I know many of you have four-legged companions that loyally love you no matter what. My Toby took his trip to the Rainbow Bridge Friday after a nine-month battle with cancer.
Let me first say that I owe a great deal to the professionals who walked with us through this journey. Dr. Rebecca Stock and Dr. Colette Brazer of Montclair Animal Hospital, Dr. Gerry Buchoff of Holistic Pet Care, and Dr. Dennis Bailey of Oradell Animal Hospital each embraced us with professionalism and compassion. It’s a tough challenge to guide a human through a voyage with such tender balance.
My friend of many years, Pat Bolger, loved Toby too. He would be the “doorbell” that announced her visits and would escort her into the house. She was with us until the end and feels his loss deeply.
Toby found me 13 years ago in Florida. I have a log home in the middle of 10 acres and someone probably cut him loose because he didn’t hunt or herd. In country places you’ve got to earn your keep.
He took refuge on my wrap-around porch as a rammy 7 month old, running to the lane figuring someone was going to pick him up. When no one came, he became Lord of the Manor, rolling in cow pies, taking dips in the pond and waiting for Billy, April and Debbie (neighbors and friends) to toss some food over the fence. He survived that way until I brought him home.
Training a pasture dog, and a young one at that, wasn’t easy. As you see from the picture, he wasn’t small… a blend of German Shephard and Rottweiler or Lab? At his full weight, he was 72 pounds. He dragged me into chain-link fences, had me on my backside on the ice and kept me on my toes.
Toby and Timber (his Chocolate Lab buddy) met each other in dog school and turned out to be “left back” due to learning issues. This meant Sandy and Timber, Toby and I, would learn together. That we did over many years. We hiked trails and the dogs had a great life. Timber passed and few months back and now Toby and Timber are reunited, hiking in God’s Gardens together.
That’s a brief story of so much companionship, protection, love and fun. There is much more in my heart, but you already know if you’ve had a wonderful dog.
My cats are running the house as if Lincoln just read the Emancipation Proclamation. I guess it’s all in your perspective. There are empty places where the silhouette lingers. There are rhythms that aren’t present.
Once loved…never departed. But oh, the hole in the heart.
With much love,