Linus: The First Puppy In Training
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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
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).
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.
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.
POTTY TRAINING 101
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).
A CLOSE CALL
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.
THE BEST ALARM CLOCK
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!
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…
WILE E. COYOTE
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:
I don’t know where to even start with Linus.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
In Loving Memory of
November 7, 2004 – May 7, 2018
Rest In Peace, Linus. We Love You.
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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.
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.