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Pet Peeves: Toby and Mary Ann

July 24th, 2019

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The July installment of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves is here and brimming with positivity! 

Everybody seems to meet online nowadays. It’s just not like it used to be when a simple handwritten note and a trip to the nearest haystack resulted in a new pet… or partner…

No, no, these days a lot of relationships begin with a bit of online dating…. That’s how Toby (distinguished Fox Terrier) and Mary Ann (grunt gallery’s consultant and grant writer since 2006) began. And honestly, I do a bit of online cat dating myself sometimes, when my own cat, Blackberry, is getting on my nerves. I will go and look at adorable kittens and wonder if I would end up bloody and maimed after trying to trim THEIR toenails… I wonder if THEY would give me any respect… if THEY would not simply regard me as some kind of food dispensing, litter box cleaning, slightly slow-witted, slave kind of person…

Mary Ann and Toby do not appear to have any of these issues. They seem to be living it up in an atmosphere of mutual love and respect!! Of course, this is just the kind of relationship that gets me feeling curious. Undaunted by my utter failure to find any malevolence whatsoever in any other grunt/pet households, I sat down with Toby for a little chat.

Me: So Toby, how long have you and Mary Ann been together now?

Toby: About a year, and they just recently got me this new house! Don’t you love it? It’s right across from the park!

Me; Well, actually, I think that’s a cemetery…

Toby: And I’ve got a bed in almost every room!

At this point, Toby caught sight of himself in the glass front of the gas fireplace and began to dance, round and round in figure eights.

Me: What are you doing there Toby?

Toby: Oh sorry, sorry, I get distracted by reflective surfaces, and I have to dance. It’s something I’m practising for my podcast.

Now, I had noticed a complete absence of mirrors at doggy eye level in Mary Ann’s place, even the mirrored bedside tables had been covered up with pillows. Apparently, Toby cannot resist the urge to dance in front of them.

Me: Podcast?

Toby: Yes, I’ve decided to expand my online presence with a little something extra, Tobytv. It’s an inspirational dog channel, for fox terriers who have fallen on hard times. There will be dancing, motivational speeches, and I will be posing for some pictures in my beautiful new home. But I think the dancing may be the most popular part.

Me: Hmmm, that all sounds good, but maybe that’s enough dancing for now. I feel a bit dizzy watching you. And what do you mean expand your online presence?

Toby: Well, of course you’ve heard of Fox Terrier News? And Fox Terrier Nation?

Me: Oh, of course, yes. Always looking at those things… constantly… can’t get enough of them…

Toby: Well, I have a lot of followers on there, not to brag or anything. And I want them to know that no matter how dark things might look, it can all work out in the best possible way!!

Me: Well, I can see how that’s true. Actually, my life would probably be pretty much improved if I could only talk Mary Ann into adopting me… nothing like a bed in every room to make a person feel comfortable.

Toby: I KNOW! So relaxing. And you know that I have epilepsy, so I really do need a lot of soft surfaces around the home.

I think it was right around then that I realized what a lovely and sympathetic dog Toby is. It seemed like the perfect time to share a few of my own health problems. I only stopped talking when Toby appeared to be drifting off to sleep. His gentle snoring rose and fell around the story of my last visit to the rheumatologist…

Toby: Oh dear, so sorry, I drifted off for a moment, probably because of my medication, of course, and you have such a relaxing voice. You could be an influencer like I am, I think. But you really need to keep on top of your posts. Once Mary Ann didn’t post anything about me for 2 weeks! Well, all my American friends were very worried. They like to know that I’m alive and well and chucking my treats around the room… and dancing…

Me: Well, Toby, we all like to see that. It’s always good to see a dog like yourself enjoying such a perfect life. Yep, always good… but I probably have to head out now. Blackberry gets quite hungry at this time of day, and she does not like to be kept waiting. It makes her irritable, and scratchy….

Toby: Come back any time! And look me up online. There’s a very good video of Mary Ann cleaning my ear with a Q-tip which I enjoy more than I can even tell you!

Me: Yes, don’t want to miss that one. Goody.

I headed out after a few more moments of ear scratching and chest rubbing with Toby. Please do not listen to any little stories Mary Ann might tell you about me trying to sneak out of the house with him! These are complete fabrications on her part! What kind of person would try to stuff a Fox Terrier into her purse and take him home?! Ludicrous, and he didn’t actually FIT into my purse anyway… not that I tried…

As I was heading home, (without Toby) I realized two things. The number 8 bus goes REALLY fast, like, much faster than most buses in this city, AND, if I wanted to truly find some juicy pet complaints, I would have to speak to Blackberry. After our 8 years together, I’m pretty sure she’s got a lot to say… most of it probably fairly complain-y…

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