My smart Tob

Toby was a Staffy Cross Lab. As a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Labrador cross, he was born to be ‘playful, clever, loving and great with children’.

We had no expectations when we adopted Toby from the local SPCA. He was tiny and cute. We just wanted a puppy to share our lives. Toby was the size of my palm when we first brought him home. He was timid and was shivering when I first held him.

I considered my Toby as human as anyone else. He was so much a part of me. When he passed away nine days ago, a part of me died. I am still grieving terribly. To comfort myself, I continued to talk to him as though he was alive. My Toby slept on my bed and with his passing, I kept his old toys, old collar, cushion and car seat into a ham bag and that became a ‘pillow’ that took his place for now (as a comfort and healing process) on my bed.

This post is to record the commands Toby knew. Amazingly, Toby understood every word I said. However, he had his own mind whether to obey or not. Any commands with regards to food, treats, walk or car ride were immediately responded to with joy.

Toby knew …..

  1. Go on the grass – To pee.
  2. Shake hands – A must before meal.
  3. Sit – Whenever out for walks, we sensed he was a little scared of other dogs or cyclists. Used ‘sit’ to show him that nothing will happen if he sat still.
  4. Stay
  5. Down – To lay down.
  6. Cross – Sit and cross used during walks and before crossing the road.
  7. Breakfast
  8. Dinner
  9. Drink water
  10. Treats
  11. On the mat – He would go to the mat in the lounge whenever I was about to go out. He used that as an indication he wanted a treat. The mat was placed in the lounge originally for him to stay when people came to the house (Toby was not very friendly with strangers). However, he took that as a place to ask for treats.
  12. No more – He loved food and treats and forever asking for more.
  13. Go away – We used to say this when he sat expecting crumbs during our meal time. This made him sad so we ended up allowing him to sit around while we had meals and fed him his dog treats every now and then so he was a regular diner with us.
  14. Wait followed by Go – He would be given treats but usually told to wait till I give the ‘Go’ command before gulping it up.
  15. Walk
  16. Car ride
  17. Come (here) – He even understood when I waved to him as a call to come.
  18. Good boy
  19. Mummy go to work – Meaning Mummy is going out.
  20. Mummy’s room
  21. Kevin, Bryce, Mummy and other names of people close to him.
  22. Mummy’s friend – Anyone he came in contact with (so he would not bark crazy).
  23. Massage – He loved it.
  24. Toys
  25. Drop – To drop anything in his mouth (mostly toy).
  26. Hedgehog
  27. Cat
  28. Tob – His name and also to mean (other) dog.
  29. Get under the duvet – He loved to sleep all covered up.
  30. Move up – At night when I wanted him to move closer to me.
  31. Wait (Mummy go toilet) – Usually use this when I left him alone in my room.
  32. Mummy love you – I said that to him all the time.
  33. Brush teeth
  34. See your teeth – I would open his mouth to check his teeth.
  35. Shower
  36. Put perfume – after shave/cologne to make him smell nice after shower.
  37. Get down – He knew he was not allowed on the Futon Sofa Bed in the lounge.
  38. Hug
  39. Kiss Kiss – He kissed by licking.
  40. Raining – The reason why we could not take him out for a walk.
  41. Good morning – Day time/Wake up.
  42. Good night – Sleep.
  43. Ummm Ummm – A sound I made when he refused to obey my command. He knew that was an order.

RIP my beloved Toby.

Mummy love you so much. Always loved, forever missed and remembered.

Things Toby disliked

  • Loud knocks at our front door
  • People arguing or talking loudly
  • Strangers coming into our house
  • Thunder (more scared than dislike)
  • Being left alone
  • swimming
  • cats

Toby liked quite a lot of things but there were only a few things he disliked, some were things he was scared of.

Courier men often knocked loudly at our front door early in the morning. That made Toby frantic and from then on, he went bizarre to the sound of knocks.

Dogs can read our emotions. Tob did not like his human family or anyone around him to be talking loudly as though they were arguing. It frightened him and he would try to jump up in between, sort of trying to stop the argument.

I often said Tob had a ‘chicken heart’ (what an irony that he died of a massive tumor that covered almost the whole of one of his heart chambers). Tob looked like an aggressive dog but all he did was barked and went into hiding whenever we had guests round for drinks and dinners.

Tob’s greatest fear was the sound of thunder. He hid in corners and shivered. On any stormy days or nights, he would follow me to the toilet.


Tob did not like to be left alone in the house. The only time he was fine to be alone was when I said ‘Mummy is going to work”. He would then went to the mat in the lounge, seated waiting to shake hands (paws) and that his way of telling me “Give me a treat if I were to be left alone at home.”

During weekends, he seemed to know that when I went out, it wasn’t for work and there were a few times he got so upset as I was about to exit the front door and he jumped/lunged at me. He got his treats every time I went out. We did not usually leave Toby alone at home for more than a couple of hours because there are three people here who loved him to bits and at least one would be home at any time.

We used to live in a house with a swimming pool. On the first day we moved in, the neighbor’s golden retriever ran into our new house and jumped merrily into the pool. Tob, however, hated swimming. We got him into the pool by force a couple of times and took him swimming at Omana/Maraetai Beach by force too. He could swim but did not enjoy swimming like most dogs do. He was a bit apprehensive on taking showers but he loved the warm water and the massage.

Cats! When Tob was a puppy, he chased cats but often they were too quick for him. As he grew older, he simply ignored those cats and proudly walked past not paying any heed to those cats at all.

Once upon a time, I had my precious Tob.  He just kissed (licked) me.

Toby sadly passed away five days ago.  Toby was my life.  I still feel as painful and sad hence I blogged about his happy life with us and try to re-live those happy memories.

This blog is about ‘Celebrating Toby’s life’ as well as recording each day we spent with him from the day he was diagnosed with the deadly Hemangiosarcoma Cancer.


Toby’s favourite things

  • Car rides
  • Walks
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Meaty bones
  • Human Food
  • Petting/Strokes/massage
  • Play chase
  • Squeaky toys
  • Sharing mummy’s bed
  • Tucked under duvet
  • Sunbath
  • Futon Sofa Bed
  • Catching hedgehogs

Car rides and walks were more important than food.

Like Mummy, Toby loved his food. He would sit quietly next to us at our dinner table hoping for crumbs at every meal time. He loved treats, especially bones and whenever I picked up my car keys, he would be on the mat and that was a sign that he deserved a treat because mummy was going to work and leaving him alone at home.

Toby loved squeaky toys and his thrill was to destroy the toys and pull out the stuffings and the squeaker. He liked to play chasing around the house with a toy in his mouth.


When in the house during the day, Toby’s favourite spot for relaxation was on our Futon sofa bed in the lounge. He knew he wasn’t allowed to lay there so he tried his luck as long as I did not noticed. He loved the sunshine coming into our window in the lounge and that was his spot for sunbathing.

At night, he slept in Mummy’s room and shared mummy’s bed and liked to get under the duvet (fully covered).

Hedgehogs and Tob were not friends. The first time one summer, he saw a hedgehog, he went crazy barking and circling around it. The next year, he actually caught one in his mouth as we were not home. It was hard getting him to drop the prickly hog.


A new house and a new pet

Our new house at the end of a cul-de-sac seemed empty. That was way back in early 2009.

Come Sept 2009, we visited the local SPCA. We had no expectations of what bred to look for. We just wanted a puppy.

Toby came into our lives. According to the SPCA, he was the firstborn of a litter of six. There were two with a white line on his face (like a Staffy) and the rest were just golden. We knew nothing about Staffordshire Terrier then. I wanted the one with a wider white face but he or she was taken so Rex (that was what SPCA named him) became my baby.

He was tiny, only about two or three weeks old. Born on 19 Aug 2009. He shivered as I held him and he was the size of my hand. I called him a defect because Toby had a mark on his nose. When he was healthy, the mark looked pink. When he was sick, it turned yellow and pale.

As I blogged on this, I beamed with love reminiscing the time when Toby came into our lives. Emotionally now, I am sad beyond words as I grieved with the passing of my precious Tob.

My Toby

Click here to read more of how Toby came into our lives and more happy posts of Toby and me. He was so precious to me, so much a part of me that I googled my other two blogs and there were quite a lot of loving posts about my beloved Toby.

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