Dear online world, I'd like to formally introduce Bruno. On July 28, 2015 this lovable redhead came into my life. He's big (80lbs. when all my others have been about 50lbs.), fluffy, bossy, funny, outgoing, and loves to bark. He's also a head-turner. People look at him wherever we go because he's so handsome. Bonding with him was challenging given what we have both been through, but we're both doing really well.
A few facts about Bruno:
1. He is learning to trust. Bruno was in a few different homes before I met him and it's clear that it influenced his personality. He's outgoing and confident, but not trusting. When he first came to my apartment he would not sleep when I was around. He stayed by the front door and watched my every move.
Although he still spends a lot of time sleeping by the door, I can tell he trusts me a lot more now and he's even able to nap with his back to me. There have even been a handful of times when he has come into my room and slept there a bit and once (when we were traveling) he got up on the bed with me.
2. He barks. A lot. One of my favorite things about Huskies is that they don't bark. Bruno didn't read that memo. And because he knows it bugs me, he tries to use it to his advantage to boss me around. It's a loud and very particular bark/howl combo. I call it his signature bark.
3. He can be protective. Huskies in general are terrible guard dogs but Bruno has made me proud on several occasions. There have been times that men have come to the door or close to the patio and he's been clear about this being his home. And it's a different bark. Not the mom-give-me-a-cookie-and-I'll-shut-up bark but the come-any-closer-and-you'll-be-sorry bark. It makes me immensely proud.
4. He loves food. Most of my Huskies have either been picky eaters or not food motivated. Bruno's motto is eat first, ask questions later. This makes it super easy to train him but I've also learned to watch for signals when we're walking because he's eaten things on our walks.
5. He's plush. According to a DNA test he's 20% Samoyed and his fur sure seems like it. He has a mane like a lion and you can't see inside his ears they're so fuzzy. His fur is very rich and (if he would let me) I would snuggle him all day.
6. He isn't into cuddling. But he's gotten much better. I realize now that in the beginning I was trying to relate to him like Mr. Bear who was a total snuggle bug. That led to a lot of disappointment for me and uneasiness for him. Bruno isn't used to having humans up close to him but he has improved SO much. He now will lay down next to me for extended periods of time and if I stop scratching his belly he paws at my hand to let me know he wants me to keep going.
7. He prefers squeaky toys. Plush squeaky toys are his favorite and he has a whole methodology for destroying them. First, he squeaks them until they squeak no more. Then, he makes a hole in them and pulls out the stuffing (thankfully he doesn't eat it). When it's sufficiently mauled, he moves on.
8. He howls at (or is it with?) emergency vehicles. I discovered this by surprise while having coffee with a friend. As a fire truck went by this unexpected sound came out of my dog. Deep, loud and soulful, every time there's a siren Bruno likes to sing the song of his people.
9. And last but not least. He loves the snow. Yes, he's a snow dog so that's a given but now that we are in Denver and it has snowed a couple of times I can see how happy it makes him.