About 12 years ago, a man stopped in the driveway of Debbie and Larry LaVallee’s home in Longville, Minnesota, with an adorable little puppy. He had found their lost dog.
Or so he thought.
The puppy wasn’t theirs, but they couldn’t turn away this orphan dog any more than Miranda Lambert would. They adopted the puppy and named him Bruno.
Did anybody ask Bruno what he thought of this? Obviously not, because he soon started to wander, opting out of being tied down.
Almost every day, Bruno walks about four miles into town and shmoozes all the townfolk — they call him the town dog. He makes his regular stops: city hall, the library, some real estate offices, and (of course) the ice cream shop. He even visits the grocery store to get some meat scraps from the deli man.
“He’s our buddy, we kind of watch out for him the best way we can,” says Patrick Moran, owner of a real estate office in Longville, to local TV station KARE. “Last week he came in, stayed about an hour and a half or two hours.”
Bruno’s parents, the LaVallees get a lot of calls from folks who are new to Longville saying, “Hey, I found your dog.” The owner’s response usually shocks the caller: He’ll find his way home eventually.
“I think he just likes people,” one townsperson said.
Bruno isn’t scared of busy highways; he’s often seen on the very busy Highway 84.
“He’s got to have a guardian angel,” Moran says.
The 12-year-old dog (84 in dog years) finds walking more and more difficult, so sometimes people will give him a lift home, especially if he’s collected goodies from town.
People in Longville love him so much, they put up a carved wooden statue in his honor right on the town’s main street. He even has his own Facebook page, for crying out loud.
Country music stars and their dogs
Loyal dogs are an integral part of the country life. Country artists show this in some of the songs they write and things they do.
Lambert started MuttNation in 2009 hoping to end animal cruelty, neglect, and homelessness. The organization has about 80,000 social media followers and doesn’t seem to have plans of ceasing the animal help they provide any time soon.
For example, Blake Shelton’s “‘Ol Red,” a song about a tracking dog who helps a prisoner escape.
Billy Currington both celebrates the loyalty of dogs while putting down his love interest and singing a heartbreaking song.
“I want you to love me like my dog,” he sings.