Home to just a little over 150 people, Longville, Minnesota, is been known for its turtle racing and now for its unofficial mascot, Bruno the dog. The brown haired wonder was just a pup when he was first spotted wandering around town 12 years ago. At the time, a man approached resident Larry LaVallee and told him he had found his dog at the end of the driveway. The thing was, he wasn’t LaVallee’s dog, and no one really knows where he came from. Locals believe Bruno may have been abandoned. Larry, who had faced the loss of his own dog around that time, decided to take him in. While he has a loving home, Bruno can’t stay put. Every day, he journeys for hours along Hwy. 84 making stops around town, from city hall to the local grocery store, to greet his friends. While it is a dangerous trek, locals know to look out for him and often give him a lift back to the LaVallee household. Continue reading for more about Longville’s furry and friendly ambassador.He was just a puppy here but he walked around town with a sense of fearlessness.
Larry LaVallee used to drive around collecting the town’s garbage and Bruno would trail closely behind. Another resident mistook Bruno for LaVallee’s dog. It wasn’t clear who he belonged to or where he came from. Fortunately, Larry decided to adopt and care for him anyway.
The couple tried to keep Bruno safe at home but he wasn’t having it. He resisted staying in and being tied up, and that’s when they decided to give him his freedom. The town comes together to watch out for him and take care of him.
Here’s Bruno receiving a treat behind the grocery store in Longville. In addition to treats, residents have also treated him to baths.
“He’s our buddy, we kind of watch out for him the best way we can,” Patrick Moran, a real estate owner, told WLTX 19. “Last week he came in stayed about an hour and a half or two hours.”
It’s alarming for some people, especially to us dog owners, to spot a wandering dog on the street, but this is the sort of lifestyle he’s adopted. Larry and his wife receive phone calls about folks who are worried about him.
According to local news, an anonymous resident had the idea of commemorating Bruno with a statue. They reached out to sculptor Albright, who had accepted the project. The carved wooden statue was funded by donations.
His humans and friends have taken note of his age, the reality of which they cannot ignore. He sometimes stays home to rest. When he’s out, everyone makes sure that he doesn’t overwork himself. He’s given the town so much love and residents have expressed wanting to do the same in return.
**Click the video below to see Bruno in action.**