Life is Never Dull Around Toby

 What? I Didn’t Do It - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

What? I Didn’t Do It - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

This week has been crazy. I was going to write a post about how important human contact is, even for an introvert like me. But I couldn’t get permission to use the picture I wanted to utilize with that post, so I put it on hold. Strike one.

Then I decided to write a post about butterflies and how the pesticides humans use plus the eradication of many of the native plants the butterflies love is causing their numbers to dwindle. I scheduled a trip to take pictures of the native plants, but tropical storm Cindy came to call, so I put it on hold. Strike two.

The deadline for my blog post was rapidly approaching, and I was fresh out of ideas. Was strike three around the corner? Fortunately for me, I live with Toby, and there is always something interesting going on with Toby around.

Toby is an active, intelligent, Doberman, who loves to play. If I won’t play with him, he’ll find someone else to play with. When he first came to live with us, I thought he would be afraid of my older Doberman female, Skye, because she was big and a little dog aggressive. If he warted Skye too much, she’d nip him. But that didn’t stop Toby. He’d hide underneath a chair, and when she least expected it, he’d leap out and attack.

 I Can Take Her! - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

I Can Take Her! - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

Skye was gentle with him most of the time, but Toby spent a lot of time hiding under chairs back then.

 She Can’t Get Me Here - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

She Can’t Get Me Here - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

If Skye wasn’t around to attack, Toby found other likely targets; even pine cones weren’t safe.

 Attack!!! - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

Attack!!! - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

I love playing with Toby. He makes me laugh and fills my days with joy. I worried that when he was no longer a puppy, he might not want to play with me anymore. But, when I told Toby about my concerns, he just grinned and raced to get his Frisbee. We toss that Frisbee around the yard at least once a day. Toby races after it leaps up and grabs it right out of the air.

 Frisbee Anyone? - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

Frisbee Anyone? - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

So, I bet you’re wondering what Toby did today that was so interesting? He helped me learn one of life’s simple truths.

I have a large walk-in closet. Toby likes to come in and visit with me as I get dressed. I put a mat on the floor so he could have a little cushion from the hard tile, but Toby hates flat beds. He scoots the edges around with his feet until the bed is lumpy, and I can’t tell what he’s hidden in it. Yesterday, I noticed that my closet stunk. At first, I couldn’t figure out where the odor was coming from, but I finally isolated it to Toby’s mat. I bundled that mat up and took it to the utility room, but I didn’t have time to wash it right then.

 Today, I walked by the utility room and noticed that it reeked. I had to get that smell out of my house. I grabbed that mat, shook it out over the trash can, and then dumped it into the washer with some others.  I thought my problem was solved, but when the washer finished, and I opened the lid, it stunk.

I asked Toby what on earth he had done to make that mat stink that badly, but he just gave me an innocent look and grinned. Frustrated, I started pulling wet mats out of the washer, turning them over in my hands, trying to figure out what was making the smell. That’s when I learned a great life lesson. All little boys share the same curiosity. It doesn't matter whether they have two legs or four; they are not bothered by getting dirty, or jumping in a puddle, and if they see a toad... There was a dead toad in my washing machine. Toby thought that toad was so cool. He wanted me to take a picture of it and show you, so you could see just how cool it was, but I refused.

Needless to say, my washing machine and that load of mats got a thorough cleaning once that poor toad was removed. Toby couldn’t understand why I was upset. It’s just a toad, Mom. Don’t you like toads?

Life is never dull around Toby.

 Want to Play? - Photo by Susan L. Davenport

Want to Play? - Photo by Susan L. Davenport