Travels With Maggie: Tobias Goes Solo

Updated on June 20, 2019

On the Mend

As many of you know, Maggie was spayed two weeks ago. As a result, she was unable to accompany me to the farm for a couple days as she recuperated from the operation, freeing me up to take her brother Tobias on a solo farm journey.

Would you like to join is?

Maggie recuperating
Maggie recuperating

Unbridled Curiosity

Is it possible for a puppy to have ADHD? That’s what Tobias reminds me of, hyperactivity unchecked, willy-nilly to the tenth degree, an owner’s headache waiting to happen. There are days when the only thing that saves Tobias is the fact he’s so damned affectionate. Toby is the cuddler in bed. Toby is the sibling who will climb up into my lap at night while we watch television. His sister will not…does not…do those things. So Toby gets a free pass on much of his rambunctious behavior.

Like toilet-papering the living room before we left for the farm.

Proud as hell he was, one end of the toilet-paper in his mouth, a clear trail back to the bathroom, a good half-roll spread out for all to see. I was mad-as-hell and laughing my butt off, which, as you might suspect, is hard to do. It’s really not possible for me to be angry with Tobias, just as 99% of parents would say it’s almost impossible to truly be incensed by the children they love. A heat of the moment harsh word, perhaps, but true anger? One look at Toby’s adorable face and I forget what I was all worked up about.

Anyway, I finally got him in the truck (he doesn’t like car rides, they make him car-sick) and we were off to the farm, toilet paper still stuck on his chin which, come to think of it, would be handy if he got sick in the truck.

The chickens were looking for the nightmare to end
The chickens were looking for the nightmare to end

Adhd and Chickens

Chickens are nervous birds. They do not like sudden movements. They do not like loud sounds. They certainly do not like an out-of-control puppy chasing them around Chicken Town and barking his damned head off. If the chickens could talk they would have called for a meeting with management and told me, in no uncertain terms, that they would be going on strike if Tobias ever set foot in their workplace again.

My boy was a mess from start to finish during the chicken-feeding process. The toilet paper on his chin was replaced by tail feathers. He took a liking to the fermented chicken feed and the five-grain scratch. He nosed and prodded and annoyed and aggravated, all with carefree abandon, not a mean bone in his body but rather an out-of-control locomotive on a short track, the bull in the china closet coming to mind as the birds found refuge on top of the coops, pouring down disapproval in my direction.

Time for the Walk

He was much better on the walk; no leash and open land for Tobias, and he took to it like a slug takes to damp. Dogs need those moments. I understand the need for leashes in the city, but in the country a dog needs to run free, Hercules Unchained, the way a dog was meant to do. For a puppy, exploration is a must. The world is one unending classroom, and classrooms shouldn’t have restrictions. Learn as you go, sniff, prod, jump, bark, roll in the dirt, categorize smells, categorize sounds, what is safe, what is danger, it is all there for a puppy to learn from, and walks like this one will help Tobias to adjust to life and better handle whatever comes at him in the future.

Truthfully it is that way for all of us. As children this is what we do. I was lucky enough to grow up in a time when lawsuits and suffocating restrictions were not placed on us. The only words of wisdom given to us as we headed out the door were “be careful,” but even that was open to interpretation, for what does a child, or pre-teen, know about careful? We were turned loose to explore, no leash restricting us. We learned from our experiences and the outcomes of those experiences. Climbing a tree was liberating; a lack of caution and care could lead to sprained ankles or broken bones; exercise enough caution and you sat atop the neighborhood, a bird’s eye view of a world unseen from solid ground.

Run too fast and you might fall. Fail to look for oncoming traffic and you might get hit. It was all pretty simple back then, and our parents, God rest their souls, were willing to let us learn at our own pace, in our own way, even though I’m sure they spent many hours concerned for our welfare.

So I turn Tobias loose, as I did with his sister Maggie, and I allow him to find out for himself what this exciting new world has in store for him, and I smile watching him, and I think back, long ago, when I was that pup, and it warms my cockles. Bob Segar would say “working on mysteries without any clue,” and I want Tobias to experience that liberating adventure.

Best of friends
Best of friends

Time to Head Home

Back in the truck, reluctantly, for Tobias still is not fond of driving, but he settles down on the front seat, his head in my lap as I drive. Tobias is nothing if not affectionate. We make a quick five minutes of it and arrive safely at home, Tobias rushing in the house to his sister. Messages are shared, he and Maggie, she asking him how he liked it, he telling her all about it, the wonder of it all, those things that frightened him, those that mystified him, and she listening patiently from her recovery position, the all-knowing big sister “putting up” with the younger sibling, but doing it with obvious pride and doggy love.

They rest then, he exhausted from the experience, she exhausted as her body recuperates, both of them side-by-side on the floor, sharing common ground, sharing common genes, bonded for life and me lucky enough to be a part of it all.

Growing up I had the best buddy a boy could ask for. Pixie was her name, a runt of a dog, several breeds of Terrier rolled into one dynamo, and Pixie was my buddy for seventeen years, the best of the best, what every child needs growing up. I waited fifty years to find that feeling again, but Maggie and Tobias have delivered.

My step-daughter, Allora, recently graduated from college. I wanted to tell her to have fun but be careful, to enjoy life but also be wary, but I didn’t say those things. She needs to find out for herself. She needs to experience life with reckless abandon. She needs to find her own way out of the mazes, and she needs to soar with the angels without having her wings clipped. Learning and understanding only come from experience and this, too, she will learn in time.

My journey, a circular one of sorts, with all manner of tangents, learning as I go, working on mysteries without any clues, and now Maggie and Tobias will join me for the last leg of that journey . . . and ain’t that just too cool for words?

Thanks for joining us! It’s always a pleasure when you stroll along the lane with us on a sunny day.

© 2019 Bill Holland

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence. I don't think I could ever let either of these two dogs off leash in the city. They are quite capable of running right out into traffic, and that would not be good at all.

      Blessings to you always, my friend!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      12 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Glad I could make this journey with you. Toby and Maggie reminded me of the two dogs we had when I was growing up, they were a mother and daughter, and man they could be a handful!

      I used to love letting them loose when I took them for walks but always had to be careful there were no sheep or cattle around. The times I spent chasing after the dogs who were, in turn chasing cattle (and often being chased by the farmer) makes me wonder how we never seemed to get caught!

      Barney would be just the same if we lived in the country, but the dog trainers told us never let a Cairn Terrier off the leash, "You'll never get him back"

      By the way, it's okay to be 'aimless' occasionally, we need those times to recharge.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'm afraid aimless is pretty accurate right now. I'm just going through the motions until I find something which will light my fire again. I'm considering everything, so thank you for your suggestions.

      I have firewood to stack, so that will keep my mind occupied for the next couple of days, but I really need to find a direction after that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a lot, Sha! Rambunctious brat he is. I think we are all looking forward to Toby growing up a bit. lol I'm glad you like the coop colors. It brightens things up a bit as you approach the farm, which was the purpose.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Aimless? There are many adjectives I could use to describe you, and this is not one of them. I get what you mean though. I'm the same way at the moment, but that's more because of the heat and humidity. Everything is such an effort when all you want to do is stay still as much as possible.

      Have you tried exploring other creative pursuits? Perhaps you're a dab hand at painting (other than walls) and don't even know it. Paintdrips (Denise McGill) has loads of hubs on the various mediums.

      There always the fabric arts. Crocheting is relaxing and at the end you've got a nice scarf, blanket, etc. to show for your efforts. Cross stitch is good too. I can help with either.

      Or maybe, something more manly, like woodworking. Just throwing some ideas out at you.

      Hope you enjoyed your 'heatwave'. Ours is still ongoing. We had a thunderstorm early this morning, but it did nothing to clear the air.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's still a little early for corn, Zulma, so I think you are correct to wait. A good week or two of hot weather should do the trick for sure.

      How goes it here? Not bad! I'm a little aimless right now. I need a project of some sort. I don't seem to have a purpose and I'm bored to tears since I dropped the farmers market. I'll think of something but in the meantime....aimless!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Just a quick update: The kernels are really small but as near as I could tell, they're not ready yet. Going to give it another week.

      Hot and humid weather predicted for the rest of the week. How goes by you?

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      14 months ago from Central Florida

      I can picture Toby terrorizing the hens. All while they yell at you for bringing this rambunctious brat in their domain. The image in my head is pretty comical, actually.

      It's nice you restrained yourself from giving Allora advice she's better to learn on her own. That's how we did life, right? Too many of today's kids would't know how to pick themselves up when they stumble and fall because their parents won't let them fall in the first place.

      This has been a wonderful walk, Bill. By the way, I love the colors on the hen houses. Very cheerful.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you got my reply, Zulma! Sorry for the late response to your question.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      The silk has in fact turned brown so we'll do as you suggest. I'll let you know how it goes.

      Thanks, Bill, I appreciate the help.

      Talk to you soon.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I've got nothing for you on carrots. I don't much like them so I don't grow them. :) Too bad because they are relatively easy to grow.

      As for corn, pay attention to the "silk," those fine strands on the husk. When they turn brown it is time to check your husks. Put your hand around a husk and feel for fullness. If it feels full, pull back the green and stick your fingernail in a kernel. Clear white liquid means it is not ready to harvest...milky liquid means it is ready...thick milky means you waited too long. :) Hope that helps!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Bill, I'm feeling much better now.

      Just to be clear, the stories aren't about magpies but what they represent in the rhyme. But you probably guessed that already. I just don't want you to be disappointed when instead of birds you get people, places and things...possibly. I'm grateful I didn't dream about 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie. I don't have a wonky enough imagination to come up with that many. lol

      On a different note, I don't suppose you could suggest some ideas for carrots, could you? My daughter just harvested all her carrots and they need to get used soon. I want to do something with them other than steaming and/or honey roasting them.

      Also, she's got some corn coming in but we're unsure when to harvest those and how. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

      Thanks in advance and have a beautiful Tuesday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well shoot, Zulma, get well soon. I have so far avoided any of that "stuff," but my time is rapidly approaching I'm sure. I wish you a speedy recovery, my friend, and good luck with that magpie story. I would love to read it.

      Wishing you a brilliant weekend of comfort and recovery.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill.

      It's not that I've lost interest in HP, I do drop in as often as I can, after all. In fact, I'm currently working on a new project. It came to me in a dream. I dreamt of magpies. When I awoke, I recalled a counting rhyme about magpies. My plan is to write a story for each magpie in the rhyme. There's ten in all and I've just roughed out the first one. Only nine more to go. Once there all written and polished, I'll be publishing them. I've got a couple of ideas brewing in my head at the moment, but still waiting for inspiration for the rest. Throw in family life and various other creative projects I have on the go...well, as you can appreciate, it will take some time to finish the series.

      At the moment, I'm recovering from a hospital procedure I underwent yesterday. Right now, it's all I can to distract myself from the soreness. The stitches pull a bit and I just can't sit comfortably at the computer for long. This getting old malarkey is for the birds. lol

      At any rate, I will be back, just can't say when exactly. Have a good day, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey,, Zulma, I always mean to ask but never remember to...why don't you write regularly for HP any longer? No time? No interest in HP? Curious minds want to know.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Preoccupied? I suppose that's one word for it. We've just come back from a week in Cornwall and everyone was home for another week. It's hard to stick to the routine when with everyone flapping about. I didn't even try to look at emails or any of the stuff I normally do. I just joined in the flapping about. lol

      Everyone has returned to work and I'm easing back into the routine. That could take another week as I need the environment to be just right so I can concentrate.

      You know, Bill, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear you're working subconsciously on a book of Maggie's and Toby's adventure. Sort of a 'life from a dog's eye-view perspective.' It could be interesting.

      Anyway, you have a good day, Bill. I see some cherry tomatoes that are just ripe for the picking. Gonna try to work them into our dinner for tonight.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Ann. Right now I'm trying to discourage Toby from barking. It is not easy, and the 4th of July will make it a tough week of training for sure. But it is a labor of love, as you know.

      Have a brilliant week, my friend.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      14 months ago from SW England

      I love strolling along these lanes with you on a sunny day, bill! Any day, come to that.

      Love the two dogs - aren't they great?

      You're so right about young ones finding their own wings and flying on the breeze. We do worry like hell but we're always there to help and comfort, or celebrate with them, when wanted.

      This is a great series with Maggie, and Tobias is a great supporting actor!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Peg. Tobias and Maggie sleep with us,and I can't imagine them not doing that. They are a comfort for me.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      14 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This is such an enjoyable read, Bill. I love the way you've told it from the perspective of dogs learning about life, their curiosity, their fears, joys, bonds.

      We've had dogs for as long as I can remember - inside dogs that were considered as part of the family; dogs that ate with us and slept with us. As a young girl, I can remember sharing an ice cream cone with our first dog who was a little sister to me as the youngest of 3. Like your own childhood experience, she was with us for a good long time, growing from puppy-hood to old age. There's nothing better than sharing life with a dog or two.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Jo! Passing the legacy down to your granddaughters is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      15 months ago from Tennessee

      Lovely, Bill. I grew up on a farm, very near where I live now, and experienced that type of freedom you speak of, the type very few children get to experience now. It really feels like I'm living my second childhood now. And one of my favorite activities is to share this life with my granddaughters, to give them a taste of the freedom they don't have in the cities where they live. Toby would love it here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, William. We really appreciate you joining us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sean, and I will indeed give Maggie and Toby that hug. Blessings and love always

      bill

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      15 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I really enjoy your Maggie and Tobias stories, Bill. I can imagine it all as it unfolds before my eyes on the written page. I see it all and I experience it all. Just a nice break from the hubbub and turmoil of the day.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      15 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear brother, Bill, thank you for the marvellous way you glorify the miracles of life and the significance you give to little things that are actually big! Your writing is like sunshine for my Soul and mind. Give a big hug to Maggie and Toby from my boys and me.

      Love and peace, always to your noble Heart!

      Sean

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Audrey, we weren't even told to stay out of the street. Evidently your parents loved you more than mine. lol

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I think we all go through it with puppies....it was extremely funny!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      15 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I've fallin' in love with your Tobias and Maggie. Picturing the 'toilet paper' adventure had me giggling. I, too, was brought up in a time with few restrictions. "Be home before dark and stay out of the street" were the only rules we three kids had to follow. And yet, we were always obedient and respectful to our parents.

      Enjoyed this story!

      love,

      audrey

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      I have to admit that I smiled at reading about Tobias's antics. It reminded me of the puppy days of my daughter's dog. He still has his moments, but he's more of a late teenager now in dog years. My young grandson is his best friend. Walks with them can be great fun.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that about Nellie, Lori. We do get attached to them, don't we? I can't imagine life without these two mutts go keep me company. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Zulma! You seem a bit preoccupied lately. Eveything okay with you, my friend?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I suppose I will, RoadMonkey, although I'm dreading having both in the cab of my pickup truck. lol

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      15 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      What is it about Kleenex and toilet paper dogs are so obsessed with? It drives me crazy. However, Tobias sounds delightful and it sounds like the country is where he belongs. I miss my Nellie, a rescue Collie I had for four years. She was so gentle and exuded love. When I first got her she was terrified to be in open space and didn't wag her tail for eight months. To acclimate her I walked her every day on a leash. She was a lot less frightened with a leash on. One day we saw another dog on the walk roaming free and her tail went from being curled under her body to way out there wagging happily. When circumstances did not allow me to keep her I found her a home at a 24 acre farm. She's been in dog heaven ever since. I miss having a dog so much. Blessings to you and your puppies.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hard to believe your stepdaughter has graduated college. It doesn't seem that long ago she was just getting started. Time can be so sneaky sometimes.

      It sounds like Toby had a great time on his first walk. Sorry about the chickens. I wish you had posted a picture of the toilet-papered living room. I'm sure it was a sight. Who cleaned it up, by the way?

      Have a great day, Bill. Hope Maggie gets better in time for the next walk. That should be a good read.

      Catch you later.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, in truth, it's amazing I never broke a bone or spent time in the hospital. lol Seriously, I am one lucky guy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They both are lovely dogs, Linda. I can't imagine not having them. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it, Flourish! A malamute can be a load when they are puling on that leash. You did well just holding onto him.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by, Bronwen!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      thank you Heidi....Maggie eats a lot of grass too. Tobias not so much. Maggie is not too tolerant of squirrels...Tobias seems bored by them. It's all fascinating to watch.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora...thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cell phone therapy, MizB? What has become of our society, dear friend? I needed therapy when I finally got a cell phone. Is that the same thing? lol Perfect weather continue here, thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS! We grew up at a good time, me thinks. I'd hate to be a kid today with all the restrictions.

      Hugs heading back atcha

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda. Maggie is up and about and feeling quite well now,back to her old self, wrestling with the puppy, and that's a relief. Loved the toilet paper tip...thank you!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      15 months ago

      Great fun with a young puppy. They grow up so quickly and settle down. I suppose you will take both, once Maggie has recovered?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's good to know, Pamela. I'm looking forward to the "gem" stage.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, a funny side note about the shoes...Tobias will only steal Bev's shoes and chew on them. Maybe mine stink? LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Seems like a bit of hubris on my part, Sis, but I couldn't resist. lol Love you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great piece on growing up and rearing kids. I wish I had your upbringing. We were overprotected that I would be scared to climb a tree. Only in my later years did I have lots of adventure. I can only imagine the joy of Tobias that day.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      15 months ago from Carson City

      Bro....You definitely named that puppy perfectly! You really DID Resurrect "Tobias!!" Love, Sis

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nithya! Maggie is doing well, thank you! I'll tell her you were asking about her health. She will be pleased. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! Sometimes I think the chickens live better than I do. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Miebakagh! Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I'll have to work up the courage to take them both, but it's going to happen soon.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      15 months ago from Dubai

      Tobias seems to be affectionate, friendly, eager to nose around and explore the world. Seems like Tobias and Maggie get along very well. Learning and understanding only comes from experiences in life-well said, I totally agree. Hope Maggie recovers soon.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's going to be very interesting learning about your new puppy's experiences! He sounds like a lovely dog and a great companion for Maggie.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      15 months ago from USA

      Somebody’s got the training wheels off! This was so fun to read. Many years ago I walked a neighbor’s untrained malamute teenage dog who spent all his time cooped up in their backyard pen. When he went “walking” with me he ran full steam on the leash but eventually I trained him. Dogs are so awesome.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      15 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Loved it! Dogs can be such great companions.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      15 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great to see Tobias spreading his wings and discovering the world around him. Nice digs for the chickens.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      15 months ago from Chicago Area

      Glad to see Tobias has joined the adventures!

      Like you, I've found that our boy dogs are more consistently affectionate than our girls have ever been. The girls often get affectionate occasionally, then wander off to themselves.

      But our boys have, like Tobias, been more misbehaving, too. The girls have been more hunters, especially in the backyard. Our current girl is a cattle dog mix and she's obsessed with squirrels. Her golden brother can't stop eating grass. What a pair! But I wouldn't trade them for anything.

      I'm serious when I say your adventures are going to be a book someday. Thank you for sharing the journey!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      15 months ago from The Caribbean

      Such affection: "I smile watching him, and I think back, long ago, when I was that pup, and it warms my cockles." The connection between man and pet doesn't any better. Great work, Bill!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      15 months ago from Beautiful South

      Awww, poor Maggie, but that's a necessary evil. She'll feel better soon. Meanwhile, Tobias reminds me a lot of Genghis, our last dog, except that Genghis loved to ride. New dog in the chicken yard, huh? I can just see those old hens complaining atop the coops. Our chickens and black cat have a truce, and he can walk through their territory now unchallenged. But the striped cat won't venture out.

      Those days we had as children are really gone now, and it shows in the amount of counseling the children of today must have to survive. Re: the kids who have to have therapy when deprived of their cell phones. I do wish we could have had someone available when a fellow student in high school died from cancer.

      Lovely weather here in the 80s. Hope you are still reveling in the 70s, my friend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      15 months ago from North Central Florida

      Adoration from our pups and kitties and watching them do their investigating makes my heart sing Thank you for taking us along on your walks----reading about your youth adventures reminds me of similar days in my youth and makes me realize how lucky I was to have grown up in such a time Blessings and hugs and many Angels winging their way to you ps

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. I do love my projects. I knew they were a bit much when I was building them, but I was having so much fun. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww thanks, Pop...there is a bit of the kid in me. You should see Bev! lol She's like a daycare center.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you and I grew up back when the only cautionary words from our parents were "be home for supper by the time the street lights come on."

      Ohmygoodness, Toby sounds like a handful and a half (by the way kitties love to play with toilet paper too. Reverse the roll and it won't be so easy to grab).

      A good friend once remarked that for dogs every sniff is a story. Toby must have had a LOT to share with big sis. (Don't you wish you could be a little bit of Dr. Doolittle and tune into that conversation?)

      Thank you for sharing with us again. I hope Maggie can accompany you next week. Let her know that she was missed (the chickens will probably be glad to see her), and give her a head scratch for me.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      15 months ago from USA

      I know this story was about Tobias, but seeing the luxurious accommodation in which your chickens live is quite captivating. Oh, but it sounds like Toby had a fabulous day.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      15 months ago

      Billy, you have a healthy dose of the "little kid" in you, which is absolutely priceless. Tobias must love your free thinking and acceptance of all his antics.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Your descriptions of Tobias at home were hilarious. I have found that male dogs can be a bit more rowdy when they are young, but ultimately he will be a gem. I'm glad he got to run free. Thanks for a lovely walk.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      15 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      A lovely story with lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      15 months ago from Texas

      Aw, Bill, I wouldn't think it possible that you could bring a tear to my eye chatting about a pain in the ass puppy! But, boy oh boy, can I relate to your thoughts about finding out on your own. Seems I often learn things the hard way and especially when I was a teen, it was a different kind of strong-headed that didn't accept wisdom others offered as my own reality. Here's a song for you that I always loved. "For Herself" by Reba McEntire . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkDUBqHBR04

      On a funny note, I can totally relate to the pain in the ass puppy, too. I have one of those. Came home the other day to toilet paper and paper towels everywhere, a couple pillows thrown off the couch. And this morning I had to go in search of one of my shoes. They're like toddelrs!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      15 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I really enjoyed this Bill. Tobias needs to discover the world. Just like all of us. I hope Maggie is recuperating fast and can rejoin you on the walks..maybe you’ll have to start taking both of them.

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