Rescuing each other

by Lauren Dowdle
photos by Ron Burkett

Take one look into their warm eyes, and it’s easy to see why Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost and her family gave dogs Bruiser and Manix a new home.

Cost’s youngest son, Campbell, got Bruiser as a birthday present after the dog’s original owner wasn’t able to keep him. The now 9-year-old Boston terrier never leaves their sides and sleeps with Campbell every night. 

“Bruiser just loves being with people,” Cost says.

Montevallo mayor Hollie Cost with her family’s bluetick hound, Manix, in a creek on their property.

That was true even when Bruiser was a puppy, as Cost recalled a time they took him to their lake house.

“We had this big deck that was up about 15 or 20 feet off of the ground, and we were down below it,” Cost says. “He just decided to jump off of the deck to be with us. He was a little puppy, and I couldn’t believe he did it — and he wasn’t hurt.”

They added another dog to the family a few years back, but this time, it was Cost’s older son, Eli, who wanted a furry companion. Eli saved up his money and began looking for another rescue. He spotted Manix at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, and the two were a perfect match.

“He just fell in love with him when he saw him,” Cost says.  

The bluetick hound is now 4 years old and is always game for going outside. Their 5-acre property backs up to a creek, so there’s plenty of space for him to play.

Montevallo mayor Hollie Cost with her family’s dogs Bruser, a Boston terrier, and Manix, a bluetick hound.

“Manix lives to go on walks,” Cost says. “If you say you’re going walking or put on walking shoes, he gets so excited and is ready to go.”

It’s easy to see that Bruiser and Manix fit right in with their family, maybe even a little too well. “Both of the dogs have adopted the personalities of our sons,” Cost laughs.

Although the wet-nosed pair share a love for the two boys, each dog has his own personality. For starters, if they were to let Bruiser out the door on his own, he’d be gone. Manix, on the other hand, is more loyal and responds better to verbal commands.

“He responds more and makes eye contact more than most dogs do,” Cost says.

Having the two dogs has helped the family adjust to changes in their lives, with Eli going to college and then the passing of their other dog, Charlie.

“They’ve been really good company, especially since Eli has left and gone to Auburn,” Cost says. “I was surprised at how hard it was when he moved away.”

No matter the situation, Bruiser and Manix continue to bring smiles to the Cost family. 

“If you’ve had a bad day, they are always happy to see you. They’re never in a bad mood,” Cost says. “I love that they have their unconditional love and are so loyal.”


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