Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Little Toby…

On November 7th, my family had to say goodbye to the best dog that has ever lived.  I know, you probably think we’re biased – but he truly was the best dog ever.  Toby was so well behaved.  He was obedient, never destroyed anything, and wanted nothing more than to just snuggle in your lap. 

Toby was our family’s first “real” pet, which is one of the main reasons he is so special to us.  Sure, we had a couple of cats, a turtle, and one small dog over the years, but those were all outdoor animals, and none ever stayed around for very long.  Toby was our first indoor pet, and that makes a world of difference.  I remember begging my dad to let us get a puppy for years.  (And I do mean years.)  After doing loads of research on the perfect dog for us, I came across the Miniature Schnauzer, and after a lot of discussion, I finally convinced my dad that we “needed” one.  (Honestly, I think after the years of “discussion”, I just wore him down.  I’ve never denied being persistent!) 

I remember driving out to the country to go and just look at some mini schnauzer puppies with my family.  At the time, I really wanted a girl, but the girl puppies were all wild banshees running around all over the breeder’s house.  As I tried to coax one spunky girl puppy out from under the couch, Toby waddled up to my brother, crawled into his lap and fell fast asleep.  That sealed the deal, and we were sold.  A few minutes later we were driving home with our new little family member.  My parents said I needed to share and let my brother hold Toby too, so I reluctantly handed him over to Ross.  Minutes later, Toby was pooping in his lap.  :)  Good boy, Toby.  Good boy. 

A few years ago, Toby developed what the vet believed was prostate cancer, which surprised us since he still acted like he felt so good.  He still always greeted new visitors with a happy smile and a wagging rear end.  Over the past year, he developed some arthritis which would slow him down for a day or so, but then he’d bounce right back to the happy little guy he always was.  He also became pretty hard of hearing, so if you ever wanted to get his attention, you literally had to yell and clap as loud as you could.  Between Toby and my dad, I’m surprised my mom has much of a voice left!  (Love you, dad!) 

A few weeks ago Toby woke up one weekend and couldn’t stand up to get out of his bed.  He wouldn’t eat or drink anything, and stopped being able to go to the bathroom.  In the past, if he’d had a rough day, he’d always bounce back the next morning and feel fine again, but this time was different.  It was horrible seeing him struggle to try to get out of his bed to come say hi to you, and just not be able to.  He was always happiest when laying in someone’s lap, but being anywhere other than in his bed was just too uncomfortable for him.  Ultimately, the kindest thing to do was to let him go.  Fortunately with pets, we are able to end their suffering – but it doesn’t make it any easier for us.   

I’ve gone through my computer and found some pictures of Toby over the years…
Showing off his begging skills…  scan0047
Snuggling on the couch.
Whenever I’d come home from college, he would always sneak up into my room and sleep in the bed with me.  scan005016. Tobyscan0049
He was probably terrified while posing for this picture with Lucy!scan0018
Happy guy!
13 Toby
Checking out what’s going on in the backyard.9  Toby watching 
All bundled up!
33. Tobyscan0019
My parents asked me to come over and groom Toby one weekend since their groomer left the fur on his legs too long.  Here was his “before” shot…
And after!
Sleeping in mom’s lap.
Toby sleeping 
Toby and Logan always took a nap together in the recliner after a big lunch. 
Toby and Logan
Toby was an important part of our family for 14 and a half years. Everyone who met him fell in love with him – and how could they not? If my parents ever decide to get another dog, it will surely have some mighty large paws to fill. Toby!
Sweet Toby
April 2, 1997 – November 7, 2011. 

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