Chumlee's thread - a Senior? Already?! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Chumlee's thread - a Senior? Already?!

We are snowbound today in the Northeast in the throes of Snowstorm Niko, expecting over a foot of snow so I promised myself that today is the day I will start Chumlee's own thread to record some of our journey together.

I can't believe how hard it is to bring myself to start a thread in the Senior (gulp!) forum! Ok, so Chumlee has been a Senior for at least couple years now. It's just that I prefer living in a state of denial and pretending he's only 6 or 7.....

On the other hand, I know how fortunate I am to have a nearly 12 year old golden! I've read so many heartbreaking stories here on GRF chronicling many young dogs taken much, much too soon.

So without further ado, here is the story of Chumlee.

The beginning of Chumlee's life is not 100% clear. Chumlee is a rescue dog and I have only the rescue group's account of his life up until 2011.

Chumlee was born in upstate New York. He had at least 2, possibly 3 families before he came to live with us. His first family had 2 young children and the story was that he was likely not socialized or exercised and that little landshark puppy Chumlee played too rough with the children. They surrendered him to a shelter when he was almost 2 years old.

He was neutered and adopted very briefly and returned to the shelter, then promptly adopted by another family with 3 young children. History repeated itself; Chumlee was too rough with the very young children. And somewhere along the line, probably because of poor socialization, he became dog-reactive. Rather than work with him, this family surrendered him to the same shelter after a couple of years, saying he was wild and unmanageable.

Enter Peppertree Rescue, who took him into rescue with the shelter's blessing. Finding a foster home with all of his dog-reactiveness wasn't easy and finding a forever home for him was even harder than that! Despite everything, Peppertree refused to give up on him. They found a trainer to work on manners and they discovered that he was quite an anxious guy but very smart and biddable! He stayed with them for nearly 7 months as they worked to earn his trust and help him become an adoptable pet.

In June 2011, we lost our 18 year old cat and then a mere 10 days later we had to put our nearly 16 year old dog down. To say that we were heartbroken seems a little inadequate. Suddenly we had no pets. At all. Our house was empty and just too quiet.

For a couple of months prior to losing our pets, I had been looking online at a picture of a handsome GR - he made me smile - but saw in big letters that he had to be the ONLY PET because of his reactiveness to other animals. I couldn't stop thinking about him but knew he wasn't the dog for us since we had a dog and a cat.

After losing our pets, I kept thinking about this adorable GR but I was sure he must have been adopted already. I finally contacted the rescue group to inquire about him. To my shock, he was still available!!

We adopted Chumlee in August 2011, driving 5 hours to bring him home with us without ever having met him in person. I just knew it was meant to be.

Chumlee will be 12 years old in May. We have officially had him longer than all of his other families combined! He has brought joy and silliness back to our house. Chumlee's favorite things are going for long walks and carrying my son's dirty athletic socks in his mouth after stealing them out of the laundry. He is also a skilled surgeon and has performed countless "squeaker-ectomies" from stuffed toys. His favorite "sneak foods" are Cheez-Its and pizzelle cookies, although, like most Goldens, he loves ALL food!

I will try to update this thread often and I know I will be asking for advice from other past and present parents of senior goldens. And I'm trying hard to get over my hang-up and fears over Chumlee getting older.

My new mantra:

"Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is precious and special for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older." by Louise Hay
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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 03:24 PM
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Oh goodness, I have a lump in my throat, I'm just so happy that Chumlee found his way into your family. He's always making me smile and reminds me so much of Barnaby with his silly antics!

Welcome to the Senior Forum gorgeous Chumlee, I will look forward to reading about all your adventures, Uncle Barnaby enjoys reading all your letters too so if you want to take sock stealing to the next level just let him know!

I hope you have many happy, healthy years ahead, big hugs and cyber socks flying over x


Barnaby, The Original Swishywagga - Aug 11, 2000 - Sept 24, 2015, Our Beautiful Golden Boy, Forever In Our Hearts.
"Ask not, what your dog can do for you, ask what you can do for your dog".


https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ior-years.html - Barnaby's Thread
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ony-uncle.html - Dear Uncle Barnaby
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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Another blizzard and Chum is loving it!

So today we are just wrapping up another huge snowstorm. I think this one is officially a blizzard because of the blowing and limited visibility. Another 16 inches of snow. I really think we've had our share for this winter and would gladly send future storms to other parts of the country!

Chumlee loves the snow but this one was a little hard to walk since now we have over 2 feet of snow! These are a couple of pictures of Chum and my backyard this morning. If I get the motivation to shovel off the deck and the hot tub, I think I'll have a soak and enjoy the winter wonderland instead of fussing about it. And Chum loves to hang around while someone is in the hot tub hoping that they will toss a snowball to him
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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 11:23 AM
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Enjoy the snow Chumlee, I love your photo!.


Barnaby, The Original Swishywagga - Aug 11, 2000 - Sept 24, 2015, Our Beautiful Golden Boy, Forever In Our Hearts.
"Ask not, what your dog can do for you, ask what you can do for your dog".


https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ior-years.html - Barnaby's Thread
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ony-uncle.html - Dear Uncle Barnaby
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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:44 PM
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Beautiful pup and beautiful snow!

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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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So we are just wrapping up school vacation. My son and his girlfriend have been keeping busy playing in the snow and Chumlee has been tagging along. His girlfriend jokes with my son that she only started dating him so she could hang out with Chumlee.

They went to one of Chum's favorite places to walk but the snow was pretty deep. DS's girlfriend told my son to grab a shovel from the back of the truck and the two of them shoveled a huge, long path for Chumlee so he could enjoy himself - love that girl! They've also taken him to the beach a couple of times so he can really run. I think Chum will need a rest after all this activity!

Chum also made out really well on Valentine's Day, scoring a comfortable new bed. I think I spent three times more on Chum than I did on my DH and DS, but please don't tell them or I would be forced to deny it.

In short, Chumlee is doing well and loving life! Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this dog?

Here's a picture of Chumlee enjoying his new bed.
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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 08:22 AM
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Oh Chumlee you are looking wonderful, what a great bed!. It seems you have an admirer, your brothers girlfriend sounds lovely. Of course I'm your number one fan in England though!. I hope you are still stealing those socks, maybe you should have hidden some in the snow.

Im so glad you're doing well, you really give me a huge smile. Hugs to you gorgeous boy and please say hi to your mum from me x


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https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ior-years.html - Barnaby's Thread
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ony-uncle.html - Dear Uncle Barnaby
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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:28 AM
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I don't know how I missed this thread before but I'm loving it!!! Obviously he was waiting especially for your family!

Don't you worry Chumlee - age ain't nothin but a number!

That bed looks super comfortable, and it sure looks like he was enjoying the snow - does he think it's a tasty snack like my pups do?

Belle (Golden) see you at the bridge, Georgie (tie-dye Golden), Gunner (Golden), Fitz (Golden)
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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B and G Mom View Post
That bed looks super comfortable, and it sure looks like he was enjoying the snow - does he think it's a tasty snack like my pups do?
I'm grateful to say that Chum does not chew on his bed, however none of his stuffed toys have any stuffing left! My house resembles a grisly murder scene with puffs of stuffing strewn around and empty sacks of plush fur. I've tried to get him toys without stuffing but he won't play with them. I think he gets great satisfaction in ripping holes and strewing stuffing around...

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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I've been wondering if I'm seeing signs of hearing loss in Chumlee. After all, he is nearly 12 years old. He occasionally fails to respond when I call him. It made me worry.

Then the other night as I cleaned the kitchen, I picked up 2 elbows of cooked macaroni and cheese off the counter and dropped them into Chumlee's bowl. Soft, noiseless, cooked macaroni....

The reaction was immediate. From UPSTAIRS (!) Chumlee heard this and came charging down the stairs to clean them up!

So when he ignores my call, it appears that Chumlee is exercising his "selective hearing" rather than experiencing senior hearing loss. Case solved.

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