Bruno, as you can see from the pictures, looks to be a sweet dog... and he is... but he is a dog with serious issues.

We brought Bruno home last Tuesday night, and, after my wife, Julie, and I raised our voices to each other (although we weren't arguing or threatening to each other or to Bruno), Bruno cornered me in the bathroom and attacked me. Bruno bit my left arm.

We could have called the dog warden, who probably would have put him down, and we almost did, but fate got in the way and we were unable to get anyone to come. Afterward, Bruno acted like nothing happened, and spent a few hours trying to make up with me. We decided that him going to a pet rescue would be a better alternative. Wednesday night, we visited two members of Love-A-Stray, a rescue organization my wife and I have rescued several animals through, and they gave us some advice on him, but were unable to place him. We also contacted Bullieangels rescue, who gave us more advice.

Thursday night, after getting home for the evening, Bruno came over to me in the living room and jumped on the Powerbook I am writing this blog entry with. I reacted by trying to move the laptop away from Bruno and telling him to get down from the loveseat we were both sitting on. Bruno got that same look again and attacked me again. Learning from Love-A-Stray, I tried to fold my arms and turn away from him, but that didn't work. I then tried to put him on his belly, but that didn't work either. I finally grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and threw him into his cage.

This second incident left me with more bruises and a bite on my left arm, several scratches, deep bruises and a bite on my right arm, scratches on my abdomen, and a deep cut on my right leg, just above the ankle.

Needless to say, we couldn't keep Bruno. Either he felt threatened, was defending my wife or was trying to establish himself as the alpha male. We don't know, and we may never know. Most people would have put him down after the second incident. Instead, on Friday night, we transferred him over to Bullieangels Rescue, who specialize in English Bulldogs like Bruno. He'll be evaluated by a behavioral specialist who works with problem bulldogs, and get the care and the help he needs to be the dog he should be.

It appears that Bruno was either abused or came from an environment where there was abuse. No one would know but the people that had him. I am happy that he'll get the help he needs.

I found the whole experience very disappointing. We were very hopeful about Bruno. I took the attacks personally. If he was establishing that he was alpha male, that felt very emasculating to me, since that meant that he thought I hadn't done anything to establish that I was the alpha of the pack. I have since come to realize that I shouldn't have. He was reacting, to what we may never know.

To add to the strangeness of the "Bruno" week... when we dropped off Bruno at his new home, we watched one of the strangest things we've ever seen. Bruno humped... the air. And actually... umm, you know... he did it to completion, if you know what I mean. I can't get that sight out of my head, no matter how hard I try.