Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Tuffy Toro, Superstar

 People seem to like Tuffy Toro (or, at least, her pictures), so here's my little tribute to our current dog.

Tuffy was, as my husband puts it, "a pass-around puppy," or, as he also put it, a "puppy in peril." As best we can determine, Tuffy went from wherever she was born to the Animal Control shelter, was picked up by A, given to A's relative, returned to A, passed on to my co-worker D until a proper home could be found, and then taken in by me while John was out of town and my mom was getting ready to move into her own place after a year with us.  That's a lot of homes in a short time for a puppy who was, by veterinary estimate, only about 6 weeks old when we got her.  No wonder she's so insecure!

And she was definitely insecure.  At D's apartment she barked and ran away and hid under furniture.  At our place the first week, she chewed up the loveseat and the leather couch and tore a strip off the wallpaper.  John almost insisted on getting rid of her.  Instead he agreed to spend about $500 on obedience training with Karyn Garvin. (Yes, I recommend her.)

Tuffy Toro (named after the mascot of the Tucson Toros baseball team, since renamed and in some ways ruined) turned out to be a smart little dog, albeit not as smart as Jenny Dog (1979-1989), a.k.a. Princess Guinevere of Westcott Street.  Tuffy did well in the training, and never chewed furniture again.  She's also the first dog I've had who's not a trash hound. Unfortunately, she's never gotten over her fear of strangers, or even of people she's seen with some frequency.  During our 2003 and 2004 trips out of town, Tuffy never stopped barking and running away from Kevin when he came over to feed her.  She does a little better than that on occasional trips to the off-leash dog area at Reid Park, where at least she doesn't bark at anyone.  She's a little afraid of the other dogs, though.

We don't really know what Tuffy is, breed-wise.  She has a chow's purple tongue, but she's got short fur and she's not very big. Any ideas, people? 

The best things about her are that she's very gentle and sweet with John and me, she's very smart about interspecies communication, and she doesn't chew things or play Houdini.  The worst things about her are her year-round shedding and her insecurity.  She often comes to us for reassurance, and runs away at sudden movements and loud noises, anything from John using his angry voice to the rustle of paper.  Kitchen noises that bring most pets running for a handout usually send Tuffy in the other direction. The very best thing about Tuffy is that she's our dog.


Five Things That Dogs Are Telling You
Had Dog, Did Travel

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jabarett said...

Tuffy is such a cutie! We had a kitty (Sarah Jane) much like your Tuffy Toro. When she came to live with us it was clear that she had not been treated well. While she lived to be just a month shy of fifteen she never got over her fear of strangers, although she did finally get used to a few close friends and family members. Just from looking at the pictures it is quite obvious that Tuffy has you right where she wants you! ;-)

mavarin said...

Why, Julie! Surely you're not implying that I cave pretty much every time Tuffy comes up to me in the kitchen, and give her a treat! <g> Well, okay, guilty as charged.

Can I assume your kitty Sarah Jane was named after the Doctor's companion?  T & T used to have a dog named Romana. - Karen

jabarett said...

Of course, she was!  What do you take us for?

On second thought, don't answer that!