Big dog; puppy brain

Hello everyone, it’s me (Cabo) again. Mom seems to be really busy with stuff….I think it’s something called the “holidays.” So, I’m taking this opportunity to post for her.

I’m officially 8 months old today! It seems like furever ago when I joined my family. And, as you can see, a lot of changes have been going on! I went to see my friends at the doctor’s office and they told Mom I weighed 48 pounds. And….then gave me two treats! It’s always fun when I walk in the door and meet other furry friends.

Summer was a blast. Mom got me a baby pool! And there’s these water spouts that pop up out of the ground in the yard that are soooooo fun to run through. One of my favorite things to do on a summer night was to make Mom wait outside while I jumped to catch fireflies in the air. She laughed a couple of times, but I think she got tired of waiting on me to do my “business.”

I have TWO girlfriends. One of either side of my house. Ellie is a shepherd/boxer mix and she can keep up with me. But, she came over one day and tried to run off. So, we don’t get to play with each other much anymore. Good thing everyone likes to throw the ball for me.

I’m trying to be a good pupper…really, I am. But, to be honest, I had a few fails the past couple of months. Mom planted some really great-smelling flowers in September and I just couldn’t help myself. In fact, I helped myself to them all over the patio…dirt and all. That didn’t go too well for me.

A couple days ago a tree appeared in the house. I’m not sure what to do with it since every time I sniff it, I hear that word, “No.” And now it’s all lit up and doesn’t much look like a tree anymore. Mom has found me a couple of times with a pine cone in my mouth. I honestly thought the basket of smelly pine cones were free for the taking. Evidently not.

Oh well, happy 8 month birthday to me! I hope everyone has warm and wonderful holidays….whatever those are.

Before I get back to chewing my sticks in the yard, Mom told me about a blog hop called Awww Monday over at Comedy Plus. Just thought I’d pick a photo for her and add it to the fun.



It’s been so hard to keep me under wraps, but now it’s time to let the blogosphere in on a little secret. A new fur-baby has arrived!

TA-DA! My name is Cabo and I’m very happy to meet you all. And, despite my size, I’m kinda a big deal around here.

They tell me I’m a Goldendoodle….my Golden Retriever mom was named Mari Gold and my Standard Poodle dad was named Jude. I was born on March 26, 2017 and came to my forever home on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Sometimes my people mom and dad make a mistake and call me Tanner so I think I have some very big paws to fill. Evidently, it wasn’t that long ago when they unexpectedly lost their beloved Golden Retriever. I don’t think they planned on adding another fur baby yet, but I guess they just missed having a pupper underfoot around the house.

My new mom and dad might be a little rusty on their puppyhood skills since the very first thing that happened was I was put into a big, slippery, white container and water with bubbly stuff was poured over me. Totally wasn’t expecting that.

But snuggles and a nap in a soft towel on mom’s lap made it worthwhile.

I thought I’d miss my litter mates a little those first nights, but the weirdest thing is I can still smell them on the towel that’s in my kennel. So, I guess everything is okay and I don’t get lonely in the middle of the night. Mom says I’m a super awesome puppy for letting her get 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

One day, we ventured out to a HUGE place with lots of new smells. Mom and Dad got me a spiffy red, white and blue collar with my very own name tag! I also got some new toys!

A few days ago, I went to see a new doctor and she checked me all over and said I’d already gained 2 pounds since I got home! Nope, I miss very few opportunities to eat. I almost have mom and dad potty trained to when I need to go outside…but miss occasionally just to keep them on their toes.

Oh, and the best thing about my new home is it came with playmates! There’s this funny-looking dog I see occasionally in the house. I cornered it in a room and tried to play with the swishy tail, but the only thing that happened was I got batted on the nose. I’ll try to play again another day.

Sometimes TWO other playmates come to see me! They’re LOADS of fun! I think we’ll be besties very soon.

I think I’ll stay with my new mom and dad. They seem pretty okay so far. But now, I think I need to take a nap. Being a puppy is really hard work.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
—Roger Caras


The pain of great loss


It is with a very heavy  heart and more sadness than I can bear that I share this post with you today. Last Thursday, our beloved golden retriever, Tanner, passed away. It was sudden and extremely unexpected, and we all feel a great sense of loss. If you know me at all, you know it’s almost impossible for me to say goodbye to pets. They are such an important part of my life.

This loss has, perhaps, been the hardest of all. Hard because there was no warning. No illness, No advanced notice. No mental or emotional preparation. No official goodbye.

It was like any other late summer evening. We were outside enjoying the nice weather. Tanner was following me around the yard, being his energetic, goofy retriever self. Grabbing at sticks, galloping through the yard and vying for attention between Peanut, Twix, Peyton and Dixie.

About 10:30, we heard a lot of barking on the patio. Entrepreneur went to check on the commotion and found the other two dogs around Tanner who looked like he was sleeping. But he wasn’t.

It was that fast. No clues as to what happened. No opportunity to call the vet for help. No nothing. Just questions and an all-consuming, stabbing pain in our hearts. Our best guess is he had a stroke, aneurism or heart attack. I saw him, dropped to my knees and lost it. The weekend has been a blur. Of course, it was packed full of activities. None of which could really be canceled. Take a deep breath. Put up a good front. Fall apart in private.

I still look for him eagerly waiting for us when we come home.
I still expect to see him lounging on the patio when I look out the back door.
I see his empty kennel and food dish and it hits me all over again.

But there is nothing I can do.

He was only 8 years old.

It’s not fair.

I want my dog back.

tanner 7-2013

Linking up with Lisa Kerner over at Simply Living Photography and  LTTL.

yelo rose-past72

Five Photos, Five Stories #3

wet Tanner72

Before the golden retriever (Tanner) we have now, there was Sundance…our first golden retriever. And while this is a shot of Tanner, our second retriever, the two share a lot of similarities. Both L.O.V.E. water. And that is the framework for #3 of Five Photos, Five Stories.

We got Sundance when we lived in Stilwell, KS. We had almost 2 acres of land with that house. The veggie garden was on the “high” side of the backyard. The kids’ swing set was more on the low end. We installed a sprinkler system where we screwed sprinkler heads into valves in the ground where we wanted to water….so the garden was top priority. One summer day, I had set the sprinkler heads for the garden and had gone to the lower yard by the swing set.

All was fine until I looked up and found our 6-month golden retriever, Sundance, standing over the sprinkler head trying to bite the spray….visualize of the phrase drinking from a firehose and you have a picture of what he was doing. In his attempt to eat the water spray, he was sopping wet.

I sternly spoke his name from the lower yard accompanied by a very firm NO!

He whipped his head up…water still spraying in all directions…and had this look of OMG! She must want to play!

And took off running….downhill….towards me…gaining speed with every gallop. And I remember thinking, @#$%, he’s going to hit me. There was absolutely nothing I could do to stop him so I held onto the swing set frame, turned sideways and braced for impact.

And then a 50-pound, sopping wet, golden retriever body slammed me to the ground.

Sundance was part of our family for almost 12 years until cancer riddled his body, and we had to make the awful decision to let him go. He was an awesome dog and the one our daughters will probably remember best as “their” dog while growing up.




So post #3  for Five Photos, Five Stories comes with a tag for Suzicate over at The Water Witch’s Daughter. Suzie’s writings are amazing so I hope she’ll think of this as a mini Mama Kat’s writing exercise!

Snow Puppers

I’m a bit late for Water World Wednesday. I seriously thought about skipping this week, but have these super-cute pictures of our puppers in last Sunday’s Spring Break snow. 🙂

Here are our Pupsicles….


You all know Tanner, our Golden Retriever. Tanner is in heaven when it snows. He will look longingly out the window when it’s snowing and wait patiently until someone wants to go out and play. Sometimes it’s a long wait.

Dixie snow

Miss Dixie is a new resident. She is one of Peanut’s puppers and had never before seen snow until last Sunday. After a bit of hesitancy, she was bounding around the yard with Tanner like pro. I think they’ll be best buds soon.

Peyton snow

Miss Peyton is Peanut’s other pupper and was here a few of years ago when they all lived with us after Dad was deployed to Afghanistan. She hates all things water and prefers to spend her time indoors on a pillow. We think she’s really a cat in a dog disguise because she will groom anything that is wet…including Tanner.

That’s our pack of puppers. So far, they’re getting along well together in the backyard. We’re not sure who will emerge as the Alpha Dog. My money is on Queen Peyton.

Linking up with Water World Wednesday
Water World Wednesday

Changes in attitude

You know it’s going to be a hot summer when temps are in the 90s in May. Usually in the hot weather, Tanner has a baby pool to splash in and keep cool.

But lately when we walk in the evening, I could tell he was exceptionally hot this early in the season. And for good reason…would you like to wear a full-length fur coat all day every day with temps pushing 100F? My first clue was when he didn’t move for hours while laying on the cool tile in the kitchen..with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I thought he was dead from heat exhaustion.

In the past, I’ve been reluctant to do anything drastic about his heavy coat in the summer. I bathe and brush him regularly beginning in the spring…usually brushing the equivalent of a couple of Lhasa Apsos and a Pomeranian out of him by the time we’re finished. The “Golden” sites strongly discourage shaving the breed. So I’ve deferred to those that were in the know.

But…all that changed last week. Tanner had a spa day.

Stop laughing. Oh yes you are, I hear the giggles and LOLs.

And the purists are shaking their heads in disgust.

Supposedly the undercoat of a Golden keeps them cool and it’s not necessary to shave them if you brush them…like 24/7. And on many levels, I can see where that’s true. And, they say some dogs go into a depression and are embarrassed with the removal of their coat.

Tanner? Not so much.

Yes, we’re keeping a close eye on him so he doesn’t get sunburned. Our backyard has pockets of shade and faces east so the patio is shaded most of the day. And he genuinely seems to be happier and more active…if that’s possible. On evening walks, he prances with his tail up like he owns the neighborhood. The tail, which now looks like something on the back of a horse.

But I agree, he’s going to look awfully dorky for a while.

And I may or may not make this a regular summer event. We’ll see how it goes. Entrepreneur is thrilled since the house has less dog hair dust bunnies. I love his coat and was assured it would grow back just as pretty as it was before. Just in time for cooler Middle Missouri weather.

Tanner’s still a goof.

But a cool goof.

Tarra and Bella

In keeping with my Saturday post about amazing rescue dogs, this is one I ran across and thought it was one of the most poignant stories I’ve heard lately. We hear stories about inter-species connections, but I think we can all agree that this one takes the prize.

I always find it insightful when these types stories come to light. Most of the time, nature has a harsh, unforgiving, “live and let die” attitude. I guess that’s why I love hearing about these types of discoveries. It just reinforces my opinion that life, of all kinds, was meant to live in harmony with one another.

This is a story of an unlikely couple, Tarra and Bella. They live at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohelwald, Tennessee. An elephant sanctuary in Tennessee? Seems like a bit of a geographic disconnect, but the sanctuary has 2700 acres of protected habitat for  old, sick or retired elephants, mainly from zoos and circuses. I don’t know what prompted the founders to create this sanctuary, but it’s a marvelous way to care for one of our earth’s most majestic and complex creatures.