Meet Toby D. Stubbs.
When I was a kid, probably just after my 5th birthday, we got a puppy named Digger T. Stubbs. Digger was a cocker spaniel/bassett hound mix, and was the color of gold. He had the face of a golden retriever, the ears of a spaniel, and the personality of a bassett. He was very thick and strong, but not fat. 90 something pounds of pure gentle giant. And his legs were approximately 4 inches long. And he was my best friend.
He got his name, Digger, from the fact that he loved to dig. More than anything. In the carpet, in the yard, on the kitchen lino, anywhere really. We had a stump from an old tree in the front yard that he managed to dig out. That's what the T stands for in his name. Stubbs? Well... that should be obvious. His short stubby little legs and tufts of white gold fur between his toes.
I was an only child, and had difficulties making many friends because I was so shy. I didn't need any friends though, I had Digger. We went everywhere, and he wanted to be right next to me no matter what. In the summers, I would go up to the mountains to visit my grandparents, bringing Digger with me. If I was out in the field playing and he could see me, he would bust down the screens on the porch and come running out to me. By the time I was 9, I was a master at replacing the screens.
Digger stayed with me until he couldn't any longer. Even on his last days, when the cancer was destroying him, he still was right next to me. He still wagged his tail when he saw me, and he still seemed to be my little puppy. He was nearly 17 when he passed. Three days later, I got Oscar. And then Snickers. And then Lil' Bit.
When faced with an empty house again, and the reality that was not having a four legged furry friend, I knew it wouldn't be long before I found another one. My mom was browsing a pet rescue site and came across a dog they named Wallace. There was just something about him that was calling her. He was a cocker spaniel/bassett hound mix. The first we had seen in many many years.
A couple days after finding him online, the pet adoption group created a video to show us. We knew we had to meet him.
We met Wallace at a pet adoption event at a PetSmart adoption event. The rescue group is a no-kill fostering organization that searches for the perfect home for each animal. When mom and I arrived after the hour and a half long car ride, I saw him standing off by himself with the gentleman that was fostering him. I said "Look mom, there he is." and that was it.
He was described as very quiet. They said he gets attached to his people very quickly, and tends to seem a little nervous when there's a lot of noise going on outside. He's very laid back, and doesn't care about cats or other animals. He is also very gentle - never pulling on the leash or acting aggressively towards anyone (or anything).
I sat down in front of him while my mom just gushed over him completely. She petted him and talked to him, even taking him on a walk around the parking lot of the store. We stayed at the adoption event for all of 22 minutes, but we knew that Wallace would be ours. As I sat there, he kept just staring at me. Deeply. I noticed something that I hadn't seen before - his eyes are the exact color of Digger's fur.
About a week later, Wallace was ours. We discussed names before, and my mom mentioned the name Toby. I had a name tag engraved with the name Toby D. Stubbs. "D" is a nod to Digger. Little did we know that Toby likes to dig as well. Does anyone know of any good deals on carpet? :)
The adoption was finalized yesterday. Toby lives with my mom, but she and I both kind of agree - he is very much attached to me. Just like Digger was. If I enter her house, he is right by my side (and sometimes, my lap). Just the other day, I had pulled into her driveway to pick her up and the moment he saw my car, he pushed the storm door open and came running right up to my car. When I opened the door, he just carefully stepped up and put his head in my lap.
The way he acts, the way he moves, the way he quietly pants, the way he cocks his head to the side and perks his ears up, they're all just the exact same way Digger used to do. My mom has said, on numerous occasions, that he is Digger reincarnated.
I think I agree.
And I couldn't be happier about that.
Welcome to the family, Toby.