Today is a big day in our immediate family. It’s not just because it’s Easter, the holiest day of the year for Christians. It’s because today is Toby the Puppy’s fourth birthday.
He turns 4 on this day, which we have celebrated as his birthday since the moment he joined our family.
I need to tell you that we don’t know with absolute certainty that he came into this world on April 1, 2014, but we have it on pretty good authority that this is close enough to that date to celebrate it.
That “pretty good authority” happened to be the veterinarian who examined him a few days after he showed up in our back yard.
Many of you know the story of how he arrived. Our great niece — who was spending some time with us in Amarillo — found him in an alley not far from where we lived. She eventually found Toby’s “owners” and then asked them if she could keep him; they said yes.
She didn’t tell it to us in quite that fashion when this was unfolding in real time. But that’s another story. The crux of it today is that he had found a new home and had adopted us — my wife and me — as his new parents.
We took him to the vet for his inoculations and to be neutered. Our first question to the doctor was, “How old is he?” She opened his mouth, peered inside and said, categorically, “He’s five months old.”
Well, now. That was in early September 2014; we backed it up five months and landed right on April Fool’s Day. How … about … that?
The joke was on us!
Do not misconstrue a single word here. We have been blessed by Toby’s presence every single day since the moment he arrived with our niece, which is saying quite a lot, since my wife and I have been unapologetic “cat people” for our entire life together.
The two kitties that we had at the time Toby the Puppy came along have since left us and we still mourn them. Toby, though, makes us smile — and, yes, laugh — every single day.
He has been a blast and a joy.
Happy birthday, Pup.