Bruno at 3 years old.

September 17, 1999 witnessed the birth of an adorable little poodle named Bruno. He was the only one, among his litter, to survive. He lived a happy life for one year until one summer, he was “accidentally” locked in an office, across his owner’s house, for the weekend. He was discovered two days later on the brink of death due to dehydration, among other things. We took him in after the owner wanted the little fellow disposed. Not only that, the vet said he only had 2 weeks left to live so we took him to a hospital to see another doctor.

The feisty little guy battled leptospirosis which caused kidney failure and turned his skin yellow. Bruno eventually recovered after staying in the hospital for a few weeks. Hospital bills hurt our finances but he was just too adorable to pass up. Regular trips to the vet ensured that our furry canine companion was in good condition, albeit he abhorred our visits to the good doctor.

Bruno at 14.
Bruno at 14.

The little dude grew up to be a senior canine citizen and still as adorable as ever. One day, he collapsed on the floor, shivering, and had trouble getting back up. He was rushed to the nearest vet, where he was diagnosed as having kidney failure. After several days without eating, his condition worsened until he was just lying in the hospital, not moving except for shallow breaths. To our dismay, the vet told us that he may not last very long and suggested we should put little Bruno to sleep to end his suffering. Either that or we could continue his treatment at home, making his last days as comfortable as possible under our care. Just as we agreed to the latter option, something amazing happened. Lo and behold! With an effort of will, the little guy stood up and started eating! And so he stayed in the hospital until he fully recovered.

He is back with us as I write this, although he is plagued with arthritis and has gone blind due to his old age (currently 15 years old). A change in diet and daily medicine intake helps our little furry friend cope up with being a senior.

15 year-old Bruno sleeping with Bruna, who is made in China...
15 year-old Bruno sleeping with Bruna, which is made in China.

I’ve learned that dogs essentially need two things- good health and happiness. It doesn’t matter whether they’re are trained or spoiled, as long as you they’re happy and healthy, you’re on the right track. I personally love to spoil Bruno! So if you’re feeding your canine companions table scraps or cheap supermarket dog food, you better do some research and change their diet. Cheap food will not give your dogs good health. It will eventually take their toll and will cause your pets a lot of pain and make their lives shorter. Make sure you also give them enough time, attention and care for them to be happy. Otherwise what’s the use of having pets if you don’t invest your time and money on them?

Bottom line- if you can’t give your dogs love, attention, quality food and proper health care, then you don’t deserve to have canine companions.

Update: Sadly, my little buddy, Bruno, passed away due to kidney failure on August 10, 2015. He was 15 years and 11 months old. I will forever remember him as a very sweet and loving friend, who was always at my side (literally). He never complained and was extremely content and happy with all the attention and love we gave him. Bruno, you are and will be sorely missed.