About 13 years ago, Larry LaVallee was sitting at home when a man came by to tell him they found his dog, and he was sitting on the end of his driveway.
He replied, “Well he ain’t my dog,” but he came out to take a look. He didn’t own a dog, and certainly not this one, but there was a woolly little puppy just sitting there and looking at him.
Believing the stray had been abandoned, Larry decided to take him into his home—but he certainly wasn’t able to keep him there.
At the time, Larry picked up garbage in a little town nearby, and the first day they had the dog, Bruno, he saw that the dog had wandered his way into town all by himself as well.
Not five minutes there in Longville, Larry remembers seeing Bruno happily exploring by himself.
Longville, Minnesota is a tiny little town with a population not even 200. It’s small enough that nearly everyone knows of most everyone else, but if there’s one member of the town they do know—it’s Bruno.
About 13 years ago, he made his way four miles across Highway 84 into town and then walked through its entirety.
First, he stopped by the grocery store, where friendly workers saw his puppy-dog eyes, and fed him some deli meats. Then he made the rounds, visiting the city hall, library, ice cream shop, real estate brokers’ offices, and picking up friends along the way.
Then he did it again the next day.
And then he did it again, and again, and again.
No one was quite sure why he was there, and many people weren’t sure where he came from, but he quickly became a permanent fixture in town.
The LaVallees certainly couldn’t keep him at home—they tried chaining his collar at home once, and he pulled so hard and long that he “almost hanged himself.” They stopped after that.
Patrick Moran, who sees Bruno stop by his real estate office on his daily journeys, said “He’s our buddy, we kind of watch out for him the best way we can.”
“Last week he came in stayed about an hour and a half or two hours,” says Moran.
“He’s more friendly that [sic] most of the humans in town, and I’m not saying that in a negative way about the humans,” said resident Mary Tripp. “He’s that lovable.”
So lovable that they made him the town ambassador—and erected a plaque and statue in his likeness.
Bruno is getting old for a dog now, but he hasn’t let that stop him from greeting every resident of Longville. People know him by name, and when they see the LaVallees driving by with Bruno in the truck, they shout and wave and greet, “Hi Bruno!”
There is even a Facebook page dedicated to tracking where Bruno has been and what he’s been up to.
“I’ve been telling my family the story of Bruno but we could never track him down when we were in town. Today we finally did and when they called his name he went running over to meet him [sic]! What an amazing dog!” Heidi Dresser wrote.
“The kids look forward to seeing him every year!” wrote Bloom.
“Our family was in Longville last week and met Bruno at the turtle races. He just walked up and laid down right in front of us. People then were telling us his story,” Kuskie wrote. “What an amazing dog.Wanted to share this photo with you.”
Watch his journey below: