Updated: Aug 28
It was a tough, emotional weekend, but a long time coming. I had been awaiting this day for about 7 months. Having a longtime companion like my fox-red lab has been quite a journey for me and my family. Tobey, who almost made it to 14 years old, passed away this weekend and was quite a gent about it. We started out very uneducated about what it takes to raise a good animal these days. I’ve surmised that people own pets for all kinds of reasons and needs. Ours, was to give our kids something to love besides themselves. I’m an attentive mom and passing on some learning responsibilities to my 4 children, via pet duties, was a tool that I hope they will pass on to their own children. Tobey was a terrrrrrrible puppy. I was first up in the care taking responsibilities because no one else knew how to take care of an infant. Taking outside every 2 hours, 24 hours a day, feeding, bathing, cleaning up the messes that never seemed to end. I was already questioning our decision to enter into pet ownership when I discovered this puppy was going to chew our house down to the studs and then chew the studs!! He was growing big and seemed to be getting more obstinate, spoiled and if possible…more stupid. He wouldn’t listen to anyone, come when called, he was an aggressive crotch sniffer, counter surfer, couch stealer and completely useless. Nobody wanted to spend too much time with this beautiful hound. I was ready to give him to the nearest shelter that wouldn’t judge me,..and then I had a strange thought that passed through me…how about I train him?? Weird huh? Let’s train this dog!! The Dog Whisperer was on TV and I started watching. To this day I will stand on the montra of what is needed to change the dog’s life and therefore you and your pet owning life. Exercise, discipline and then affection, in that order. You mess up the order, you mess up success. I was chubby and underexercised, is that a word?, if not, it should be. I would start taking Tobey out for walks, of which he pulled me back and forth, side to side, pee-ed about 62 times on every bush and took off sprinting towards any other dog or human being that may be out, having their own peaceful walk. Tobey needed to interrupt them, catch up on any crotch sniffing and hump the other animal into future therapy for dogs support group. It was completely awful! I did not stop taking Tobey out for exercise. I even started to jog a little during the walk, got him a lead harness and holy smokes if we didn’t have the sidewalks all to ourselves to work on his manners. (It is slightly possible the neighbors were waiting for Tobey to get his walk in first, how thoughtful!) Low and behold, we both did not give up. I built up myself to be able to run about 5 miles a day, 6 days a week. How did this happen? I thought it was about the dog. Could it be possible that it was all about me? Naaaahhhhhhh Well, long story short, we created together the best pair of shorts to run in because all of the others broke down or shredded or balled up, rode up or chaffed skin. Kimbos have gone through some rugged testing grounds. Tobey and I have run many, many miles together in many beautiful settings. As I have gone through my life of good days and bad, he was always there for me, holding the leash in his mouth scratching at the door. I really did buy the dog for the kids, apparently he was booking time with everyone so I don’t have to feel like I was selfish.
You surprised me in this life adventure Tobey.
I thought I was too tough to love a dog so much.