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Two Peas in a Pod


All owners will tell you how special their pets are, so I am no different when I tell you Toby and Lola are the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known! Toby, a 16-year old multi-colored Jack Russell/Chihuahua, and Lola, a 9-year old blonde teacup Chihuahua have become the best of friends…here are their stories:

I adopted Toby 10 years ago when, by the Vet’s best guess, he was approximately 5 or 6 years old. A friend’s Mom had been vacationing “up north” when she discovered Toby hanging around the local party store each day, often times digging through garbage in hopes to find food. It broke her heart to find out he was abused by his owners, regularly unfed and left outside for days. Obviously malnourished, he was “skin and bones” and cowered in fear at anyone who came near him. By the end of her vacation she made the bold decision to “rescue” him and the rest, as they say, is history…days later I adopted Toby!

I remember when he first came home I thought his “voice” must have been damaged in his years of abuse, because he never made a peep. People were always commenting, “Wow, for a terrier, he sure is calm!” And they were right! Toby has a calm demeanor, curious and smart, and truly sweet. Over time I won his trust, encouraging him with love and lots of treats! It was not long before he was at a healthy weight and gaining comfort in his new home. I’ll never forget when my neighbors reported to me that Toby would sit in the window while I was at work and…barked!! Turns out his voice was not injured, he just realized he’d still be loved if he “spoke up”.

That was over ten years ago. He has been on countless adventures with me, a true “car companion” gladly taking his position on the “crow’s nest” each time he’s called for a ride. He is the first and only dog I’ve met that literally smiles, showing his crooked grin in genuine excitement and occasionally in times of guilt. Toby moved homes with me six times during my twenties, was there when I fell in love and got married, and became a best friend to my husband. In his youth, his energy was displayed through his love of walks and neighborhood adventure. Such is life, time has taken its toll, and he is now a geriatric dog maintaining heart and thyroid conditions through medication. Nonetheless, his love for life prevails. On sunny days he spends his time lying in the sun, occasionally raising his head to sniff the clean, fresh air or feel a warm breeze, and his eyes tell me that he is truly happy.

And then there is his sister, Lola, a pint-sized Chihuahua with a huge character. She came to us in December 2010 on a trial basis, but immediately won our hearts and made our family fuller.   Lola has also lived a life of adventure. At the age of 3, she was adopted by my older sister and they moved to the “Windy City”. Lola was nothing less than a pampered pooch traveling Chicago in her designer carrier, sporting the latest pink sweater trends (yes, my sister was one of those!) Dainty as she looks, she enjoyed her city walks where her feet didn’t get too wet or dirty, and where everyone “ooh and ahhed” at her. When my sister met her husband and began commuting between Chicago and Atlanta, Lola would jump in the center of the suitcase as it was packed, as to say, “Don’t forget me!” As time progressed, my sister married, had three children and a hectic household. In yet another pending relocation to Birmingham, my sister made the heart-wrenching decision to find an alternative home for Lola. She felt a calmer home was needed to show Lola the love she once got and much deserved.

After pleading my case for a second dog, arguing that it would be “just what the doctor ordered” for our aging Toby, I finally convinced my husband to give Lola a chance. Though she recognized us from our visits to “her” house in Georgia, Lola acted very timid for the first few weeks in her new home. Upon her first encounter with Toby, they hopped up on the couch, sat at opposite ends and gazed straight ahead; it reminded us of a teenaged first date! But it wasn’t long before Lola took comfort in the presence of her “big brother”, following his footsteps and sharing his bed.

In the months Lola has been with us she has re-energized Toby. He seems to have gotten his curiosity back, following Lola around and staking out “treat” opportunities together. Often, when they think we aren’t watching, we find the two of them curled up together or rubbing noses. Toby seems to watch out for Lola, and she rewards him with kisses. As a working household, we find comfort in leaving them together; in one another’s company the days seem less long.

Through her innocent, big, brown-eyed stare and a game of “pawing” for attention, along with her insatiable desire to lick, Lola is as sweet as they come. She seems relaxed in her atmosphere. Becoming more dependent with age and a little slower in his step, Toby has had a full life and enjoys the comfort of a familiar home.   Separate, they each have a story of adventure. As unique, lovable, and affectionate pets, Toby and Lola have improved our lives and will forever be in our hearts.

GPP Sitter Claudia adds:   From the moment I met Toby and Lola, I fell in love with them!  They are so sweet and affectionate.   They have stayed with me several times and are happiest curled up on a fuzzy blanket in my lap (and I’m happiest having them right there too!).   Whatever room I’m in at home, they are right there with me, and at night their bed is next to my bed. We feel like they are members of our family and they know they are welcome anytime!