Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Today we said goodbye to Toby, tobygirl, Tobers, Toby Brown, Tobias. She will be missed greatly as she came into our lives 10 years, 5 months ago. We brought her home 2 weeks after we moved into our first home. I think I was more excited to finally get a dog than have a home. Here are some of our memories of the dog that almost seemed human.

We should have known the day we brought Toby home...She was the last of 2 puppies and they offered her to us 1/2 price! We thought we were getting a deal, but we didn't know what we were in for. If you are buying a dog, never pay half price, there is a reason. Driving home was our very first battle lost. We had a nice spot in the back for her, but 15 minutes of crying, we pulled over and let her sit on my lap. We thought, just this once. She still hated to ride in the very back to this day. She would bark so much it made you want to throw her out the window. Don't even dare turn the blinker on because that set her off worse! Driving by any body of water made her so excited. This wasn't a problem in the desert, but here in Redding you can't go anywhere without crossing the river.

We were very intent that she would be crate trained. She trained us instead and we bought a king size bed to share with our dog. No one told us if you bend the rules just once for a weimeraner, it would be almost impossible to go back. She has always been 2 steps ahead of us. I can't count how many times Zach has come home to say, "how did she get through that?" She could get through spaces chihauhas wouldn't attempt.

I understand why parents put their kids in beauty pageants. We thought she was the prettiest weimy we had ever seen. We thought we would put her in dog shows and demonstrate to everyone what a good looking dog really looked like. We were so proud of this silver furred animal. Unfortunately, you have to be obedient to be in a show. We took her to puppy school and realized we had our hands full when she wouldn't sit or lay on the cement floor. Yes, she was the dog that would climb into the pet store shelf and find a dog bed to demonstrate her commands. She could do all the commands, when she felt like it and if the conditions met her standards. We worked with her daily, we rushed home from work to play with her, we took her anywhere you could bring a dog. We still would get stopped by people to know what breed she is.

She had a way of making non dog people a fan. If you have ever visited us, you were probably greeted by an 80 pound hug. After knocking down most of our guests, they somehow forgave her and became won over by her incredible personality. I'm still impressed by her desire to be the 75 pound lap dog and surprisingly, people let her. Through her selfless act of having a litter of 7 puppies(she put up a good fight, but that boy got his way) we were able to fund a ski boat. Unfortunately, she never liked the boat. She just wanted to jump in the water. She was a good mom for 3 weeks and then she wanted to go back to her only child status.

She was going to be a bird hunting dog. Every dog should have a job. After Zach took her in the desert a few times, he realized she was not cut out for hunting. She was great at finding birds, but she would run full speed into cacti and Zach spent the rest of the day pulling cactus needles out of her. We found that she was just as content at "pointing" at things in our yard, lizards, birds, leaves blowing in the wind. Our dog seemed to play the game of hot lava, never liking hard surfaces. She would go from couch to bed, to carpet to couch and so on. When Sawyer was born, she became an outdoor dog. I'm sorry to say we used a few electronic devices to help her make the move. She managed to outsmart them as well. A bark shock collar-she changed the pitch of her bark and avoided correction. Perimeter collar-she knew within centimeters how far she could go, when the collar was removed, she would fly through it.

Neighbors don't usually remember our names, but everyone knows Toby and which house she belongs to. We would get calls regularly from people that have found her and brought her home and have been won over also. When Zach picks her up, many times she is inside loving the attention. We all laugh that if the doorbell rings it is either UPS or Toby being brought back home. Toby was a doggie garbage disposal! I have seen her consume most everything, pants, balls, fencing, underwear, socks, diapers, etc. (mostly I know because what goes in comes out) Most of our company that stayed over night would report they slept great and also woke up to Toby in bed with them. She was always looking for new suckers. She was my baby when we didn't have one and wanted one. She was as human as a dog could be. She was the topic of conversation when converstion was dull. Toby stories were great for small talk.

Toby helped shape us as a couple, she taught us how to be better parents, she loved people (she thought she was people) How much did we spend on Toby in 10 years? Yikes! Kennel, dog beds, collars, leashes, school, boarding, vet bills, food, replacement of ruined household items, I'm estimating thousands, but 10 years with a great dog....priceless.


So these pictures are almost 3 years old, but I was reminiscing this morning of our wonderful, warm, adventurous, revitalizing, relaxing, sunny mexican cruise. I think because our weather has been rainy and cloudy, I've been thinking of warmer days. We are blessed to have rain, no doubt, but cabin fever is setting in now. We have even let Sawyer roller skate in the house. These pictures also represent an amazing week for Zach and I to be together. So as I sit here, listening to the heater click on and off and drink my hot coffee, I know that this is only a season. I need to cherish all my seasons. As I held Fisher last night after one of his feedings, I realized that he is really growing out of the newborn stage. He doesn't just crash on our chests unless it is late at night. He is getting strong and responsive, he is even growing out of his "fussy time", he looks like a stuffed sausage in some of his clothes. I asked Zach if he thought we have held him enough? It doesn't seem like enough! Even though my sleep is interrupted, it is my special time with Fisher. I love when he is "sleep eating". God created our seasons and life seasons. I do think about another special warm trip for Zach and I to take, but for now I love to take care of my precious boys on a rainy day.