It has been 13 months since we adopted Toby (Kelso) from SCARS and needless to say it has been quite the ride. We have been super lucky with the relationship between Toby and our older dog, Abby. They got along the first time they met and now have created an inseparable bond. Toby looks up to and respects Abby and, at the same time, she protects him like her little brother. We discovered that Toby is quite the escape artist. When he decided that he would venture out of the backyard, Abby barked and barked until she got our attention. Thanks to Abby, we found Toby sitting outside the gate wagging his tail super proud of his achievement. We quickly mended the hole and that never happened again.
That being said, being a golden retriever mix, Toby doesn’t like to stray too far from us, which makes him a natural at the dog park. Ever since he was a puppy, and even now, he doesn’t stray more than 5-6 feet away from us even when he sees other dogs running around. He would always wait for us or wait for the “OK” before he ventures off. He loves playing fetch and loves the water at the park. Sometimes we can’t get him out of the water and he’s a GREAT swimmer. He kept up with the big/older dogs when he sees a stick or a ball in the river. Sometimes, Abby has a tough time keeping up with him. When we only had Abby, we thought she was the energetic one.
Over the year, we discovered that Toby is a natural with many things, especially his happy-go-easy personality. He is super cute, super silly, super cuddly and super affectionate. He’s quite content with snuggling and curling up right between us while we are watching TV, or even on our bed. He is a natural with kids. He would lay down and let the toddlers pet and play with him (with supervision and guidance of course) until they are done. The golden retriever side really shows in Toby. He loves to follow us around, and people would get the impression that he has separation anxiety. But because we crate trained him the second we brought him home, and because of Abby, he is fine at home while we are not around. With all good things, there’s always the bad… Toby can be quite stubborn and rebellious at times. Potty training was one that we never thought he would understand. We started training him to ring the bell at the patio door so we can let him out. He understands what the bell does to go outside. So he would ring the bell and play with Abby outside, 20 minutes later, comes back in, and would pee/poop inside. The good thing is, he remembered where the pee pads were when we pee pad trained him, so at least it’s the same spot all the time. One day, right before his 1st birthday, it finally clicked, and he started showing signs that he understood the house is not a toilet, and since mid November he has been accident-free. Needless to say, he was super happy that he can sleep with us on our bed at night instead of his crate beside our bed. However, he still rings the bell and whines looking outside just so he go and play in the snow and sometimes he wouldn’t listen to us and stays outside just so he can make snow angels at -20… at that point we had to bribe him with kibble.
Overall, Toby has been a great companion for us and for Abby, he has been a very nice addition to our family and he couldn’t have been a better choice.
I have attached a few recent pictures since his birthday (Dec 12) so you can see how ‘big’ he has become. He doesn’t look like a puppy anymore. However, he still has his puppy demeanor which we all know will NEVER go away.
Kevin & Sharon