Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 7:12PM
Katrin in Life

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!

Article originally appeared on Taking Notes. Stories about a big old house in the country. (
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