GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
Exactly a year ago, a little pup arrived in our lives. A soft, cuddly little creature, endowed with an abundance of wrinkles and who reminded me of a frothy, foamy, soft, cream-cake.
Although my heart was still heavy from the loss of Maxdog - two months earlier - I decided to open myself up to the experience of another dog in my life. This particular litter presented a unique opportunity - a pup with a direct genetic link to my Angel Maxdog.
He was a beautiful pup, but so tiny - weighing in at only 300g at birth. He was the lightest of the litter of seven pups. I saw him for the first time when he was only 24hours. He attracted me like a little magnet and, as I held him in my hands and got that first wiff of puppy-breath, I knew that he'd eventually be mine. Somehow, Maxdog had passed on this special gift to me.
The little pup was registered, the following week, as
"RUFFITWOOD: 'OUT OF AFRICA"
What an apt name, I thought - from 'Out of Africa' , there would come another dog, possibly like Maxdog, which I could share with my blogging friends around the world! These little ironies don't get lost on me. Never-the-less, we decided to call him by the every-day name of..
It was a carefully selected name, from one of the characters in my childhood story books and it reminded me of the innocence of youth and the hope of what is still to come.
TOBY came to live with us at the age of seven weeks.
Like all puppies, he filled our lives with yapping, joyful energy, sleepness nights, poo's all over the place and unbridled joy. Our home was alive again and this infiltrated through to AUNT TAM' - who had suddenly brightened up at the possibility of a brand new playmate. KING TOFFEE was also suitably impressed and opted to climb off his throne for a while to experience some of the fun.
But it was AUNT TAM who took him under her paw and instilled a measure of canine discipline. This tempered his spirit and provided some secure boundaries. Simply put - she adopted him and taught him her gentle ways.
Puppy classes were fun. TOBY thrived in the companionship of canine company, as well as the small challenges which were put to him. His social skills were fabulous and he caught on quickly. I applied myself to teaching him well - early obedience - which complimented our home and our pack.
He graduated from puppy classes and went on to complete his elementary obedience too.
At the age of six months, I was asked if I would like to train TOBY up for the role of SANDY in the production of ANNIE. I jumped at the opportunity. Under the careful tuition of Shannon McKay, we achieved our goal and at the age of 9 months TOBY took to the stage. He loved the children and performed like a little star. I was so proud of him and knew that this experience could only serve to enhance his social skills and his obedience.
We've had fun this year! We've attended dog shows, swam a lot, gone on excursions, enjoyed our daily walks and got on with the day-to-day demands of our lives.
TOBY has fitted beautifully into our household. All the dogs get on well together. He continues to be a blessing in my life.
So, on this day - 24th July 2011 - I would like to wish my special, 'Sweet Hooligan...
A VERY HAPPY BARKDAY, TOBY!
Live well! Learn well! Be healthy too!
But most of all, make the most of every day and...
LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX!
Sending lotsaluv to all our friends across the world!