My daughter's carpet cleaner went missing. She tried and tried to reach him, and finally after repeated tries, he answered his phone. He had had a stroke, and his business, being a one-man operation, had closed down.
She asked if he needed anything, and he said no. After pressing him, he agreed to let her stop by for a visit. She did, and she found a man in need. He had two finches living in an entertainment center, and a dog that obviously thought the house was his personal toilet. She checked his larder and asked if she could take him to Trader Joe's to help him stock up. He finally agreed.
On their trip to the store, she found out that he was about to lose his house. She suspicioned that he needed medical attention, but he said he needed to find someone to watch over his birds and Toby, the dog, before he would go for medical help.
She found a home for the birds quickly. She was unable to take Toby, the dog, as she has a 100 lb. dog that doesn't tolerate other dogs. She tried and tried to find someone who would help out. Who would take a 15 year old dog that wasn't housebroken? "Me, me, I will take him," I said. And I did. We met at the halfway mark, an hour and a half trip for each of us. I took Toby home and introduced him to my dog, cat and birds. He settled in, but left many messes. I took him to the vet the next morning for tests and a rabies shot, which he had to have before I could get him groomed. And oh, my, he needed grooming!
The vet declared him remarkably healthy for a 15-year-old dog who had had minimal care for some time. My other dog, Fred, got along with him fine. He loved my cat, and would sometimes spend a half hour standing like a statue staring at her. The cat had no issue with him, either.
Within a few days he was using the dog door and pooping outside. Urination was another issue. However, after three and a half months, I can leave the house for up to eight hours without diapering him. He is very tolerant of the diapers, but I am hoping we are going to get that problem completely resolved. If he is smart enough to use the dog door to poop, then he will catch on to the peeing end of it, right?
As for Toby's history, his daddy, who had the stroke, bought the dog for his daughter after his marriage broke up. About a month ago, Julie, his ex, asked if she could visit Toby. It was clear that she loved the dog, and he loved her. He showed obvious affection for her while she was here. Unfortunately, after she left he moped for several days. It hurt my heart.
Julie asked if she could come again, and I hesitated to say yes. She said she wanted to bring her daughter Claire to see him as well. I finally said okay, but actually dreaded it - in part because I didn't want Toby to mope after she left, and I will admit it, I was a bit jealous of his affection for her. I have fallen in love with this dog, even knowing that our time together will not be long. What if she wants to take him home with her?
Julie showed up this afternoon sans Claire. There were some timing issues, and she asked if she could come again in a month or so with Claire. Here we go again, I thought. I can't take this, and I don't think Toby can either!
We visited, and she fussed with Toby. She told me he didn't seem as affectionate with her as he had been on her last visit. It was something I had noticed as well, but racked it up to wishful thinking on my part. But maybe not.
She is truly a lovely person. Perhaps she is also a mind reader. She said, "I want you to know I have no intention of taking Toby. He is yours." She told me her ex said he misses him and would like to have him back. She pointed out that he was in no shape to care for Toby financially or physically, and he finally agreed that Toby needed to stay with me.
When she left, Toby wanted to go out the door with her. I put both dogs on leashes and we went out to her vehicle with her. Then Toby tugged on the leash to take me on our usual walk down the block. He is not moping this time. Julie and Claire are planning a visit in June. I'm okay with it.