|Toby on Easter Day, April 2010|
Toby came to us at 8 weeks of age. A skinny scrawny Salt and Pepper Schnauzer . My second daughter (in photo below) was only 3 months old when we got Toby. It was as if I had twins. My baby girl and my baby Schnauzer seemed to always be falling asleep on either side of me in my living room chair.
During his early life Toby welcomed 2 more little babies that I brought home from the hospital. I will never forget when he met a baby for the first time how he would walk around him breathe in all the baby fragrance with deep audible sniffs and then his whole body would wiggle from head to toe as he tried to wag a tail that was hardly there! He loved everyone, but babies most especially.
|July 2015 - My daughter pours out her affection for Toby.|
|Toby is clearly smiling in this photo. He is proud of the children that he helped raise.|
I suppose I haven't written much about Toby on this blog since he was never part of our breeding program. But when I think about it, I realize that it was only because of Toby that we ever decided to breed Schnauzers. He taught us what a great breed the Schnauzer is for a family pet.
In these last several years Toby has been declining. He spent most of his day sleeping. He was very hard of hearing, had trouble seeing, was arthritic and slow to move. It was hard to see him decline.
It is just like nature to mimic our sadness at times. And so it was a grey drizzly day that Toby passed away. It kept raining, but we buried him nonetheless. We thought it would be important for the children to be able to visit his grave and remember that he was a beloved member of our family.
|My little boy says his good by, placing 3 doggy bones lovingly on Toby's grave,|
And so on Thanksgiving Day when all the family was together we visited Toby's grave to have our little funeral. My brother, a priest, was visiting, and presided over the 'ceremony'. He gave a little good by talk, thanking God for the gift of Toby and recalling our happy times together. Then my 7 year old put three little biscuits on the grave. We ended with the hymn, "All Creatures of Our God and King".
|Graveside...My eldest son on the left, with Fr O, myself and the youngest.|
|My eldest daughter with my DH.|
It was a beautiful funeral. A worthy good by for Man's Best Friend. I wanted to get a photo of all of us, but several of the kids were too sombre to be part of a photo. Since I never get photos of my hubby on this blog.... I added the photo above from a more cheerful moment of the day.
Many people have different ideas about what happens to our pets after death. Some people talk about there dog going to Rainbow Bridge. I am not sure what that place would be like. One of my good friends talks about the Great Happy Hunting Grounds in the Sky! It makes me think of doggies running through sunny fields chasing rabbits. I do like that idea. It makes me smile.
But in all seriousness, I don't think of doggies having their very own place. When I was a little girl, my Dad told me that if we are very good we will go to heaven. In heaven there will be no room for sadness. We will have everything we need to be perfectly happy. Since our pets make us so happy on earth, then surely they will be with us in heaven. Even Adam and Eve had animals in the Garden of Eden! So pets in heaven makes perfect sense to me. Of course no one knows for sure what things God has planned for us. I certainly do not claim to be an expert on this matter. But it sure would be nice to see Toby again some day.