Through our grief we are concentrating on the happy memories we have of Toby.
Almost 7 years ago to the day we adopted Toby from a Pekingese Rescue in Lakeland Florida. His story started out sad, discarded with heartworm at a rescue by a woman who wanted to put him down because she didn't want him anymore -- but he ended up with us -- loved beyond belief and spoiled rotten - just how every dog should be treated!
People would literally stop on the street when they saw Toby and exclaim and make a huge fuss over him. Sometimes the people who would stop would be not the type of people you would expect to love a little fluffy dog. I remember when we first moved to DC, Paul and I were walking Toby and a car playing loud rap music pulled up. The car stopped, and out came a group of guys with gold teeth very "gangsta" looking. When they saw Toby they started gushing and were making cooing noises at him and calling him pup pup. Toby soaked it all in. We couldn't go on a walk without someone making a huge fuss over over Toby and he loved it. He knew how cute he was! The barber shop guys would come out to say hi to him and then later check on him when he was sick. Everyday I would walk by there they would say "it's good day today - Toby is still here!"
Toby helped us make many friends in Florida with our neighbors and here now in DC with other dog walkers, new friendships were blossoming.
Despite his cuteness Toby had a grumpy old-man personality which we thought was hilarious and charming. He could be a cranky sleeper, if we moved around too much on the bed he would let us know with a growl and it always made us giggle. Grumpy T, he was lovingly called.
Toby had his way of doing things, he didn't like to eat food from a plate or a bowl so he quickly trained me to hand feed him and he got hand fed every day for the entire 7 years we had him.
He loved going over to my Mom and Dad's when we lived in Florida, we called their house "Chicken Grandma's" because my Mom would make freshly boiled chicken just for Toby's Sunday visits and as soon as we got out of the car, Toby would race to the door excited and smiling and waiting for his chicken.
There are so many more wonderful memories and so much that Toby has taught us and brought to our lives. The world is a lonelier place without Little T in it, but I feel blessed we got to spend 7 years with him, each and every day was precious.
We miss you already little guy!
Thank you to everyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook, your sweet messages have been so appreciated you have been there for me through this process and I thank you for that!
EDITED FRIDAY 12:28pm EST:
Thank you so much everyone of you for your wonderful and moving comments, knowing that we are not alone with this heartbreak comforts both Paul and I. We read your beautiful comments together and remember Toby. Thank you!!
Many woofs and purrs,
my heart goes out to you! I know this has been a difficult time but Toby will always know how much you loved and cared for him. I hope this takes some tears from you as I will keep you & Paul in my thoughts and prayers.
i am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Toby.
what a beautiful tribute to a special doggy who has touched so many lives.
your deep love for him exudes from your heart and will continue to touch others forever.
all my love
I will miss his loving photos on your blog.
So sorry, warm hugs to you and your family.
Thanks for sharing him with us, and thanks for sharing your heartbreak. I hope I can share your next joy and help you divide this sorrow. :(
Praying for peace for you and rest. I know you must be tired.
I rescued the most wonderful little black dog from my street. My boys have grown up and moved on in their own lives and little Ally provides me so much love and company.
I pray for comfort during this hard time.
With sincere sympathy from me, Tutu Marie and Moe Cocker.
Often when I felt upset and anxious about her illness, your blog reminded me to breathe and enjoy each day left with her.
Thank you for sharing Toby's story. He was an adorable little guy who blessed you with 7 years of devotion. You loved him well.
Very sad for you, but Toby had such a wonderful world and will be in your hearts forever, pondering the positive is such a good thing to do.
I've never really commented on your blog before but I couldn't let this post go by without giving you my condolences. I'm so very sorry to hear about Toby--loosing a pet is NEVER easy.
Most of us have done it and can understand the heartache you feel.
Much love to you and your family.
Little Toby was definitely loved.
We lost our beloved dog last April and I miss him everyday.
Stay as sad as you have to and stop cleaning the house !
Sending love and happy thoughts up to DC.
So very sorry for your loss. I'm sure this is extremely difficult. Your post is such a moving and loving tribute to your beloved Toby. Every one of us who loves a pet and who has lost a pet (a family member really)feels your sorrow.
Toby was blessed and a blessing to have had you in his life. When he was rejected by his first owner, God made sure he would make it to a family that would love him how he was meant to be loved and that was you guys.
A few years ago we had to help our best friend cross over...and I still miss him dearly every day!
My heart goes out to you.
I know how heartbreaking it can be to lose a beloved member of your family.
you are in my thoughts.
i am just so sad for your loss. but, also so happy that toby had such a loving home and was so loved in his life. it was a win win for both of you. i know you miss him terribly, and i am so sorry.
@the bluebird house
so sorry to find out that Toby crossed that bridge... I do not even want to think about missing my cats, so i know it must be so hard. Hugs,
I, too, lost my dog for 13 years. I was his mom when his mom died a day after she gave birth to him. He's been there for me especially when I cry. Oh, I am missing him right now....
May peace be with you.
I'm so sorry for you.
I lost my little girl Keesha last summer...
I'm thinking of you...
I thought it be interest you to know we have recently been through the same. Our little French Bulldog was diagnosed with oral cancer last May. We operated 3 times to remove it and each time it came back within a few weeks. We got 6 months with him and he died on 19 Sept 08. We miss him every day. I was very sad when I stumbled on your blog and saw you had been through this too.
Oral cancer is a horrible thing. I wish you all the best. At least you have lots of happy memories.
thinking of you!!
I'm so sorry Toby passed on. What an enourmous hole our pets leave when they go. All of us who have been following Toby are so sad this final day came. I know I kept hoping there would be some miracle. Words seem pointless, just know you will all be in my thoughts.
Here's to Toby---One Great Dog!! :)
Sending much love and good vibes your way!
but at least you gave him the best life a dog could want, and you have wonderful memories of him.
I'm a big fan of your work, so I stop by your blog frequently. My heart goes out to you and your husband over your loss of Toby. We have a dog and 3 cats...pets really do become a part of the family.
Claudine, I came across this poem not too long ago and sent it to my dad, who recently had to help his best friend across the rainbow bridge, also. May you find comfort in these words:
MY FOREVER PET
There's something missing in my home,
I feel it day and night,
I know it will take time and strength
before things feel quite right.
But just for now, I need to mourn,
My heart -- it needs to mend.
Though some may say, "It's just a pet,"
I know I've lost a friend.
You've brought such laughter to my home,
and richness to my days.
A constant friend through joy or loss
with gentle, loving ways.
Companion, friend, and confidante,
A friend I won't forget.
You'll live forever in my heart,
My sweet, forever pet.
-- Susanne Taylor
I'm so sorry for your loss. When I met you at McRae a year ago we talked about Toby and my sweet little pug, Rosebud. We both agreed that our lives are better because of our little loves. Sending you blessings from Florida.
Anne Marie and Rosebud
Thanks for sharing all those happy memories with us. I hope they continue to bring you comfort through the sadness.
I don't have as much art time as I used to, and have stopped visiting a lot of blogs, but visiting with Toby was always a joy and his little face brought such smiles to my face right until the end.
What a beautiful tribute. Hugs to you
all the best to you and your husband -
I've been out of town so I didn't hear your sad sad news until now. I'm so sorry about your little sweetheart. He was an adorable little pup and the luckiest dog ever to have had you and Paul.
Big Hugs to you and your hubby