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Toby's Story

By Toby's Mom

Toby, another puppy mill / pet store survivor, came from the same puppymill as Mr. Peabody.

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Toby was the Official Bandanna Model for Fur Brained Ideas.       Toby spent most of his 14 years in the lap of luxury in his home in eastern Michigan, but his life began in very different surroundings: a Wisconsin puppy mill -- the very same one that WPMP's Mr. Peabody came from, Yvonne Skinner's kennel in Reedsburg.

       Though I never met Mr. Peabody or his "mom" in person, when I read their story, it was as if it had been written about my Toby! Toby may or may not have been related genetically to Pea, but this statement especially rang true: "[He] suffered from poor breeding, chronic health problems, and emotional scars due to his background, for all of his life." In my opinion, if two dogs, born a year apart and having the exact same problems, isn't proof that his breeder was cranking out puppies with no regard to health or temperament -- I don't know what is! (You can read about Mr. Peabody here.)

       Not knowing in 1995 what I know now, I bought Toby at a MI Petland on sale... at 11 weeks old, my adorable spotted puppy was sick and full of worms & parasites. Toby met the vet during his first few days with us, and became a frequent visitor after that. He developed fatty tumors that were removed three separate times; one turned into a sarcoma that left a giant hump on his shoulder. He had all kinds of allergies.

        The worst problem, though, was aggression, vicious, unpredictable aggression toward people and other dogs. What I know for sure was a puppy mill fault was, he hated gloves and people who pulled their sleeves down over their hands. He would bite them in a heartbeat. We had to be very, very careful.

Toby liked to play in the snow, and he never forgot to look up.       However, despite all of his physical and emotional problems, Toby loved life, and he had a good one. His yard was his kingdom, and though he wouldn't tolerate some dogs, he adored his buddy Lucky. Running and playing were a joy to him; he had the typical Dalmatian curiousity and did not confine his explorations to ground or nose level -- particularly when there were Squirrels in the neighborhood!

       He loved his people, his treats, and his toys. And, bless him, he loved his Mom, even when she asked him to pose for just one more photograph when she'd already taken, like, a million!

       Toby left us in July 2009 -- he would have been 14 on August 30th, 2009. I am quite frankly surprised that he was with us for so long.

       Like Pea's "mom," I'll never regret bringing Toby into my life and into my home. And like Pea's "mom," I, too, have been working for years to help animals in need -- and to put an end to puppy mills.


Toby patiently posed for photos even when his Mom had already taken, like, a million of them!Toby loved his yard.Toby, King of the World

Toby - 30 Aug 1995 - 21 July 2009


       Editor's Note: Yvonne Skinner was licensed as a USDA Class A dealer when Toby and Mr. Peabody were born, which means that she sold primarily to dealers and pet stores. She gave up her USDA license in 2005.

       We also know, as per their owner, that she was the source of many of the hoarder huskies in Drive to Save Lives.


 pawprint bullet point   Mr. Peabody, A Pet Store / Puppy Mill Dog   pawprint bullet point

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Article and photos Copyright © 2009, by Toby's Mom. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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