On January 25th, 2014 our journey began! We adopted our rescue dog (from Labs4Rescue), an oversized 100 pound black Lab arrived at 5am from Tennessee. The pick up point was in northern NJ, but unfortunately we were lost and arrived late. That lateness did not deter the loving hunk of a dog from sharing his affection with us.
On the car ride home - the rescue dog shared his enthusiasm with us with his constant "thumping" of his tail while sitting with my husband in the back seat of our SUV. An epiphany took place at that moment. The dog which we didn't name yet was friendly, happy, loving and trusting despite what his past entailed. When we brought him home my husband noticed that he would easily get bruised due to his large size and lap dog mentality, so the name stuck "Bruiser."
As I went through basic obedience class I shared with my principal at the time, that I wanted to train Bruiser to be a therapy dog, she was overjoyed and my journey began. Which organization do I join? Unbeknownst to me, I worked with the niece of the co-founder at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. The rest is history!
Bruiser made his mark everywhere we went, from the NJ Veterans Home, to various schools in Edison township (Herbert Hoover Middle School, Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Martin Luther King Elementary School). Bruiser really thrived at his staple, the Metuchen Library where he had a regular following of youngsters ready to share their books and practice their reading skills. Not only was Bruiser a hit in the community, but he was also a gift to our family.
Bruiser was an anchor in many ways for me, allowing me to grow from the standpoint of confidence, unconditional love and patience. Bruiser sadly passed away about a year ago (August 19, 2019). His mark has been left and he is sorely missed. Bruiser touched so many lives, from my students, to the neighbors children and the community as a whole.