To err is human. To forgive is canine.
The story goes like this – a young couple decided to bring home a purebred golden retriever and lovingly called him Bruno, only to abandon him a year later as soon as their human new-born arrived. From being their centre of attention, or let us just say the temporary object of entertainment, Bruno was relegated to the common area outside the home. He was possibly perceived as unfit to be around the human child. But you know, the story did not end there. The story evolved beautifully, as some more humans entered the scene and gave Bruno the confidence to love and be loved again.
“Their loss is my blessing,” says Bruno’s human momma Manisha. “He is a loving sibling to my sons and extremely protective about my infant daughter. Bruno has never ever shown any sign of aggression around my children. Bruno loves all of us to bits, but his favourite human is my husband Vireen.”
While some scars have healed quickly, deeper ones continued to fester. Bruno still gets anxious, especially when Vireen is away. A year ago, the family went on a short vacation with Bruno to a beachside, dog-friendly resort. Vireen had to step out to get some emergency medication for one of their sons. Bruno was already anxious when two doggo residents of the resort approached to play with him. Knowing that he was showing signs of anxiety, Manisha tried to intervene and got injured. The wound took a couple of months to heal as Manisha was pregnant at that time and could not take antibiotics.
“It was an accident, nothing intentional. But Bruno was genuinely sad. I could see it in his eyes. We decided to tackle his anxiety issues with alternative therapies, and he has responded very well. We never ever saw Bruno as a threat to our children. He has been more than gentle with them. Bruno is a constant companion to our less than a year-old daughter like our first dog Snowy was to our sons. Sometimes I feel our guardian angel Snowy sent Bruno to us, so our lives could be complete again.”
Dogs are akin to humans – like some deep-seated issues bother us, it bothers them too, manifesting in various ways. However, dogs being dogs have way too much love to give and unlike us humans, they can forgive easily. Bruno, who celebrated his fourth birthday on January 15, is living a happy life. He enjoys his at-home spa sessions, his everyday play time with human sibling and even shows appreciation for food. “Every time after finishing his meal, Bruno wags his tail and puts his nose on my hand as if to say thank you.”
Here is the thing – a dog chooses us but only after we have chosen them. There is a certain amount of responsibility when we bring a pet home. Not all pets get a second chance like Bruno did. Before bringing a pet home, it is upon us humans to carefully evaluate every possibility and situation. I do hope to see that day when we will not stumble upon a social media post about an abandoned pet.
Bruno lives with his hoomans in Bangalore, India. He has beautifully filled a void in his humans’ lives after they lost their first dog Snowy.