSAL went to pick him up. He was very sick with severe bronchitis. He stayed in the hospital for months. When he was well enough he moved to the shelter. He met a lot of new friends; everyone there just loved him!
This dog was a special little man… If my husband Pete hadn’t turned on the TV that December day, at just the right time, right channel, we would not have known about Bruno. As soon as Pete saw him he said, “Let’s get him!” And so we did.
Bruno is a distinguished little man of 10, a Boxer/Pit Bull mix. That day he was featured on the Rachael Ray show with Beth Stern and some other pooches from the North Shore Animal League. When I say the TV was turned on at just the right time, I’m not kidding. Bruno was in the middle of the screen, Rachael Ray was hugging him, and we got to hear the tail end of his story.
I quickly got to the computer, found a clip of the show on her website, contacted the North Shore Animal League, and told them of our interest in Bruno. After being interviewed and providing references, we were magically selected! We were asked when we wanted to come down to Long Island to meet him. We took the first available appointment- there was no “just meeting him;” we knew we were bringing him home whether he liked us or not!
On December 15, 2011 we brought Bruno home. We knew of some health issues at the time, but that made no difference to us. As we waited for them to bring him out that day, we spotted him walking by on a leash with one of the volunteers. It was as if we had seen a celebrity. “There he is, there he is!” Soon they brought him out to us. Right away he started playing with Pete. They played tug-of-war and wrestled around. We instantly loved him. His friends came over to send him off, wishing him well. He sat up in the middle of the back seat like a little gentleman all the way home. He looked around and watched where we were going, very attentive, as if to say, “Is this for good?”
Rachael Ray was generous enough to cover his medical expenses and anything else he needed for a year. She also sent vouchers for his “Nutrish” food for a year. We really appreciated that. He’s had some tests for cushings disease and he’s had to have a round of antibiotics a couple of times for his bronchitis. Now he has a special tea that I make for him for his cough on the rare occasion that he has a spell. He’s on a little bit of prednisone a couple times a week for his breathing. None of this stops him. He hasn’t missed a beat!
If ever you have the opportunity to consider adopting a dog, please don’t ever pass that chance up because of their age or breed. Bruno is a great little man. Many people think ten is old for a dog. He’s been home now almost two years. He’s not old- he gets around well, he jogs, he plays, he shows off for people by tossing the throw rug around, and he loves to go for rides in the car. When he wants to make us crack up even more, he sits on his Dad when he’s on the couch. We call him special “little” man; really he’s a handsome 72 pounds!
Pete and Bruno have an even more special bond. The Universe works like magic. The little man had/has some issues, one being that he’s deaf. No one knew this, but we knew it before we even got home. It wasn’t a deterrent. He’s a special little man that marches to the beat of his own drum! He runs the household, too. He gets along great with our other girl, Magick (German Rottie) and likes to check out the horse, goat, and chickens.
We’ve made some changes to help Bruno out. For example, he likes to lick the kitchen floor, looking for crumbs, but this makes him cough, so we put up a gate. He also has a little arthritis in his legs which makes going up and down the outside stairs a little bit of a safety issue, so for extra traction we bought a piece of the stuff used for carpet grippers. We cut that to the size of their stairs, holding it in place with a couple staples. This works great! He gets up and down like no body’s business!
Of late we’ve noticed that he’s starting to develop cataracts, so we’re sure to turn the light on for him when he goes out. We wish we could get him cataract surgery like they have for people. We’ll do whatever we can to make his life nice, just like we do for the rest of our furry, feathered, and finned family members. All of my dogs also receive weekly Reiki treatments!
Bru- as he’s affectionately referred to- has lots of friends in person and on Facebook. He keeps in touch with many from the North Shore Animal League, too. He’s grateful to be on the cover of Animal Wellness Magazine and has added his friends from the magazine to his list of friends on FB. That’s the story of our special little man! He is Bruno T Magnificent!