We said goodbye to Bruiser, our nearly-sixteen-year old Australian Cattle Dog this last Thursday. He was our first dog, and king of the side-eye. We got him when he was 7 weeks old, the week we moved into a house where we could have pets.
Like most heelers, he was very smart, super active, and a complete monster for the majority of his life. Before he lost his hearing he had an impressive vocabulary, most of which was increasingly specific commands for “stop doing that thing you are doing.”
His first true love was fetch. He would fetch with anything he could find (literally, scraps of cardboard), but favorite objects were balls, frisbees, and sticks. He was completely obsessed with fetch until about age 14 when his vision started to go. Fun fact: one of the earliest things he learned how to do was to make this horrible, high-pitched wail at his toys. He would go on to make that sound for unbearable lengths of time to try and get you to throw a toy.
He had a lot of close friends and confidants over the years, including cousins, foster siblings, and actual siblings.
He loved a hike, and he would carry all the water for him and Aurora when we hit the trails.
Bruiser was – without competition – the most difficult dog we ever lived with and we loved most of it. Jordan and I fostered cattle dogs for a while before adopting Pinto, and not a single one of them was as much of a monster as Bruiser. He had a huge personality, a blind dedication to the ball, and an openness to nipping strangers that all came together to create the biggest pain in the ass dog I’ve ever met. But he was so deeply devoted to me (and Jordan), and the biggest love bug in his down time. I miss him everyday, and I’m so glad I got to spoil him and love him for almost 16 years.
I love you so much my sweet baby Bruiser.