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Small dog, great deed: Maltese finds lost wallet

Posted: June 19, 2014 - 9:30pm  |  Updated: June 19, 2014 - 9:39pm

When Lady Bunny, a 7-month-old Maltese pup, brought home a wallet, Bonnie and Brad Gruening weren’t the only ones who were surprised — Rudy Vonda hadn’t realized his wallet was even missing.

Vonda is a sanitation worker with Pacific Waste Management and drives a North Douglas route on Monday mornings. While returning from the route that afternoon, he received an unexpected phone call. The Gruenings informed him they had his wallet, and that it had been found by their dog.

“I didn’t even know my wallet was missing. I checked my back pocket to make sure,” Vonda said. “When the lady said a dog brought my wallet home, I figured it was a Labrador or German Shepherd.”

He was more surprised when he arrived at their home to find that the benevolent pooch was actually quite small.

“When I pulled up to her place, she’s coming out and she’s got her little dog in her arms and my wallet,” Vonda said with a laugh.

He said the dog’s head was barely bigger than his wallet.

Bonnie Gruening said Lady Bunny has a good nose and this wasn’t the first time she’s brought home a treasure — “She particularly likes to take our neighbors’ shoes.”

Lady Bunny found the wallet on Monday and carried it directly to Brad Gruening. The Gruenings were able to contact Vonda and return the wallet the same day.

“It was really neat because we were able to get it back to the owner,” Bonnie Gruening said, noting the difficulties that accompany replacing the contents of wallets. “Then to find out he’s our sanitation guy, which is so awesome — they work so hard and do such a good job.”

The Gruenings were happy they were able to do a good deed, with the assistance of Lady Bunny, of course.

Vonda was thankful to have his wallet returned. He had lost a wallet once before, about 20 or 30 years ago, and never got it back.

He said his wallet must have fallen out when he had to slide out of the cab of the truck to adjust a can for pickup. It easily could have remained lost, the drab olive green blending into its surroundings, were it not for Lady Bunny’s sense of smell.

“That was a real surprise,” Vonda said of its safe return. “It was like a dog from heaven.”

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