The Tinker Collection – notes on a rescue dog

This is a foster dog diary post. Here we’ve collected glimpses of Tinker’s life with us in one place to show what you could expect if you adopt Tinker.

Last updated: February 3, 2017

TinkerTinker Steele is a Golden Retriever / Husky mix. He is around 7 years old and weighs 75 pounds. He gets along well with all our dogs and everyone he’s met. He is fully house broken, knows his basic commands, and is affectionate, but rarely demanding. He’s not fond of high activity. Oh, and … he LOVES squeaker toys.

October 18, 2016 by Doug

Tinker cool floorTinker has come to us for heart worm treatment. He was surrendered by a long-time family under claims that he snapped at a child. We find that hard to believe, but we weren’t there and don’t know what the child was doing to him. So far he has not shown any signs of irritability, much less aggression.

Because of his thick coat he prefers to lay on the tile floor in the hallway than any of the dog beds.

Tinker truck rideHe does, however, love truck rides! Once he started going on the weekly trash run, he gets just as excited as Cochise and Blondie Bear do when I start loading the trash into the truck. Tinker and Blondie peaceably share the space behind the seats of our club-cab S10 and each gets a wing window to sniff through.

October 20, 2016, by Cochise

For a while, Tinker’s medication was bothering his tummy and The Peoples went to extra trouble to find him something tempting enough that he’s actually eat.

Tinker Fresh Pet dog foodIn the end Doc told them to stop the Minicycline for a few days to rest his tummy and get an appetite back. They kept feeding him tempting stuff like shredded chicken breast and rice or FreshPet dog food. This was something NiceLady found in the refrigerator cases at the food store. Tinker loved it.

Once his tummy was feeling better, they started the antibiotics again but he was eating better now and they didn’t bother him so much. But he was glad to be done with them when the time came.

October 21, 2016 by Cochise

One of the things that marks Tinker as something special is the consideration he shows to the other fosters, especially those kept in crates much of the time. There is a Doggy Tale post about one incident in particular that shows Tinker is [a good friend].

October 25, 2016 by Doug

Once he was feeling better he also got playful again. He likes to trash-talk a bit while he plays, so don’t mistake his vocalization as aggression.

October 28, 2016 by Doug

One of the things we try to teach our padawan dogs is to take treats gently. It’s no fun at all to give a dog a treat and lose a thumb in the process. That has never been an issue with Tinker, he is SO gentle. In fact, in the beginning

October 31, 2016 by Cochise

Tinker TSC treatTinker went on a special adventure today. There is a full post about this, read about the time Mr. Tinker [Goes to Town].

November 11, 2016 by Doug

Tinker is well mannered. When I get out treats, he is interested, even eager, but he does not get unruly or demanding. When I hand him his treat he takes it gently. When I set down his bowl of kibbles, he allows me to put it down before moving in to eat. He is a gentleman … errr … dog.

November 12, 2016 by Cochise

Sometimes, if we want something extra from our Peoples, we have to play on their sympathies. One evening NiceLady was fixing shrimp for their dinner. Tinker said, “Look, I broke my leg. Know what would fix it? I bet a bowl of that shrimp you’re fixing would make my leg all better!”

That didn’t work, but it was a nice try.

November 13, 2016 · by Cochise

Tinker is warm enoughNiceLady decided it’s chilly enough this evening to warrant a fire in the fireplace. I’m down with that! So are most of the others. Tinker says, “Me and my industrial strength fur coat will just sit over here.”

Tinker coaching FidoWhen things settled down, Tinker decided to coach Fido (who is a bit on the wild-child side) on the finer points of being a good house dog.

Tinker is making a concerted effort to show the Peoples how valuable he is as a mentor dog. He’d very much like to get a permanent position here.

November 18, 2016 by Cochise

Tinker stands watchTinker likes to take a turn standing watch. That makes him part of my posse. Sometimes he likes to station himself on the Coolaroo, but he is often just as comfy down in the grass . Or just wandering the yard. Sometimes it’s better to patrol for a while instead of just sitting. You know, make your presence known.

I’ve come to think of him as my Assistant BigDog. It’s cool because he goes with me, but doesn’t compete with me. He’s back-up barker, but respects my position here and follows my lead.

Here’s a video on Facebook

Dec 7, 2016 by Doug

Tinker LOVES dog cookies. But he is always gentle and respectful about asking for and receiving a treat.

December 3, 2016 · by Cochise

Tinker went on an adventure today. He says he and HairyFace went to a bizarre Christmas thing. I suspect he’s got that a little wrong, but … I wasn’t there so who knows.

NiceLady was already there when they arrived. So were LadyLinda, GuyGary, and MissAmy. We know all these folks from the Steele Away Home rescue. Lots of Peoples talked to Tinker, telling him what a pretty boy he is and how clever he is at doing tricks.

There were lots of pretty things for Peoples to come get in exchange for a donation to Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue. And there were nifty coats for dogs. My peoples looked to see if they had one that would fit me, but they did not — even the “Extra Large” would not fit a big, strapping fella like me

There was food too. That was free to anyone who wanted it … except Tinker. They said it wasn’t good for him. We hear that a lot.

December 10, 2016 by Cochise

Tinker Takes the Sofa After Squeakasaurous Incident

Click/tap the link above to read the full story about Tinker, the squakasaurous and the sofa.

December 12, 2016 by Doug

Tinker got his first Immiticide shot today. He’s staying outside a fair bit, or if he comes indoors sleeps on the cool tile in the hallway.

I was working at my desk in the den and felt eyes upon me, I turned around and looked, Tinker was peering around the corner of the doorway, ears down, eyes sad, asking, “I feel terrible, can you do something?” I’ll give him a Tramadol to ease the pain and help him sleep. Poor fella.

December 23, 2016 ·by Cochise

It was such a nice afternoon that Tinker decided to take lunch at an outdoor cafe.

December 25, 2016 at 4:51pm · by Cochise

Christmas was a happy day for Tinker. It was for all of us, but Tinker is especially thrilled with the squeaker squirrel NiceLady (err, um, I mean “Santapaws) brought for him.

December 26, 2016 by Doug

Now Tinker has a problem concerning his squeaker squirrel!

December 27, 2016 at 9:46am · by Cochise

It has been two days since Christmas and Tinker is still toting around his squeaky squirrel. He sleeps with it, he dotes on it all day. He has the Peoples put it up when he needs to go outside …

December 30, 2016 by Cochise

It’s time for bed. I went to the bedroom, but things are all mixed up. The only bed open is Tinkers. I waited for a while but no one moved. So I talked to them for a while from Tinkers bed: no one moved to I took more direct action.

The full story is available [here]. Normally Tinker avoids the snuggle beds, preferring to sleep on the tile in the hallway. If it’s real chilly, he’ll move onto the carpet just inside the bedroom door (where he can still see down the hallway).

He does like to lay in a futon in the picture-box watching room to chew a bone or hoofie, but curling up in a bed, especially Blondie’s bed is unusual.

January 1, 2017 by Cochise

HairyFace and NiceLady went down to the Cat Lady’s house today. It’s just outside our fence and Hairy goes there pretty much every day for a short while. Today that ran us all out into the yard, went into that house with the cats and stayed there a long time. Tinker called them, (as did the rest of us) and they ignored us, so Tinker went and played in the mud. He got SO muddy!

Tinker after bathWhen the People’s came home they were unhappy with Tinker’s condition. He said,, “It’s your fault: you wouldn’t let us go back in the house.”

So Hairy gave Tinker a bath … with WATER! In a bath tub! Tinker wasn’t so smart-aleky after that. There is a full post on this event, you can read that [here].

January 9, 2017 by Doug

Tinker being tinkerThis is tinker just being tinker. He is just so naturally adorable that he doesn’t even have to try: he just is.

January 10, 2017 by Doug

Earlier this afternoon the air temp was mid-30’s and the sun was shining and there was still a thick pad of snow on the low part of the yard. Tinker LIKED that.

Late in the afternoon it had warmed up to almost 40 and the ground at the top of our slope was bare and dried off. Tink was happy to find grass again too.

Tinker is just a happy guy!

January 12 at 7:57am · by Cochise

Tinker’s Tribulation

Last night Gator got hold of Tinker’s Squeaky-Squirrel (his most prized possession – actually his ONLY “possession”) and as Tinker watched in horror; shredded it.

The Peoples tried to get it back, but Gator was adamant: he was NOT giving it up.

Tinker sulked all evening, laying in the hallway in front of Gator’s crate and giving Gator a major stink-eye.

NiceLady promised to get him a new furry squeaker toy today. It may not be a squirrel, but she’ll get as close as she can. Hopefully that will salve his wounded feelings.

January 16, 2017 by Cochise

Tinker has the Coolaroo, Cochise wants it.Tinker has the Coolaroo. I want the Coolaroo so I circle like a shark. If Hairy would do that da-dum, da-dum thing from Jaws this might be more effective.

January 29, 2017 by Doug

Tinker on sofaTinker has, for a while now, taken to sneaking up onto the sofa when he thinks no one is watching. His is so gentle and so sweet that I really hate having to make him get down. But what one gets away with all will be getting away with soon. Marie and I have one sofa, one upholstered chair and our bed. The dogs have six beds and as many blankets placed around the house to lay on. I don’t think it’s so much to ask that they leave our few pieces of furniture for us to use. And if they come in and get muddy feet on blankets or bed-covers, we can toss them in the washer. Not so with a buff colored sofa. So this is a “rule” they all learn to respect.


Tinker rarely sleeps in the bedroom with the rest of us. He prefers the hallway. If it gets chilly he’ll sleep in the doorway to the den (carpeted). Lately he has been sacked out on a snuggle bed in the living room when we all go to bed. We assumed he was staying there since I did not see him in the hallway or den when I get up at night to use the restroom.

Tinker evidence of infractionBut … I’ve been finding the sofa cover rumpled up when I come out to the living room in the morning. Tinker usually comes down the hallway when he hears me get up, so I haven’t seen him on the sofa, but it’s pretty clear what’s been going on.

The thing is that the other dogs don’t see him doing it either. So … maybe I’ll just pretend I don’t know about it. He’s got less than a week left with us, and he is a really good boy — except for this nocturnal sofa sneaking business.

January 31, 2017 by Doug

The day is rapidly approaching (Feb 3rd) when we will say our final goodbye’s to Tinker and send him off to seek his forever home. Time to make some final notes to help those interested in him.

Tinker and Blondie Bear: Blonde Dogs in Bandanas

Tinker is an older dog: 7-8 years old, but in good health and in great shape physically. Tinker is not high-energy but likes to run with our “pack” when in the yard and will play when he finds especially compatible playmates — but not with all other dogs. He’s not mean to the others, just sort of ignores them. Most times, Tinker is really laid back.

Tinker is mildly affectionate: he will happily accept any attention you pay to him, but only rarely will he come and ask for it. He is sweet, and gentle, and patient. He has been a good mentor and comforter to the newer fosters while he’s been here.

He is extremely well housebroken, but his hold time is not real long. Do not go off for the day with him locked in the house. He may succeed in holding it, but he will be very uncomfortable. He routinely goes 3 or 4 daytime hours, but upon our return he is eager to get outside. If he goes outside around 9:00 pm, he will sleep peacefully all night long.

He is accustomed to eating dry kibble and gets fed when we eat breakfast and dinner. He sits on his blanket next to our table and waits patiently for his bowl. He does not explore the table or get grabby. He is not at all food aggressive.

For treats, he loves beef rib bones, beef hooves, and marrow bones. He has not been fond of rubber or plastic chew toys like Kong or Bullymake. He also loves the Old Mother Hubbard or Retriever dog biscuits we hand out. His favorite toy was a plush squeaker squirrel with polyester fur. He treasured that squirrel! One of the other dogs got hold of it and shredded it. Tinker was heart-broken, so we tried a succession of other squeaker toys. He enjoyed those too, but none lasted more than a couple of hours before he gutted them. There was just something about that one squirrel, and we could not find another like it.

He will, sometimes, nap in a snuggle bed but usually prefers to sleep on the tile floor of our hallway: he has a thick, heavy coat and gets too-warm quickly.

He is crate trained, but we never crate him any more: he is perfectly well behaved as a house dog … except for occasionally sneaking up on the sofa, which is not allowed in our home. He knows it too and looks abashed as soon as I discover him. A gentle but firm “get down” and he complies.

Tinker knows, “Come”, “sit”, “shake”, “get down” (4 on the floor), “go outside”, “go inside” and “in your room” (crate). Tinker is bright and eager to please, so training him is a snap. Oh, and he knows “go for a truck ride?” but that’s not a command.

Tinker LOVES to go for rides and behaves perfectly. He is excellent on a leash. He is friendly and outgoing with new people, but does not jump up on them.

Tinker rarely barks indoors, but is aware of things going on around the yard. He seems to prefer to sleep where he has the best view of the entire home. I’m not sure if he’s being protective or just needs to know.

In short, unless you want a dog to tree coons for you or go jogging with you, Tinker is a perfect companion dog.

February 3, 2017 by Doug

We decided to splurge and help Tinker look his very best by taking him to a groomer for bath, brush-out and nails. Kathy’s Grooming Parlor in Newport TN did a great job on him and he even seemed to enjoy it.

Before taking him home we stopped in at Marie’s work place so she could say goodbye and see how he turned out:

That’s pretty much the reaction we see from most people, especially the women. Tinker is a chick-magnet!

Last look at TinkeThat afternoon I loaded Tinker, Cora and Bud into the truck and we all headed to Cedarwood Veterinary where we are to stage the loading for tonight’s transport. Everyone oohed and aahed over Tinker. Several of us wish we could adopt him ourselves … but we recognize the realities of canine fostering and know our own limits. So, while it breaks many hearts to do so, I lead him into his crate, said goodbye and walked away.

A new adventure begins
A new adventure begins

I’ll confess to being teary eyed until Saturday morning when I started getting pictures of Tinker with his new Foster Mom: Meryl. He certainly looks like he made the trip fine and is ready to begin a new adventure.

Meryl is a great foster/rescue and is dedicated to finding each dog the best home possible. And she’s good at letting us peek in on the loves that we send her.

I feel better now.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

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