GREETINGS FROM TOBY's HOUSEHOLD!
Friday 16th March 2012
We have rats in the garden!
I think they've taken up residence in the large pile of wood cuttings behind the house (which is patiently waiting removal at some unknown day in the future). Toby and Tammy are loving this new intrigue - darting in and out of the foliage, through the flower beds and into the pile. RATS are their best! They emerge covered with leaves, mud and dust - as if they've won the jackpot. Dogs!!!
We take them to the park for a walk this evening. On arrival, Toby's long-standing 'fan' - the Border Collie, who has always hated him - notices his arrival and, from a distance, sprints straight at him and into him. Usually Toby gets such a fright and scurries off with his tail between his legs, but this time he's decided to stand his ground.
With hackles raised he challenges his opponent. To me it looks serious. The Border Collie snaps at him. Obviously he's had enough of these months of unprovoked onslaught. I need to get him away from the situation a.s.a.p but the Border Collie's owner is nowhere in sight. I am terrified that it will develop into a full blown fight.
It takes me 3 attempts before I am finally able to slip the lead over his head and restrain him. He's incredibly strong and powerful and I get really scared that he'll do damage. Luckily all is okay. Both dogs forget the incident and eventually run off happily. I don't forget and I can't curb my shaking. My fear of dog-fights gets worse every day.
Monday 19th March 2012
The Boss and I go to gym this evening and lock the dogs in the kitchen. On our return, we discover the newly laid 'Ant Trap' in shreds and Toby has a large piece in his mouth. He wags his tail in welcome. Panic stations! I message Darryl on my mobile. (Darryl is my wonderful, patient, generous 'on-call', veterinary advisor) who suggests that we take Toby to the emergency hospital a.s.a.p. ...
The Boss and I pile Toby into the car and, without clear directions, head towards Fourways. We have an 'idea' of where it is located but don't know exactly. A telephone call to Lorraine and Russell help establish the directions. Toby looks none the worse for wear, happily watching the world go by and barking at the motor-bikes.
The receptionist calmly marches him behind closed doors and I wonder how much this is going to cost us. Thankfully he's returned to the waiting area, almost straight away.
"ONE ant-trap, for such a large dog is probably okay," the vet has declared. "Just watch him."
Phew! Emergency averted.
Four hours later, Toby still has no side-effects. He snoozes happily in the corner of our bedroom. I think it's possible to close my eyes for the night too. (Thank goodness for friends like Darryl and Lorraine)
Tuesday 20th March 2012
Early morning. Toby welcomes in the day. Typically, the dogs wait at my bedside for their biscuits. Even more typically, one gets stuck in Tammy's palate. She spends the next five minutes sucking and licking with fervour - her snout pointed to the heavens in euphoria. "An endless biscuit," she's probably thinking.
Both Toby and Tammy sink to the floor (next to my bed) in the sure knowledge that the only thing that separates them from a second biscuit is....time. As if to remind me, Tammy starts sucking the carpet.
One pat and Toby's on my bed, on his back, with his paws pointed to the ceiling in glee. How can one not rub his fluffy tummy? His jowls droop and his pearly-whites grin at me from upside down. His heavy tail smooths my duvet as he waves it from side to side. I put my whole foot on his chest and dig my toes into his silky fur. He rolls closer - like the wave of a break-dancer. What a goofball!
There's never a dull moment in this household!