[July 11] Toby joined our family on Wednesday, July 9, 2008. He previously lived at the Little Shelter here in Huntington, Long Island. Before that he lived in Virginia, the shelter told us. They picked him up from a shelter down there, who had him listed as a stray. We know nothing else about his background. Little Shelter tell us he's about three years old.
Toby is settling in pretty well. He is an energetic and affectionate dog. The only odd thing about him is, he doesn't seem to bark. We haven't heard him bark once yet. This may be just residual shyness, though.
Welcome to our house, Toby. We look forward to many happy years of companionship, and shall deal with the heart-tearing when it comes.
[July 13] The shelter had Toby listed as a Jack Russell terrier. After the death of Boris, my wife found great consolation in Alston Chase's book We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear, which is populated mainly by Jack Russells. She set her own heart on getting a Jack Russell.
Some peculiarities of Toby's appearance, and his refusal to bark (Jack Russells are famously barky), have suggested to some of my readers that Toby may in fact be a feist. I'd appreciate further opinions on this, just to satisfy idle curiosity, and can post more pictures if necessary. It makes no difference to us, as we have already bonded with the little fellow. I myself couldn't care less about pedigree. Mrs. D., for her part, is a person who will not be moved from an opinion once she has formed it; and she has formed the opinion that Toby is a Jack Russell. (Similarly, she believed through all of Boris's long life that he was a "Tibetan terrier," whatever that is, though Boris was as obviously a mixed-breed mutt as a dog can be.)
[July 15] No, I have checked with knowledgable readers: Toby is definitely a Jack Russell. He speaks for himself here.