“We never leave the house!” we said.
“We’ll have so much time to train him!” we thought.
“The new dog will keep Rocco company!” we hoped.
Gate Houdini. Toy stealer. Chewer of everything.
We are a rescue family. Rocco was rescued last March at 4 months old, and we wanted to do the same for our second dog. Bruno was rescued in July at just 9 weeks old! They said he was a “doxie mix”, and he was available with his litter mates: two sisters, one who was black and brown like he was (but smaller) and one who was completely tan. That, in itself, was a little suspicious. When we arrived at the shelter he was alone, his sisters had already been adopted earlier in the day. He was sleeping peacefully outside, his little round, pink belly rising and falling with each breath. I picked him up and inhaled his puppy smell. Is there anything better than new puppy smell? Probably second only to new baby smell.
We left with “Dallas” as he was named, and the entire ride home, as he slept in my arms, I whispered into his soft, floppy ear: “You are Bruno. Bruno. Bruno.”
Bruno was a surprise for our Little Mister who had NO IDEA we were bringing home a dog. You know who else was surprised? Rocco.
It’s amazing how quickly you forget what house training a puppy is like, even if you just did a year earlier. And, we were right in assuming it would be easier since we were home all the time. But still, house training is exhausting! But my Type A personality ensured we only had a handful of accidents in the house as I watched Bruno like a hawk. The minute he looked suspicious, he went outside!
And, Bruno won himself some bonus points for sleeping through the night in his crate from night one with no crying. He will fit right in here with that kind of behavior.
Rocco and Bruno are still trying to figure out their place with each other. When we first brought Bruno home, he and Rocco (who is full grown) were almost the same size, Bruno being 8 pounds to Rocco’s 10. But any size advantage Rocco had quickly diminished when Bruno started gaining a pound a week. He quickly was taller (and stronger) than Rocco, though he was still a clumsy puppy so Rocco was able to push him around. They spent quite a bit of time wrestling (and still do!), though their interactions have grown louder. And Bruno has become bolder. And Rocco spends a lot of time hiding under chairs.
Rocco – who at the tender age of 2 – is like a grumpy old man. He’s possessive of Little Mister, and getting attention. And most of the time he just wants to be left alone. Bruno – who can’t take a hint – constantly wants to play so he bites at Rocco’s rear end and tail, nudges him off a bed, steals any toy he’s playing with. Basically, he’s an annoying little bratty brother.
Do I love that we have gates up all over the house to contain him until we can trust him? No.
Does leaving a room or going outside cause more drama than we’d like? Yep.
Do we need to each “take a dog” at certain times to keep peace in our house? Oh yeah.
When someone comes in the house does mayhem ensue? For sure.
Is Bruno wiggling his way into our hearts? Absolutely.
When you talk to Bruno, he looks right into your eyes and tilts his head, as if he’s trying to understand what you’re saying to him. Our old dog Vito used to do that, too. Vito was part human, I think.
Bruno is working on learning his commands and how to be a good doggie and a respectful member of our family. He’s scared of strangers and gets nervous in new situations. “You have to socialize him!” the vet said. Well, Dr., I haven’t socialized myself in the last 8 months, let along a dog!
But we’re working on it! Today was a test run at doggie daycare for Bruno. And we didn’t get a call to pick him up 20 minutes after we dropped him off, so to me, that’s a success. Plus, the only other dog there was about 5 pounds and Bruno still behaved himself. Extra treats for him tonight for not eating another dog today!
It’s been 4 months and we sort of hoped that Rocco and Bruno would be besties by now. Spoiler alert: that is not the case. They currently tolerate each other. (Correction: Rocco tolerates Bruno and Bruno annoys Rocco.)
Hopefully things calm down in the KK household soon. And Bruno doesn’t take down our Christmas tree (which is grounds for dismissal, btw).
He’s not a snuggler, or a kisser. But he does like to hog the couch. He’s a little kooky and quirky. But he’s all ours.
You can follow Rocco and Bruno’s shenanigans on Instagram!