by Karey Wedemeyer
Karey Wedemeyer is a volunteer with the Fresno Bully Rescue. FBR will be sharing their animal rescue adventures with us now every other month.
When Bruce arrived at Fresno Bully Rescue he was what you could call “rough looking.” He had nubs of ears bitten down to tiny flaps of flea-bitten scar tissue. His tongue had been ripped in two places and left on their own to heal, leaving two open slits. The scars on his large face, body, and head were too many to count. His past was unknown, but judging by his looks, the Selma SPCA, where he was left abandoned along with another female Pit Bull (Candy), and a small Chihuahua, assumed the worst. A possible fighting dog or bait dog was most probable. They contacted Fresno Bully Rescue and requested help.
Jolene, an FBR volunteer, recalls Bruce’s arrival. “Based on the shelter’s description of Bruce, we assumed he and his sidekick, Candy, would need extensive human and dog rehabilitation. At that time, FBR would sometimes take in dogs with human or dog aggression (although this is no longer practiced at FBR) in an attempt to rehabilitate the dog to become adoptable. Our assumptions were quickly proven false. In walked the most regal of dogs. Bruce held no grudges toward any human he came in contact with. He was so loving toward the female Pit Bull, Candy, that they were housed in the same kennel. Bruce was polite, gentle and well mannered with everyone he met.
As FBR volunteers became more familiar with Bruce they fell deeply in love with him. Bruce was one of the most intelligent, well-mannered and affectionate dogs at the center. He was a great dog to walk, even with someone who was not comfortable with Pit Bulls. Bruce was so gentle that he began attending public programs with FBR volunteers to educate and advocate for the breed. Bruce was asked on sleepovers at volunteers’ houses, and proved his house manners to be perfect. Bruce continued his life at FBR, charming the most nervous person. Unfortunately, aside from Candy and the Chihuahua, Bruce was not interested in befriending other dogs. If he would be adopted it would be with Candy or by himself.
As luck would have it, Candy was adopted first. This was emotional for all of us witnessing our beloved Bruce with a broken heart. It was bittersweet to see Candy go to a home; Bruce’s sad face and demeanor was terribly hard to watch. As time went on Bruce’s heart healed, and he continued to be FBR’s representatives at schools and programs, sleepovers and many cuddles at the center. But he still needed a home of his own.
Bruce’s physical appearance, as described in the beginning of the article, was rough. He was good-sized, and he looked like a fighting dog. FBR was open about Bruce’s unknown but suspected past, and accepted that Bruce would never be good with other dogs. This did not fare well for Bruce when attempted adopters would tour the center, despite his sweet kisses. Fortunately, as Jonathan Swift said: “Every dog must have his day,” and Bruce finally did.
Bruce’s family admits Bruce was not the dog they came to see that day. April, Bruce’s eventual adopter, said when they walked past Bruce, that she thought he was sweet, but kept walking. “We ended up going home that night without choosing the dog we would adopt. After talking about Bruce and his story we decided to bring him home. I felt he didn’t choose the life he was rescued from and deserved a chance. We were very cautious with our children around Bruce and he has proven his gentle soul to be loyal and loving to all of us. Although he is getting older he loves to run around the yard doing zoomies, and needs to rest after ten minutes. Brucey is just a sweet old goof and we are proud to be the family to save him from the hard life he grew up in. He has no more worries other than being smothered in our love.”
Bruce’s story is one of my favorites. Every adoption to a FBR volunteer is gratifying and celebratory; however, Bruce’s story still makes me tear up. Have you ever met a dog whose soul is so deep and old that you feel honored to be around him? This is Bruce to me. He reminds me that no matter the scar or the pain, there is always hope. Thank you to Bruce’s family for giving him the love he deserves. You have set a great example for future adopters. If you are interested in adopting from Fresno Bully Rescue, go to Fresnobullyrescue.org.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Fresno Bully Rescue.
See that is what is wrong with the world….we are all too superficial. Guys only want to date a cheerleader and girls want the football stars. We need to look deeper and find the ones with hearts just aching to give love to someone. Thank you for allowing me to meet Bruce.
Despite Bruce’s hard life he has a very sweet face.