Posted Date: March 16, 2017
A profile of Marlene Fritz and Her Dog Toby.
Toby Fritz was literally pulled out from under a pick-up truck one Saturday afternoon in May of 2005. He was, at that time, about five-months-old and a scraggly unsocial little thing full of twigs, stickers, and dirt. He was part of a litter of Border Collies that Border Collie Rescue was looking to find homes for.
I was on the lookout for my second agility dog having been very successful with my lab Tyler. I wanted to go with a Border Collie to challenge myself with more speed and competitive nature. So, I started checking in with the rescues as that is how I usually found my dogs.
Toby did not turn out to be the fastest but his intelligence and consistency was amazing. You could just see him thinking about things. It amazes me to this day as he continues to thrive and be healthy. He has achieved two MACHs and two PACHs in AKC and qualified for AKC nationals numerous times. His accomplishments in USDAA have him qualifying for several Cynosports and competing in four.
My biggest challenge with Toby has been his fearfulness that most likely developed with his lack of interaction early in his life. He is shy around people and reactive with other dogs until I create an atmosphere of trust and safety. It is my job to monitor his environment so that he is safe and does find that opportunity to play with other dogs.
Although he plays this game of agility with me Toby loves his toys and his other activities. Frisbees and anything that squeaks. He loves hiking and swimming. He can stand for hours along the back fence and do the Border Collie stare at the dogs across the way. I must say of all things this is what I most enjoy with my dogs. The opportunity to run, hike, swim, and just be out there enjoying the off leash freedom of being a dog and a person lucky enough to have these guys in my life.
I almost lost Toby two-and-a-half years ago when surgery resulted in removal of 1/3 of his bladder. The initial diagnosis and surgery was unsuccessful and as I continually consulted with doctors and surgeons as he rapidly went downhill a second surgery corrected the issue, resulting in almost a month of recovery but Toby is alive to continue his journey with me.
It amazes me every day how much this scruffy boy with his hobbit-like feet (overly furry) is part of my life. He has a smile on his face that reaches my heart as he anticipates our interactions and I look forward to many more years of him in my life.