On January 9, 2010, the greatest dog on earth went over the Rainbow Bridge.
She was adopted in October 1998 at about five months old. I was recovering from a lengthy illness and needed a companion to walk with. Since I enjoyed walking in the forest, I chose a dog that would accompany me off-leash and enjoy the thrills of the wild.
I got much more. She gave me a wonderful activity that we could share.
This energetic dog loved to be of service. She was protective of me and my family and sensitive to my illness; she would patiently just wait by me when I would have a crisis. In 2001, I discovered therapy dog work and thought it might be something we could do together. Tobie and I served for 8 years.
Our first placement was at the Loeb Centre, a sheltered workshop run by OCAPDD, and we were there for 6 years. Concurrently, Tobie 'did her thing' at the Awaiting Placement Unit at the Civic Hospital for 2 years, the Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre for 22 years and the READ programme (Manor Park) for another 2 years. Her last two placements were on 6N at CHEO helping with mental health assessment through play therapy with 5 to 12 year old children and at Hillcrest High School in a Special Education class. December 16 was her last day ‘on the job’. Needless to say, she received great hugs of thanks from the children and staff at CHEO.
Tobie was a very versatile dog. Some of her attributes: bomb proof – she seemed to be able to take just about anything – gentleness, patience, obedience, sensitivity to human emotion, happiness, playfulness, adaptable and 'hungry' (sometimes that could be embarrassing…).
The last year of her life, Tobie had periods of pain which limited her physical activity. She also had a thyroid problem and, in the end, succumbed to a major infection of unknown source.
Heartfelt thanks go to Dr. Sean Walter and Nancy at the Blair Animal Hospital. Their human support and humane care were invaluable. Also, the therapy dog discount allowed Tobie and me to pursue the medical question a bit further and to re-assure me that Tobie was getting the best care possible.
Tobie is being missed terribly by her humans, Claire and Elias, and her furry companions, Buckwheat and Fred.