They say life is better with a dog. And if you've ever had a dog, you understand the truth in this statement. Dogs get dirty, cause trouble, give sloppy kisses and make messes, but they are always there. Whether they are sleeping at your feet, waiting for you to come home or sharing an adventure, dogs come armed with a special, unconditional love. They never fail to make the best of everything. We can learn a lot from our dog friends. I know I have.
Toby the dog was no different. He caused A LOT of trouble in his heyday. He was adept at stealing and destroying all my mom’s Isotoner slippers, eating uncooked chicken right off the counter, slobbering on the windows after they were just cleaned, sniffing all the crotches and butts, make a beeline over the mountain for a run in the woods and laying in the middle of the hallway just waiting for the unsuspecting someone to trip over him.
As he got older, you could hear every creak and groan in his old body. Fooled by his eyes, he’d bark at nothing. Yet, every night without fail he’d trudge up the steps to sleep at the bottom of my parents' bed. He made the best of his aged self and never stopped loving us.
Over the past weekend, Toby had a stroke. We thought he had recovered, showing positive signs of improvement. He even managed to climb the stairs to sleep at the bottom of my parents' bed! Last night, we think he had another stroke. His old and achy body just couldn’t handle any more stress. With labored breaths, he slipped away in the early hours of Monday morning.
It will be weird going home this weekend for Jace's birthday. For once, Toby the dog will not be there with his warm greetings and love. Despite his zany antics, Toby was a cherished family member. He made my life better because of his love, joy, silliness and appreciation of simple things. Here’s hoping Toby's in doggie heaven enjoying a field of stolen slippers!