Toby's Eighth Charmed Life


Mama Red HOT Pepper
@Aitch asked me to start a thread about her newest family member, Spanish Bodeguero Toby. I don't quite know how to do her or him justice, but because I want to see her updates on Señor Toby, here we go!

Why "Eighth Charmed Life"? Because I figure Toby has had AT LEAST eight lives: (1) as campo finca dog*, (2) in the kill station (3) rescued but put in a residencia* (4) in foster care with me (5) with his first adopter in the UK; (6) with his fosterer in the UK; (7) with his second adopter in the UK; and (8) finally his Eighth Charmed Life with @Aitch, her OH and her lovely pups.

That's it in a nutshell, but of course there's more to the story.

We've heard a couple different versions, but Toby definitely started out life on a finca, or a farm/rural landholding in the countryside in Cadiz, Spain. Some people live in town and only visit their finca on the weekends and often leave dogs to sound the alarm. So there's Toby on a finca, by himself, finding his own meals if you get my meaning, and doing an excellent job of alerting. Too excellent as it turned out: the neighbours reported him for excessive barking: his owner said, "Meh" and off Toby went to the local killing station.

This is where he had his first miracle, because instead of his story ending before it really started, Toby was rescued by Miracle Miry. Yay! But then Miracle Miry was temporarily out of miracles and had to send him to a residencia, which is a low-cost kennel used by rescue groups when they run out of fosters. Boo! Toby didn't like the residencia. It made him nervous and there was a man there who treated him badly. He couldn't eat his food and got sicker and sicker.

That's when I met him. Miracle Miry asked me to take him for 10 days as a foster. Just 10 days. Sure, I thought. Bodegueros are completely unappealing little devils and surely I will not get attached to him. The very first day, all he wanted to do was climb into my lap and have a cuddle. Or stand on my head. Or murder the broom. Or hunt rats. He drove me completely round the bend and I was in love in days. So much for not getting attached.

We had adventures. He made me laugh for the first time since Brogan died. Later I'll dig up some of my old posts about Toby from that time and post them here: suffice it to say that he had (and has) a personality that wouldn't quit. He also fell asleep standing up, hated bicycles and could jump on my kitchen counters. Oh, and all the fur on his ears fell out from Leishmaniasis. That was...interesting.

After two months Miracle Miry found Toby a new home in the UK. It was so hard to take him to Malaga to meet his UK transport. I came home that day to an empty house and cried and cried.

His life with his first adopter in the UK was good at first. I even got to visit him. Then her life changed and eventually she contacted Miry and myself saying she was going to put Toby (now Alf) to sleep. It was all hands on deck to find a solution: luckily he went to a wonderful foster with Bodeguero UK. After a month, the rescue group found him a new home with a retired lady. He went with her on adventures in her caravan to France and Spain: he was living the life!

Well, he was living the life until he wasn't: two weeks ago adopter number two said she couldn't keep him. It's not my place to say why, but let's just say that Toby (now Che) has not had an easy road and the world can be a scary place for a little Spanish hombre.

Miracle Miry called me and said she was out of miracles. Could I drive Toby back to Spain to be put in a residencia again? My answer: yes, I can drive him; no, I'm not leaving him in a residencia. While Miry worked all her contacts to try to find another solution, I said, "I have an idea - but it's a long shot".

Again, not my story to tell, but it turns out that my long shot wasn't so long after all thanks to @Aitch 's generous heart and can-do spirit. Toby is an absolute love but has some challenges ahead. I hope @Aitch can use this thread to not only talk about the joys of having Toby in her little canine family, but also to get support from all of us on the forum. And of course I've told her she can always call on "Team Toby": three years after leaving the finca on his many adventures, Toby still has his mighty if small group of cheerleaders ready to help any way we can.

I love this boy and can't say it enough: @Aitch and OH, muchas gracias con todo mi corazon, thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤

Beautiful write up Emily and I am so looking forward to reading about Toby's adventures in his forever home with his new loving family. He has a character and a will to keep going no matter what's been thrown at him. Where this boy would be without his guardian angels doesn't bear thinking about. Toby you deserve only the best, you now finally have it so, go enjoy your life and live it to the full. :dug::heart::inlove: xxx
Thank you Emily. You are are an absolute hero. All that driving must have exhausted you!
Toby is settling in nicely and is, as you say, full of character. He loves his cuddles and also loves food! You'd think he was a Labrador with his love of food.
There a few things that need training gently out. These are:-

Lunging at runners.
Barking at runners, lorries and bikes.
Resource guarding.

These are all easy things to train out so I am not worried.
Over the week that he has been with us I have fallen in love with this little man. Being a terrier he shares a lot of traits with my own, recently passed, Bear. He plays in the same way, is as funny and has the same ways to make me laugh. He is not a replacement for Bear but has helped to fill part of the hole left in me made by Bear's passing.
I took him to our vet for a check up and since he has Leish she has taken blood so we can get some idea of how he is doing. I am waiting for the results. One thing she did say was that she has a JR and that Toby looks like a JR but is more elegant! I was so pleased! Proud mum.
Toby needs a low purine diet so veg and fruit are now playing a big part in his life. He has now decided that carrots and cottage cheese are sooooo good. He also likes raspberries and sweet potatoes and yoghurt. Actually, I think he just likes food.
More about Toby very soon.
I'm no hero but Emily is! She not only went the extra mile with him but the whole darn marathon. She has worked so hard for this little guy as has Miry. I wish I could do something special for both of them.
Toby has this thing about Hi Viz and we happened to have a lot of workmen around the general area today so I nipped out and asked if any of them would be willing to help me. I'm amazed at how many said yes. I loaded them up with treats and explained what I wanted. At first Toby lunged and barked so the guy just threw down treats, took his jacket off and laid it near the treats. Toby went to the treats and after went to sniff the jacket. There were a few false starts but after a few goes he got the idea and would approach the hi viz demon slowly, looking for treats. By the time I had taken him around a couple of times he was allowing them to pet him still with them wearing their jackets. I will do this over the time they are around until I am able to get him to look for treats when he sees these jackets.
I also intend to get my son involved with his barking and lunging at bikes. He rides his bike everywhere and loves dogs.
Amber has this idea that if she blocks the path of any new dog to the house it will produce something wonderful. It doesn't. The other three have just accepted that Toby is here now. Toby just get frustrated with her. It's almost passive, aggressive behaviour on her part but not quite as she did this with Alex and now they are the best of friends. I can see what has happened and "Scatter" seems to help. I will continue with this.
Having all these apparently starviiiing dogs is making things really easy.
Toby is a really sweet little guy and will sleep next to Alex who has long conversations with him. Both are very happy together.
He just had his first play bow with Amber. He really is settling in. He is soooo very cuddly and follows me around just as Bear used to do. He has gone a long way to healing our hearts after the huge hole left by Bear. We were grieving so very badly and then this little sweetheart needed us. It couldn't have happened at a better time.