Bruno, the wandering dog, has been walking 4 miles almost daily for the past 12 years to Longville, Minnesota, just to say ‘hi’ to the town’s people.
Bruno started travelling from his earliest days. More than a decade ago a man came into Larry LaVallee’s driveway holding a small pup. The passer-by thought the dog belonged to those who lived there and figured it could get lost. However, the little guy was a stray and had nothing to do with Larry or any of his neighbours. But as soon as LaVallee looked at the dog, he decided to keep it.
Going on journeys was all Bruno ever wanted. Larry even tried to chain him, but the dog nearly hanged himself, so the owner had to make peace with his pet’s adventures. The master even got used to the town’s newcomers calling and claiming they’d found his dog. He also got used to the confusion at the other end of the line when he’d tell the good samaritans to let go of his dog since Bruno is perfectly capable of walking back by himself.
During the years Longville’s residents have grown accustomed to seeing Bruno walking around. He usually visits the city hall, the library, the ice cream shop, several offices and grocery stores, where workers greet him with meat scraps. Actually, people love Bruno so much, they named him the town’s dog and ambassador and even gave him a carved wooden statue!
LONGVILLE, Minn. – The lumbering figure comes into view shortly after sunrise. His pace is steady, his resolve determined on his four mile walk up Highway 84.
Bruno, a wandering, wooly, wolf of a dog, is on his way to town.
“It’s just been his routine as far back as I know,” says Sharon Rouse, who watches Bruno’s arrivals from the picture window of the Hansen Realty office, where she works the reception desk.
“Everybody knows Bruno,” Rouse laughs, “may not know the people, but you’ll know Bruno.”
For most of the past 12 years, Bruno has been taking a daily walk of nearly four miles to Longville, making his rounds around town, then heading back home to his owners, Larry and Debbie LaVallee.
Bruno’s owners, Debbie and Larry LaVallee (Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE)
“The first time I seen him in town, he almost beat me to town,” laughs Larry LaVallee, who used pick up Longville’s trash. “I was picking garbage on the way, and I get in town, and I wasn’t there five minutes, and there’s Bruno.”
Bruno was a wanderer right from the start.
“A guy come in my driveway, and Bruno was a little pup,” Larry LaVallee recalls, “and he says, ‘I found your dog at the end of your driveway.’ I says, ‘Well he ain’t my dog.’”
LaVallee says he looked at the puppy in the man’s car and decided on the spot to keep the stray, who he believes had been abandoned. “And that was the beginning of it all,” says LaVallee.