Our Dear Toby

Eight years ago we fostered a precious pit bull puppy named Baby. He was only six weeks old and a scared, shivering little thing. Baby was so sweet and got along so well with our one-year-old rescue pup, Mandy, that we couldn’t let Baby get adopted by anyone else. We adopted Baby ourselves, renamed him Toby, and enjoyed almost eight years together.

Mandy and Toby were the best of friends. Just the best. Mandy was bossy and mothering, Toby was a quiet fellow who adored her and followed her everywhere.

Most of you know that three years ago, when Toby was not yet five, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and had his eye removed. The traditional vets gave him thirty days to live. We chose a non-traditional, homeopathic treatment method and Toby lived another three years (in spite of a second surgery which removed his spleen). We gave Toby remedies, vitamins, home cooked meals, and tons and tons of love.  He not only went into remission from the cancer, he flourished!

Well, I can’t write any more for we are all devastated. Out of nowhere yesterday, Toby couldn’t walk. He was droopy, sad, and could not move well. I’ll cut it short and say that Toby passed away this afternoon at 2:45 p.m. George and I were with him.

Toby, you were the best boy ever. All you wanted was to love and be loved. You never hurt a soul, and you loved everyone. You were a working man’s dog and you loved to ride in the flatbed and go down to the harbor to work with Daddy. Mommy loves you so much, sweet boy. I loved to hug your big head and give you kisses. I hope you are playing with your Uncle Danny and your doggie cousins, Inu, Kucha, and Henry.

We love you so much, Sweetheart. You were a soldier and fought the good fight. You can rest now and play forever, okay?


  1. Jen, I am so, so sorry about Toby. The loss must be so incredibly painful.

    What a blessing for you, for George, and for Toby as well, that he passed today, rather than while you were in Hawaii. I am sure that it was of great comfort to him to be with you in his last moments. And what a relief that you and George were together, as well.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend. I love you.

    • Beth, thank you. I can’t even write because I can’t stop the tears but you are right on everything you’ve written. We took the kids to gymnastics and then had a peaceful afternoon with Toby, petting him and telling him what a good boy he has always been. We just hugged him and petted him and told him how much we loved him. We knew last night that it was not going to go well, and his wonderful friends (and blessing to all animals) Lisa and Dr. Yearout were able to see him and offer comfort. I am so glad G was not gone. Toby was his boy. The grief is awful but I just keep thinking of Toby and of everyone else who is suffering now. There is so much.

  2. I’m so sorry for the loss of sweet Toby. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult time. I’m sending a big hug and tons of love for you, Eva and Vincent. I feel so awful. Take care, Jen.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss, Jen. Dogs are just the best and it is so horrible when they leave us. I hope you can get some comfort in knowing that he had a wonderful life you, George, Eva and Vincent.

  4. So sorry for y’all Jen,it’s just as tough on big strong commercial fishermen to lose a pet so give G a extra hug or two,my advice is to go rescue a puppy(or kitten) from the pound ASAP.You are not replacing Toby but redirecting the familys grief.

  5. Jen – I sent you a note. I am so so sorry. Please know I’m thinking of you and am so grateful to you and George for your loving care of Toby.

  6. Oh, Jen. As with everyone else, my thoughts are with you and your family. There’s nothing like the grief of saying goodbye to the four-legged members of our families, and what a beautiful, good-hearted guy shared your home. However small of a comfort it is right now, I’m thankful that you were all together for Toby, and now for each other. My best wishes and good thoughts to you and yours.

  7. Jen
    So sorry to hear about Toby! He was a great dog and what a day to enter into Heaven. He and I will always share this day. Best wishes to you, the kids and George. Try to have a great trip and relax. Give my hugs to Mandy too. She is going to be lost without Toby to boss around.

  8. Jen, I would call myself the opposite of a “dog person,” but your post still brought me to tears. I’m so sorry for your loss and I will be praying for you guys.

  9. The year before last we had to put three dogs down. I know exactly how your feel. Stevie was our 17 year old lab that had diabetes for three years. She was the dog our boys grew up with. Next came Rufus, a rat terrier we inherited. He came down with renal failure and there was absolutely nothing we could do. We adopted Hannah- a wire haired Jack Russel. She was hit by a neighbor who got her for us. The neighbor was devastated.

    Now we have Ruby and Debo and the love that dogs give can never be matched.


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