Today is Grammy day, my grandmother's birthday. She has been gone for over twenty years. Every year I try to spend some time on this day to think of her and thank her for being in my life. We were very close; she was my confidant, friend, and role-model.
She gave me a love of being creative, of digging in the dirt, and a love of herb tea. Before bedtime, I got to choose the ingredients for the tea pot. I'm sure I concocted all manner of wretched combinations, but she never complained. I always felt free to explore and experiment when I was with her.
Toby was 5 or 6 when we got him from a local woman who used to do Boston Terrier breed rescue. He was dirty, mangy, and had a persistent eye infection. Despite these woes and pains, he was so sweet and friendly. He was a simple boy. Before coming to rescue, he had been found on the streets of Fresno. We think he suffered some mild brain damage. He never knew he was limited, he did what he did and seemed content to just be Toby. He was all about love.
This is a link to my old LiveJournal with a cute photo essay of him.
I don't think he was ever abused in his life prior to us, but he hadn't had family privileges. With us he learned about sitting on laps, riding in the car, and sleeping in bed. He soaked up love and affection like a sponge. He loved to sit on a lap, stand in the warm sun, and bask in any attention. Toby never had a mean thing to say about anyone. He was all about love.
In the last year or so, what remained of his eyesight and hearing faded away. I "called" him to me by tapping him or blowing towards him. He never lost his enthusiasm for being called and wanted. He stumbled and bumbled his way through life, was a walking tripping hazard, but never, ever became a cranky or bitter dog. He was all about love.
I will miss the way he would moan when we hugged and kissed him. I will miss his warm little body snuggled up next to me while I knit or spin. I will miss him hogging the bed. I will miss him being his pure, loving self.