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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Canadian author, Charmaine Hammond, and her husband, Christopher Alcock, loved their white German Shepherd, Dooks, and grieved losing him to death at an old age. Then, they found the picture of a happy, loving Chesapeake Bay Retriever on a website dedicated to rescuing animals. and that's how Toby the Retriever came into their lives. But Toby did not come meekly. While Charmaine and Christopher were at work, Toby was also at work, emptying the contents of their closets, trashing their bathrooms, and knocking over furniture. They hired a dog behavior specialist, and after working with Toby, she determined that Toby needed a purpose and suggested that he be trained as a therapy dog. And that is where Toby was in his glory. After Toby received his pet therapy training, Charmaine and Toby went to a mental health hospital every week, and there Toby worked his miracles with mentally damaged patients, bringing them out of their catatonic states. But he was still Toby, smashing toilet tank lids and barking his loud bark. Life is on his terms, period.
On Toby's Terms is the most delightful story and should be required reading for every dog owner or potential owner. No rescue dog or puppy comes without its own set of issues, and Charmaine writes of how she and Chris learned to accept happy, loving Toby just as he is. This delightful book is well edited and well written, and Toby comes through as the shining star of dogs that he is, celebrated through a movie and his own website. Humor, love and patience come through in every word of this story. That Toby is now older, confronted with arthritis and has his good days and bad is a pleasant ending to this more than pleasant story. No Old Yeller here, just a first rate story about a first rate dog.