Bronko: A Happy Tale (Tail)

Officer Jose Bosque and his canine partner Bronko were in the process of searching a ball field for a criminal suspect when the bad guy suddenly ran to the top of a set of bleachers. Bronko immediately set out to apprehend the bad guy. With nowhere else to go, and desperate to remain free, the suspect jumped to the ground. The relentless dog followed.

The twenty-five foot drop proved to be too much for the dedicated animal. Unfortunately, Bronko suffered a broken vertebrae and a ruptured disc, which left his hind legs totally useless. His back end was paralyzed.

Officer Bosque and his wife began a rehab program for the dog, which included using a rolled up towel to support Bronko’s hind end during walking.

The couple devoted all their attention and effort to helping Bronko live as comfortably as possible, including assisting the dog with bathroom needs and exercise. Exercise is extremely important to an animal that’s used to doing everything in fast motion, as do most police canines. Bosque and his wife even canceled their scheduled vacation to care for Bronko.

After many weeks of towel-assisted movement, Bronko regained limited use of his back legs. In fact, he was even able to return to work as drug sniffing dog—a very slow drug dog, but it didn’t matter. He was working and that’s all these dogs want to do. They live for it.

Now, four months after his injury, Bronko has been re-certified as a patrol dog and is back on the job chasing bad guys. In fact, two months ago Bronko finished second in a United States Police Canine Association competition. Amazing!

Officer Jose Bosque and Bronko

* This story hits a little close to home. Our dog suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and lost the use of her hind legs. We, too, used the towel trick to assist her with her daily needs, and today she’s nearly back to full steam. Well, as full steam as a 17-year-old toy poodle can get. She sleeps till noon (in our bed covered up to her chin with her head on her own pillow), eats, takes a nap, and then lies on the couch with us at night until bed time. Of course, at 8pm she has to have her snack of three cheese-flavored Goldfish.

First photo of Officer Bosque and Bronko –

Second photo – Ruffhaus kennels

24 replies
  1. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    Dogs can show us humans how to recover. They don’t cry ‘poor, poor me’. They just do what needs done to get back to living.
    We had a 3 year old Cocker Spaniel that had to have his right front leg amputated. One week after having the leg removed, he was up and ready for the morning walk with our other dog. He adjusted by changing his stride. And when he jumped down from the bed or couch, he rolled onto his shoulder so that the remaining front leg didn’t bear the full force of his weight. Obviously, these weren’t things he was taught. Instinct just took over.
    He got around so well that we’d have people stop us and mention something about our dog limping. And we’d say, ‘Yeah, he’s missing a leg.’ They do a double take, not even noticing it at first glance.

  2. Leia
    Leia says:

    This was such an awesome story, thanks for sharing! People with dogs continue to surprise me with the dedication to their animals, and the fact that Bronko is back at work makes me so happy- both for him and for his family. Good work to the Bosque family and Bronko and keep up the good work!

  3. Jena
    Jena says:

    Add me to the weepy group – I’m a sucker for a dog “tail.”

    Our neighbors’ Lab had a similar miraculous recovery after a stroke – and Ruth was a 15-year-old dog! I think animals, unlike humans, just don’t have that little voice in their head saying “I can’t do this.” They know they’re supposed to work or go outside to do their business, so they just keep trying and trying without giving up, doing their own physical therapy.

    And of course Goldfish snacks have incredible restorative powers. 🙂

  4. Elena
    Elena says:

    What a happy tail indeed – the Bosque family are real heros. I’m all in tears too. And, I’m happy for you to still have your pup with you. I’ve had to do the towel assist too.

    Virtual treats all around!

  5. SZ
    SZ says:

    I am all in tears. Great story. Hats off to the Bosque Family for a job well done.

    As for the other dog who is “working” you ! … heh heh Goldfish snacks and all

  6. tudza
    tudza says:

    That one shot pen gun could be an example of what William Gibson calls a Wednesday Night Special.

  7. Kiah
    Kiah says:

    Heck, the specialty shop where I work sells those cellphone stun guns for like 80 bucks or so. There is also a lighter that has a stiletto style knife in it, as well as a pen with the same kind of spring loaded knife. Hadn’t really given it much thought, but I can see policemen not liking that kind of stuff.
    I know the cell phone stun guns are hugely popular with women because it doesn’t look suspicious to be carrying it in your hand. And lets face it, if it’s not in the persons hand, its probably not going to get used unless the bad guy is an idiot and gives them time to rummage in pockets or a purse.

  8. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Dave – These are interesting, especially since they can worked into mysteries quite easily.

    By the way – I was just contacted by a law enforcement officer who stated (his words), “Within the past 6 months during an arrest we took a cellphone stun gun off of a guy. Looked just like a real cell phone except for 2 prongs on top that were small. So, yeah, these things are out there.”

  9. Dave Swords
    Dave Swords says:

    Hi, Lee,

    I’ve always liked the term zip gun. And now I see someone has made a Zippo gun.

    How interesting.

  10. Peg H
    Peg H says:

    Oh, yeah, those sound familiar. I’ve been in a few of those towns.

    Lee, Sometime, when we’re face to face again, ask me about the speed trap in a dinky town in Texas and how the hubby thought my mouth was going to put him in jail. That ol’ sheriff didn’t care for lil’ ol’ me one bit when I got done with him. He especially didn’t like me when I asked to use the phone to call my parents, and it was a local call–he gave me that ‘Oh, Crap!’ look.

    He’d figured with our out of state plates we were fair game. I was wise to the tricks he was famous for pulling on out of staters, and made sure he knew it. Talk about back pedaling!

    I’m sooo bad! 😉

    Peg H

  11. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Peg – A friend of mine once took a job as a town marshal. In addition to his law-enforcement duties he also had to read the residential water meters once each month.

    And, a few years ago, my daughter lived in a town where the police chief had his desk in the corner of a tiny country store. He could only use it during certain hours because most of the time the store owner needed it to do something with the lottery.

  12. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Terry – Thanks for the idea. I always have trouble deciding what to get my wife for her birthday. I’m sure she’ll be pleased.

    Melanie – I’m so pleased you like the site. Spread the word. I’ve got some really great guests lined up.

  13. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    Lee, this is fascinating stuff. Much more detailed than I’ve been able to get elsewhere. All the locals here only want to share an overview. Love your blog. I’ve just discovered it, and it’s extremely helpful.

  14. Terry
    Terry says:

    I’m finding the fingerprint information interesting and helpful. Then again, my husband gave me a fingerprint kit for my birthday a while back.

  15. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Peg – The interesting thing about the equipment featured in the photos is that some of it was donated by members of the community. The rest was provided by the detectives who, on their own time, salvaged it from old buildings, etc. It didn’t cost the department a dime. If it had, they wouldn’t have it.

  16. Peg H
    Peg H says:

    Hubby said, “Exhaust hood? We din’t need no stinkin’ exhaust hoods.”

    Small departments are just chock full of the latest, most expensive and advanced equipment. (Yeah, right.)

    Another great guest blog! (So I guess the perpetually starved, slightly overweight around the middle cop, partner to my protagonist’s cousin, shouldn’t be craving donuts, but instead reaches for a granola bar, huh?) 😉

    Thanks for adding a new site to to my daily reading, Lee.

    Peg H 🙂

  17. Rhonda Lane
    Rhonda Lane says:

    Hi, Lee — Would you mind waxing poetic a bit about ninhydrin? Is it still used to raise prints from paper? Thanks.

  18. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Jess – Don’t be silly. I’m thrilled you added a link to The Graveyard Shift on your blog.

    No, police officers don’t get bent out of shape over things like that. Besides, you’re writing about the south (where I used to work), so anything could happen. In fact, it usually does.

  19. Jess
    Jess says:

    Hey Lee, thanks for visiting my blog. I feel. . . caught like a rat. 🙂 I linked to The Graveyard Shift but didn’t ask your permission. 🙁 Sorry.

    BTW, really enjoyed your visit to Suspense Novelist. Have to say, I’ve made law enforcement in the cozy I’m working on a little … ditzy. Backwoods, Louisiana town and backwoods, Louisiana cop. Do policemen get hostile when they read about slapstick cops? You know my state: just about anything goes and even though it might be true, it’s hard to believe.

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