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Toby is Tari’s Heart Dog

24/7, they were on your lap. He just wanted to love all the time

— Toby's Mom —

Toby is a 9 year old Deerhead Chi and Yorkie mix. His Mom, Tari, got him when her daughter-in-law thought it was time for her to have company, as she hadn’t had any pets prior to then.

She’s had Toby since he was old enough to be adopted.

Tari fell in love with Toby, almost immediately. After 9 years of strong health and an even stronger personality, Toby began coughing and having trouble catching his breath. “He was making weird sounds. He was gasping for air and I was up with him all night, holding him.”

An urgent visit to Banfield Pet Hospital had the Vet suspecting an enlarged heart and heart murmur. The Banfield doctor recommended Tari take Toby to a


<img loading="lazy" class="wp-image-2753 alignright portfolio-lazyLoad" style="margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;" src="" alt="IMG_4052" width="300" height="224" srcset=" 300w, 600w, 768w, 1024w, 150w, 2048w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />specialist, and Toby was brought in to see Cardiologist Dr. Michael Lesser at Pet Specialists of Monterey, .

The estimate for an echocardiogram was far out of Tari’s reach, given she is in low income housing and on disability after a quadruple bypass of her own – and has mounting medical bills.

With a clear diagnosis, and a plan for long term management, Toby is under Tari’s watchful eye, as he has been since the day they met. “24/7, they were on your lap. He just wanted to love all the time.”

To see Tari with Toby, you can see a pet with “his person”.

Toby and Blossom are from the same litter, and Tari takes them EVERYWHERE.

As her “heart dog,” the thought of not being able to give Toby what he needed was nothing short of devastating for Tari. She was absolutely panicked at the thought of not knowing what was wrong with her baby.  After a call with Tari, Max’s Helping Paws Foundation was able to step in to help pay for Toby’s diagnostics and stabilization with Dr. Lesser.

And now, Toby is back to serving as sentry to their home, and snuggling with Tari and Blossom, his litter mate.

About Our Veterinary Partner:

Pet Specialists of Monterey

<img loading="lazy" class="wp-image-4641 alignleft portfolio-lazyLoad" src="" alt="Pet Specialists of Monterey" width="239" height="79" srcset=" 300w, 600w, 1024w, 768w, 1172w, 150w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 239px) 100vw, 239px" />As the Founding Partner Practice for Max’s Helping Paws Foundation, Pet Specialists of Monterey is the first to offer 24-hour emergency service and a surgical-referral clinic specializing in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery and internal medicine in this area. As a referral practice, Pet Specialists collaborates with other veterinarians – from San Luis Obispo to Santa Cruz County – to ensure the very best medical care for pets. The emergency facility accepts patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pet Specialists does not perform general animal care, such as check-ups, dentistry, or vaccines.

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