Toby, 2008–2021

From a journal entry, dated 11 March 2008: On Friday morning, Peter and I threw productivity to the winds and drove out to North Shore Animal League to find a puppy. We had to walk through an arcade of older, problem dogs to reach the puppies, who, when we found them, seemed groggy and amiable. Peter was taken with a couple of the black lab mixes, though we had intended not to adopt a dog similar to Lota [our previous dog], and I by a sharpei mix with a sweet disposition and a dark, absurdist collage of a face. Then I spotted, in the kitten room, a golden puppy with a brown muzzle, who was quarantined there because he was recovering from parvo. The name on his cage was Frost, and he was purportedly a 10-week-old shepherd mix. The volunteers caged the cats in the room so we could let him run loose, which he did, sloppy-leggedly. He had high spirits; he was a little saucy; he warmed up to us quickly. I think we fell for him because he seemed to have more personality than the dogs in the other room, but after we filled out the application, and while we waited on a bench for them to call our references, I began to worry that maybe he was too alpha, too independent, wouldn't listen to us, wouldn't bond with us. I went back into his room to visit with him, and he turned and wagged his tail as if he recognized me, so I was reassured. I had to repeat the encounter a few times to calm myself before our application was approved.

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