Date:September 19, 2020

Meet Bruce — The Golden Retriever Who Is A Refined Stick Collector

Serious collectors have a lifelong treasure hunt ahead of them as they’re always on the lookout for rare additions to their collection. Some of the most popular collecting hobbies involve exceptionally valuable items and others are just a bit of fun. No matter what you start collecting now though, you never know, it might be worth a fortune in the future!

Building a collection has been a popular hobby for generations for many reasons but the main one? Well, who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Speaking of treasures, everyone has their own definition of that, including doggos. Such as this golden retriever who loves to collect sticks and is profoundly proud of it.

Meet Bruce, the 4-year-old golden retriever who’s become a bit of a refined collector of sticks

Image credits: leoicenhour

Meet Bruce, the adorable 4-year-old golden retriever who has a very fine collection of sticks. While most dogs are satisfied with just one stick—or maybe two sticks that they can’t decide between—Bruce brings it to a whole new level by being a refined collector.

Bruce’s human companion Leo Icenhou explained that his collection started after one winter storm when his favorite stick was buried under a pile of snow. He couldn’t find it the next day under the foot of snow, despite his hectic searching and digging around.

“He started his stick collection after a massive snow came into our area and left about 12 inches of snow on the ground,” explained Icenhour. “At the time, he only had one stick and it was his absolute favorite. Well, it started snowing one evening and he left the stick out in our field. Over the next couple of days, he was in an absolute frenzy every time we went outside, relentlessly searching for his stick. He would dig like a madman and even bury his head in the snow trying to find it!”

The adorable doggo has over 50 sticks in his collection already that he picks up during his daily walks

Image credits: leoicenhour

He isn’t allowed to play with them, only rubber toys, but just take a look at how proud he is of his collection!

Image credits: leoicenhour

While it’s not surprising that Bruce collects sticks because, c’mon, he’s a dog, what dog doesn’t enjoy a good stick!? But, at the same time, it is extremely surprising because he boasts a collection of over 50 sticks. 50 sticks! That’s enough to make any dog go bonkers with joy.

The collection includes sticks of various caliber: longer ones, shorter ones, straight ones, curved ones, thick ones, thin ones, pointy, plain, barkful or barkless, you name it, he has it. If he could speak human, I have no doubt he’d be able to tell a story about every single stick he has in his collection and why it’s a good specimen in his “museum.”

“Bruce doesn’t seem to discriminate as he loves sticks of all shapes and sizes. We live near a creek that floods often, so he always has a wonderful selection of driftwood to choose from outside,” elaborated Icenhour.

The good boy started collecting after he had lost his favorite stick after heavy snowfall

Image credits: leoicenhour

He spent some time looking for it hectically, digging holes and sniffing around

Image credits: leoicenhour

He did end up finding it eventually when the weather warmed up, but it was an experience he figured he won’t want to live through again with all of the panic and anxiety, and thus his collection was born.

“After a few days of sunshine melted enough of the snow, he finally struck gold while digging and found his precious stick. I believe from that moment on he never wanted to be stick-less again, so he started the collection,” elaborated Icenhour.

Now, while Bruce is not really allowed to play with sticks after a freak accident that happened two years ago, he is allowed to enjoy them in his collection. Don’t worry, he does get to play fetch with rubber toys.

“We have been through a lot with each other as he almost lost his life after a stick perforated his esophagus while we were playing fetch the day of his 2nd birthday. From that point on, we started playing with a rubber stick for fetch purposes and Bruce started building his stick collection!” explained Icenhour.

Once the snow had melted, he was reunited with his favorite stick

Image credits: leoicenhour

After this experience, he started collecting more sticks so as to not relive the same temporary loss

Image credits: leoicenhour

Being the cute doggo that he is, Bruce does still try to sneak in a stick or two into the house when Icehour isn’t looking. He’s not allowed to bring them into the house, but he is allowed to keep them in a designated area outside the house—at the front door. And, oh boy, would you look at how proud Bruce is with his collection!

“As a dog, Bruce can be summed up by the phrase ‘happy-go-lucky.’ I am a bit biased, but I do believe he is the goodest boy in the world,” said Icenhour. “He’s always so eager to please and loves for the spotlight to be on him. He goes everywhere with me and our favorite time of the day together is nap time (other than fetch time of course.)”

He continued: “Treat wise, like many other dogs, peanut butter is his absolute favorite! Every year for his birthday, aka Bruce-A-Pa-Looza (the biggest party of the year), I always make him a juicy double cheeseburger which is always vacuumed up in a few seconds.”

The lovable pooch and his collection have been going viral on Reddit, Imgur, and various news outlets

Image credits: leoicenhour

One of the most interesting things for us to learn about Bruce is the fact that he also has a best friend and a little sister, as Icenhour explained—a rescue raccoon named Lily: “I rescued Lily when she was 4 weeks old as she was in an orphaned situation and she has fit right in with this family ever since. Her and Bruce wrestle and chase each other around the house for hours on end and it is most certainly the most beautiful and pure friendship I have ever seen.”

Lili has her own Instagram, by the way. You’re welcome.

We’ve asked Icenhour about his reaction to Bruce and his lovely stick collection going viral online. He had this to say: “Am I surprised that Bruce has become an internet sensation? Absolutely not. He is the light of my life and truly a unique pup so I am more proud of him than anything. He is the moon to my stars, the cheese to my macaroni, and the peanut butter to my jelly.”

Image credits: leoicenhour

Collecting is a good hobby to have in general. Besides providing a sentimental and emotional outlet for your interests and all of the social and historical aspects that are tied to collecting, it is also believed that it reduces stress and anxiety and reinforces one’s own identity through personal affirmation.

It wasn’t long until Bruce and his amazing collection of sticks began going viral on the internet, finding itself on Reddit and Imgur with over 100,000 views and 11,000 upvotes collectively. He also began making headlines on several online news media outlets.

You can check out more of Bruce on Leo’s Instagram account (and don’t forget about Lily!), but before you go-go, why not let us know what you thought about this. Do you have a dog who collects things? If not, what do you collect? Leave a comment below!

Here’s how the internet reacted to Bruce and his amazing stick collection

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