Toby’s Story ~ Marieke van de Pieterman, Victoria
I had been thinking for a little while about getting a second Airedale mostly as a companion for my Airedale girl Olive. I work full time, so she spends long days at home by herself, which wouldn’t be so fun. My friend Fiona has 2 rescue Airedales and they seem to have a great time together, so I wanted to provide Olive with a friend as well.
I emailed my application to Sue, and indicated that my ideal time to adopt a second pup would be the second half of the year. After a home visit by Peter & Carlos to ensure I & my house passed muster, I gave it no more thought, until the very next day, I received an email from Sue, that a 3 year old boy needed a new home!
After seeing his pictures, I instantly fell in love, and threw caution to the wind in regards to practicalities! Toby needed to leave his home urgently. I was minding another Airedale at the time and going on holidays straight after, so I couldn’t take him in straight away which nearly broke my heart.
But lucky for Toby, Kate & Michael put their hands up to offer him a great holiday with their 2 Dales, George & Mandy. Toby & George became firm friends and Mandy probably just looked at those young chaps and rolled over to have another snooze.
Coming home from holidays is never much fun but I knew I was collecting Toby the very next day, so that was something to look forward to! I picked him up on 20 March 2016, so have been lucky enough to have him live with me and Olive for a bit over 3 weeks now.
He has settled in so well with us, and seemed to make our house his home very quickly. He happily lazes around on the couch, swaps beds with Olive, is always under my feet in the kitchen hoping for a little treat here and there, and waits at the bottom of the stairs for me every single morning.
It’s taken a little bit of adjusting to having 2 dogs, especially one who is the size of a Shetland Pony, but it is lots of fun! Walking the two of them on lead is a constant juggling act of the 3 of us getting tangled in the leads and myself being pulled along.
I’ve had to install a baby gate in front of the stairs to keep Toby downstairs, and he’s worked his way through 2 sets of curtains in the last 3 weeks, even pulling the whole curtain rod and it’s fixings off the wall yesterday, likely in his excitement of seeing another dog walk past out house.
They are all hurdles which can be overcome some way or another. Toby’s happy, funny and fiercely loyal nature makes up for any mishaps and home demolition he embarks on.
He likes his little, but older sister Olive, and wants to play with her all day long. Olive gives as good as she gets and is a lot friskier and more playful with Toby around, running around the house and the park. Toby has already assumed the top dog position at home, even though Olive is older and has lived with me for 5 years, but I guess his size made that inevitable.
He has stood up for Olive in the park a number of times, one time very obviously, when she was playing with a large Ridgeback who was getting a little rough. Toby just ran over, and stood next to the Ridgeback, in front of Olive. That was a very gentle sign not to mess with his little sister.
He’s become firm fiends with Zeus and Morris, Fiona’s 2 Airedales, and Toby & Zeus are like the 2 naughty teenage boys, with Olive & Morris being our perfect Airedales. The 3 boys also have a lot of fun together, roaming around and exploring the park, lifting their legs left, right and centre, while Olive hangs with us girls.
I was worried when I first thought about getting a second pup if I could ever love them as much as I love Olive, but that was no problem at all, Olive is my favorite girl in the world, and Toby my favorite boy! He is an absolute delight and it feels like he was always meant to be with us!
Marieke van de Pieterman