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Toby's Tale

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Archive for November, 2009


Fifteen Minutes of Fame

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As we go through the Thanksgiving holiday, I realize how much I have to be thankful for.  We have made it through our third round of chemo and Toby feels great. Reading this story made me realize how lucky we are to have our beloved pets.  Who can love us this much? I can relate to this story…  Toby always shows so much love and appreciation for me.  My heart is heavy…

Fifteen Minutes of Fame
By Marty Becker

I dashed out an exit at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and ran towards a waiting cab. I was greeted by a cab driver with a three-day-old beard, an old baseball cap and arms the size of tree trunks. As he tossed my bags into the trunk, he spotted my luggage tags and said, “What kind of doctor are you?”

“A veterinarian,” I said. Instantly, his grizzled face broke into a smile. This happens to veterinarians all the time, as people love to talk about their pets.

The doors slammed, he put the car into gear and hit me with this opening salvo, “My wife claims I love my toy poodle Missy more than I love her. Just once, she wants me to be as excited to see her as I am Missy. But Doc, it ain’t gonna happen. Ya see, when I get home from a long day in the cab, dead tired, I open the door and there are the two of them looking at me, Ma and Missy. Ma has a scowl on her face and is ready to tear into me. Missy, on the other hand, is shaking all over, she’s that happy – her face is grinning so wide, she could eat a banana sideways. Now who do you think I’m going to run to?”

I nodded my head in agreement because I understood his point only too well. He loved his wife, but he simply wanted permission to savor his fifteen minutes of fame.

Everybody gets fifteen minutes of fame once in his lifetime. We pet owners get our fifteen minutes every time we come home – or even return from the next room.

A few days after I saw the cab driver in Chicago, I returned home. I was tired from my travels and looking forward to seeing my family. Pulling into the driveway, I peered through the windshield, straining to catch a glimpse of my loved ones. My two children, Mikkel and Lex, are very close to good ol’ dad, but I didn’t see their faces pressed against the window looking for me. Nor did my beloved wife, Teresa, come running in super slow motion across the yard, arms open wide ready to embrace me.

But I didn’t despair. I knew I was still wanted, a Hollywood heartthrob, hometown hero to my two dogs: Scooter, a wire haired fox terrier, and, Sirloin, a black Labrador retriever!

As soon as I exited the pickup, Sirloin and Scooter charged to meet me. Their love-filled eyes danced with excitement, and their tail turbochargers whipped them into a delighted frenzy of fur.

Was this affection-connection routine, or ho-hum for me? Was I cool, calm and collected? Heck no. I turned into a blithering idiot as I got out of my truck and rushed to meet the hairy-princess, Scooter, and Sirloin, the fur-king.

There I stood, all these false layers stripped away, masks removed and performances canceled. It was my true self. Extra pounds, bad-hair day, angry people, travel strains, no matter. Scooter and Sirloin came to the emotional rescue and allowed me to drink in the sheer love and joy of the moment. I was drunk with contentment.

I was glad this took place in the privacy of my own home. What happened next might have spoiled my polished professional image. I immediately smiled, and raised my voice an octave or two, exclaiming, “Sirloin, yuz is daaaaddy’s boy, aren’t ya?” And, “Scooter have you been a good girl today? Yeah, you have, you’ve been a goooood girl!!”

They responded by turning inside out with delight, pressing themselves against my legs and talking to me. I felt as if I could tap directly into their wellspring of positive, healing energy. Gee, it was great to be home!

I bounded up the steps to find the rest of the family, heart open, stress gone and spirits restored by my fifteen minutes of fame.


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Six Weeks and Counting

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Enjoying the beautiful morning in the backyard.

Enjoying the beautiful morning in the backyard.

It’s been over six weeks since the surgery and it’s nice to report that life in our house has gotten back to normal.  Toby doesn’t quite trust his skill coming back through the dog door so sometimes he just sits outside.  It’s kind of strange because there is no height differential.  I think the stained concrete floors feel slick and he’s afraid of slipping so I’ve put down rugs but he still is apprehensive – oh well, another adjustment we’ll learn to live with.

He’s a week into his second round of chemo and is feeling good.  This morning his appetite wasn’t quite as good but I think he was holding out for what we had for breakfast (eggs, bacon, etc).  I saved a small amount and put it in his bowl then he ate what I had prepared for him.  His meals are very good since all of this started.  I make homemade dog food – cooked turkey seasoned with garlic powder, brown rice, cottage cheese, mixed veggies, omega oil, brewer’s yeast – heck, when I get it mixed together, I’m tempted to try it .  I combine it with high quality dry food and he is a happy pup.

His spirits are good.  He just loves us so much so if we will just sit on the floor and play with him and pet him – he’s in heaven.  The hide and seek game Buck plays with the ball is entertaining to all!

Ahhh there it is!

Ahhh there it is!

Determination

Determination

Every day is a gift – we will hope for many more happy ones ahead of us!


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