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Thread: Toby Alexander, 10/8/1990 - 8/1/2006

  1. #1
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    Default Toby Alexander, 10/8/1990 - 8/1/2006


    Toby came to us in November 1998. He was eight years old at the time. His notice on the “Hearts United for Animals” rescue site had a plaintive tag....”Toby has lost his person.” Who could resist that? We surely couldn’t . With some help from the CKCSC people we were able to have our references checked and a home visit done. He arrived dirty, fat and wagging his tail after a many hour trip by plane.

    We were surprised by many things at that first sight. One he WAS heavy (we later weighed him in at 26 pounds) and his tail was this little short stub. We never did find out what happened to it. But from the moment he entered our lives, he was a joy. He joined a household of two other cavaliers, Gizmo (almost two years old) and Gadget (a little over six months).

    When we first got him we had the mindset that we were giving him a good last year or two in his life. Because of some confusion in his paperwork we thought he was 10 years old. When his documents arrived, we realized that he was only eight. But we still thought we would only have him for a few years. We have cavaliers and we know what their health problems can be.

    He had a great cavalier temperament. He was always happy to see people and other dogs (except those pesky little puppies he occasionally ran into). Had we had him when he was younger he would have made a great therapy dog. But his most enduring (and not necessarily endearing) trait was how clever he was when it came to searching out food.

    As much as we tried to keep it at bay, age finally caught up with Toby. He had been declining for awhile but it was all still manageable. During the month of July 2006, the rate of decline accelerated and by the last week of July we realized it was time.

    Toby was completely deaf and almost completely blind. He no longer greeted us when we got home. His tail no longer wagged except very weakly when he was served his meals or got treats. He really couldn’t walk anymore and when he did, he turned in circles. Deciding to euthanize him was very difficult. At the end of the month there were several mornings where I woke up hoping that he had died in his sleep. But this didn’t happen.

    Toby left us on the afternoon of August 1, 2006. It was time. We are very sad.

    p.s. I wrote this the day Toby died. And four weeks later, I'm still sad.
    Margaret, Newton, MA - Gadget (blenheim), Sasha (ruby), Wyatt (blenheim)

  2. #2
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    What a wonderful gift you received from this fantastic little guy. I can tell how much he touched your heart. I can only imagine the heartache you went through having to let him go. But it sounds like it was his time. What an incredibly beautiful old fella he was. Thanks for sharing his inspiring story.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #3
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    What an absolutely beautiful guy Toby was. Thank you for sharing his story. It is so very hard to let them go but what a gift you gave Toby....a lot of good years in a really good home and then loving him enough to let him go when it was time. Bless you for loving Toby so much. Hoping one day the pain will lessen and you will remember with more smiles then tears.
    Mary-owned by Maya, Scout, Jazz and Sassy
    Annie at the bridge 3/13
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance......

  4. #4
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    He was so lucky to have found you, as you were to find him. What a gift is right.
    Jen, Abbey (Tri Cavalier) & Gus (White Min. Schnauzer)

  5. #5
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    Oh Margaret, what a lovely but sad story. You most certainly did the right thing for your darling boy. How lucky you were to have him in your lives for so long too.

    He really was a darlingly handsome boy in his photo's too, may his memory live on and his spirit walk with you forever.

    Run free at the Bridge with those bunnies, Toby xxxxx

  6. #6
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    Margaret,

    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely story about Toby, what a lovely boy, now for sure an angel at the bridge.

    Thinking about you Margaret, take care.

    Alison, Wilts, U.K.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your kind comments about Toby. It is a month today that he died and frankly I'm surprised how much I still miss him. It's the little things...like dinner time and bed time routines where I catch myself thinking, "Oh, I must do this for him." I know it will get better but it is still hard.

    Again, I appreciate all the comments.

    Margaret
    Margaret, Newton, MA - Gadget (blenheim), Sasha (ruby), Wyatt (blenheim)

  8. #8
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    Margaret,

    It was two months ago that I lost Honey-Bee...it still really hurts...even with a multiple dog home you still have that "void" and an ache in your heart for them.

    Lets hope time heals.

    Alison, Wilts, U.K.

  9. #9
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    How lucky sweet Toby was to find such a wonderful home and loving family. Making the decision to let them go is probably one of the hardest in life, and I know how much you ache. We went through this last October and it is still hard at times. Hang in there, it does get easier with time!

    Riley and Fletcher send you and your pups lots of kisses!!!!
    Heather, Fletcher (Ruby Male) & Riley (stinky sock lover) (Blenheim Female)
    http://www.heatherhink.com/pets.asp

  10. #10
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    His face is absolutely precious -- what a beautiful old gentleman and I can only hope I get to have my cavaliers for so long a time! What a wonderful age. He clearly was very happy in your home.

    I think the people who give a dignified and cheerful home to older dogs and relish the rewards they bring are real treasures. Working in rescue I talk to people who want to rehome their middle aged or older cavaliers, their companions of so many years, for reasons such as 'he guards his food from my new dogs' and 'we are re-doing the garden and it won't be ready for a year so it's better for someone else to take him' and 'we are expecting a baby and we'll be too busy to look after the dog'. It really gladdens my heart to know of cavaliers like Toby who were so welcomed as seniors and then went on to bring so many cherished years of pleasure to their new owners. His story is a real inspiration and it is people like you who make rescue especially rewarding because the older dogs, so full of character, are so often overlooked.

    A loss of a companion that was so much a part of your daily life and routine is especially hard and it is completely natural to miss Toby. With time the sharpness of the loss moves towards warm memories but the ones that are really special will always cause a little tug at the heart when we think about them, I think.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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