Celebrating ten years of On Toby’s Terms!
When Charmaine and her husband adopted Toby, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, they figured he might need some adjusting time, but they certainly didn’t think he’d be a holy terror, beset by severe anxiety and destructive behavior that would take a miracle to curb. Turns out, Toby routinely opened and emptied closets, turned on water taps, and pulled things from the bookshelves. Oddest of all was his penchant for locking himself in the bathroom, and then push the lid of the toilet tank onto the floor, smashing it to pieces. After a particularly disastrous encounter with the knife-block in the kitchen—and when the couple discovered Toby’s blood and paw prints on the phone—Charmaine decided Toby needed professional help.
“What a beautiful story about life with an extraordinary dog who was bound and determined to live his life on his own terms.” — Miki’s Hope, Amazon reviewer
Charmaine and Toby Sr., and their new Toby, have presented to more than 30,000 students across North America, raised more than $10,000 for charities, and have donated books and presentations to schools and organizations to support healthy character development in children.
Toby the Pet Therapy Dog and His Hospital Friends (A CHILDREN’S DOG STORY)
When Toby steps into the path of a dog who bullies him, and shreds his beloved stuffed teddy-bear toy, we see the hurt feelings it creates. This beautifully illustrated book teaches children about the importance of kindness, acceptance, and being considerate of others, including pets. A wonderful story to start discussions in ages 3 to 10. Winner of the Gold in Global eBook Awards!
Meet Toby Snr
|A. Wells Photography|
In an effort to get Toby’s behaviour under control, a K9 behaviourist worked with Toby on his behavioural issues and stated that Toby was a dog who needed a job, a purpose. Christopher and Charmaine found Toby a job as an Animal Assisted Therapy dog. After training and testing, Toby was approved as a volunteer with Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy and received a volunteer placement at an adult mental health hospital.
Wednesdays with Toby were life changing for the patients he visited, as well as for Charmaine and Christopher. While Toby was bringing unconditional acceptance and happiness to those he visited at the hospital, he was also becoming a teacher for Charmaine and Christopher, teaching them powerful life lessons, about patience, purpose, persistence, the power of unconditional acceptance, and showing up as your authentic self.
The patients that Toby worked with at the hospital and all of the children that he met in schools experienced the benefits of a therapy dog’s whose mission in life was to leave pawprints on hearts everywhere he went x
Toby Snr and Jnr even have their own Facebook!
I love reading non-fiction as much as I love reading fiction. To follow Toby’s journey through Charmaine’s eyes made this a special memoir.
Bringing a new personality into a family, regardless of how small or how large that family is or whether the new personality is a human or an animal, takes adjustment. Having birthed six children, I know that expecting the unexpected is the only way to go into putting a new personality in a family. Having brought new dogs together, I also now know what it is like to have dogs whose temperments do not mesh. It is not good for either dog.
When you bring a new animal into the family, you need to consider all the previous owners. As with our two legged children, our four legged children are influenced by their homes and environments. Without knowing what an animal went through with its first family, you are playing a game with no winner.
Charmaine and Chris learn many life lessons from Toby as they adapt to his presence in their family. He may not be able to talk but he makes his fears and anxieties known in other ways. How Charmaine and Chris react to these methods helps them not only become better parents to Toby but also helps them strengthen their relationship with each other.
Whether you have children or dogs or both at home, you should read about Toby, Charmaine and Chris’s journey(s) to becoming a family.
I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.