20140309-Thunder 8th Birthday

Thunder’s turns eight years old today.  He is officially a senior although most of the time, he doesn’t act it.  The above picture was taken last Saturday as he jumped a snow pile to retrieve a bumper.

Eight years can sure fly by.  It seems like just yesterday he came to live with us.

Thunder 8 Weeks Old
Thunder 8 Weeks Old

Was he ever this small?

Thunder's Litter--They all look the same color, but grew up to be various shades of brown.
Thunder’s Litter Day 1–Photo Credit Shiloh Ridge Retrievers

We have had so many firsts with Thunder.

He was our first puppy.

Thunder's First Swim (not quite three months old)
Thunder’s First Swim (not quite three months old)

The first dog hubby trained to hunt pheasant

Thunder On A Pheasant Hunt At 9 Months Old
Thunder On A Pheasant Hunt At 9 Months Old

and then ducks

Thunder Hunting Saginaw Bay 2013
Thunder Hunting Saginaw Bay 2013

and then grouse.

Grouse Hunting 2011
Grouse Hunting 2011

Thunder was the first dog hubby entered and showed in a dog show

Thunder Major Win From the 12 to 18 Month Class 5-18-2007
Thunder Major Win From the 12 to 18 Month Class 5-18-2007

and handled to a Championship.

Thunder's Championship Photo
Thunder’s Championship Photo-May 2009

He was the first dog we trained to run hunt tests.

Thunder earned his Junior Hunter title

Thunder First Junior Hunter Pass 2007
Thunder’s First Junior Hunter Pass 2007

and then we took a long break from hunt test training.  In late 2010 we got back to it and in 2011, Thunder earned his AKC Senior Hunter title (passing 4 of 5) and his HRC Seasoned Hunter title (passing 3 of 4).

2011 New AKC Senior Hunter And HRC Seasoned Hunter
2011 New AKC Senior Hunter And HRC Seasoned Hunter

He also earned his Working Dog Qualified Certificate from the American Chesapeake Club.

Thunder WDQ
Thunder Running The WDQ In 2012

We were total novices to training dogs to run hunt tests.  We trained mostly after work and in local parks so a lot of what Thunder accomplished was because of his ability rather than our training.

He is an AKC Canine Good Citizen

Thunder's CGC
Thunder With His CGC Certificate 2009

and sired two litters of his own.

Thunder Tule Puppies 2008--Photo Credit Shiloh Ridge Retrievers
Thunder and Tule Puppies 2008–Photo Credit Shiloh Ridge Retrievers
Thunder and Red Puppies 2012
Thunder and Red Puppies 2012–Photo Credit First Light Kennels

We have traveled to hunt tests

Seasoned Pass 2011
Seasoned Pass 2011

and the Nationals.

Thunder At The ACC National Specialty Show In 2009
Thunder At The ACC National Specialty Show In 2009

He runs hard

Thunder 2013

and makes a big splash.

Thunder 2013
Thunder 2013

But most of all, Thunder has been hubby’s best duck hunting buddy.

Jim And Thunder
Jim And Thunder

Happy 8th Birthday Big Boy!

I have a little party planned for him so come back next week for pictures.

Have a nice weekend!

42 thoughts on “Happy 8th Birthday Thunder!

  1. That’s a lot of firsts and alot of memories. Happy Birthday, Thunder! Don’t worry about the Senior title big boy … you still look awesome 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday Thunder, I hope you have many many more. That is a whole lot of first, made me tear up as a lot of them were my first with Norman. Something about those boys and their firsts with you and as they get older they mean so much more and you just want to hug those senior dogs up. I wouldn’t consider Thunder a senior out in the field he looks amazing!

  3. You guys might have been total novices at the training you did with him, but clearly he’d decided to help you out and take you along for the ride 🙂 Have a fun bday celebration!

  4. Happy Birthday, Thunder, from Callie, Shadow, Ducky, and their blessed Mom (blessed to have them in my life!). Enjoy your party, big boy!!

  5. Happy Birthday, sweet, handsome Thunder!! Fabulous pictures! Enjoy your day and we hope you get special treats and treatment. : ) Hugs and nose kisses

  6. What great memories of Thunder you have. He’s such a handsome guy…right from that puppy picture on. I can tell he has a special place in your hearts – I hope he has a great birthday today and many more to come!

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  8. Happy Birthday Thunder! I loved seeing your photo as you grew up. The one with your first bumper retrieve is absolutely adorable. 🙂

  9. Happy birthday, Thunder! Love from Rolo, 11 and Annabel, nearly 10 ( chocolate Labs in London, UK.).

  10. Sweet memories and so much achievement we are impressed. Happy Birthday Thunder and we hope you have a wonderful special day.
    Best wishes Molly

  11. Wow Thunder – way to blaze through the world leaving a wake of accomplishments and good memories 🙂 What an excellent representative of the breed!

  12. Awesome!! Happy Birthday Thunder!! I wish I was there to give wish you HB in person. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful day!

  13. Happy 8th barkday Thunder! He definitely doesn’t look 8… such cute baby photos of him too! He’s got lots of great accomplishments under his furry belt 🙂

  14. Happy Birthday, Thunder!! What a fun and full life he is having! He doesn’t look like a senior at all….he looks great. The baby photos adorable.

  15. Wow, what an amazing 8 years Thunder! Bentley is seven and i refuse to think of eight as being a senior dog. That makes me too sad to consider what the title of senior means. I hope you and your husband have at least another with years with your boy! Have the happiest of birthdays. I love his camo!

  16. Happy Birthday, Thunder! What great firsts you have had with him! He sure is one accomplished Brown Dawg; I bet you are very proud of him.
    Happy Sunday,

  17. Great journey for all of you! Many more happy days. No way a “senior” dog, except in household rank :~) The bed
    story tells it all!

  18. Aww sorry I’m late but I hope you had the loveliest day Thunder! Being a senior, just means you’re extra awesome…which we already knew anyway!
    Hugs, Carrie (Myfie, Ellie and Millie) x

  19. Hi Y’all!

    Happy Belated Birthday Thunder! That was a wonderful tribute to you.

    I turn 8 in a couple of weeks. Eight is way too young to slow down! You Go Thunder!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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