Our family has experienced a lot of changes the past few months. Change is good albeit a bit stressful and overwhelming but, for the most part, it’s good.
I’ve been wanting to write about Toby, our newest fur baby, for awhile but things have been crazy so here I am now. While still trying to conceive and assuming it wasn’t going to happen (more info in another post), I decided that I needed an additional dog. Toby’s photo came my way across my amazing friend, Sarah. She’s a volunteer for Protection Pitbull in Montreal, a Pitbull advocate, and an all-around wonderful person. When transporting Sir Toby to the vet to have his manhood snipped she dropped his pic my way and let me know that Toby is an amazing family dog who needs to be adopted out of Montreal due to the Pitbull bylaw newly in effect (Coderre, you’re a loser).
It just so happened that Toby would be going into the care of BARCs Rescue in Calgary. What are the odds?! That means it’s fate, right?! So, without consulting my partner or discussing with my family, I emailed the rescue and submitted an application to become a foster. Within a week or so, I was officially signed up as Toby’s foster mom with the option to adopt. (At this point, I did consult my partner. I am a mostly responsible adult.)
After some paperwork sorting and reading lengthy literature about fostering that nearly put me off the task, Toby boarded a West Jet flight to Alberta. I excitedly packed up some dog food and toys and headed to the airport roughly 40 minutes early, just in case he happened to get in ahead of time. When has a flight ever arrived early?
I’d like to say it was love at first sight but I’m no fool. It was definitely like and a little bit of fear at first sight. Toby is big. Much bigger than my Bichon/Mini-Poodle mix. A big, sturdy, quiet dog was wheeled out of the cargo hold in an ever bigger dog crate and my first thought was,
“There’s no chance I’m fitting that thing in my vehicle with the dog inside”.
The crate just fit on its side and Toby squeezed his way in beside it. I fed him food from my hand and he quietly sniffed out the window during the drive home. That was just the beginning of us making things work.
Our family has tried their best to speak to this gentle giant in our best Quebecois-French accent to make him feel welcome and at home and to let him know that we are friends, not foe.
Toby’s presence has been a lesson in patience and kindness. We are all not so different, this dog and I. He definitely has some anxiety around large groups and can feel protective and scared about the unknown real quick.
I get it, man. Preaching to the choir.
He’s misunderstood by his smaller and older canine companion in the house when he’s not trying to fight but simply trying to play.
I hear that bud. Sometimes, they just don’t get me either.
And his favorite thing to do is eat, find food to eat, steal food to eat, get treats to eat.
Oh, my dog, my best friend, we are not so different at all.
If you can adopt or foster, check out these resources below.