Bruce came to me in summer 2006 from friends at another shelter. They had found this beautiful boy in dreadful condition. He was starving, emaciated and nearly bald from mange. They were able to get him well and back in good condition, what they were unable to do was reach his mind. Bruce had 'shut down' mentally. My friend called and asked if I would try to help this dog, as he knew (because this shelter is smaller than his) that things are a little more 'personal' here for the dogs. I agreed to give it a try.
The next morning the most beautiful foxhound I have ever seen arrived. I installed him in his kennel with some food and left him for a couple of hours to settle down.
Later that day I went in to spend some time with him. Bruce did not react to me in any way at all. It was almost as if I was invisible to him. At the time a friend was helping at the kennels, she is a veterinary nurse, but was stunned to find this non-responsive dog when she came the next day. I could wave my hand in front of his face but there would be no reaction. Nothing!
I knew I had my work cut out for me, but nonetheless I was determined that I would 'bring him back' somehow. It has been a very slow process; it took months just to be able to touch him. Even now, all this time later everything has to be on his terms. Even the slightest change in his routine will throw him into a state of confusion. However, compared to the dog that first arrived here, he is 100% better. He is amazingly good around other dogs, even small puppies. He is so gentle, and incredibly funny!
He has his little quirks, sometimes he stands in the yard looking up at the sky and I joke that he is receiving messages from the mother ship from planet Bruce!
One of his favourite tricks is to come up pretending he wants to give me a foxyhoundy cuddle. If I'm wearing a hat, then in the blink of an eye my hat is gone and he is running around the yard throwing it up in the air!
In his own little world, where everything is familiar Bruce is a very happy dog. It has, however, taken years to get him to this point. Unfortunately, homing Bruce is out of the question, he has never been able to quite forget his past. He has a constant supply of new friends to play with and is always a big hit with girl dogs. He is an outrageous flirt!