Goodbye, Toby

September 19, 2012

I remember clearly that chilly afternoon in late November, five years ago.  I was standing in the school office when the bus driver walked through the door, carrying a large brown cardboard box. "Look what I found in the parking lot," she said, beckoning me to peek inside.  What do you think I saw?

Sam received a picture text from me that afternoon.  I think it said something like, "Can we keep him??"

We loved and cared for Toby for many years, but that love and care slowly waned away as our time and attention was drawn to bringing up two little boys.  I began to regret adopting that cute little puppy as his behaviors became a daily source of stress and frustration.  We knew the breed, and we knew that, even if he had proper exercise and attention, Toby would never be a suitable pet for young children.

So we spread the word to all of our family and friends, searching for a new home for our little dog.  But none came.  And we wrestled with the idea of bringing him to a shelter when we knew that he really could be a great pet if we found the right person.

After many prayers and lengthy discussions, last Sunday night we gave ourselves a deadline.  Find a home by Friday, or bring him to the shelter. That was our decision.

So Monday afternoon, I went on Craigslist to put up an ad as a last resort.  But as when I searched for "Miniature Pinschers", something else came up.  It was a post from a family in search of a Miniature Pinscher, "preferably male". This seemed way too good to be true.  I sent an email and said a prayer.

This family lives in the country and wanted a Min Pin to call their own. I told them everything about Toby, and they seemed to think he'd be perfect for them.  Within 2 days we had settled everything (as in, you're really taking him, right? and, I'll give you everything for free, please just take him!)  We met at a park and we handed over 1 rambunctious dog, 1 bark collar, 1 choke leash for walking him, 1 bottle sedation pills for cutting his nails.... Despite everything we said, they seemed thrilled to have him.  And at last, Toby is in a new home!

Here are the final pictures I took of Toby, on his last afternoon with us.  I think the last picture captures the true essence of why he had to go. (And it's way too creepy not to share.)  Praise God for his faithfulness to our family!

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