Farmer Dave Graham has trained more than 15,000 dogs in his lifetime but as far as he’s concerned there’s only one Bruce Healer.
“He’s the cheekiest little bloke,” Graham told nswrl.com.au. “You accidentally knock him and he flips around and grabs your leg as if to say, ‘Don’t you knock me.’
“He’s a bloody legend and you’d think after training dogs for nearly 30 years I’d have a handle on it but he just finds ways to go, ‘Mate, you don’t know what you’re doing from a bar of soap.’”
Bruce was unveiled as the official mascot for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues last month and lives at RuffTrack Farm, a place that Graham co-founded to help disengaged youth reintegrate into society by partnering them up with disengaged youth.
Bruce has proven to be a bit of a larrikin at times (he’s already trashed Graham’s bed as well as a duck feather pillow that turned his lounge room into a snowfield) but Graham can’t question the positive effect he’s had on the kids.
“The kids love him,” Graham said.
“If they’re working in the workshop and he’s right next to them, if they’re out feeding the alpacas or working with the sheep, he’s always there with them.
“It is incredible the comfort that he gives to every single kid. When we’re doing circle work and the kids may be talking about some trauma or talking about some bad things that went down in their own lives, he just goes up to them, sits right next to them and gives them some comfort.”
Graham has been nominated by his community for a Westfield Local Hero award which would help him assist more young people. You can vote for Farmer Dave at by clicking here and keep tabs on Bruce and his latest exploits on Instagram @brucehealer