Saturday, March 24, 2012

How Toby Joined the Family

I was devastated when our dog Kasey died. He was my shadow. We adopted him when he was 1 1/2 years old and from the very beginning he was just a perfect dog - a golden retriever mix who was not too big and very well-mannered.

But Kasey died of lymphoma at the prime of dog life - seven years old.
We mourned him for several months. Clearly I couldn't be happy without a furry friend. My husband - somewhat reluctantly - agreed to start the process with the golden retriever rescue group (see Resources). First we filled out an online application. Then there was a home visit. The couple who came to see our house were lovely people and brought their own rescue golden with them. Our thinking was, "this will probably take a few months, and we want a 1-3 year old Golden". We were advised to agree to foster a dog first, as that would give us more of an opportunity to get a younger dog and the right to ask to keep him in the first two weeks.

Surprise! Two weeks later we got a call that 3 filthy mixed-breed golden puppies had just been rescued from a rural dog shelter in North Carolina. The SEVA GRREAT veterinarian  cleaned them up, but at just eight weeks old these puppies had clearly not been loved or cared for. The rescuers guessed that they had been kept outdoors. So the question was, did we want to see the puppies and foster one of them?

Ted and I asked for some time to think about it, and we were asked to make a decision by that evening. Oh, and would seeing photos help us decide?

We struggled for a few hours to make a decision. Adopting an eight week old puppy is NOT like getting an adult dog. Ted works mainly from home, which was what made the puppy a possibility. But the puppies were so cute. It was so hard to say no. In the end we just went for it.

The very next afternoon we were meeting the three puppies at the vet clinic. SEVA GRREAT had named them Teddy, Toby, and Taylor. Toby was the runt of the litter at about 8 pounds. Teddy and Taylor looked much larger at twelve pounds. Toby was also the only one with a curly tail.

How to decide which one to take? We didn't! Toby made the choice for us by crawling with his little puppy paws into Ted's lap and giving him one little lick on the chin. He snuggled into Ted's arms. "Awww," said the vet tech, "he's bonded with you already!

Toby at 8 Weeks Old
Next Post: A Scary Beginning


  1. hahaha - that last photo is so cute!!! Looks like he just got scolded for something (which wouldn't be unusual!) I love it!

    That picture of Kasey is beautiful. I got a little choked up. Still miss him. :(

  2. What a neat story!

    Curly tails are the cutest.

    I am sorry you lost Kasey but glad you have Toby now.


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