Adopted by Oren and Olivia Dooley, July 2015
At 9 months old Toby had already been adopted out twice and was brought back both times. In the summer of 2015, Toby was brought up from Georgia by the Green Ark rescue and by the time he found Oren and Olivia Dooley he had been in and out of 5 homes.
Olivia first met Toby with a home visit where he presented himself as the perfect dog. Olivia and Oren soon adopted Toby knowing that he suffered from separation anxiety but unaware of how severe it was. When left home alone, Toby would do everything possible to escape. Olivia worked with him constantly through exposure therapy. “I would touch the door, then come back, step outside and come right back in, step outside and close the door, walk out the front door and in the back door—all in the hopes that he would realize when we left we would always come back.”
Eventually, there came a time where Toby had to be left home alone and Olivia hoped that all the training had helped. In the time she was gone, Toby scratched up the doors, tore up the curtains, and ultimately found an open window, clawed his way through the screen, and jumped out. Thanks to some friendly neighbors Toby never got too far away from the house. From this Olivia and Oren learned to close all the downstairs windows in their house and thought nothing of the upstairs bedroom window until Toby was found attempting to climb out of that one as well.
Toby’s behaviors were emotionally draining for Olivia and made her question whether or not it was the best fit. Oren was committed to keeping him. Now, 3 years later, Toby has settled into his home and Olivia and finance have adjusted to his quirks. “His fear of tile floors and the basement are almost completely gone, and his inability to catch a ball never fails to make me laugh.”