Today was a really difficult day for us because we had to surrender our dog Bruno to a shelter. Bruno first entered our lives in the summer of 2009. My Mom was in Seattle visiting for my birthday and the 3 of us decided to go to the animal shelter. Jessica was the first one to find him and immediately she fell in love. Those big floppy ears and long legs were hilarious and he was instantly gravitated towards us, so my Mom got him as my birthday present. He had been found at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle and was assumed to be about 6 months old, so I decided to give him my Grandma’s birthday: January 30th.
Bruno accompanied us on many adventures, including trips to the Cascade Mountains in Washington, the beaches of Southern California, and the desert of Nevada. He never saw a cat or squirrel he didn’t want to chase, but was so clumsy due to his long legs that he couldn’t even run without falling over. His gate resembled a horse more than a dog, meaning he got lots of attention anytime we took him out in public. He is without a doubt the goofiest and most individual dog I’ve ever seen in my life.
Bruno was far from perfect though. He has food aggression issues that are most likely due to the time he spent abandoned in the park. Meal times were often intense between him and Bella but it was never more than we could handle. Bruno is the kind of dog that needs a lot of exercise and time outside; if he doesn’t get those things he starts acting out, which is exactly what has been going on with us for the past 6-8 months. The combination of having a child, plus me getting a day job and going back to school meant that our family had no more time to go to the dog park and take them out on daily walks. Slowly Bruno started acting out more and more, which included peeing in the house daily and escaping from the yard. His life was turning into being shut into rooms by himself and being chained up outside.
Obviously this was a self–perpetuating cycle that only got worse. Bruno didn’t deserve this type of life and Jessica was going insane trying to clean up after him while caring for Ava. This was only going to get worse once Elise arrived, so we made a decision to find him a new home. Jessica was able to find a no–kill shelter in Woodinville that was happy to take him, so today we took him in. I knew this was going to be tough, but it’s been much worse than I originally expected. I’ve never had a dog for this long before and we built a great bond between the two of us. He’s my boy and I feel so guilty that I wasn’t able to do more for him.
This is one of those situations where your brain knows that you’re doing the right thing, both for us and for Bruno, but your emotions won’t listen. I came home from work today and the house felt so quiet and empty without him. I’m sure the shelter will find a great family or person to adopt him and he will soon be living the life that he deserves, but it’s really hard to cope with the fact that I’m never going to see him again. My Mom has always told me that getting a pet means you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak down the road, and that’s exactly how Jess and I are feeling right now. If my little girls read this someday I hope they understand that doing the right thing is often going to be really difficult, but that’s how you know it’s right.
Bruno, you’ve been such a good boy. I’m sorry we couldn’t give you the life you deserve, but I promise we will never forget you. You will always be a member of our family.
This was the first time we saw Bruno at the shelter
This is probably my favorite picture of Bruno. We had only had him about a month at the time.
Walker Hounds are known as "couch hounds"… You can see why
Hangin’ out with Momma
Daddy long legs
Playing at the beach in San Diego
Our final night together
His last morning at the house