When you welcome a dog into your family it becomes an integral part of that family. With their high intelligence and intuitive sense, their selfless attitude and unquestioning loyalty you cannot help but love them dearly. You love the cute way they do things, even when they get into mischief or cause you a ton of trouble; one look into their innocent eyes and you forgive them, and instead of a reprimand they receive a loving kiss or a hug. Meanwhile there is no measure of their unwavering love and loyalty.  They enrich our lives so much; they give us comfort and sooth our rattled nerves or heart after even the most mundane or difficult of days. Coming in through the door and seeing their joy unravels the snags and melts away all the glitches you may have encountered prior to that moment, and if you should fall ill, they stand by you the whole time giving you their brand of comfort, and truly a most genuine comfort it is.

My mom had such a brilliant being, a Yorkshire terrier called Toby and, though he lived to a ripe old age of 19, his recent demise came as such a shock to us all. I mourned his loss for days, and am still in mourning. Toby lived this long because he was well cared for. For one thing, he ate only human food with an occasional dog treat. His daily meal comprised specifically prepared lamb done to perfection by my loving, caring mom.  He loved his lamb, more than the beef or chicken.  Whenever possible I provided him with a takeout rotisserie chicken, pizza or a Chinese food which delighted him also. Going for a stroll was somewhat a bother but also a delight, being interrupted often by children and adults alike, who stopped to pat or love him. And oh, how he loved all the attention.  Then on occasion, he would bark and growl ready to take on the big dogs five times his size in ready defence of his family. Red faces and offered apologies would follow this, as mom swooped him off the ground and cuddled him against her chest to quieten him.

I don’t know what it is with the dogs and the mailman. He would always sense the mailman whenever mail was about to be shoved down the mail-box.  I suppose that, too, was part of Toby defending his territory and keeping his pack safe from any would-be intruders.  For such a tiny dog, he had a pretty impressive bark that brought the inhabitants of the house hastily to the door the moment anyone appeared, but this was only for the strangers.  He never even grumbled when a friend or family showed up, yet he was always first to greet you.

These last few years or so he was ailing and suffered from dysentery, arthritis, blindness and loss of hearing.  Medicine, diapers and constant care, despite the trouble were unstintingly and lovingly provided because he was part of the family and we all loved him. I don’t have to think long to be reminded of all the endearing, precious characteristics, attitude, and actions that warm my heart and soul to this day and will continue to do so as long as I live.  I’m sure there are others like him, but he was one of a kind to us, and the memories of him will never die.

I felt I needed to say something, to let the world know of another precious being that will be terribly missed.  I wish he could have lived forever. As it is I shall carry the loving memory of Toby in my heart always.


A happier time, mom walking the dog. Click here to see the video:


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