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What Love Looks Like—A Dog Named Toby - Local News - Friends of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter

What Love Looks Like—A Dog Named Toby

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Sadly Toby has left us. Here is a video made by his human, Jim Martin, in loving memory of Toby.

I miss you so much; my four-legged friend
I ask myself each day; if the pain will ever end
Your loss is so hard; for one person to bear
because we were a team; an inseparable pair

You were by my side; when I got up each day
waiting so patiently; to go out and play
You were there each night; when I got home
waiting to go to the park; where you could roam

You always knew; if I was having a bad day
so you’d snuggle up close; and try to get me to play
If that didn’t work; you’d put your head in my lap
then make yourself comfortable; and take a nap

One way or another you; would brighten my day
like only you could; you had a special way
You gave me a lifetime; of memories to hold
through all the years ahead; till I’m gray and old

I promise I’ll see you; again one day
when we’ll be together again; to go run and play
Your loss is a cross; I will just have to bear
because you and I know; we’re an inseparable pair

John Quealy

Toby-as-a-PupToby is a majestic black Labrador who comes from Washington state. Jim Martin, his human, promised they would be lifetime companions 12 years ago, and they are inseparable. Toby is a part of every aspect of Jim’s life, and they have been through a lot together. The bond between them is profound and beautiful.

Jim-wToby-in-cartTwo years ago Jim and Toby came to the Bay Area to care for Jim’s elderly father who was in frail health. They thought the visit would be brief, but that was not to be. When Toby began to show signs of illness, tests revealed spleen cancer.  Toby was given just a week to live. The veterinarian was not optimistic, saying Toby might not survive spleen removal, and even successful surgery would not buy him much extra time.

But possibly the veterinarian had not counted on Toby’s stout heart and the deep love between this dog and this man.  In spite of all the cautions, successful surgery was performed and has prolonged Toby’s life.

Toby-in-creekWe recently introduced ourselves to Jim with Toby riding happily in his cart along the Bay Trail, where the two can be seen every single day.  Almost 3 months have passed since surgery, and Toby sometimes walks alongside the cart as Jim pushes it; they usually stop at the creek and Toby will paddle around, as Labs love to do, and when he’s tired, he gets back into the cart for the ride home.

No one can know how long Toby and Jim will walk the Bay Trail together, but as long as they do, they remain a perfect example of love between a man and his dog.

JeremyAbout the Author
Jeremy Lindston Robinson, our Vice President