Doggy Tales Special Edition: 3 or 3.5

We celebrated Toby's birthday on May 29th. May 29th is really the day Toby came home with us and since we don't know when he was really born we celebrate his birthday on that day.

When we got Toby at the shelter the doctor told us he was 1 or 1.5 years old so now he is 3 or 3.5 and he has been with us for 2 years!

Raising Toby has been incredibly challenging, he is a reactive dog who does not like children, does not like men, does not like bicycles, does not like runners...he is basically scared of everything and fears that everyone will harm his family so he becomes reactive. He starts barking and would probably jump at people if he wasn't on a leash. We try to walk him when there aren't many people around and it has taken us these two years to learn how to calm him down. And he is doing a lot better. He is best friends with the 14 year old pug that lives across us, he loves older people and he finally doesn't bark at our 2 other neighbors when they walk by our window. But as much training and we give him, and as safe as we try to make him feel he is still reactive and very very scared that someone will harm his family.

Ever since he got sick it really hasn't been so challenging. Ever since he got sick I have done my best to not get mad at him over the little things, like when he goes in the trash and makes a mess or when he accidentally breaks one of the blinds because our upstairs neighbors are immature people who like to tease my dogs from the window. I don't ever want Toby - or Jake for that matter - to feel like they aren't loved for even a minute. Toby's near death encounter made me realize that they have very short lives, I have a very short time with both of them and I don't want them to ever feel like they are not loved...not for a stupid accident or for being dogs. They still get a stern talk if they do something bad but not for the small things that make others mad. It is not worth my time to stay mad at these two little dogs who love me unconditionally and who care about me in a way I can't even understand.

So we celebrated Toby's birthday. He got a bunch of squeaky toys, he got a plain big mac (so did Jake), and he also got to spend the day with me because I was home sick with pneumonia. We made them both feel special, but Toby just a little more, because I honestly did not think back in November that we would get to spend another birthday with him. It was an emotional day for me, but also a happy one because he was there and he was happy and he knew we loved him. I don't think anyone but my family and Joey understand how happy I was that day and I really hope we get to spend more birthdays together.

Jake Approves the following photos of Toby enjoying his bday squeakies.

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