Musings & Threads. Bruno's Story.
When I heard that a sweet old 3 legged dog was picked up as a stray and brought to the shelter, I thought to myself that surely someone would be there to claim him before I got to meet him on the weekend. A 3 legged, neutered stray is impossible, I thought. Even still, when I arrived at the shelter that Saturday, I found out that his “owner” threatened to “shoot it” if he ever saw “it” again, so they called on a foster to take him in until he could be adopted.
The first time I met him I thought he was impossibly sweet and gentle, with eyes that say he has a story to tell. He was just getting over a severe ear infection – he still has swelling (cauliflower ear) and almost complete hearing loss as a result. He also had what the shelter doctor called a hot spot on his side. Our vet said it looked like a cigarette burn or even a bullet hole. Either way, it was also healing, along with his sweet soul.
Bruin (his shelter name) and I met many times at the shelter when his foster dad would drop him off on Saturdays with hopes of getting adopted. How sad Bruin always looked as his “dad” left the building – his eyes staring at the door, searching for his person for so long, only to lay down – seemingly defeated. I got to know his wonderful temperament and sweet disposition. I tried to convey what a wonderful dog he was to people who came into the shelter looking for their new best friend, but deep down I also silently began to judge anyone who showed the slightest interest in him thinking that they were not the right fit. I suppose that somewhere along the line, I decided he needed us or maybe we needed him. I surprised myself when I asked Russ to agree to take him home to do a trial sleepover. I was more surprised when he agreed. Because I know that he has reservations about adopting older dogs whose history and background is unknown, I was downright shocked when he said “this dog needs us” as he picked him up to load him into our truck. I instinctively knew though that Bruin would integrate perfectly into our family of dogs, cats, chickens, and sheep and he did, without any issues at all. It seems as though he has been with us forever, but I know that he remembers his old life – all of it.
We changed his name to Bruno – not that it matters because he can’t hear us call him. I know someone loved him once before that awful man did. I know for sure that it was a man who loved this sweet boy. I also know that somehow, he had to leave him and I can almost feel his heartbreak. I know that Bruno has that day forever imprinted in his memory. He stares longingly after us now – perhaps remembering when his former person had to leave and hoping that we will come back for him. I like to think that somehow, his former person sent us for him because he knew we needed him as much as he needed us. I hope that is the case, but maybe it’s just that some things are meant to be.