Cleaning the garage the other day, I came across two ceramic apples sitting in the back of a shelf. It is amazing how two simple objects can evoke such strong memories and emotions.
When we moved into this house, Toby was in his prime. He had free reign in a large fenced yard and daily trips to the dog park where he hung out with his buddies. At our old house, Toby never dug holes but, in the new house, he began digging in one of the gardens. Every day, I chased him away from the hole and filled it in. One day, I didn’t get there in time, and he had dug down about two feet. There, at the bottom of the hole, were two ceramic apples. Once I took the apples out of the hole, he never dug again.
Toby, like most dogs, enjoyed car rides. He would leap into the car as soon as the door opened and liked to sit in the back where he could get the most breeze from the open window, his ears flopping back in the wind. Toby also knew “Jeep ride,” and he loved the Jeep. The rear seat of the Wrangler was removed and permanently replaced by his dog bed. It has been over a year since we lost Toby. The Jeep died a few months later.
One day, Toby and I were out walking and a bicycle rider slowed as he approached. He looked at Toby and said “What a great coonhound.” I completely agree. He was not just a great coonhound, he was the best coonhound. Toby was my constant companion, my hiking partner, and my guitar buddy for many years. He was my best buddy and I miss him a lot.