We lost our most treasured and amazing dog, Tobey, on Saturday night October 19, 2002. My husband and I selected Toby from a litter of several little puppies five years ago. Tobey was born into a family with small children, and Tobey was handled from birth. This is part of why I think he was such a loving dog.

We brought Tobey home when he was very tiny, and he slept in our bed from then on. He was a golden retriever Labrador retriever mix with hybrid vigor. He had all the excellent traits of a hybrid and none of the less desirable traits of a hybrid. He was the guardian of our home, the protector of our small grandchildren, a highly trained and effective hunting dog, a fisherman (he would stand in the water for hours watching small fish and even jump off the dock to catch them), a lover, a lapdog, and a complete companion.

Toby died on Saturday night while doing what he loved most, after me. He was hunting and retrieving ducks with the guys in a swampy area. The swampy area also happened to be near the NYS thruway. Saturday was a near full moon night with the deer on the run as bow season was open. After retrieving 7 ducks in his soft mouth, and being all hyped about the great night of sport with great guys, he took a last run. He got locked "on a deer", who ran across the thruway. In the chase, Toby was struck by a car and killed instantly. We brought Toby home and buried him in our yard in a the sunny spot where he would sleep during the day.

We are in deep mourning and our hearts are broken. Grown men who have hunted with Toby are calling and visiting our home to mourn the loss of Toby. My son was in a local pub talking with a guy who he had never met before who knew Toby and was talking about him as the most amazing hunting dog. Toby was that, but he was a lover. He slept next to me and let me hug and love him always. He was a mix of soft and gentle lover, and keen hunter.

I know time will heal this horrible pain I am feeling. I cannot at this moment face life without him. I will love him forever and miss him. I have millions of happy memories, and that is also why this is so hard.

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