Toby the chick magnet says: ‘Meet me at the dog show’

March 24, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

The name’s Toby. I’m a 12- year-old Portuguese water dog with beautiful black, curly hair. I’m from an old family, dating back at least to 700 A.D. Our line got its start in the mountainous region between China and Mongolia, where we herded cattle and camels – a long way from the fishing villages along Portugal’s rugged coast. Along the way we developed webbed paws that allowed us to help fishermen retrieve their broken nets, herd schools of fish and carry messages between boats or from boats to shore.
I was raised in Chicago with Fran and John Edwardson. We’re all Cubs fans – check out my hat. When they take vacations, I’m looked after by their sons, who take me for long walks so they can meet girls. I’m a great “chick magnet.”
Fate brought me to the right place for a dog suited to the water. I jump in the Gulf once in a while, but my favorite thing is riding around Boca Grande in my golf cart. My work mostly involves being a watchdog, although it’s just an act … I’m way too much fun to be frightening.
Fran thinks I’m actually a dog that needs watching. She calls me “Sneaky Pete,” but I’m not really naughty. Let’s just say I like to try new things to keep life interesting. I’m not like Cavaliers, who never have a subversive thought.
Even though humans carry on when dogs do something they don’t like, I think they are secretly amused at how clever we are.
Let’s get real; they know we’re smarter than they are.
I like to toilet paper the house. Raiding the garbage is lots of fun, too. It’s like Boca Bargains – you never know what you’ll find. I’ve even tried eating the wallpaper, although I prefer chocolate. Too bad the antidote to binging on chocolate is charcoal. Yuk. Won’t try that again for a while.
I manage to pull off these capers without getting caught in the act. Fran still hasn’t figured out how I pulled out the bread drawer and opened the top to help myself.
I do have a conscience; it just doesn’t bother me that much. When I’m busted, I can’t wipe that guilty look off my puss, but it’s mostly an affectation. Keeps the owners happy.
I’m not in the least remorseful. Why should I be? No matter what dogs get away with, they’re rank amateurs compared to humans. Follow Mark Twain’s advice: “When you get to heaven, tie yourself up outside and send in your dog.”
My breed has become fashionable in political circles of late. One of my cousins recently occupied the White House. Wait ’til President Trump finds what he left for him.
Don’t forget to come to the Dog Show on April 1 at 10 a.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center. I’m going to do my best to be a “good dog” so Fran and John can brag on me. Once in a while, you have to throw ‘em a bone.