For seven days he was the most sought-after boxer on Facebook after he decided to go for a jog on Jan. 16.
Bruno, a one-year-old brindle boxer from Evergreen Park, was reunited with his ecstatic family on Friday. He turned up at Chicago Animal Control, after being brought there in the middle of the night.
Thousands of Patch readers from Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn and Beverly-Mt. Greenwood shared Bruno’s mug after it was posted on our Facebook pages.
Bruno’s odyssey began when he got out of Charlie and Sandra Byrd’s backyard during a bathroom break.
“It was so cold last Thursday,” Bruno’s owner, Sandra Byrd said. “I let our female boxer, Lucy, go out first to go to the bathroom and she came right back. I let him out next and kept calling and calling for him but he didn’t come.”
Almost immediately after posting Bruno’s information on our Facebook pages, readers began posting Bruno sightings in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood. He may also have trekked to to Bridgeport. After that, the trail went cold.
The Byrds’ four children, ages 4 through 17, were devastated. The family’s 10-month-old boxer, Lucy, stopped eating and moped around the entire week that Bruno was missing.
Finally, on Friday morning, someone posted a photo of a brindle boxer curled up in a ball inside a cage at Chicago Animal Control on a neighborhood Facebook page.
The dog, which turned out to be Bruno, had been brought in at 2 a.m. after he was found at 44th Street and Racine Avenue. That same person also emailed the picture of the boxer to Patch.
“A woman named Katie called to say that had just been turned into [Chicago Animal Care and Control] after seeing his picture on the Moms of Beverly-Mt. Greenwood Facebook page,” Sandra said. “Then I got flooded with calls.”
Sandra was waiting outside of Chicago Animal Care and Control before the shelter opened on Friday, carrying Bruno’s proof of ownership.
“When I saw him I said his name and he came up right to the bars [of the cage],” Sandra said. “I told him to sit and he gave me his paw. He was so happy to see me and at the same time he was afraid.”
Sandra said that Bruno’s microchip information was on his paperwork. Bruno just wanted out of there. As soon as they were outside, Bruno was all over Sandra trying to get as close as he could and cuddle with her.
“I cried I was so relieved,” Sandra said. “But at the same time when I saw him you could see his bones. I felt so bad seeing him like that, it broke my heart.”
Bruno was checked out at the Evergreen Park Animal Hospital. He lost 13 pounds and the vet said his heart sounded somewhat week, but the vet attributed it to Bruno not eating and being outside in the snow and cold.
Sandra said that Bruno was very subdued when brought him home on Friday afternoon. She allowed the kids to give him a kiss and hug, but then they had to leave him alone. Lucy, the other boxer, greeted Bruno like a long lost brother.
As of Saturday, Bruno was doing better. He slept with the Byrds’ youngest daughter his first night home, and he’s eating small portions of food, drinking water and sleeping a lot. He’s also making up for lost cuddling time, especially with Charlie.
“He’s cuddling with everyone except me,” Sandra laughed. “I’m was the one out looking and not sleeping. My husband said it's because Bruno is afraid I’ll yell at him.”
Sandra said she wished she could thank everyone personally who shared Bruno’s photo, posted sightings, and offered support, encouragement and hope.
“I didn’t give up because you were the one who gave me hope,” Sandra told Patch. “I'm so grateful for everyone's help and support. Bruno is finally home. I can't thank you guys enough. Thank you to every single one of you amazing people.”