Regal Toby

Our dog, Toby, does have cancer.

I went into the family room today to ask George about the construction dust layering the house.

“I have some bad news about Bo Bos,” he said.

That’s when I noticed George was sitting quietly next to Toby on the couch, his arm around our stoic friend.

I’m shocked. Toby is only four. So many people told us eye tumors are normally benign. He displayed absolutely no symptoms until the accident.

The next steps are finding out just where and how spread out the cancer is, and deciding upon a mode of treatment. Only 20-25% of these cancers show up in the eye, so that doesn’t seem good; however, Toby does not display any outward signs of cancer besides the eye, so I don’t know what that means.

We have got our “best people” on it, so if any dog stands a chance, it will be Toby.

Our unflappable Toby was not happy today. He seemed a touch sad and lethargic even before he witnessed our distress.

This is a good boy–not only a wonderful representative of his pitbull breed, but for all dogs. He walks perfectly on a leash. He went to beginner and intermediate doggy school and knows his commands. We’ve never had to tell Toby to “be quiet,” or “stop barking,” or “stop begging,” or even “bad dog.” The only thing he does that requires a command is to settle down when company comes, and even that is only because follows the antics of his more-excitable border collie mix sister, Mandy.

I keep thinking about Toby and his life and I have to remind myself that it is not over yet. I’m not going to write all about him, because he is still here and I hope the fact that he is young, strong, and has so many who love him will be enough to see him through.

I mean, it’s Jen and George, Mandy and Toby, Eva and Vincent. One girl, one boy down the line. We are even in the middle of a huge house remodel to accommodate everyone in our family, including the dogs.

I keep wishing we could turn back the clock and stop everything. Reverse the trip, the jump, the diagnosis. Stop everything and go back to last week when there wasn’t a darned thing wrong.

Somebody commented to me recently that we take for granted the time we have here. We assume our loved ones, whether they are pets or humans, will go on living and in good health.

I can honestly say that I don’t feel that way.

I know we are lucky if we and our loved ones go on living each day, and I don’t take any of it for granted. Knowing this does not mean that I live a perfect life or treat everyone the way I should, but I am acutely aware that there are no guarantees, for good people or good pets.

Toby on the Beach

Mandy, George, and Toby


  1. poor Toby. What a crappy week it really has been. It always amazes me how fast life can change. I’m hoping there is some semi-decent news for him come Tuesday.

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