Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bounce Forward- the TOBY Way

Bounce Forward™
By Charmaine Hammond

Have you noticed that life is full of moments?

There are moments that frustrate you. Moments that challenge you. Moments that you get stoked about. Moments that define you.  And moments that make you grow.  

My husband Christopher and I adopted a dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Toby, who gave us all those moments wrapped up in an adorable four legged furry package. If you have ever had a pet with “issues” you might know exactly what I am talking about. In fact, oddly enough, this dog who destroyed our house, moved furniture around and broke toilet tank lids, also became our teacher. Toby’s destructive behavior became so frustrating we had to call for help. 

Maggie, the behaviorist and trainer, helped us learn that Toby needed a job and a purpose. 

Toby on Graduation Day- another round of training completed.

We got Toby a job as an Animal Assisted Therapy Dog at a local hospital and something magical happened when he began helping people by visiting them every week.

Toby on the job

Toby taught us many lessons about:

1.    Patience
2.    Persistence
3.    Purpose
4.    Play
5.    Perfectionism is highly over-rated
6.    Kindness
7.    Courageous Dialogue
8.    Keeping your eye on the Kong (your goal)
9.    Finding joy in the simple things, and,
10.  The importance of Being Yourself

Thank you Toby for making our moments matter! 

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