The Bruno Tales (2013)
2013: Bruno reaches first adoption anniversary having successfully rewritten Rules of Engagement for canine consumption and human habitation, survives near-death experience and continues in horticulture
“Hi folks, it’s me – The Blond Bombshell. For those who read my first exploits – I thought you’d like to catch up. I’ve made it through a full year. Nothing they can do now!!”
Yes Bruno never fails to surprise and amuse – by the time you read this, he’ll have cracked his first year – but nearly cracked us! The story continues:
- September: We were away sailing in Croatia, Artist daughter Annabel house and dog-sitting on a not-much–choice basis! One day, she was dispatching paintings to Monaco. UPS van arrives – driver at door to collect, un-noticed Bruno slips out and dives into the back of van.
“Like that colour scheme – coordinates with my coat. Passport – what passport? Maybe they won’t notice and I can hit the gaming tables in Monte Carlo. “
Frantic search – luckily Annabel found him just before the van drove off.
- October: Some very good friends (they may not be so keen now) agreed to look after Bruno for a weekend while we went to Suffolk for a wedding. He behaved quite well, but one evening the lady of the house ran her bath – as she does – adding her Jo Malone bath essence (none of those 3 for 2 offers) – and returning to the bathroom was astonished to find Bruno standing in the bath.
“Well – a chap has to look after himself – I know what is good for my skin!”
Bruno now has even less pocket money – guess what he had to spend it on as a thank you!
- Just before Christmas, a present of an Amaryllis bulb arrived – such a nice thought. Planted in its pot with compost, set in the sitting-room – should have remembered Bruno’s horticulture traits. He carefully extracted the bulb leaving pot and compost intact, and gently nibbled the leaves. We returned in the nick of time.
“It might have been food, how was I to know they’re poisonous?”
Despite his efforts it did manage to flower.
- And so the long dreary, wet and muddy winter brings us to Christmas and Bruno’s near-death experience. He passed his Battle Swimming Test last year, and like all Labs, he loves the water. For Christmas we stayed with family in a lovely old manor house in Dorset right next to a river and old mill stream. An Archimedes Screw turbine generator was being installed in front of the house, but work was delayed by the appalling weather and flooding. The walks were tremendous – Labs charging across flooded fields with humans following. However, returning one day, and having already negotiated the normal plank, Bruno looked down into the swirling culvert: under construction –
“Well I thought it was a Jacuzzi” – and the next moment dived in. In a flash all Chris could see was one nose and 2 very scared eyes swirling round. Throwing himself down flat he just managed to grab Bruno’s collar, nearly broke a finger as the dog twisted round, and then with elder daughter managed to heave him out! Bruno – main-lining on adrenalin was quite alright and very clean!
“You signed up to adopt me Squire, the clue’s in the word ‘Rescue’ …”
But the other 2 Labs, Suzi and Hamish, watching the whole thing, went into complete trauma sensing the drama of it all, and had to be comforted.
- Bruno now tries the Bacchanalian life-style: staying next door for one night with neighbours who love him and know him – he still managed to steal a wine box. Luckily he only tasted the cardboard and couldn’t master the sealed tap!
“Just give me another go at one though!”
- And so only last week, no fruit out, no alcohol on view, out we went. For some years we’ve had a bunch of plastic grapes – they had been in fruit bowl, but they were in a bag to go to charity. Bruno makes a surgical strike – extracted grapes – well, he obviously wanted to celebrate first anniversary of adoption
So Bruno’s made the Home Run – he’s a loveable lump and part-of-the-family! He’ll eat anything, wing of bird, tail of rat, and he does like gardening still – caught him digging up hyacinth bulbs the other day – and eating them.
“They just don’t give me a mixed organic diet”
Like all Labs, he is a stomach on legs, and his brain lives there too! He’s now happy and has learnt to wag his tail, will fetch and give up a ball (just, when there’s a small reward), he’s got his figure and hasn’t even had to trouble the vet lately (Oops shouldn’t have said that!).
After all, this is the Labrador Rescue Trust:
He is a Labrador with fine pedigree,
We did rescue him,
But he still does not trust us not to give him away ——-
And we certainly don’t trust him when there’s food about.
“They keep warning me – I could go ‘back on that list’.
Don’t know what you mean …… no. You wouldn’t!
The Bruno Tales were first published in our magazine, Labradors Forever. You can subscribe online here