Adoption: Ciao everybody,

No I don’t really speak Italian, but my name is Bruno, so I am just trying to show off a little bit. I am a Bhutanese dog boy with an Italian name and I am not the only one. In just a few months living here at the shelter, I met quite a few of us Brunos. I met Bruno the Pug and Bruno the Shih-tzu, Bruno the Labrador and Bruno the Apso. I just saw Bruno the Maltese the other day. He was not in good shape I must say. But after all, it is a hospital as well here, so none of us look our best when we come in, but trust me ragazzi and ragazze (yes I am showing off again) we look dashing when we are ready to go and I am ready to go with you if you want me too.

Like many of the other dogs at the shelter, I was rescued because of a very bad skin problem, which needed a long-term treatment. When I was living in the streets, I have seen many of us looking rather scary, even sometimes funny with quite the hair-dos from patchy to completely bald. Some had skin so red it looked like sunburn and others had skin so thick it looked like stone or concrete. We may look funny or strange or even dirty and disgusting to you sometimes but please understand most of those skin problems are quite painful, very itchy and even life threatening if not treated. And it can be treated!

I was told here I had Demodex mange. This is a very tiny mite living in and around hair follicles or roots, and they spends the days eating my follicles, from my skin, from my hairs from my back, from my body. I understand now why they are called parasites! And they have cousins, Scarcoptic mange they are called, and they also are freeloaders crashing the party! Many people already know them as scabies. And on top of that, they are very happy to move house regularly and jump on any opportunity they have to change home.

Hence, the other dogs stayed away from me or growled at me when I came to share a meal found on the street or left by a nice restaurant owner for us less fortunate street dogs. And people are also getting scared to be the next lunch of those hungry small creatures. So I got less and less friends, less and less food and less and less fight in me to survive and make a happy life for me. Having those mites biting on your body is already unpleasant and itchy but I was unlucky enough to be allergic to it as well.

I was scratching a lot and a lot and a lot more. Nights and days, I just could not sleep anymore and my health just went down the drain. I was scratching so much that my skin opened and I got an infection. Not only a bacterial infection, some mushrooms found their way there too! Here they call it fungus or yeast. It seems I hit the jackpot: mange, allergy, bacteria and fungus. I heard it’s because I had a very bad immune system, probably because my mother died when I was very young and I didn’t get mother milk until I reached three months of age. Mother’s milk is full of goodies to help you grow strong and resistant to many diseases until you get your own vaccinations to build your own strength.

So here every week I was washed, scrubbed and massaged and every day I get food supplements to help me fight all those diseases, so they never come back again. It took many weeks but I am healed now and the cold winter helped my red hair to grow. I am a good friend of Bardo who was in this column three weeks ago. We both hang around the gate of the shelter to be the first to greet the visitors, especially the ones coming with biscuits for all of us. And I always thought if people see me first maybe they would fall in love with me and want to take me back to their home. People always say I look beautiful and I am a very friendly boy but nobody asked me to come home with them, so I am very happy it’s my turn to be in K2. Of course you cannot judge a book by its cover and a picture is not enough for you to really know who I am and what kind of friend I could be to you.

So please give me a chance and come visit me at the shelter. We can play, sit in the sun, and walk around. I will give you a grand tour if you don’t forget to bring some biscuits!