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Thirteen years ago, a tiny, wriggling pup showed up in the Longville, Minnesota driveway of Debbie and Larry Lavallee. No one knew where the pup came from, if he was lost or intentionally abandoned, but the Lavallee’s didn’t hesitate to take him in and care for him. The couple named him Bruno.
But Bruno had other plans.
The fiercely independent, free-spirited dog simply could not be contained, escaping at every opportunity and nearly strangling himself in the process. So, the Lavallee’s let him go. Instead of taking off, never to be seen again, Bruno made the entire town of Longville his home and all its residents his caretakers.
Every day, Bruno walks four miles into town where he stops off at the same shops, businesses, homes, and the same public buildings on his daily rounds of saying ‘hello’. He visits the local supermarket every morning, where he’s treated with food. He stops by the local ice cream shop for a sweet treat and some love from the locals who know him quite well. He takes a nap in front of City Hall. Everyone in town looks after him.
While the story is sweet, and it’s obvious Bruno is well-loved by the community, we’re not alone in worrying about a dog that wanders along Route 84 as cars whizz by every day. Townspeople told Kare 11 News reporter Boyd Huppert they were “shocked” no accidents had ever happened, and that the dog must have a “guardian angel”.
One of the first things newcomers are told when they move to Longville is to look out for Bruno when they’re driving. The popular pooch even has his own Facebook page where neighbors and tourists post snapshots with the furry public figure.
Although at 13-years old, Bruno is slowing down but he’s still making his daily trek into town to visit his friends and family. He’s become such an important member of the community that a statue was placed in his honor describing him as Longville’s town dog and ambassador.
When time catches up to old Bruno, he’ll be sadly missed by the entire community that loves him.