Kimberly Robinson
The Turpen family, including Mark, Nikki, and boys Logan (the baby), Peyton and Riley (in front) spend a lot of time at Alki, where Tucker their yellow lab likes to walk.

Pet of the Week: Tucker is a star and true family dog

Nikki Turpen got Tucker the family dog, a yellow lab, from a breeder in Granite Falls a little over 8 years ago prior to marrying Mark.

Their sons Peyton, Riley and Logan, collectively under the age of 6 all get along very well with Tucker.

While he's normally quite a good guard dog, protects the boys and fearless in those situations, "He's afraid of stairs, especially if you can see through them," Nikki said,"He's got a stair phobia."

When they brought their son Riley home from the hospital, Tucker took one look at him and gave him a giant dog lick.

They feed him Costco dry dog food and he loves pig ears as treats. He doesn't like beer but does love ice cream from McDonalds.

Tucker enjoys his toys, and generally favors those that squeak. But he really loves tennis balls, going a little dog crazy at the sound of the pop when a new can of them is opened.

The Turpen family had a unusual opportunity though to get him featured in a commercial for Bissell specifically the BISSELL® SpotClean Complete™ Pet. The commercial was filmed at their home in West Seattle over the course of about four days, and Tucker is the star of the show.

You can see that video here: http://www.bissell.com/VideoRating.aspx?id=28280

Tucker, when he's not walking around Alki with the family, has canine friends Dixie and Molly (a Britney and a PomaPoo) up in Lake Stevens and Max and Indy (yellow and black Labs) down in Austin, Texas.

"He's a very good swimmer," said Mark, and "He's annoying," said Nikki. "He will not stop going in the lake for the ball, so you have to keep throwing it all day long. He will actually pull the kids in with his tail too."

Tucker did have some health issues at one point.

"We call him 'Sub-Zero' because we had to spend $7,000 on him, on his back legs. All the x-rays went to the school of veterinarians and they came back all perfect but they concluded it was stress related. So he's normal but it cost us. He had MRI's and more but he's fine."

Nikki summed Tucker up as, "He is loyal, kind, and a good companion. He has his quirks which makes him even better. Mark said, "I never really grew up with dogs but he's the best dog ever. I work from home so he's my office mate. I talk to him. He's a great companion, looks out for the kids and he's a good puppy."

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