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Say hello to Bruno! He joined our family three weeks ago and there´s so much I want to tell you... but where to begin? Let´s start with the facts: Bruno was rescued from a Spanish kill shelter.* We don´t know exactly how old he is - the vets guess around 5-6 years - nor which breed he is. The original ad said "Setter mix" but I very much doubt that there´s any Setter in him; we think he´s probably a Flat Coated Retriever or Hovawart mix. 

It is apparently very hard to find new homes for large black dogs which meant that Bruno had to live in a dog pension in Spain for 7 months* before we came along and he could travel to Germany. My heart is breaking a little whenever I think about it. However it probably was meant to be. We´ve talked about getting a second dog for ages, even browsed some local shelter websites, but never found the right match. Then an Instagram contact posted about this particular rescue organization and I had a look at their website and there was Bruno and I texted my husband the link saying "Bruno?" and he texted back "Sure! How do we do this?" and 10 days later Bruno joined us.

What else do we know from his past? Not much. Bruno definitely never has lived in a house before. At one point someone has taught him how to "shake paw" and he (sometimes) comes when you whistle. Judging from his behaviour I´m pretty sure he was beaten (not abused, "just" hit for punishment). He loves driving in a car. He is not familiar with any animals (sheep, cows, horses - all new to him). He has very good teeth. He can only "move" his right ear. He´s a big big cuddler. He makes soft grunting noises when he is happy and strange clicking noises when he is not happy/angry/upset. 

I will be the first one to admit that the first few weeks have not been easy. I thought I had somewhat realistic expectations but I was wrong. When Bruno arrived he was a complete mess. The biggest problem is that he has terrible separation anxiety which is something many rescues suffer from. At first I couldn´t even go to the loo without him freaking out. He was incredibly restless for the first week and also kept chasing the cats (thankfully not in a "I want to kill them" way, just in a tail-wagging playful way). The first few days he wasn´t housebroken. It was all very difficult and I might have cried a few times. When we thought things were getting better he hurt his leg and was on bedrest for the entire second week. That was a major set-back. This is a dog with a lot of energy and he was basically bouncing off the walls during that week. 

Week three was when things were improving quickly. After he got the "all clear" from our vet he finally could get the exercise he needed and play with Ludwig in the garden. It has made all the difference! He seems truly happy with his new life now. He loves to run in the garden, he loves all the attention he gets from us, he loves his long walks and last but not least he loves his big brother Ludwig! And vice versa.

Which is obviously a relief! Ludwig has always been friendly but timid with other dogs. He was bullied by his siblings when he was little and that kind of stuck with him. He needed to "learn" how to play with another dog but by now things are going well in general. They are both very jealous of each other (in particular with regards to food) which sometimes leads to fights but I feel like we are getting there. They are different and very much alike at the same time if that makes sense. Our elegant, timid, goofy Ludwig and playful, wild and funny Bruno. They will be the best friends, I am sure. 

As for the cats, we´re making good progress too. He fully accepts our oldest Marlene and I think it will be only a matter of time until he comes around with the others. So that, combined with the fact that this beautiful lovable black terror has already stolen our hearts, made us confirm that we will adopt Bruno last week (until now he has technically been our foster dog). 

"Mom he took the only decent stick in the garden and now look at him can you believe how silly he is? Help me!"

Welcome to the family Bruno! We love you so much already. 

*I have edited some paragraphs upon further research. It turns out Bruno was a street dog after all. He was found wandering alone and sick in the Spanish Countryside in May 2017 and was taken to the Perrera (kill shelter) in Valencia. He stayed there for about a month before this organization rescued him. In November 2017 this German organization agreed to take him. You can help dogs like Bruno by becoming a teamer. It´s only 1 Euro per month!

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Reader Comments (10)

Sending a big welcome to Bruno. Well done you two, well you two and Ludwig and the cats, for rescuing him. I teared up thinking of those dogs in the 'orphanage'. I wonder if he has some collie as in the last two photos he has the crazy bat eyes that my lab/collie cross gets when she is playing. Doesn't Ludwig suddenly look very mature and very aristocratic? Aesthetically the dogs look great together :) and I'm sure they will become good companions. Best wishes for your menagerie.

February 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSally

I am so happy to hear you are officially adopting Bruno. He's beautiful. Thank you for rescuing him. xoxo

February 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Congrats! What a handsome pair Ludwig and Bruno make. I'm in the middle of introducing two cats so I fully sympathize with your struggle. I hope mine learn to get along, but it's only been a few days so it's too early to tell, still. Welcome to your new pack, Bruno!!

February 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLizK

Congratulations, what a wonderful and brave thing to do. I have always admired Ludwig and pleased to see he is enjoying his new brother. Carry on sharing the love.

February 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNicola

In tears. Thank you for doing this. xxx

February 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCatbird Farm

Sally - haha I laughed about the crazy bat eyes - indeed! Flat Coated Retrievers have some collie in them, but who knows what mix he is!

February 21, 2018 | Registered CommenterKatrin

So nice to hear and see Bruno has found a nice home finally. Wish you and Ludwig all the best for the future. I am sure you will all be happy <3.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnke Hedfeld

Such a great thing to do! I just had a look at the facebook page, it kills me now that I actually live in Spain but our landlord does not allow us to have dogs :(

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

I've been following your adventure with Bruno via Instagram for a while now, and finally thought about reading your blogpost about him! It's so amazing that you've decided to adopt him and give him another chance in life. I truly admire your patience and perseverance. We've adopted our Scot in september last year, a 10year old dog, and it's been quite hard to get him adjusted to a life in a family that won't leave him. His abandonment issues are really bad as well and that has been a big struggle, but we just keep on trying as well. In case you already have tips, I'm listening!

April 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEva

What a gorgeous dog Bruno is. He's found his forever home. They need extra care but the love you will receive in return will be all worth it. Much love.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha

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