Ever meet an animal that changes EVERYTHING for you?
Toby came to me through an email my Mom sent. She miraculously saw his adoption listing online and she knew he was special.
I called the rescue that was holding Toby and made plans to meet him – 2.5 hours away from where I was living.
Hopping in the car I first drove to my Mom’s, which was on the way, and then hit the road to meet the pup.
That’s when everything got weird.
Turns out the rescue organization was not the highest of integrity and our plans to meet started falling apart.
The lady called me back saying she promised Toby (his name was Baxter at the time) to another person because he really wanted a white mini-schnauzer.
I begged her to let me at least meet him – I was already half way there.
She agreed after pushing our meeting out to 8pm and moving our meet location to a Staples parking lot.
It was all feeling really weird for me when our GPS in the car died. The whole dashboard of the car went dark, only the headlights and motor still running.
Mom and I looked at each other. Was this a sign?
I was determined I had to meet him and after running through the scenario we kept on going.
We pulled into the Staples parking lot, it’s now night time and I spot a beat up mini van.
I give it some room and park a couple stalls away and get out of the car.
I will never forget what happens next.
The lady who “rescued” Toby get out of the van holding the dirtiest, smelliest dog I have ever seen. He was glued to her, wrapping his body around hers and begging with her to not let him go.
My Mom burst into tears at the sight of him.
Toby was beyond traumatized.
The lady told us the long, sad story of how she found him. He was found in a field in Sacramento and picked up by the pound. Somehow he found himself on “death row” to be euthanized.
That’s when she swooped in and took him home, to her 6 dogs, one child and by the smell of her car – a hell of a mess of a house.
Toby had never been walked. Had never been outside in her care and had zero rehabilitation. He had been abused before he was found as a stray, was beyond fearful of humans and ran when given the chance.
As I excused my Mom and I, we deliberated. What do I do? Is this dog sick? Can I provide him the proper care? Was I cruel to take him away from this woman that seems to be his protector?
I knew the answer.
There was no way I was letting this dog go home with this lady.
And I remember passionately exclaiming to my Mom,
“IF ANYONE CAN HELP THIS DOG, IT’S US!”
Now, I’m not a dog rescuer but I knew at that time Toby came into my life for a reason.
We packed him up and drove home. Toby shook and panted while I held him on my lap with the windows rolled down. His smell permeated the car despite the open windows.
Before we left the lady warned us to never walk him (he’s too far gone) or let him outside. That he will run.
I was beyond furious at this. The second she drove away, I set Toby on the ground to see for myself. A dog NEEDS to be walked!
Well, this sent Toby in to a fright. He didn’t know how to be on a leash or on the ground!
He was afraid of his own shadow and every little sound (like a leaf falling next to him) had him looking for a corner to hide in.
I was shocked.
When we got home he escaped immediately. I went to check something in the yard and before I knew it he flew out of the door.
Luckily we had a fence but he hid in the bushes, out of arms length – eyes peering fearfully at me for 2 hours. I finally coaxed him in, sitting with him, unmoving while I gently spoke with him about who I was, what our life together will be like and telling him he’s safe.
He finally came back in the house, reluctantly, and we managed to bathe him. Mom intuitively adding vinegar to the bath because of the smell of urine on his fur. Lucky for us she did as it killed all of his fleas. He had fleas!
He slept, unmoving on a blanket – afraid to budge as it seemed he had been trained to stay where we was put in the house.
The next month was excruciating. Toby didn’t pee or poo for 3 days for out of fear. He wouldn’t eat or drink for even longer.
When I went to touch him he’d cower in the corner, shaking. I could only walk him a yard in each direction as he got used to being on the leash outside.
The vet suggested a trainer that could help with with Toby and I jumped at the chance. Amelia from Smart Paws was a godsend.
She was gentle, kind and firm. She told me to forget the sob story about Toby’s past and start living in the present like there’s nothing wrong with him! She trained me, not him.
Things started progressing with Toby and he became more comfortable on walks and even started greeting people at the dog park I took him every morning.
He still was petrified of men and most people but was eating, walking and going to the bathroom regularly.
Then one day we turned a corner. In fact, I actually turned the corner in my apartment at the time and lo and behold Toby’s there – holding a sock in his mouth! He was acting like a “real” dog and I was overjoyed.
But I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was still missing something. That there was something Toby needed help with that I couldn’t figure out.
If only I could communicate with him…!
Enter Linking Awareness and Loesje Jacob. My dear friend Sarah BrownNisse was hosting Loesje in Monterey for a Linking Awareness course where we learned how to non-verbally communicate with animals (and other sentient beings).
I was skeptical but signed up and made it a girls weekend with my Mom and cousin. And of course, Toby!
Ever since Toby attended that course he asks to come to everyone I go to. I have to explain to him that not everyone allows pets to participate…Loesje is very special that way 😉
I figured that someone in the class would be able to communicate with Toby and tell me what he needs to share since I figured I wouldn’t be able to do it myself.
Boy, was I wrong!
In the class other people had brought their animals and it was amazing! Each animal took it’s turn being the “guinea pig” for us to communicate with. Every time Loesje started an exercise I was praying that it’d be Toby’s turn. But every time Toby wasn’t ready.
It wasn’t until the LAST day and the LAST exercise that Toby agreed.
Loesje explained that Toby had something to share and show us. To remain neutral and simply listen without judgement.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after he shared his message.
He revealed a lot about where he came from and how he got here. But what stuck with me the most?
He thanked me for my patience with him.
From that point forward Toby has taught me that there is so much more than meets the eye. He shares with me Universal teachings and has been a major catalyst for change in my life.
After Toby came into my life everything sped up. In our two years together…
I became a certified The BodyTalk System practitioner.
Travelled to the birthplace of humanity, Adams Calendar, in South Africa to also meet the White Lions of Timbavati, Chimps and Wild Horses.
I spent over 2 months cumulatively in Indonesia traveling to visit the Elephants, Orangutans and Bali dogs.
Became a doula, helping support my sister birthing my beautiful niece into the world.
Moved from San Jose to Calgary to Sacramento.
Started Soul Speak and recently rented a treatment room, working alongside some incredible healers.
I feel like Toby brought me into this special world where everything has a message to be shared. One where we are all inter-connected and One.
He helped me become an ambassador for the animal kingdom, sharing their messages and desire to communicate and connect with YOU!
So again I ask, ever meet an animal that changes EVERYTHING for you? Would love to hear your story and experience! <3
Be sure to check out:
Linking Awareness: http://linkingawareness.com