June, 1996 - February, 2013

Meet Bruno, the teddy bear and unintentional resident of the Rude Ranch. As with most of the residents here, Bob and Kathy didn't plan on adopting a dog as big as Bruno. However, Bruno had other plans.

From what little information the Rude Ranch has gathered from neighbors, Bruno's story is a sad one. Apparently, he was "aquired" as a small puppy by a lady in the neighborhood. (Most people claim that this lady is older than dirt) The idea was that the puppy was to be a toy for her grandchildren when they visited. The rest of the time the lady didn't care about the dog, allowing him to run free. (He wasn't even allowed in her house). As the dog grew, so did the children's disinterest in him. Eventually this dog, who wanted nothing more than a little food and someone to play with developed his own "route" through the neighborhood. On his rounds, he would visit the houses that gave him food and attention and skip those that ran him off.

Eventually he stumbled upon Bob and Kathy at the Rude Ranch during the summer of 1999. The first few times he came into our yard while we were outside, he scared Kathy. There was also some concern about Bruno eating Boomer, our 9 pound dog. However we soon realized that this huge dog was really a gentle giant, and although we knew he wasn't getting the best of care (every time we saw him, we would pull upwards of 20 ticks off of him.) we still thought he belonged to someone. In the meantime we were starting to get attached to him looking forward to his visits when we were outside.

We talked about taking him in, but wondered how to cope with such a big dog in reference to the cats afterall, we are in the cat rescue business. A big dog that doesn't like cats is a definite detriment to this. Then fate stepped in with two events that changed our minds. The first was in September, 1999. We saw him just barely get hit by a car. The next was hurricane Floyd, which also hit in September. Bruno showed up in our yard during the height of the storm. We tried to put him in our garage for some shelter, but he was too scared and ran off. That convinced us, if his original owners didn't care enough about him to give him shelter during a hurricane, they didn't deserve to keep him. We agreed the next time he showed up, he would be staying.

Bruno eventually showed up in our yard, and we drug a very scared dog into our garage. Because he had never really been in a house before, there was a lot he didn't know. Doing his business outside was a big one. Not treating Boomer and the cats as fun, furry interactive dog toys is another one. But he is making progress. Read more about his progress in Bob and Kathy's 1999 Animal Rescues