A Dog Proudly Shows Off His Stick Collection to His Dad

Let’s face it. Most people are sentimental about materials that are precious to them. Most of them start collecting things that are of value to an individual, such as trading cards, video games, obsolete coins, comic books, and even videos. I am not an exception to these collectors. I admit, there is a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when things you collect are complete. And these collections are of sentimental value to each individual.

The internet was amazed by a certain dog who had an odd collection of sticks. When most dogs are content with having 1 or 2 pieces of sticks, an adorable 4-year-old Golden Retriever named Bruce has set his own record of collecting sticks to new heights.

Leo Icenhour, Bruce’s human dad, claimed that the adorable doggo started his collection after a passing winter storm buried his favorite stick under inches of snow. The next day, Bruce tried to find the stick under the snow where he left it. He frantically searched for it, but to no avail.

“He started his stick collection after a massive snow came into our area and left about 12 inches of snow on the ground,” said 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!”

Since then, Bruce started collecting sticks of all sizes. As of late, he had collected 50 sticks! All dogs who had these many would go crazy! Bruce had a wide array of sticks in his collection: long ones, short ones, straight ones, curved ones, thick ones, thin ones, pointy, plain, barkful or barkless, just about all sizes. One thing is certain, though. Each stick has a particular story for Bruce. What they are? We may never know. The collection Bruce has is enough for display in his personal “museum.”

“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. “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.”

When the warm weather finally melted most of the snow, Bruce was able to find his favorite stick. Just like any human who does not want to be left empty-handed, he started a collection in case one of his favorite sticks may get lost again. Bruce did not want to undergo the same panic and anxiety as before. Although, he is not allowed to play with his collection due to an unusual accident that occurred 2 years prior. Instead, he plays fetch with rubber sticks to avoid another incident.

“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!” Icenhour explained.

Being a sly dog, Bruce manages to sneak 1 or 2 sticks into the house when Icenhour is not around. He knows he is not allowed to bring his collection of sticks into the house, but he may put them on display in front of their home, beside the front door. The set-up was okay for Bruce, and he is clearly very proud of his stick 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,” Icenhour proudly said. “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.”

Looking at his proud dog, Icenhour added, “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.”

One more interesting fact we can learn about Bruce and Icenhour is that they also have a furry little close friend and Bruce’s sister named Lily, a rescued raccoon. “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. She 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.” Icenhour said. She even has her own Instagram page.

When people asked Icenhour about photos of Bruce and his stick collection going viral online, he replied with glints in his eyes and said, “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.”

As soon as photos of Bruce and his stick collection were shared online, they instantly went viral in a short amount of time, garnering over 100,000 views and 11,000 reactions collectively on various social media platforms. Bruce and his collection of sticks also made headlines in many news media outlets.


For more photos of Bruce and Leo Icenhour, check out their Facebook and Instagram pages. You may want to visit Lily the Raccoon’s Instagram page, too.

Collecting things that are of great value to you is relaxing. It provides stress relief from exasperating days and a great emotional and nostalgic outlet for situations that we want to be free of. For years to come, you may reminisce on your collections and relive the days and memories that started it all.

Images credits: © Leo Icenhour Facebook and Instagram; Lily the Raccoon @lillianroseraccoon/Instagram

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