Thanks to an unexpected call from GRRMF, Michelle and Wally welcomed Toby, a two-year-old special needs Golden into their home, initially as a foster, and ultimately, as a permanent member of their loving family. Not only had he recently undergone an amputation to remove his right front leg, he was also heart worm positive and seriously underweight.
Accompanying them on the car ride to pick up the ailing dog was Mr. Mar (GRRMF alum, Marley Nolan), and yet, as the couple approached him, they were amazed and delighted at the reception they received. An obviously happy Toby pranced over to them to say “hello” with warm brown eyes, a broad Golden smile, and an enthusiastically wagging tail.
Once home, Toby settled in quickly, and Mr. Mar was glad for the company. Toby spent much of his time healing from the amputation cuddled up on the ottoman and sleeping. Then, as soon as he healed, he began – and successfully completed – three grueling months of heart worm treatment. After that, he was ready, quite literally, to leap back into the world!
Now, the focus of his family’s attention – much to the bemusement of Mr. Mar — Toby loves toys of all kinds, and, of course, snacks, but what he loves most is swimming. While challenging at first without his right front leg, he not only mastered it, he became obsessed with it, and gleefully spends the day diving in after and retrieving his favorite fish toy. He also “retrieves” the pool thermometer, empty rafts and rafts with people floating on them, as he learns what and whom to “save.”
Toby and Mr. Mar travel with the family as much as possible, and being an excellent passenger, Toby thoroughly enjoys going on long road trips. He’s already played in the snow for the first time, taken short mountain hikes, jumped into the waves at the beach, visited several colleges, and met all of his new, extended family. Michelle and Wally’s future goals for Toby include obedience training and therapy dog training, but what currently matters most is that he’s happy, healthy and, according to their vet, “just perfect.”
Oblivious to his “handicap,” being a tripod hasn’t stifled Toby’s spirit or slowed him down. He makes his adoring family laugh and his energy is contagious. In Michelle’s own words,
“He truly completes our family, and we feel blessed to be his fur-ever home.”