Life with Tanner
January 29, 1996 - May 15, 2004
On April 20, 1999 I lost my dear friend of nine years, Dober.
He was a red Doberman.
We were friends and traveling companions. After my loss, I did not want
to get another pup or dog because I knew, nothing could replace
Dober. My cousin Jim was most insistent that I needed another
dog. Dober and I had been together constantly for five years,
doing everything together. This included visiting, traveling and living
together. With the loss of Dober, I knew that my travels visiting
friends, relatives and researching my genealogy would never be the same.
On June 3, 1999 Tanner came into my life. He wasn’t a replacement for
Dober and he never tried to be and I never expected him to be. Tanner
was Tanner, different in many ways and yet similar in others and
carried the Doberman genes and traits in every action. Tanner was
almost four years old when he came to me. He was just a “big pup” and
was looking for a home. Well, we found each other. During the next five
years, Tanner and I would become about as close as two can be. Tanner
went everywhere I went. That’s what he wanted and that what I expected.
The exceptions were when I had kidney stone removal twice and he had to
stay home. He didn’t like it, but seemed to understand. Our travels
over these years were the most enjoyable. I knew his habits and he knew
mine. With the loss of Tanner, I will miss him, but I know that Tanner
has already met Dober in dog heaven and are comparing their notes about
me. I expect they will have many stories to
Jerry F. Adamson
Tanner was born three times;
January 29, 1996
June 3, 1999
April 18, 2004
An autobiography by Tanner, assisted by Jerry F. Adamson
One could easily say that I was born three times. The first was
sometime in 1996, when I was just a pup. My life the first four
years was really nothing interesting to share, except I lived in
several homes and a foster home. I was treated well everywhere I lived
and had many four legged friends. It was on June 3rd of 1999, I found
out what I had been missing in my life. I found a master that was
willing to share his life and time with me. We became more than just
best friends, It was just like being reborn again. Most of my story
will be about these five years.
Our first trip was exiting to me. I had only been with Dad
for about a
month. I learned
When traveling, we had a
similar problem with the bed in the camper
van. This problem was solved
about cemeteries, traveling in the RV, visiting new
found cousins, and research at genealogical
libraries. Sometimes I had
to stay in the van and sometimes I got to go with Dad. We were
five weeks, and Dad always said, that he learned more in those five
weeks that I ever would know.
when Dad bought a newer van that had
twin beds. Wow, my own bed and while we were traveling,
I could lie on
my bed, and see out all four directions, better view than Dad had, and
I could nap when I wanted.
I became very afraid of lightning and
thunder. Dad fixed me a space in
the closet where I had a foam
pad and I could get away from the
flashing and noise. This later became my bed when I was sick.
Sis owns property (that’s where we
lived) that is out in the country
and I would patrol her property every
morning and sometimes two or
three times daily. In the spring the neighbor had limousine cattle
the baby calves were about the same size and color as I was. Sure was
confusing for a couple of years.
The back door to our room went into
the garage, so Dad could open the
door and I could
lie on the garage floor where it was cool and go
outside if I needed. Our bed is next to Dad's easy chair.
lie on the bed and put my feet on or next to the arm rests on the
chair. This came in handy for
watching TV, eating snacks and especially
eating ice cream.
When Sandy became
our UPS driver, she always was nice to me. I looked
forward to her coming to our house.
When Dad put in a driveway alarm, I
always knew by the time of day and the alarm when she came to delivery
I learned about the highway. It took two times for me
to go out
on or across the highway and
I learned that Dad didn’t want me to be
near the highway. Dad always said I was a quick learner when he had a
switch in his hand.
When Dad was going
to be leaving the house, he would give me
that we were living. He would get his wallet, checkbook and keys,
before he said, "Lets Go." I learned by clues, so I was always
ready to go. Another clue I learned was when Dad started arranging and
packing the RV. That meant we were going on a trip.
In our travel’s we
visited all sorts of historical sites,
libraries, museums, but I liked the cemetery search the best. I
could run and roam around the entire cemetery. I learned how to
recognize the Adamson grave markers at the cemeteries, Dad would spend
a long time studying his book, writing notes, and taking
pictures. I got where I would get into at least one picture at
On April 16, 2004, I
came down with seizures. I had several
remember anything after that. I remember that a couple months before,
got sick twice and Dad took care of me. Every night when we went
he told me that I was his special friend. I was so proud to be
him and loved him so much. After a couple of seizures
me sleep on the floor where I
couldn’t hurt myself. The last I remember
was Dad would sleep on the
floor next to me and hold me and rub my face.
It felt so good
knowing that he loved me.
By Jerry F. Adamson
The third birth of Tanner
Over the next 30 hours Tanner had 12
seizures. The veterinarian put him
on Phenobarbital to control the
seizures. Somewhere in this process,
he forgot everything. The vet felt
strongly that Tanner had a brain tumor.
He even forgot where he lived, who he
was and all the fears
that he had accumulated over the past
I took care of him night and
day. For twenty eight days I helped
him in everyway I could. Tanner
was eager to learn the things he
had forgotten. He tried hard again to
become the friend that I needed.
During these twenty eight days, I
never saw him close his eyes to
sleep. He would lie down and rest
with deep breathing, but he never
closed his eyes. On the morning of
May 15, 2004, he had the look of
fatigue and appeared to have given
up. His health was not good.
We discussed the options and I took
him to the departure point for his
journey to dog heaven. I will miss