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Bitter-Sweetness Found… In a Change Tray

06/29/2010

Meet Bruno.

Last year we had to put him down because he had an unpredictable aggressive streak.  He was 98% wonderful, 2% crazy.  Kind of like Ramona on Real Housewives but with the percentages swapped.

We tried to place him with Catahoula rescues, and even drove him up to Santa Barbara to give him to a lady with a farm… He wigged out, and it didn’t work.  We gave him many chances.  He bit my hand several times, and even bit my face once, but let’s face it, my modeling career was already done for… so he stayed.  Then, he cornered my wife in the office.  She was freaked, and visibly shaken by his schizo aggressions; we realized that we owe it to the safety of our three-year-old to do the right thing.  The difficult thing, but the right thing.

He was a rare Louisiana Swamp dog or Catahoula Leopard dog, with a blue merle coat and marbled eyes.  I’ve never seen any dog like him, though I get reminders of him often.  He’s living in our living room as art and my navigation system still “barks’ his voice when I get near our bookmarked home.  As you might imagine, from time-to-time, my sorrow swells.


I kept his dog tag after and put it on my key chain.  I noticed it was missing, and was beside myself because of my carelessness.

One day at Ralph’s, I was paying for some coffee in one of those self-checkout stations.  The machine kept returning my quarter. When I finally looked at it from the change tray, I realized it was his name tag muddled amongst my change.  In an instant, it was sheer delight and utter sadness… A bitter-sweet moment of of Shakespearean proportions.  Had I been moving, I would have stopped in my tracks.

I still have his name tag as my key chain, but even if I lose it, he’ll forever be in my heart.

Here’s to you Bruno.  We miss you buddy.

see our tribute video here.



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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    06/29/2010 8:49 am

    Loved this post. Amazing. and yes, you did the right thing. here’s to you- Bruno

    • 06/29/2010 8:52 am

      Thank you Carolyn! Congrats on your house. Must be some bitter-sweetness there too.

  2. 06/29/2010 9:13 am

    It is so rare that dog owners take this step to protect their family and strangers. You did the right thing. But I can imagine the pain of the loss.

  3. Jennifer permalink
    06/29/2010 9:41 am

    This is by far my favorite post you have done.

  4. Rebecca Bush permalink
    06/29/2010 4:16 pm

    Aw Steve, how moving. You did the right thing! I have a Carolina Dog, Dixie Dingo, that has a wild streak as well…Charlie used to be a chef at Cush’s Grocery, semi-rural, and this dumped dog lived in the parking lot for months. The owner called the pound, and Charlie rescued him. That rare breed was the parriah pack-dog that followed the American Indians for centuries…the remnants took to the woods in N Carolina and Georgia, only recently captured and bred. DNA almost identical to Ausi Dingo. Living history. He is so smart and sweet, but he has turned dingo and bit a couple of people! The last time, the police called me at work and he had to go to jail and I paid a big fine…Now he stays inside while I am at work. I pity any robber who comes to my door…..

  5. Brittany Kelley permalink
    03/13/2012 11:19 am

    Such a great article…. Cheers to you in heaven Bruno!

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