Toby lives for his walks.
As soon as he sees us putting on our boots, he’s consumed with excitement.
He emerges from his den in a wriggling, wagging flurry of energy. He pushes his head into our laps as we perch on the corners of our respective benches reaching for our boots that we stow underneath. He still hasn’t realized we can’t possibly put on our shoes that way.
And in our small space, if his head is in one of our laps, that means his rear is in the other’s face, batting us in the head with his medieval club-like tail as we try to lace up. Once we convince him to step back so we can actually lace up our boots, he rushes to his water bowl to pre-hydrate for the adventure ahead, slobber flying and dripping everywhere.
As we get up to finalize our exit—get our keys, hats, and the like—he plunges back into his den. Then readies himself by sticking his head out from under the table in the triangular space formed between the table surface and the top of the table legs. Once we say “Let’s go!” he bursts out from under the table towards the door like a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby. All 85 pounds of him, made of fur, slobber, and love.