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Linus: The First Puppy In Training

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Handsome Linus
Rest In Peace, Linus. We love you!

It’s been 1 month since we said goodbye to Linus and today Linus’ ashes returned home to us.

I’ve been trying to write this blog post everyday for the past month, but it’s been difficult.

The memories come rushing back, my stomach gets knotted, and it becomes too difficult to continue.

Today I’m getting over the hump. I’m going to finish my tribute to Linus and share a few pics and memories of my best buddy.

By the way, I just saw the newest Avengers movie and today’s title was inspired by MCU’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

Yep, with or without Linus I’m still a nerd…

The First Puppy

Linus Puppy, Down-Stay
Just a few days after we brought home Linus from the shelter.

We rescued Linus from the Carson Animal Shelter on Friday, January 7th, 2005 and the shelter said he was 2 months old (We declared his birthday to be November 7th, 2004).

He was very sick, anemic, covered in fleas and ear mites, had worms, and we later found out a severe stomach infection.

Linus didn’t move and was doing so poorly we thought he may have passed away on our car ride home.

The first day home I used a flea comb to literally remove hundreds of fleas one by one from Linus. I sat there with him in my lap for over 3 hours combing the poor little guy.

We got an appointment with our veterinarian first thing Monday morning and after his wellness check Linus was put on meds for the afflictions mentioned above.

Within a couple days Linus was feeling better and playing with his little pal Ralphie (my parent’s dog).

Puppy Linus playing with Ralphie
Ralphie used to knock Linus to the ground. When Linus got older he got his payback and would constantly knock Ralphie to the ground.

Did You Know: I’ve raised over a dozen guide and service dog puppies and when it came to potty training, Linus (my very first puppy) was by far the easiest to train.

The Camper

We took Linus camping in the Sequoia’s when he was about 1 year old. He was an awesome camping buddy. I have a few funny facts to share about our first camping experience.


Remember how I said Linus was brilliant when it came to potty training? Well we messed up.

The only place we had him potty was on the grass.

We didn’t realize this was the only place he’d ever potty until we got him to our campsite where there was no grass, only dirt.

He didn’t pee or poop for over 24 hours and we thought we were going to have to take him back down the mountain.

Fortunately he decided he couldn’t hold it any longer and did the longest pee ever (think Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own).


Linus didn’t want to get wet.

We let him off leash while we hiked down the river trail.

While hopping from rock to rock trying to avoid getting wet Linus nearly fell over side of a waterfall which was probably about 20 feet up with a shallow bottom.


We let Linus wander our campsite off leash.

He always stayed close, but from time to time he disappeared down to the river.

We’d lose track of him, but when we called his name he’d happily come running up the trail.

Late that night we woke up to a strange noise and initially thought, BEAR! but it was coming from inside our tent.

After the initial grogginess wore off we realized Linus was gagging and as I struggled to find my flashlight I heard the inevitable sound and smell of dog vomit.

We found a half eaten sandwich, corn, and some other delicacies Linus apparently found and feasted on down by the river. YUCK!

Linus and Colby hiking
Me and Linus hiking through the Sequoia’s. The waterfall doesn’t look to high, but it was about 20 feet. Linus almost fell over the falls…YIKES!

The Coyote Hunter

We lived in a condo on the golf course for the first 10 years of Linus’ life. This meant no big yard, but a huge playground on the golf course until…


Our condo was on the first hole so in the early evening when there were no more golfers on the course I’d walk Linus on leash along the driving range fence then let him run around off leash near the second hole.

One day he spotted a rabbit and proceeded to chase him around the back of the driving range fence and then onto the DRIVING RANGE!

Luckily I was able to get him back under my control before he got pelted by golf balls.

That was the last time we let Linus off leash on the golf course until…


We had beautiful sunsets over the golf course and I liked taking Linus for his evening walk around this time.

A few short years ago we were walking at sunset when Linus spotted a coyote.

To this very day I don’t know how he did it, but he slipped his collar and bolted across the golf course trying to catch this coyote.

I went running after him yelling his name, but within seconds Linus and the coyote were beyond my view.

I felt like crying because I wasn’t sure if Linus would ever find his way home, if he would get attacked by the pack, or even end up getting hit by a car if he wandered into the street.

Luckily, about 30 seconds after I started walking back to the house I saw Linus trotting back towards me as content as could be.

Did You Know: After Stetson was career changed from the Guide Dog program I’d let him and Linus race down the first hole of the golf course. Stetson tried hard, but Linus would run circles around him.

This video reviewing the ComfortFlex Sport Harness from 2012 mostly featured Linus and at the end he’s running on the outside edge of the first hole on the golf course.

The Dog Trainer

Linus was the best dog trainer in our house.

He taught the puppies not to get on the furniture.

When puppies got crazy and out of control he let them know it was inappropriate.

Linus kept the puppies in check, but he also played with the puppies.

Check out this video of him playing with Charlie and Riley a couple months ago.

My Best Friend

For the past 13 1/2 years Linus was my best friend.

I spent more time with Linus these past 13 and 1/2 years then anyone else.

He never wanted to leave my side. He was my shadow.

He was in tune with me. If I was sad he’d comfort me. If I was excited he was ready to play. If I wanted to take a nap he’d lie down beside me.

Every night he’d lay on the pillow above my head and then would rest his head next to my right ear.

I’ll never forget him and I miss him dearly.

Linus And Allison

My wife, Allison met Linus when he was 6 years old. She misses him deeply and shared some of her memories:

Linus and Ali Selfie
Linus and Ali Selfie

I don’t know where to even start with Linus.

The Protector

He was our protector.

I felt safe when I was home alone with him. He would bark at anything that came close to the house…whether it was of the two or four-legged variety.

He would follow me around the house at night to make sure that everything was okay.

Cats knew that they had no place in our backyard. And he was even so brave as to chase a coyote away from the house one night.

A scary moment for us, but it shows his spirit and his drive to protect us.

The Big Brother

Linus and Emma Selfie
Emma and her buddy, Linus.

He was the BEST big brother.

When our daughter was born, Linus would run up to the crib when she started crying and then would look at us like “are you goign to do something?”

He would sleep on the bed so he could watch her sleeping in her crib.

He followed her around the house when she started crawling and would often sniff her to make sure she was “okay”.

She learned “nice nice” (our form of petting) with Linus…he was so patient with her even though sometimes her “nice nice” was a little rough.

He let her lay on him and didn’t get bothered when she would talk to him (loudly…partially yelling/screaming) and wake him up from his nap.

The Comforter

He wasn’t a cuddler, but he knew how to to comfort you when you were sad or not feeling your best.

Any time I was crying, Linus would come up and lay next to me. When I was stressed out or sad, he would let me hug him (even though I’m sure he would rather me not).

When I was sick he would lay on the bed with me to make sure I was okay.

I don’t know how he did it, but he had perfect timing and would always make me feel better…always.

He made me feel like he genuinely cared.

The Comedian

Remembering Linus… Linus vs the Drone.

A post shared by Puppy In Training (@puppyintraining) on

He was a comedian and didn’t even know it.

Sometimes he would fart as he jumped onto the bed or the couch and look around like “who did that?!”

Other times he would fart and look at his butt like “where did that come from?!”

He bit my butt (playfully) to make both Colby and I laugh…I swear he was protecting me (and missed), but Colby thinks he was protecting him.

He liked to lay on our pillows on the bed, but would only drool on mine…leaving a nice little round wet spot. Thanks Linus.

And not to mention the random poo streaks on the pillows…but only on the pillows on my side of the bed, never Colby’s side.

Gentle Yet Firm

He was gentle, but laid down the law when need be.

Linus knew when he could play hard and when he had to hold back.

He would get really excited to see our family, but knew that with the older folks and the babies he needed to be calmer when greeting them.

He knew he couldn’t play too rough with the puppies, but made sure to tell them who was in charge.

He would knock them over when he thought they were playing to hard.

With the older dogs he would chase/herd them in the backyard until things got too rowdy and then he would make everyone take a time-out to settle down.

The Boss

Linus and Charlie
Linus putting Charlie in time out.

He was the boss.

Linus was the king of our house. He always had the best seat in the house or the best spot at the head of the bed (on top of all of our pillows).

As he got older he was like a wise old grandpa. Everyone loved him…he was handsome, his fur was super soft, and he always played and looked younger than his age.

He was fast and spry even up to the very end when he wasn’t feeling good.

The vets told us that his heart disease was so advanced that they were surprised he didn’t show signs earlier that he wasn’t well…but that wasn’t his nature.

He’s tough and I feel like he didn’t want us to worry. He was definitely the leader of our pack.

It’s been hard to focus lately because I’m still so sad…and it’s hard to look at pictures of Linus because I just start to cry, but at the same time the pictures make me smile cause I imagine all the good times we had with him.

I feel very blessed and honored to have had seven years with Linus (I came into his life when he was six).

I’m sad my one-year old daughter wont really remember him, but she is very lucky to have had Linus watching over her and protecting her the first year of her life.

I hope Linus is having fun up in heaven…running around, chasing/herding other dogs, and playing with our other four-legged pets and two-legged relatives up there.

I know I’ll see him again in my dreams and I know for sure he’ll be watching over us because it’s just in his nature.

Thank you for everything Linus! I love you buddy…see you on the other side!

Linus and Charlie Chase
Run free Linus. Have fun playing and chasing puppies in heaven.

In Loving Memory of
November 7, 2004 – May 7, 2018
Rest In Peace, Linus. We Love You.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story about Shady-Lady. Even though it was a few years ago I’m very sorry for your loss. I feel blessed to have had Linus for 13 1/2 years and I’m glad he got to be Emma’s guardian for the beginning of her life. She won’t remember him, but we have some great pictures of her and him together.

  2. Your Linus looks just like my Shady-Lady. She was my and my son’s world. She would babysit Hunter while outside playing together; she always made sure he was safe. She knew him since his beginning. He was only 7 when she passed but thankfully he has numerous joyful memories of their time together.

    We lost her to a gigantic abscess that began in her gumline. We finally noticed swelling under her eye but by then it was too late to save her. She passed away in 2013 when she was only 9 years old.

    She was such a sweet little lady. Thank you for sharing your love of Linus with us and for reminding me of how blessed i am to have had my Shady-Lady for as long as I did.

    Now it’s time to go get a Kleenex to wipe my eyes.

  3. Linus is so cute and adorable dog Sorry for your loss guys. Linus will always be by your side even though he is not with you now.

  4. Very heartbreaking! I know you’re okay now, don’t be sad he will always be your buddy and bestfriend.

  5. Thank you for your kind words. Linus always knew when the ComfortFlex Sport Harness came out it was time to have fun mainly doing K9 Nosework training. We still miss him dearly and he’ll always be in our hearts. Thank you ComfortFlex Team I hope you are all doing well.

  6. Our sincere regrets at the loss of Linus. He was instrumental in increasing our web presence after his review of the ComfortFlex harness. It is never easy to lose a friend. We all go through it but it never gets any easier and words just never seem adequate. He obviously had a good life and that is all we can ever hope to give them. All the best from the team at ComfortFlex.

  7. His zoomies were so funny…unless I was already on the bed. Then it was a little scary, but he was so agile that he never stepped on me. Stetson on the other hand is a different story. 🙂

  8. Thank you, Joan. I’m sorry to hear about your Goldens. I’m glad you ended up getting another. We’re lucky to have two other dogs at home to comfort us since Linus passed. One, Raven is also a Golden Retriever.

  9. Thanks Barbara. It’s so sad we all lost our furbabies at the same time. I’m sure they’re all playing together in heaven.

  10. Yes, I guess Ninja was the boss but remember how trusting he was as he would roll over on his back whenever Linus came over. We have great memories of our “furry companions!”

  11. Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful friend! We lost both our goldens within one year, waited 6 months and now have another. I can’t imagine life without a dog…..but the loss is terrible.

  12. This made me cry. I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful furry companion. I could really relate to this paragraph – it’s exactly how I feel about Missy:

    “It’s been hard to focus lately because I’m still so sad…and it’s hard to look at pictures of Linus because I just start to cry, but at the same time the pictures make me smile cause I imagine all the good times we had with him.”

  13. I’m going to continue writing memories in the comment section as they come to me. Linus had something I’d call controlled zoomies. I would creep towards him and he’d get into play bow stance then he’d charge towards the bed and do a flying jump. Sometimes he’d hit the bed so hard he’d pull the sheets off. He’d then charge back off the bed into the other room get into play stance again and then repeat. I even got to play this game with Emma and Linus. I miss Linus and his crazy zoomie flying mode.

  14. Thank you, Vivian for your kind words. I have definitely felt an emptiness since he left us. He will be in our hearts forever.

  15. Thanks Kirsten. I’m glad you got to meet him too. I’m sure he’s hanging out with Jeanie and all his other friends. Time goes by too fast. I wish I had a little more with my buddy, Linus.

  16. Awwww Colby, Ali and Emma, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved dog, Linus. They become part of our families so quickly, always giving us unconditional love and happiness. They leave an enormous hole in our lives when they leave us, but we can be grateful for the love and companionship they gave us while a part of our family. Time makes the loss less hurtful, but you will always remember the joy, comfort, and happiness he brought to your lives. Rest In Peace, Linus, you will be remembered and sorely missed.

  17. Thank you for posting this. I know how hard it must have been but his story is amazing and even though Linus and I only met a few times he (Stetson & Dublin ) will always have a special place in my heart. I feel very lucky to have met him. I’m truly so thankful you all found each other. ❤️

  18. Linus was the boss of the house…unless we were watching Kona. She was probably the only dog he submitted to (I think she started training him when he was puppy). One of my favorite memories is watching Linus chase Kona around the tree in front of your house. Another good one was when I was house sitting and I had Kona and Linus both on the bed. Linus wanted to sleep, but Kona wouldn’t leave him alone and kept poking him with her nose. I had to separate the two by sleeping in between them. Good memories. Rest In Peace Kona and Linus. I’m sure you’re chasing each other around a tree in heaven.

  19. Haha! Yes, they loved playing chase with each other. Although, I think Lulu was the Alpha cat back then since Linus was the one entering her territory.

    I had another random memory of Linus as a puppy and also as an adult. When I put my palm under his paw he used to always grip it with his nails, like he wanted to hold my hand. Do you remember that? I always thought it was interesting because I’ve never had another animal do that. ❤️

  20. If I remember correctly Kona was the boss lady with her sidekick Linus! Miss him dearly he was my buddy!! Run Zoomies Liney!
    The Hammers

  21. Those are some great memories Miko. Thanks for sharing. He continued doing the crop circles when we moved to the condo. He stopped when he figured out Stetson would eat all of the treasures he left around the house.

    I remember when Linus watching Linus and Lulu play. They’d take turns chasing each other. One time Linus was walking along the grass and Lulu was hiding in the bush. She was in hunter mode and jumped out of the bush with her arms waving in the air. She scared the bejesus out of Linus that day.

  22. He loved you and Mr. K. Always ready for a butt rub. I remember when Yuki pee’d on Linie’s bed. That was the day she lost her puppy pass.

  23. Linus loved Ralphie and Ninja. I have great memories of Ralphie knocking over Linus when they were puppies and then Linus knocking over Ralphie when they were older. I’m glad Ralphie never got seriously hurt (I do remember him coming up limping a couple times). Ninja was the only cat Linus did not want to chase. I guess he knew Ninja was the boss 🙂

  24. That was a beautiful post Colby. Linus was an amazing dog, I feel so fortunate to have spent so much time with him when he was a puppy. Even back then he was such a good boy and quickly became Lulu’s (our cat) best friend. I remember them chasing each other around the house and laying in the grass together. I’m glad that my animal loving boys got to meet him too. Linus tolerated their pets and pokes like the sweet dog he was. One of my favorite memories of Linus living with us was his “crop circles” he would leave around the house. I never understood why he did it, but he would carry kibble in his mouth to various parts of the house and drop it on the carpet making little crop circles. Then, I’ll never forget when he was a puppy and in his chewing stage. He got ahold of an envelope with $500 cash when we weren’t home, chewed it into little pieces, and left it scattered in the hallway. Our roommate had to tape all the pieces back together like a puzzle and shockingly Linus didn’t swallow any of the money!

    I loved Linus, he was part of our family. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you and Ali. I love you guys and am sending you big hugs! Linus won’t be forgotten. xoxo

  25. Linus was loved by everyone. Whenever we saw him, he would always come by for a pat on his back or a scratch on his head. He was so kind and gentle, yet you knew he was the alpha among the other dogs at home. When Yuki was a puppy, Linus was tolerant of her until she peed on his bed.😟
    Linie, we all miss you, but know you are having fun up in heaven playing with all your buddies who got there before you.

  26. Linus was a very special companion. I’m sorry you had to experience such pain.
    RIP Linus…Are you up in Heaven with Ralphie and Ninja? I hope so because Ninja and Ralphie loved you too.

  27. Aw. Linus old buddy. You are probably romping around with Ms Mocha and having the time of your life (minus
    missing your peeps )

  28. Thanks Lindsay. He was very good at teaching the puppies what they could and could not do. Puppies can play, but crazy zoomies was not allowed. Puppies could go on the dog beds, but not the human beds. Counter surfing was not allowed when Linus was around. Good boy, Linie.

  29. Colby & Ali, so sorry for your loss. Linus was such a special dog, the perfect role model for all the little puppies he helped raise. He had a really important job. Hang onto all those good memories. It was fun to read your stories about him. Such a good boy.

  30. Thanks Rissa. It’s been tough. He gave us an amazing life during his time with us. I still remember the day we picked him up from the animal shelter like it was yesterday. I miss my buddy.

  31. Thanks Anne. I’m sure his buddies met him at the rainbow bridge. I was watching the Disney Pixar movie Coco the other day and it made me think that Linus would be my spirit animal. I’m sure he’s still watching over us.

  32. I miss my buddy too. Raven misses Linus chasing her around the yard. Emma misses giving Linus butt rubs. Stetson misses Linus’ protection from the puppies. :_(

  33. I met Linus when your brother and I started dating a looong time ago. He was such a great family dog and taught our Georgie a thing or two about manners. I can’t imagine the loss you, Ali, Emma, Stetson and Raven are feeling. Find comfort in knowing you gave him the most amazing life and in return, he gave you his unconditional love and companionship. Rest in peace, Linus. You will be truly missed.

  34. Colby,
    You, Allison, and Emma were fortunate to have Linus in your lives. His positive influence on human and dogs lives will be remembered. Jim, myself and our dogs saw him doing some of the things you speak of. Linus was special, he is missed and will be remembered by human and canine alike. I’d like to think he was met by his buddies and is still overseeing your lives.

  35. What a beautiful tribute. I’m sorry for your pain at losing him. Unfortunately the only thing time will do is dull the edge of your sorrow. But loss is sadly the price of love.

    Linus was lucky to love you. And you are lucky to love him.

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