Toby has been an absolute delight to me from the moment we brought him home. Despite having to clean messes up off the carpet (and there weren't many because he was a pretty quick learner). He's made me laugh every day - even when I was going through some pretty hard times.
He's been a great companion, an excellent waste disposal unit and a great de-stresser (it's hard not to relax when you're stroking the snoring dog that's trying to lie on your lap). And I'm pretty sure that he likes all the TV programs that I like - which is more than I can say about anyone else in my family.
He's also been a great guard dog.
Or so I thought.
Toby has a timid, gentle nature so everyone who knows him knows that he'd never actually hurt a fly. Okay, once he killed a bird but it was only because he was trying to help it outside and who knew that its neck would be so fragile?
But even though we know he's harmless, visitors to our place will often get a different initial impression. Toby has a very intimidating bark. It's deep and loud and it means business. Sure he looks pretty but he sounds ferocious.
We live right next to the back of a school and sometimes the kids come a little close to our fence line for Toby's liking. Just two days ago a couple of loud boys decided to come a within Toby's territorial range so Toby let them know in no uncertain terms that they should back off. He was using his most officious bark and I was just about to go outside and tell him off when he bark changed and became a bit muffled.
Of course I was curious. So I went outside. The reason for the change in bark was obvious.
Yes, he was barking around the teddy that was in his mouth. I'm pretty sure he wasn't protecting his house or his humans. He was making sure those big, loud boys didn't get a hold of his favourite toy.
Yes, he's one ferocious guard dog.