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
Life with

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
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 gone
five weeks, and Dad always said, that he learned more in those five weeks that I ever would know.

When traveling, we had a similar problem with the bed in the camper van.  This problem was solved
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
and 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.
I could 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 a package.
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 some clues 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, state parks, 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 most locations


On April 16, 2004, I came down with seizures. I had several and I
don’t remember anything after that. I remember that a couple months before,
I got sick twice and Dad took care of me.  Every night when we went to bed,
he told me that I was his special friend. I was so proud to be with
him and loved him so much.   After a couple of seizures Dad had
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 nine years.

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 him.