STORIES ABOUT MY DOG TOBY--
In December of 2010, as part of my Christmas letter to family and friends, I included the following paragraph about my dog Toby:
My Golden Retriever named Toby has become a central figure in my life. He has become my true and faithful companion. He's such a good dog!! Not that he's completely perfect. At almost 4 years old, he's been around humans enough to have developed some human-type deviousness. One example has to do with earning treats for being a good dog. When he was a puppy, and being house-trained, I would reward him with a doggy-treat each time he was a good dog and did his business outside in the yard. I still carry treats in my pocket for rewarding him like this, even though he is completely house-broken. Two or three times a day, Toby and I will go out in the back yard, and I will spend some quiet time in my chair on the patio, while Toby patrols the back yard, sniffing everything worth sniffing. When he pauses for a moment to poop or pee (pardon the vulgarity), he will immediately turn around and head for me with a meaningful trot, licking his lips because he knows he will get a treat out of my hand. Now comes the devious part. After he gets his treat, he will resume his patrol of the back yard, and then very often will disappear out of sight into a corner of the yard where I can't see him; and, right after this, he will reappear, heading for me with that meaningful trot and licking his lips and nuzzling my hand for another treat -- even though he didn't do a thing while out of sight (I know, because I have peeked on him).
Nevertheless, I give him a second treat (as a reward for resourcefulness).
In December of 2011, as part of my Christmas letter to family and friends, I included the following paragraph about my dog Toby:
My Golden Retriever named Toby still remains a central figure in my life. He has become my true and faithful companion. He is such a good dog!! Living with him is a learning experience. For example, earlier this year I had a motion detector installed in my back yard. When anybody moves into the detection area, the whole back yard is flooded with lights, almost as bright as sunlight. Toby has now discovered that he has the power to turn on the lights. In the evening, when we go out for his nightly patrol of the back yard, he makes a beeline for the detection area, and the lights go on, and he seems to enjoy his new-found power. A few weeks ago, the dection system failed, and when Toby tried to turn on the lights, nothing happened, so he came back to where I was sitting and confronted me, and stared me in the eyes, as if to say it was my job to fix it. I had to tell him that, alas, I was not the person to do that. I don't even have the power to hang the moon up in the sky, much less turn on the sunlight. (The detection system is fixed now, and Toby seems very happy)
In December of 2012, as part of my Christmas letter to family and friends, I included the following paragraph about my dog Toby:
My Golden Retriever named Toby still remains a central figure in my life. He is my true and faithful companion. He is such a good dog!! He is everybody's friend. I have never heard him growl at anybody. He came pretty close to growling a couple of months ago when I took him in for his annual shots. The Vet started out by pushing a thermometer up his rear end, then sticking a needle in his rear leg, and then spraying some stuff down his nostrils. Toby was looking at me in amazement, as if to say "Why are you letting this happen to me? I thought you were my friend. I'm having a dignity problem here." He didn't actually growl, but I think one more indignity would have pushed him over the edge.