Up early, again.
Bruiser, ever vigilant,
lies at the end of the hallway,
where he can keep his eyes on his family,
in true sheepdog fashion.
He is not what most people picture as a sheepdog, large & shaggy.
Bruiser is a Belgian sheepdog - longish black fur, with flags of long fur streaming from the backs of his legs and from his tail, an almost imperceceptable blaze of white on his chest, his muzzle frosted white with age.
A good, well-behaved, deeply loving & devoted dog, Bruiser spent his youth herding my two young children while they played in the yard. Running in great, wide circles and then plopping down, head forward & down between his outstretched front legs, Bruiser would lay - alert eyes, one ear erect, one ear drooping - only to tear off again if one of his little flock threatened to leave its invisible circle.
Now he lies curled up on the couch with me while I read,
his head tucked against my foot,
at rest, at peace.
4 AM and all is well with his flock.