Ok…I need to come clean…Toby is a not a certified therapy dog…yet.
And, his nickname is Toby the Belching Dog!
We have started therapy dog training. Once he is leash-trained, Toby will be the best Therapy Dog EVER!!!
Toby was the answer to my prayers. I needed comfort and a stress-reliever. I was draining my husband, my kids, my friends, my colleagues with my negative energy.
My relationships felt and were HEAVY with the weight of my cancer. Everything focused around the cancer. The appointments, the tests, the waiting, the results…the stress.
For many years, my prayers have asked for a therapy dog.
My family has a big heart and we rescue our animals. Oshie was a rescue lab. I tried so hard to make him a therapy dog. We joined dog training…which Oshie failed when he chased the squeaky toy. I had given up on having a therapy dog with my cancer diagnosis.
God has an interesting way of providing when we least expect it.
Our family had two weeks before moving back into our house after our lightning strike which led to a house fire.
My son and I were biking on the road by our house when we met our neighbor (we use “neighbor” loosely in these parts…about 1 mile away). We stopped to speak to him.
One of his three beautiful Golden Retrievers came and sat on my foot. He looked up at me with his huge brown eyes and I heard “take me home.”
The thought was dismissed and I mentioned to my neighbor that his dog would make a great therapy dog.
Stunned, he shared that he had just posted Toby’s photo at the local grocery store. They needed to give him away because they had two other Goldens (May I add very large Goldens?).
Toby was originally his relatives’ dog. He came to live with my neighbors the year prior when they developed health issues.
My neighbor had been hesitant about giving Toby away because he is a great dog. He knew that Toby, however, deserved to be away from the shadows of his mother and brother so he could be the dog he was meant to be. Toby is not a dominant dog…anyone for a belly rub?
Despite the timing, my husband and boys agreed to bringing Toby in to our home.
After all, what is one more dog when you have “Crazy Oshie?”
My life has never been the same since Toby entered our household.
He is goofy. Can carry two tennis balls in his mouth. Makes me laugh whenever I see him (maybe it’s the mohawk). And, most of all, fills me with great love.
Having a furry companion during your cancer journey is truly a blessing! My hope for you is that you have a pet or can visit a local shelter to get “your fix” from an animal.
Pets have an enormous capacity to love. Your pet will give your healing team a rest…as you can talk, cry, and vent on your pet. And…your pet will love you unconditionally in return!
Even though Toby is not “officially” a therapy dog…he provides my family and everyone he meets with comfort, joy and abundant love. The laughs are a bonus!
May you also find this unconditional love during your healing journey!
* Update: Toby “officially” became a therapy dog in September 2018.
I know that he will be touching many lives as we help others on their cancer journeys.