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I used to work for a classifieds paper, and one day, a gentleman called, wanting to get rid of this chihuahua because he was incapable of breeding. They'd paid $600 for Toby to breed him, only to find out that he'd already been fixed. And apparently, if Toby couldn't provide the goods, he was unwanted. Sad face. I’d always wanted a chihuahua, but could never afford the steep price tag they came with. Toby was being offered for a $30 adoption fee. I immediately told him that I'd drive to Spartanburg the next day to pick him up.
The following day, I drove down, and upon arriving at the home, my heart sank—obvious puppy mill with a maze of ramshackle, handmade kennels surrounding the home. I walked in and this brown and tan chihuahua immediately ran up to me, tail wagging, smiling even. It was love at first sight. I scooped him up and got out of there asap. Once back in NC, I reported this home and eventually, I heard that it got raided & the owners got into a lot of trouble with the police.
He had some neurological damage (most likely from abuse) when I got him, which causes him to walk/run sideways. He also has a fontanelle on the top of his head where his skull didn't fully develop and close, so he literally has a hole in the top of his skull. Due to this, his sense of balance/depth perception is not great and he has seizures occasionally, which is really scary. He falls easily & will sometimes attempt jumping distances that are way larger than he'd anticipated because of his bad depth perception. He also can't scratch behind his own ears very well due to this, so we have to do it for him. All this and the fact that he's 14-years-old (people years) doesn't slow him down though! He's as spry as can be and just loves being alive and being around people! And his little sideways gait brings smiles to a lot of faces--watching him run up the stairs sideways is one of the cutest and funniest things I've ever seen.
On a more serious note, I adopted Toby during a very low point in my life. He was a constant little furry bundle of comfort that gave me nothing but unconditional love, and I like to think that he is what saved me from losing my mind during this 7-year stretch of depression and abuse that I was caught up in. He is definitely an emotional support animal (and has the tags to prove it)! He brought happiness into my life during a time where there was not much to be found. I will be forever grateful to him for this.
My Dad once sent me an email on why Toby was better than any guy, shortly after getting out of a bad relationship -- "He loves you unconditionally. He doesn't complain or nag you about your faults. He is always trying to make you happy, at least by what he does. You are his best friend. He lets you pick out clothes for him to wear and actually wears them happily. He likes all the food you put in front of him. He likes to snuggle with you. He listens to you when you need to talk and doesn't interrupt. He doesn't cheat on you. He doesn't lie. He doesn't steal, (except maybe for chicken). He loves it when you come home. He likes to go out with you and do the things you like to do, like volunteer at events. He likes meeting people and your friends. The only downside is that he poops on the floor when he's had too many strawberries." LOL! It perfectly sums up my little Toby.
Even now, he's a huge source of support and help. I'm a single mom to a 5-year-old. Life can get extremely overwhelming sometimes. But Toby helps out a lot--he will "babysit" my daughter while I'm doing chores around the house. He will sit with her in her room & let her dress him up. She'll play school with him. He will literally just sit in a little chair watching her as she plays the teacher, and he's the student. She will read him books, sing him songs, etc. They are best friends. When she was first born, I would send home the blankets I had her wrapped up in with my parents and they would put them in his bed. So, he was familiar with her scent by the time I got home with her. Upon their very first interaction together, Toby immediately snuggled up next to her, and has not left her side since. They are the greatest of buddies.
From the very first day I got him, he’s been the perfect pet. He’s what I like to call a “chihuahua anomaly,” as he never barks, is not hyperactive, is not mean spirited, etc. He loves everyone, loves kids, loves other dogs, loves cats, doesn’t chase things, loves to be outside in the sun—prancing, etc. I like to think that he’s thankful that I rescued him and that’s why he has such a calm and friendly demeanor. Everyone that meets him comments on what a good chihuahua he is. Everywhere we go, kids and adults alike will ask to pet him or take his photo. He loves it!
Toby comes to work with me every day & calmly sits in his little bed, under the warmth of my desk lamp. Periodically throughout the day, several of my co-workers will come in to get some Toby lovings, and then go on about their day. I feel that he boosts morale in my workplace. He's our company mascot & even has a little hoody sweatshirt with our logo on it!
Toby is a very important member of my little family. My daughter and I adore him and are so thankful for him bringing so much happiness into our lives.
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