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Anaheim police K-9 Bruno, who was shot in the jaw during a confrontation with a gunman, brought happiness to his doctors when he was able to eat on his own during post-surgery recovery on Sunday, March 23, 2014.
The best part of Anaheim Police Officer R.J. Young's day was when he got to lay down with Bruno, "his boy," for 10 minutes.
At the vet, where his dog was recovering from a bullet wound, the officer and "best friend" embraced in a reunion captured in an emotional photo.
Bruno had been too ill to have his human friend see him much because he gets too excited and won't lay down and be still.
But Monday was a better day. The K-9's lungs were looking better and he was so happy to see his family.
Bruno was eating on his own and taking his first steps since being shot in the face while on duty last week.
Lt. Tim Schmidt said on Monday that Bruno can't yet drink water on his own but he has been "improving every day."
In a video posted to the Anaheim Police Department’s blog on Sunday, the German shepherd can be seen sitting up and eating from a woman’s hand.
Bruno also had his catheter removed and took a short walk on grass at the Yorba Regional Animal Hospital on Sunday, the police blog said.
“It was exhausting for K9 Bruno, but a great sign,” Officer Brett Klevos wrote to colleagues in an email. “The swelling has gone slightly down in his jaw. They made a special paste out of his prescription food and he was able to consume it with his back teeth.”
Bruno, who has spent six years on the force, was shot when he found a shooting suspect hiding inside a trash bin. The bullet shattered Bruno’s lower jaw and re-entered his chest, missing his heart by less than an inch.
Police returned fire, killing 21-year-old Robert Moreno Jr.
“[Bruno] probably saved three officers’ lives,” Schmidt said.
Since the incident, Bruno has had a lung removed and has received blood from two of his fellow K-9 officers, police said. He is still in critical condition but a doctor told Klevos the dog is “making leaps and bounds considering what he has been through.”
Bruno is expected to remain in the hospital for six weeks. Those who wish to donate to Bruno’s care can visit the Friends of the Anaheim Police K9 Association Facebook donation page.