Thursday, February 24, 2011


MAXMOM here...

When the producer of “Annie” mentioned that they planned to bring Toby onto stage ‘in a box’ as a Christmas present for ‘Annie’, I cringed.  How was I to help Toby learn to overcome his crate-phobia in the short time left before the curtains rise? How am I to do this when I don’t even a crate at home?  I thought it would be an impossible feat. 

This morning his expression pleads:
 “Is this crate here to stay, Maxmom?”
Our trainer managed to unearthed a crate somewhere and we brought it home yesterday. After giving it a nice wash, I set it up in my kitchen. Toby’s bedding was inserted and I tentatively hid the first treat in the hope that Toby would fall for my trick. No problem. He was in the crate in no time: firmly settled and staring at me with his big, brown eyes. In a matter of minutes my reservations had been obliterated.

Seems like I'll have to save up for one of his own.


Garden time is a dog’s favourite. 
"King Toffee" waltzes along the perimeter on a constant mission to be the first to notice intruders – be they large or microscopic. All need to be eradicated! Hadedah Ibises are a particular irritant to him as they languidly stroll along the edge of our neighbours’ roofing.  He quickly whips his larger siblings up into a barking frenzy.  I have no option but to leave the keyboard and put a stop to it. I grab my camera too.
Toby’s love for jumping into the swimming pool is growing daily.
Today my mock throw saw him leaping with abandon, frantically sticking his head under water in a desperate attempt to find the elusive object. Was it all a dream? After blowing many bubbles he discovered that his dumbbell was still in my hand. I wasn’t very popular.
He was out of the pool in a wiz and then forced me into throwing the real object at least 10 times more. Perhaps we’ll have to think about lengthening our pool someday because he’s nearly jumping all the way across! (Only kidding!)

The perfect picture of Toby’s pool diving still eludes me. If I could divide myself into two I might have the chance at that picture, but it’s hard to take photographs whilst getting Toby to “WAIT” for his dumbbell to be thrown.  All of this has to happen simultaneously.
Any volunteer photographers?

There’s been a noticeable drop in the night time temperature recently.  Obviously winter is just around the corner. 

Toby, you’d better enjoy your swimming while you can!
Oh yes...and
 "Happy 7 months old, my boy!!!
Sending lotsaluv to you all,


Pepsi the Lazy Bum said...

That sure was a mighty jump into the pool, Toby! Happy 7 months old!

& salutations to you, King Toffee. I like how you eradicate the intruders. I am quite a barker as well, ho ho.


Jake of Florida said...

Tha's so interesting about the crate. Our Jake has never liked being in a crate or confined in any way. At 6 months or so, he unlocked his crate (we had been crate-training him) walked over to where I was sitting at my computer to lick my knee -- and that was it. When we board him, he's in a fairly large run or he gets very stressed. On the other paw, JH seeks out Jake's abandoned crate for a snooze, does a low crawl under the coffee table to a mat I've placed there as a secondary snoozing spot, and has no trouble at all with confined spaces.

Glad Toby is more like JH than Jakey and found the crate so comfy!!! How much bigger will he be by May???

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry

WFT Nobby said...

Happy Seven Months Toby!
Well done for being good about the crate. I was never too keen myself after my first month or two and as for Hamish! Apparently he went totally ballistic when Gail tried to introduce him to a travelling crate using the 'treat at the back if the crate' trick. As with so many behavioural issues, Hamish was exceptionally resistant to any modification and the crate was given away to a friend. Apparently I am a paragon of flexibility, by comparison with Hamish!
Toodle pip!

rottrover said...

Happy 7 Months, Toby!! You are gettin so big!! We are very impressed with your crate experience. We HATE the crate and Mom has never been able to get us into one without our freaking out!!

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

We all love our crates. They are great places for having some quiet time and a good snooze. We have our choice of beds or crates and we love both. Sometimes we do get locked in the crate if we have bones or if there is a lot of company, but most of the time it is all our choosing.

Maybe instead of carrying Toby out on stage, they could rig up a way to fasten the crate to a dolly and roll him out instead - that might be a lot easier to train Toby for.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Mrs. JP said...

We are a crate loving pack as well! It's a safe place where there's no pressure or other pack members. Good for Toby, I know Mom will buy you one of your very own soon.
I think your pictures are great.

Asta said...

Happy Seven momf Biwfday Toby!!!
Cleawly no leawning expewience is beyond awe soo smawt and quick to pleez youw Mom must be so vewy pwoud of you.
I hope you get lots of wondewful fun swimming in befowe it gets too cold.

So happy to see King Toffee patwoling the gwounds. I know he will keep it safe fow all of you
smoochie kisses

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hi Toby,
Our Bambi loves her crate!!! When I rescued her from the shelter the person that got her just before me had bought her a crate and when they brought her back to the shelter they brought the crate with her to be given to the person who got her next.
She still sleeps in her too small for her crate!! LOL
XX, Bambi & Fern

Rob said...

We've never had any of our dogs in a crate. Will the children be able to pick it up okay, perhaps they have it on something. Thanks for the suggestion you made in the comment you left on my blog, I will try and write a post about what motivates me sometime soon.

nancyturtle said...

Does your camera have a "sports" setting? Mine takes multiple pictures as long as I hold the shutter button down. It's great for getting those "action" shots!

Emma Rose said...

Happy 7 months Toby! We would love to come swim in your pool :)

Emma Rose

Unknown said...

Hi Toby, Tammy & Toffee (& MaxMom)!

So sorry it's take me so long to return your visit - it was so lovely to hear from you after such a long time! And how exciting to meet Toby, the new member of your family. My human thinks you have the most gorgeous face, Toby!!

I think MaxMom is doing a great job with the crate and it sounds like it's all going very well!

Honey the Great Dane

Kari said...

Toby! You got a new condo! A place of your very own! We are impressed! We are all rescue kitties and some of us love the crates we arrived in. Our mum considers our crates as sanctuary. No pulling us out, no reaching in or scolding us (even if we've peed on a chair) if we are inside. Lots of doggies we know love theirs. Did you have a crate when you were a pup? If so, it probably is a pleasant secure cave for you. Enjoy your new place!

houndstooth said...

We have two crates set up right now and three of our four are always trying to be in them! Bunny doesn't like the crate and never has, but the other three love them. It's nice because there are times when you need to put them in and at least they aren't fussing about being in there. I think some dogs just take to it!

I love that picture of Toby in flight!

Amy Wood said...

Happy to hear he took to the crate. That had to be a relief. It will be interesting to learn how he reacts to being closed in a box.
The pic of him diving in the pool is great. What a jump!
Funny that King Toffee walks the perimeter. My dogs do that too!

Jacqueline said...

Great photos!...Toby is getting sooooo big=he is just adorable!!...How cool he is going to be a famous actor :) !...It's so good to see all your precious, beautiful babies, Caryl; please give them kisses for me!...Hope you all are happy and well...Big hugs, sweet friend.

Becky Andrews said...

Happy Seven Months, Toby!

Two French Bulldogs said...

HappE Birthday 7 months Toby. The box, it only looks like jail. If mom puts treats in their you will start liking it
Benny & Lily

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Happy 7 month Birthday Toby.
You are growing into such a handsome boy!
I love looking at all your photos Toby as you show off and have such fun.
I think that I can hear you giggling.
Thank you for sharing all these photos to us,,, you are so beautiful

Amber-Mae said...

Glad to know you like the crate, Toby. And oh my, LOVE LOVE LOVE that shot of you leaping into the pool! You could be a dock diving dock & you could compete in dock diving competitions. Oh & Happy 7th Month Birthday to you! Hope you're having a great one.

Texas The Doxie said...

Crates Crates we love craaaaaaaaaatessss

How Sam Sees It said...

That is a really awesome photo of Toby jumping!


♥Mimi♥ said...

As your temps drop mine begin to rise. Still snow on the ground and still not above freezing but by the calendar, alone, I know that spring is just around the corner!

sprinkles said...

I have to see a play at the end of March for school, I wish it was the play Toby is in.

Good to see King Toffee again. I just adore that little dog!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Happy 7 month un-birthday Toby! We love yoo lots and are very proud of how yoo are preapring for yoor Oscar winning performance.

Suka said...

hey Toby,

Happy 7-months Old! You are growing into quite the beautiful dog! And we think your mom got an excellent picture of you jumping into the pool. That looks super fun! And congrats for learning the crate so quickly. We just know you are going to be amazing in "Annie."

King Toffee sure is a cutie. Lovely cascading tail!


p.s. Thank you for leaving such a kind Comment on my blog!

Deborah said...

This sounds like so much fun!
Have a great weekend!