Diary of a Dog: Toby

Im Toby. That’s me on the right there. (I’ll tell you about my buddy Jake in just a bit.) I’m a Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, but I’ve channeled many spirit animals in my life. For example, my younger self started out as a turtle. I’m originally from Redding. I had a rough time as a puppy, but I got a second chance through the Northern California Sheltie Rescue, which is where Karen found me. Karen adores Shelties, but when she first brought me home to Woodside, she thought she had made a mistake. You see, I was so nervous and scared that I turned myself into a turtle. I closed my eyes and hid under the table in what Karen referred to as my turtle shell. Karen did everything she could to coax me out. She took me to lots of classes and introduced me to other dogs, but I found it hard not to withdraw into my turtle shell. Karen sensed that I needed a companion, and that’s how we also came to rescue Jake, who was abandoned in Merced. Jake became my instant buddy, and for the first time, I felt like running and barking and playing. And that’s when I became an elephant. Jake was too quick for me to chase, so when he would come streaking by, I would catch his tail in my mouth—and not let go. We would trot around the house like this, and Karen thought that I looked like a baby elephant holding onto its mom’s tail. Karen’s mom and brother Karl would often watch us too, and for some reason, we always made them laugh. To better understand my third spirit animal, I need to confess to a secret vice. I absolutely love Kleenex and toilet paper. I love chewing on it. I love pulling pieces out of boxes. And if anyone makes the mistake of leaving the bathroom door open, I love to lavishly TP the house. “You must be a goat,” Karen frequently says to me. But I’m content now and happy to be just a dog. To learn more about the rescue organization that gave Jake and me a family, visit norcalsheltierescue.org