The Most Terrible Of Days

I love animals, especially dogs. I grew up with dogs and we have a few. Not long after my wife and I got married we rescued a dog from the local shelter. We named her Woflie (eventually to morph into Woofie), made a donation for free obedience lessons and my wife and she went. She was a smart little dog and caught on very quickly.

Woofie is gone now. So is Adam. And Jake. And Maggie. Our current dog Snuggles, is 16 and getting quite old. Today though, isn’t about her. It is about Toby.

Last fall we had to put two dogs down. One was an old Shepherd/Collie mix that we had kept as a favor to a co-worker of my wife’s. A year later, he was getting bad quickly and it was his time. A month later and our old dog Maggie stopped eating. She was about 14 and everything was shutting down. I still cry when I think of that day in November when I said goodbye to her for the last time.

Back in February, there was a stray running around our neighborhood. Having one old dog, I was looking forward to being without one. The kids wanted to keep this dog and we did. My daughter named him Toby. We have no idea how old he is. Sometimes he is the sweetest dog around, the next moment he is snapping at you, biting.

We had him fixed. He still chews, pees in the house, snaps at people. We tried to train him. Some days were better than others. One day, he chewed some prized possessions of my daughter’s. She started to not like him.

The good got better and the bad got worse. He chewed more of her things. Now she really hated him. He chewed things from everyone. We got him toys. We played fetch with him. Some days good, others bad, very bad. He puked in the house. Peed. And pooped. We took him out more. Gave him less water. Nothing really changed.

Today we had to take him to the most depressing place on the planet, the local SPCA shelter. A place I once took a stray I kept for too long in 1992 and swore I would never take another dog. I was sick. I cried. I do miss him.

Toby, please be a good dog and get a home. You can be such a good boy when you try. Out there is a 9 year old boy who needs a dog to play fetch. Let him find you.

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