My name is Toby and I am TOTHEBONE’s third cover star and guest editor! I’ve been living with my foster mom who is part of Sidewalk Specials foster programme. They're a "no-shelter shelter": Just like Uber has no cars and Airbnb has no hotels they rely on generous people like you to look after us until we find furever homes. Lucky for me, I was snapped pup before the third TOTHEBONE 'zine got published! (Here it is, by the way!) Wowee! Diane, my new mom, gave me a new name – Prince Harry because I'm "a kind redhead who deserves some royalty"! Woof!
TOTHEBONE caught up with my new momma Diane to find out more about the process of adopting me through Sidewalk Specials.
1. What made you adopt your first doggo?
Good question! Trust me, I normally try to avoid social media surrounded with such sadness. We live in a beautiful country that is full of uncertainty and it sure has an immense amount of cruelty and illogical behaviour, so as I get older, I find myself rather desensitised [and I'd rather put] my energy into more positive places. I would normally skip past or ‘hide ad’ when it comes to yet another ‘sad story’. I hadn’t intended to adopt any doggo, and was quite content with my gorgeous staffie and husband...
2. What drew you to Toby?
The fact that after all that hideous cruelty that Toby faced as his ’normal’ on a daily basis, he still had time for anyone human is what drew me to him, very strongly. That takes a special character and buckets of courage. Opening up my Instagram page, there was just something about Toby that caught my eye within that millisecond. Isn’t that how long it takes these days to decide on reading or scrolling? To my utter surprise, I found myself watching his story right to the end…There’s something about the way Racheal [Sidewalk Special's founder] puts the stories across in a captivating manner. That's not so easy to accomplish these days. I had had a hectic morning, and the video just sat with me, lurking somewhere in my subconscious. Later that evening over a glass of wine, I showed my daughter. Well, that was that… We got the ball rolling. Toby's foster parents were super helpful and accommodating with meeting times, which made the process so much easier.
3. How did you find your adopting experience?
I took my son (rational support) and daughter (she’s brilliant at sussing animals) with me to meet him. This was important as the decision couldn't be just an emotional one. The fact that Rachael also allows for her dogs to be re-homed if things don’t work out is quite amazing. I wanted to make sure Toby would settle and my husband had not met him yet. All that considered, it was such an easy choice. The adoption process is thorough. Vet sorted, my home was inspected, documentation in place. I cannot compliment his foster parents enough; they're such good people.
4. What are the things you can highlight about Toby now that he is living with you? Has he changed a little? Cute quirks?
Toby's quirks… Aaah, he’s blown away by nature. All he ever wanted was love (don’t we all?). He uses his head to communicate, kind of like a thud! His foster parents kept telling us he needed to learn how to ‘dog’, so my staffie, Crunchie, has taught him all he knows. It’s super funny as he copies everything she does.
He has learnt....
How to chase birds around a dam, endlessly. Roll endlessly on a lawn, with the special quirk of face-planting his nose into the lush green and just snorting up the smell. He stares and stares and stares into nature, listening to every single sound. He still looks at me like I’m mad when I kiss him. I'm still working on that one. He snores… a lot! I think he can finally relax.
Crunchie also taught him that stairs are ok. Toby was so afraid, but we all went at his pace. One morning he was so determined to get down from the bedroom to go out into nature as we were taking too long to get going. He just rambled down by himself so he could take up the royal position of staring and smelling. Crunchie taught him how to play with a ball. He’s still trying to figure that one, too, but he gets super chuffed with himself. We call them iHelp and iLook!
It has been such a pleasure adopting an older dog. We haven’t had all the hassles of a pup (been there done that). He behaves like he has always been a part of our family as he knows he can trust us. The photos capturing his sheer joy and appreciation of his surrounds sum him up.
Watch the video of Toby's amazing rescue and transformation here.
Toby, or Prince Harry should we say, might not be available, but there are plenty of doggos that need furever homes and pawt-time places until they're adopted. To find out how you can help or if you're interested in adoption, contact Rachael at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sidewalk Specials on Facebook and Instagram.