Dog ID: 22-013

July 15, 2022:

Toby has really settled into the house and neighborhood. He’s a soft and careful gentleman yet fearless and trusting. Very, very gentle with my 92 year old neighbors. It feels like he recognizes that I will keep him safe and take care of him. He started responding consistently to his recall training and I was able to take him off the leash in the yard and on neighborhood logging roads. I’m lucky that I have a number of unmowed natural barriers on my three acres that provide physical cues to slow him down and orient his direction. He can change directions and locate me based on voice commands or if I shuffle my feet. Of course he knows his way around the house and also carries the mail each day. Early on he was excitable when a car would go by while walking. I’ve taught him to sit quietly next to me as a car goes by and that has eliminated the excitement. We don’t have a lot of cars out here; all the neighborhood cars do slow down because they know Toby is blind. If I yell “careful!”, he slows down to avoid running headlong into a shrub or propane tank.

He’s eating well and isn’t experiencing any health issues. He was eating a bit too quickly so I switched him to their big dog kibble and that has been successful. Toby has the run of the house when I’m gone. He doesn’t have accidents nor does he chew inappropriately. I suspect he just snoozes in the foyer, a favorite spot of his.

Right from the get go he has remained calm if my cats hiss or swat. Nothing I do or that other people do startles him. He stays calm on our walks around other dogs as long as that dog is about four to six feet away. When we do walk by a nearby house with two well-behaved labs, the labs run part way down the driveway and stop and just bark once or twice, Toby looks their way but doesn’t get agitated or try to run up to them. He just goes back to sniffing the grass along the road. We are working on how he responds when dogs get too close to him and invade his space. Being blind is difficult when you don’t know who or what is approaching!

April 14, 2022:

This tail wagging handsome gentleman has found his forever home.

March 31, 2022:

Life shouldn’t be all learning and no fun. Believing that Goldens enjoy having a job and while it cannot compete with cleaning dirty plates in the dishwasher, carrying mail is a close second and still a fun job. Toby continues to improve with the “drop it” command, albeit slowly. He’s also learning to sit nicely and stay quiet as his food is placed in front of him. Today he accompanied me into a dog treat bakery. He was very well behaved, just a bit of bumping into the displays and bags of dog food. Noisy toys are important for Toby and it can be challenging to find toys that easily squeak and stay squeaky. He solved that problem by finding one of the cat toys – which hasn’t stopped squeaking since he found it.

March 24, 2022:

Toby continues to settle into his surroundings and routine. What a sweet, sweet boy that is happy to be where you are. A very slight food guarding tendency was temporary for a couple of days, maybe due to unfamiliarity with, and not able to see, his environment. Now it’s a non-issue. We have been working on “drop it”, starting with his toys. That is working well so it’s time to try items he more dearly covets. He has learned to sit for meds and gently take them. He takes brushing and nail clipping in stride. This week I introduced him to a toothbrush and that went well. I bought a door device to prop open the door to the “cat room” but keep Toby out. I haven’t had to install it because Toby doesn’t even try to push the door open. Toby finally encountered another dog on our walks. I thought he might show more excitement. But he was rather blasé about it all, sitting nicely while the owner and I chatted. As for my neighbors, he has a more excitable greeting to this new circle of friends, but is easily controlled. I had a tree on the property removed last week and that spot has become a magnet for picking up sticks to prance home with. His tummy is still a bit sensitive (gurgly for a few minutes), but not daily and it isn’t affecting his bathroom habits. When left alone for a few hours, nothing is disturbed except his toys. Such a sweet mellow boy. Mr. Cool.

March 9, 2022:

Arrival: Eight year old Toby arrived and I gave him the run of the house to explore and memorize. It wasn’t long before he was following my voice. I have two steps into the house and one step into the living room. I have been teaching him the word “step” and now he pauses before moving forward. He and the cats are peacefully coexisting. One of them periodically gets a bit haughty, but Toby does not get riled. After stepping in and upturning his water bowl, I raised it. That seems to work.

Acclimation: Toby is a good boy. He loves people, loves to be petted. He’s a medium energy love bug content to be by your side. He does well alone for several hours. He has not attempted any inappropriate chewing. He sleeps through the night by the bed. His new bed is on order. He’s pushy for a few seconds to get closer to the dinner table, but then lays down and doesn’t beg.

Health & Behavior: March 11 Toby gets his eye sutures out. They look like they’re healing nicely and the bruising has reduced considerably. A grateful thank you to AGAG for the outstanding vet care Tobyreceived and to MF for his daily visits during Toby’s weeks of procedures and enucleation and then transport to GRRoW. I am already having some success with drop it for toys. But no & drop it have no impact if Toby has food. This was tested when he grabbed bagged bread out of the garbage after I had turned to reach for a garbage bag. One thing at a time. Toby is a smart boy and just needs a little spit and polish. While out on walks Toby has met a few neighbors. If he acts like he’s thinking of jumping, I shorten the leash and he immediately sits nicely. He like to jog ahead of me but does not yank the leash. We still have snow here and I’m amazed at how few snowbanks he runs into. He’s gentle with his mouth. I have found that he does not startle easily or at least he didn’t seem to be hypersensitive. He’s a quiet boy. I’ve only heard him bark once, but he’ll talk a bit when playing. Toby loves his toys. No surprise the noisy toys are his favorites. He’ll toss them in the air and then use his nose to find it and repeat.