Big dog of Three

Today, August 23rd, is Tanner’s third birthday! Three years old…Seems like we’ve had him a lot longer. I remember when we had to say good bye to Sundance, our first Golden in July of 2005. Two years and 3 months later, Entrepreneur came home with this. Odd observation: his birth day falls on the same day as Army Wife and Apprentice (3.23 and 12.23).


photo courtesy of David Bickley

I had all but forgotten what puppyhood involved. Fortunately, from the beginning, he was allowed to go with me to my daytime job at the ad agency. He was the office puppy-in-training. And train we did. He learned proper social manners (don’t jump on the nice media rep in a suit), self-control (spit out that peace lily leaf this instant) and patience (staff meeting is not the time to romp after the ball under the table). He had a kennel for housebreaking, but preferred to take naps on my desk or under my chair.

From October to April we made our pilgrimages outside…in the rain, snow, ice and sub-freezing temps. All in all, it was a successful training period. He assimilated well with others and was a very well-behaved puppy. He only stole one ornament off the office Christmas tree. When allowed to roam the floor, he went from office to office looking for a friendly hand or to stare with puppy dog eyes at those eating lunch at their desks! He did have his own “lovey” we called Kissy Kitty because he would hold it between his paws, roll on his back and hold it up in front of his face like he was going to kiss her. We tortured him by hiding it in different places. He always found and rescued her.

At 6 months winter finally broke and he was no longer a cute, cuddly little office puppy. Despite being the most well-mannered dog ever, the agency owner dropped not so subtle hints that he was now too big to be at the office. (It was her idea to bring him to begin with!) So, at 6 months it was decided he was successfully socialized and ready to stay home, relishing our one and a half acre backyard and the sunshine all day. I think the rest of us at the office went through more withdrawal than he did when it was time for him to stay home.

At 9 months he was a goofy, gangly adolescent of a dog who had a fetish for petunias.

At One, he settled into a more adult-looking pupper, and was well on his way to being a strikingly handsome dog, by anyone’s standards! Unfairly, he was compared to our first Golden, Sundance, in everything he did. He had some very large pawprints to fill but did it without even breaking stride. Both displaying the wonderful temperament of a Golden, but each having very different personalities.

At Two, he was even-tempered and patient, with everyone… even the new littermates, Peanut and Peyton. I can’t remember a time when he has bared a tooth in anger at anyone.

Now, at Three, he’s a 70 pound, full-grown dog…still with an enthusiastic, Golden Retriever puppy personality. Given his temperament, I’m seriously considering testing him to be a therapy dog, certified as a Canine Good Citizen, to go for hospitals and nursing home visits.

Happy Birthday Tanner!

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5 thoughts on “Big dog of Three

  1. Tanner is a beauty! Our Shasta is a Canine Good Citizen and is registered with Delta as a therapy dog. After hub attends the volunteer orientation at our local hospital in September, they’ll start visiting there. They’ve already made a couple of trips to the Cancer Treatment Center – my oncologist thinks she’s wonderful!

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  2. Tanner is amazing – my favorite picture is of your son laying on him. That reminds me so much of our sweet Chelsea Girl – the kids could lay on her, take food out of her mouth and step on her and she would never do more than lick you. Retrievers have the kindest and most gentle spirit. Enjoy!

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  3. I was gonna say the same thing Carol did- LOL- but she always gets to pages before me. My Dad’s dog, as mom said, is doing the same thing ans temperment is a huge part of it- as well as socialization. If you have the time, go for it.
    BTW- your post made me want a golden. We had a golden/lab mix when I was a kid and she was wonderful.

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