Vanessa Marie Rose was looking for a dog just as her mother was diagnosed with cancer. When she saw Toby available for adoption in Snookie’s Society rescue after being pulled from a high-kill shelter, she knew she had to have him. Toby’s history isn’t a bright one. It appears he spent six years in a puppy mill of sorts, locked in a tight cage and only allowed outside on rare occasions. He suffers from stunted growth, back problems and other health issues. He went on to a physically abuse owner who eventually turned him into the high-kill shelter, then found his way to the rescue and into Vanessa’s arms.
Toby suffers from anxiety due to his volatile past, but thankfully he’s learning to love life more and more each day with Vanessa’s help. But Vanessa states it’s not she who saved Toby, but Toby who saved her. “He kind of rescued me more than I rescued him,” she told Buzzfeed Canada. “Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without him.”
To celebrate their incredible bond, Vanessa decided to get a tattoo that matched Toby’s. Yes, that’s right – Toby has a tattoo. Used as breeding stock in his original “home,” Toby has an identification tattoo on his ear that reads “05.” So to live in solidarity with her beloved pup, Vanessa got the same tattoo behind her own ear. She shared the photo on Facebook and needless to say, dog owners around the world absolutely love the idea.
The tattoo truly represents the amazing bond that Toby and Vanessa have. Vanessa brings him along to work, where his anxiety is slowly but surely improving. In fact, he’s been nicknamed the “Chief Cuddle Officer” and people are constantly remarking on the difference in Toby’s personality. Compared to even just one month ago, he’s turned into a smiling, tail wagging, happy dog.
“Someone just needed to give him a chance,” Vanessa said. “This poor guy was abused and then he was marked. For me, I felt like it was something that I wanted to do in solidarity […] He’s going to be my little buddy forever no matter what happens.” We couldn’t agree more!