I hope that some of you are still with me.
Until I started this I had no idea how sad some of the stories would be when written down in black and white and how they might bring tears. I apologize to everyone if I’ve made you sad. Please keep reading.
I will start today by saying a huge thank you to Angel and Chaos over at House Full of Dogs for giving me the super sweet blogging award. I do already have this award but it is lovely to be thought of and you can never have enough pupcakes!
I then want to thank Little Binky and Granny over at Angel’s Whisper for allowing all their readers to share their Inner Peace Award. Who doesn’t want and need inner peace? I certainly want it. What with pupcakes and inner peace I am a very happy Tibetan right now 🙂
I would like to do as Little Binky did and invite any of my followers to help themselves to this award. Especially those who have stuck through my ‘Looking Back’ series and have found them traumatic. You probably need some inner peace about now!
My last post left The Help and her family in New Zealand. I think she was born with a restless gene though because it wasn’t too long before they were moving again. This time to Switzerland. It was only for two years though so once again she was determined not to get any furpups.
As so often happens with The Help and her family, those two years passed and they began to put down roots. They bought a house over the border into France and as buying a house is a pretty big commitment the signatures hadn’t dried before she was already wanting to add another commitment – a dog.
Of course she told The Boss it was for the sake of number one and number two son. Ha! He wasn’t fooled.
She looked in the local papers and nearly bought a collie. Then they met with a breeder of Sheltie’s and learned that they could be very timid and had been a little over bred in that area so they decided that perhaps that wasn’t the right dog for two active boys.
The Boss didn’t want a big dog like a Newfoundland, Pyrenean or a Bernese Sheepdog which The Help loved so she had to look at smaller models.
They had a lot of children in and out of the house so whatever dog they had needed to be safe and friendly.
Really they were spoilt for choice. There are so many great dogs out there. Mixed breeds and what is termed pure breeds.
There were a few limitations though which made her look very carefully into the type of dog she got. As she was busy driving kids around The Help knew that she couldn’t take a dog for long walks as she had in the past so it had to be a dog which was happy with the large garden they had and the occasional trip out. It had to be friendly and safe with the unpredictable behaviour of children.
Although many of these things depend on training and safe exposure there is little doubt that there were certain breed traits which The Help didn’t feel suitable around children. So many things to think about.
Reading through a book she had come across a Tibetan Terrier and immediately fallen in love with the cuddly looks – well, we are gorgeous! She read about the kind temperament, how good we are with children and how playful we are. All of these things seemed positive, but she didn’t know where to get one.
One day she read about a dog show in a local town. That would be a good place to meet and maybe buy a dog she thought. They even mentioned Tibetan Terriers so she would get to see them.
So they turned up at the show and found the Tibetan Terrier class. These cuddly dogs were gliding around the ring and a strange couple over in the corner had a huge white rug in front of them which they were brushing. The family talked to a few owners and chatted to some of the dogs waiting around and discovered that they were friendly and all the owners were effusive about us.
The strange couple continued to brush the rug and The Help kept looking at them wondering what on earth they were doing. Towards the end of the competition someone went over to them and the lo and behold the rug got up and pranced into the ring! That did it. He was gorgeous and with that laid back personality who could resist getting one.
Whilst at the show they saw an advertisement for a 5month old Tibetan puppy being sold by a breeder about a two hour drive away. Not too bad a distance. The Help would have liked a younger puppy but there were no others nearby.
So a week later, the appointment was made and the family drove for hours to look at the puppy. The Help kept telling number one and number two son that they may not return with the puppy so they found the trip very tedious!
When they arrived at the house it was chaos. It seemed like dogs were everywhere. As well as breeding Tibetan Terriers these ladies also bred Briards, very large cattle herding dogs. Eventually they put the big dogs away and The Help and family were left with about a dozen Tibetan Terriers tearing around a small yard. It was like being in a cake shop for The Help – she would have taken every one but her eyes kept getting drawn to the only white one that was in the group.
She turned to her mother who was with them and expressed the wish that they’d take the white one away because it was the only one she had eyes for, she hadn’t taken any notice of the black and white pups running around.
The breeders eventually cut the white one out of the group and The Help thought that would be good because she could focus on the others. They put the white one on the table and told them that this was the puppy which was for sale. Apparently she was actually golden in colour and much prized. They had specifically bred their bitch with a dog from the UK in order to get a golden but her teeth had come through overshot and therefore she was useless to them. They were very disappointed. The Help not so much.
So of course the trip home was made with a squirming puppy who vomited into the gear box and got cuddled by The Help – so much for getting a puppy for her sons!
Toffee was a quiet Tibetan. She didn’t care for other dogs which was surprising as she had spent so much of her early life well socialized with the other pups, but she loved The Help. She loved all the family and would go out and play with the boys but The Help was her focus. One thing about us Tibetans is that we do tend to have a favourite in the family.
The Help apologises for the quality of the photos but she hadn’t mastered digital at that time and the photos have been on a few more travels since then.
She was definitely a family dog and was very stand offish with strangers and visitors. She had a great bark and frightened people coming to the door but then she would step aside and expect The Help to protect her. That’s what we do – we alert our people to intruders but then it’s up to them to look after us 🙂
She was bigger than I am, but I know that Zac and I were small for our breed. I often wonder if she would have liked me if we’d ever met. As she wasn’t too keen on other dogs probably not, but you never know, perhaps she only liked other Tibetans.
When The Help first got her she wouldn’t eat very much. Within days though she realized that wasn’t a good idea and from then on the battle was to stop her eating! Every hair cut revealed whether she needed a diet or not. I’m glad to say I have only had that problem since the pup has been around and I’ve occasionally got some of his food.
Like most of us she enjoyed her sleep! In fact she was a little too quiet at times and The Help actually took her to the vet at one point to see if she was okay. Everything came back clear so it was just that she was a passive dog.
Like me she did not like water. What is it with us Tibetans? She also hated snow which I haven’t ever seen. The Help told me that one day when the first snows came she decided to go walking in the forest behind their house. She drove up to the snowline and got out. Toffee was in the car and looking to stay there. She got her out and Toffee looked at her with scorn. Walk? In this? The Help set off, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was a little snow on the ground. Toffee trudged after her trailing a few metres behind. When The Help looked back Toffee stopped and shook her paws to get the snow off. After 20 minutes of walking with a dog in abject misery The Help gave up.
As soon as she turned around, Toffee turned and high tailed it back to the car and sat waiting eagerly to go home!
She was not an active dog. Many a time she went out for a walk with the family only to return in the arms of one of them as she refused to walk any further. Take it from me we Tibetans can be stubborn when we want to be 🙂
She went everywhere with the family and unlike myself never had a thought to go exploring. She hardly needed a lead and although the garden wasn’t fenced she wasn’t interested in leaving it. On their walks she would respond to The Help’s voice and if there was a cat or anything that caught her attention a quick word from The Help would make her ignore it. I could do that, I’m sure I could – if I wanted too.
Anyway, one of her favourite things was to go to the airport. The Boss was always travelling then and Toffee would go to the airport to pick him up. They would tie a bow around her neck and everyone would smile at her and for once she would wag her tail and was friendly. When she saw who it was she was coming to meet they would let the lead go and she would run to them – it was all very Heathcliff and Cathy if you get the picture.
When number two son left to go to University Toffee was almost twelve. She developed Cushings Disease as an elderly dog. Until that point you would never have known she was getting older. At first she responded to treatment but then didn’t. She became very weary and when the time came to put her down she was ready. You could see in her eyes that she just wanted to sleep.
For such a quiet girl she left a big space but it was time for The Help to move on again so she was in no hurry to try and fill the void. Toffee had been a great pal. She saw number one and number two son grow up and was a constant companion to The Help. She did her job and more and she did it beautifully. She is remembered as a lovely girl and all the memories are happy ones. So please, no tissues with this one!
Toffee was their first Tibetan and it is a tribute to her that they went on and got two more when next they settled long enough to be responsible.
Golden in colour and golden in nature., she was one of the good ones.
With love from Zena, the proud Tibetan