Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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More Puppy: Toby

Catherine Ryan Hyde

A couple of months ago, back when I was doing my More Puppy meme pretty regularly, my friend and faithful reader Lucy Llewellyn Byard from Sri Lanka sent me this photo of her "100-pound baby," Toby.

When I asked for more information about him, she was nice enough to send me the following text and photos. The photos were taken by Lipton Jayawickrama.

"Toby is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, living in Sri Lanka. He'll be 6 in November. When choosing a pup from the litter, I had picked a different male but when the mother came around the corner, I noticed she had a small head, the same as the puppy I'd chosen. The small head on such a big body looked odd, so I chose another - lucky Toby. At 6 months he got Tick Fever, and here in Sri Lanka there are no overnight visits at the vet, so twice daily I took him a fair distance to the vet for an IV. Amazingly he made it and is now a big bruiser at 50K (110lb).

"At 8 months I planned to take his manhood--normal in the US, but not so in Sri Lanka. His best playmate (my business partner) cried and cried when we took Toby in for his castration (such a harsh word!). "It's not natural!" my partner pleaded. It's not normal practice here on this small island in the Indian Ocean, but that's why there are so many stray dogs. I wasn't to be deterred though--he'd be a big dog and I knew from experience that big male dogs are easier to handle once neutered.

"Toby's favorite thing--besides walks and traveling anywhere in a open air tuk tuk (a 3-wheel taxi)--is sitting on the couch next to whomever, with his butt on the couch and his front paws on the floor. He also

likes to sit in the chair with me, with his bottom in between my legs. Such a spoiled boy! Fortunately I get the 'Dog Whisperer' on satellite TV and so Toby is learning to let me come down the stairs first! And to sit by politely while I fix his food.

"And yes, he sleeps on the bed!"

Don't see anything wrong with that. Then again, Ella sleeps under the covers. So I'm the last one to judge. Thanks, Lucy, for sharing Toby on my blog!