Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Toby Turned 5!!

Yep. Sunday, Toby turned five years old. A bit startling because it doesn't feel like we've been together that long. Gosh, I can still remember him in the Humane Society kennel with his all golden lab colored siblings, the only one not bouncing around like a madman... he was just sitting there calmly, wagging his tail as he looked up at us. Or holding him when I discovered he had Parvo, or his gangly adolscence, or... wow. It really has been that long.

To celebrate I got him some special stuff. He got a Booda Bellies Giraffe - a really weird looking stuffed toy giraffe, with a huge fat tummy. He thinks it's awesome and I'm waiting for him to destroy it... surprisingly it's last two chew sessions now. That's gotta be a record for a stuffed toy. He also got a 'money bag,' a stuffed toy our Wal-Mart occasionally has, it looks like a small bag of money, with the dollar sign on the side, but instead of squeaks it crinkles. He LOVES the few toys I find that do that. Then as a special treat for dinner he got a McDonald's hamburger (well part of it...). Reba also got stuff, a collection of puppy squeakers that are small, soft, and have incredibly high pitched squeaks. She loves them.

Things have been quiet here for the most part. After the incident in the previous post we haven't walked around the neighborhood at all. I've taken him to the track every day I can and worked with him in the backyard when I couldn't. This past weekend I was swamped dog sitting so he got a little neglected - and was sure to tell me so! I did let a doggy friend come over and visit Sunday night - or rather, a past doggy friend. Although Toby was initially thrilled to see him, the interest died off fast when we both realized that Vargus has fully come into his hormones. He's a three year old (or close to) intact male Boxer. Varg loves to play, but he's a little 'humpy' to everything. Everything. Female in heat nearby perhaps? I don't know. Toby wasn't too thrilled after Varg tried to hump him once or twice and after calmly setting the situation straight he retired on the deck behind me.

I did this however, not just to let him play but also to watch his reactions with me around. It's been awhile since he's been able to play with a doggy friend (we just don't have many). As normal, he doesn't like Vargus paying attention to me. I'm not sure how much of it is more 'resource guardy' or just splitting and wished I'd taken a video. But I'm leaning towards the latter of the two. Why? Because as long as Vargus was calm and we were just petting (hard for that dog, who never stays still!) Toby was fine to watch or be pet as well. But if Varg got too excited he'd step between us... if Vargus continued to go over the top, Toby'd get growly and tell him to knock it off.

Treats wise, they were both more than comfortable to take treats from me and work with me. Odd... because in the presence of another dog on leash that's now always the case and surely not with the dog standing right next to him.


Champion of My Heart said...

Happy Birthday, Toby! It sounds like he had a nice day, even with Humpy-Mc-Humperson annoying him a little.

What's interesting about Lilly guarding me is that it's worse if I'm lower to the ground. If I'm standing up, she's much better than if I'm in a chair or bending down to smooch on her or something.

Emily Larlham said...

Happy Birthday Toby!!!

Val said...

Aww, thanks you guys!

And that's true for Toby as well. If I'm standing, and even leaning slightly, he's okay. But he'll constantly body block the other dog if I'm sitting on the ground or in a chair.