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 Toby, formerly Winston

Hi Shirley,

It says on my paperwork that Toby will be two years young on the 23rd, tomorrow ! He is still the happiest dog you can imagine, loves his patch here in Castine (and what dog wouldn't, with half an acre all fenced, lots of both red and gray squirrels to chase, and a girlfriend at either side to chat through the fence with.....a little black Scotty puppy on the one hand.....13 yr. old Lucy on the other !)

He is still all playbows, and is my constant companion, except of course when my son Sebastian is around and the two of them play together. Toby seems to study Sebastian and we perceive a funny kind of "sibling" rivalry, believe it or not. We have a pickup truck that we use in connection with the old inn restoration we still are doing full time. Sebastian uses a little jump seat in the back, and after studying him, Toby seems to have decided that's the way he's supposed to behave. It's pretty funny to see him sit on his little behind on his own one foot square jumpseat, even if it seems to give him a better view out the window and be right at the driver's shoulder. He is a continual delight.

I think I have figured out computer and camera enough now that I can send you a few photographs. Stand by. This may be more than you want. We will always remember you with great gratitude for bringing this little guy into our lives. To say that it has worked out well for all of us is a gross understatement. I think he has many adventures and a good life ahead of him. Keep up all the blessed work you do placing homeless dogs. Stop by and visit with us sometime !

best regards,

James Dillon

Dear Shirley,

I wanted you to know that all is well, or much more than well, with "Toby". He knows that name now and is very responsive to it. My own rather subjective judgement is that he is extremely happy here. He is very much a "pack" animal and loves it most when the four of us are together. He is a very very sweet and very calm dog, for a puppy. We hope to keep him that way. Having had a number of dogs before, I can say that for his stage of development, he is certainly the most mellow we have seen. He walks to school with me every morning, with my son, and again in the afternoon. The school is about three blocks away. Toby has a strong preference for doing his business in the middle of the road rather than anywhere else. We always pick up after him, except when he goes in the middle of the road. I should say that this sleepy village does not have a lot of traffic, particularly at certain times of the day. He adores meeting absolutely everyone, and many of the kids at the school know him by name and run to meet him. He's a little jumpy, which we're trying to break, without much success yet. He also thinks he can stand up at the kitchen counter like a human, which we're also trying to break. He is driven by his love of food. We have had him to Dr. Plohr over in Blue Hill for general examination and shots. That was about three weeks ago and we'll go back for a follow up on Tuesday. He is in great shape generally, has now had a couple of more necessary shots, and some medication for a yeast infection in his ear. We have been treating that each day with an ointment, and again, must say we have never had a dog so willing to be handled and treated. The vet loved him generally, and admired him as a great example of his breed. Toby needs training, for sure, but we couldn't ask for more at this stage. He learned to amuse himself so well during his previous life, that he has less interest in playing games with family/master, particularly outside, than normal. That complicates things a little in getting him to retrieve, or learn to come when called. But he's getting better. And he's getting better about chewing too. He did get into a couple of things, for which we have to blame ourselves at least in part. He is after all a puppy, and learning the ropes. We keep him supplied with a dedicated chewy now and he seems to be getting the idea. As he matures and is less easily distracted by everyone and everything on the street, he should be very trainable. He is eager to please. Toby and I have "bonded" as solidly as imaginable, at the same time he is also happy with my wife and son. He tries to lay on me whenever he can see a chance.

That's about all the news from Downeast Maine about Toby. It was our lucky day when you chose us over other applicants, and I think you should feel sure that both Toby and we are living very happily ever after. Once we get some photos of Toby and his environment, we will send them along. If his original family have any concerns about his life today, you can assure them about his adjustment and happiness.

Best regards,

James Dillon

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