Thursday, March 3, 2011


TOBY here...

Hello there every-furry-buddy!
As many of you already know, I have a special doggie-friend called

Asta is a puppy-in-training and is hoping to become a guide dog or a service dog one day. Pups like her spend a year with their puppy-raising families before they return to the Guide Dogs Association for their formal training. 

Asta is 8 months old now and we have been playmates since our gotcha days. We get together regularly, and at these sessions our humans allow us to 'play with abandon'.  Asta has taught me how to be a true Labradork and the true meaning of 'Labra-frenzy'. We have had a lot of fun together. But she is all grown up now and will soon be moving on.

In four months time Asta will leave her puppy-raising family and return to the Guide Dogs Association for her formal training.
This means that she and I are on borrowed time. 
Once she is a guide-dog, we won't be able to have any more play sessions together.  It's kinda sad because she and I have had real fun during these sessions.

We have been playing together since we were tiny puppies.
(Check us out in the photo below - we were only a few weeks old!)

Here are some more pictures of Asta and me at our recent play session...

"Please Toby, give me back my toy!?!"

We beg for biscuits together.

Thank you Asta for being my special playmate!
We will have to make the most of the next four months because I know that I am going to miss you when you go.

Sending lotsalicks to you and to all my buddies around the world.


mimi said...

Good Morning :)
I love doggie play dates don't you :) Just last night our friend Pat and his golden buddy,Baily and my Brother in law and his sweet golden, Hannah came to play. Hannah is my Mabel's half sister and they love to see eachother. It is still cold here in Pittsburgh so we all played in our gameroom. Three goldens and a beagle--Yikes was it ever loud---but really fun. My mom has a black lab and my girls love to play with Molly as well. Nothing better than doggies at play :)
I think it is sooooo cool that Toby will be performing in Annie. First of all I love that movie (both the original and the remake) I am sure you were so proud of Toby--he looked so well behaved!!!! I can't wait to see pictures of opening night. How many nights will he be performing?
Congratulations to both of you
Hugs from Pittsburgh

Maggie Mae and Max said...


I LUVS my play dates too! Your furiend Asta is beootiful! SInce da renovations have started at my house Uncle K brings Archie, Reggie and Herschel wif him so I gets to play bitey face all day!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Amber-Mae said...

Asta's a beautiful Labragirl! I have not seen a girl Lab as good-looking as her before. You two must be such great buddies. LOVE that bitey-face picture! You both look so FEROCIOUS!!! HEE

Mrs. JP said...

My how time flies! That picture of them as fuzzy babes seems like only yesterday. Now, Asta is soon training for her new life and Toby is growing up so much too! That's right,,,make the most of it.
Note to you Maxmom,,,that picture of Toby with the water flowing off him is stunning. That new camera you got is great...of course, it's really the talent behind the camera..right? Have a great day and give Toby a hug from all of us in the holler...

Patti and DeBoys said...

Toby we want to commend you on being such a GREAT PLAY PAW-TNER to ASTA. We also look up to Asta for her courageous destiny in helping a special person through a life that wouldn't be possible without a SUPER SPECIAL furry companion. Enjoy your time together...

Mom to Mom -- would you share with me the avenues to follow to become a puppy-raising family for a guide dog?

Miss ViVi Gold said...

Super beautiful! Loved seeing these playful pix. I wish it didn't have to end for them, but... sigh. You have a very big heart! Good luck sweet Asta in your new beginnings.

Two French Bulldogs said...

You guys are such cute playmates. Hope you had lots of fun
Benny & Lily

rottrover said...

Beautiful pictures today. Asta is lovely! As are you, Toby!! Silly. Don't get jealous!!

Sheila and Bob said...

Toby, You and Asta sure do look like you have a lot of fun.
We know how hard it is when a friend moves away but the world will be a better place with another Guide Dog to help those who need it the most.

Hamish & Sophie

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

Those arer very beautiful photo's of you and the goegeous Asta playing. I know that Asta is going to do a very worthwhile job but it seems sad that she wont get to play again. Enjoy your next four months you gorgeous woofies.. Hugs GJ x

Bouncing Bertie said...

Oh it does seem so young for Asta to be moving on to her serious training and adult responsibilities. Toby will miss her for sure.
Cheers! Gail.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What adorable pictures of Asta and Toby! They both have certainly grown so much. I know Toby will miss her when she goes. Lots of love, Holly and mom

The Life of Riley said...

Asta has grown up - I can't believe how fast time has gone.

The photo of Toby coming out of the water is so wonderful. I have seen thousands and thousands of dog photos, but none like that - it should be your header photo for a while!


Amy Wood said...

Astra is beautiful. So glad you had fun playing with your friend. It is sad you won't be able to play together much longer :( But nice to know Astra will be going onto a good job.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I know Astra has been a wonderful playmate, friend and a mentor too!

Friends of our just returned their pup to 'Guiding Eyes' in New York. They've done everything right and we are waiting to see if 'Janet' makes the cut....

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

Well, we certainly hope that Asta gets some play time in her next training and with her final owner!

We love all the pictures of you! You are both very gorgeous!

Suka said...

hey Toby,

Asta is a gorgeous pup! You two look so perfect playing together! All of the photos are awesome. I am so sad that Asta will be leaving you, too. They should not break up best friends. I hope that the two of you spend the next four months making the best, most fun memories possible, because memories last a lifetime.


Dexter said...

Momma is nuts over that Asta. She is just like a ShePea!

Congrats on your big adventure to visit the theatre. I hope you get everything right and are a huge success.


Asta said...

I was so excited when I saw the title..I thought I was coming to visit you. then I saw, that you have youw own wondewful Asta hoo. She does look like a fun playmate and I wish hew well in all hew studies. That is so cool that she will be leawning to help hoomans like that.
I loved youw pictoowes
smoochie kisses
ASTA(the othew one)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I know your thinking of the days ahead. And I am thinking of the days that have past. Asta has taught you so much,, but I also know that you have taight Asta so much.. She will remember all that you taught her.
She will make someone so very happy
some day- when she goes to a forever home. I know she is happy now, but someones heart will dance for joy when they learn Asta will someday be theirs. Asta must go to school just like you.
Maybe, just maybe,, you can stay in touch

KB said...


You are so very lucky to have a friend like Asta. She's no "labradork" but a Labrador in the truest sense of the breed :)

You two have such fun together. Thanks to your mom for taking photos for us!

You asked in an earlier post why humans don't get food in their training (and you're right that we're being trained as much as you are) - the reason is that seeing our dog learn is plenty reward for us! I can tell that you're making your mom very happy.

The Thundering Herd said...

So terrific you have a playmate like Asta. And while it may be sad to not see your friend any more in a few months, we humans also have to go to work when we stop being puppies. We think Asta will make you proud.

Kari said...

Our kitty hearts break knowing that Asta must leave you. Does she know she'll go on to greatness? We don't know. But to separate these friends is killing for all concerned. We'd like to think that her perminent owner will love her beyond belief. But here in the states, we have too often seen guide dogs be a means to an end for their owners. Too awful.

Deborah said...

Asta is sure lucky to have a friend like you! Your lucky to have Asta too!
Are you going to be in Annie! How cool. I read your previous post now. That's exciting!

Marja said...

Your dogs are just gorgeous and thanks for visiting

Brandon - The dog with a blog said...

That sure looks like a fun playdate!
Asta seems like a wonderful play pal, and I'm glad you 2 know each other.
I think it is totally cool that she's in training (just like me) to be a guide dog... furry good luck to her!!


STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hi Toby, looks like a great friend you have in Asta. The photos were fab. She will make someone a wonderful friend and companion. Their world will open up immensely. Take care all, no worries, love Carol.

Trasles said...

Hello Toby. This is Asta. I've finally graduated as a guide dog - whoopee! I've settled in nicely with my new mommy, and though I have to work, I have lots of play time. My favourite toy is my floppy doggy and I carry it all over and wham all surrounding humans until they get the message: "Come on! Let's play!!!!"
Lots of paw waves to you. Miss you lots, but I'm happy as a chappy in my new home.
Oh, by the way, my new mom also has a blog, and watch that space - I intend to leave some paw prints all over it pretty soon. It is