Tonka, Tough as a Truck

July 31, 2012  

One of StubbyDog’s Timeline Superstar honorable mentions, Tonka drives through hardship

By Amy Brooks and Lori Brown-Brooks

Tonka is appropriately named after the all-too-familiar Tonka truck. He’s a hefty 95 pounds of many wonderful things including loyalty and goofiness. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that although he cannot tell us his story of his life before we rescued him, we are pretty sure we know how horrific his first four months of life were and how much he has overcome.

We adopted Tonka in January 2009 from a local pit bull rescue organization. Once we saw his face online we knew we had to meet him. He had been rescued two months earlier and was in horrible condition.

Tonka’s ears were caked in blood from having been recently mutilated by what appeared to be scissors. He had a significant cut above one eye. His front toenails were essentially gone from what appeared to be his effort to dig himself out of somewhere. He was afraid of everything. The sight and sound of a kitchen trash bag being opened made him run as quickly as possible. There was speculation that he had perhaps been buried alive in a trash bag and dug his way out. His eyes remained on alert and sadly enough his stare was empty … as if he had all of his life horrifically taken from him.

It took the rescue two months to get him healthy enough to make him available for adoption. We met with them and immediately knew he belonged with us.

The first six months with us Tonka’s empty stare and lack of emotion was heartbreaking. We tried everything from introducing him to other puppies, taking him to the dog park, riding in the car … nothing worked.

But then magically one day he smiled. Yes, he smiled! Suddenly he was acting like a puppy, running around like a mad-dog and getting into lots of trouble. It was an awakening of his spirit and trust in us.

The photo that we submitted for the StubbyDog Timeline Superstar Contest (top photo) shows his amazing smile that we are so fortunate to see every day. We will never know what circumstances our boy had to endure before he came in to our lives, and that is probably best. What we do know is that our lives are intensely enriched because of him, and we can only hope he feels the same!

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31 Responses to “Tonka, Tough as a Truck”
  1. Both babies are beautiful! I love love stories 🙂

  2. barbaraleeanderson07090 says:

    Keeep on truckin, Tonka!  What a handsome gentleman.  How fortunate the Brooks Family is to share their lives with him.

  3. What a beautiful story…those pictures break my heart, knowing that he suffered so much so early in his life. Thank you for bringing that smile back to his handsome face! 

    • StubbyDog says:

      annedreshfield Thanks Anne, we too are sad that he even had to endure that, but he is so happy now!

    • OreoTonka261 says:

      annedreshfield  Thank you!  I’ve looked at his baby picture a thousand times …but seeing it on the StubbyDog web page really shows how grey and empty his eyes and soul were…heartbreaking all over again.  

  4. larshine says:

    Tonka is a gorgeous boy. My heart breaks for what someone put him through but there is so much love in his life now thanks to the Brooks family that it’s no wonder he’s got that champion smile. I have a huge soft spot for gorgeous white dogs- Tonka would have stolen my heart at first sight. 🙂

    • OreoTonka261 says:

      larshine Thank you!  We also think he’s the most gorgeous boy ever!  “Champion Smile”  — I love it…well said!  Tonka thanks you as well!

    • StubbyDog says:

      larshine He is an amazing boy and Lori has done so much to help him, he is so obviously happy now.

  5. adoremydogs says:

    That smile would melt iceburgs!!   Certainly put a smile on my face!    Thanks!!

  6. Matt.S says:

    Heartbreaking start to life, but Tonka has it good now.

  7. NikkiKeating says:

    So happy for Tonka!

  8. ReneeMKeller says:

    Tonka has a beautiful smile!!!!

    • OreoTonka261 says:

      ReneeMKeller It’s so amazing to look at his puppy photo and see the emptiness and lack of facial expression…we never imagined such an amazing smile was under all the sadness.

      • angelalucido says:

        OreoTonka261 its amazing what time, love, and lots of patience can accomplish! and in return u get so much more than what could have ever expected

  9. NuriaRodriguez says:

    What an absolute beauty!

  10. Judithg says:

    Oooh, tears for this brave and wonderful boy!  What a pretty boy…and you two helped him roll back into life.  Thank you so much.

    • OreoTonka261 says:

      Judithg  He really is wonderful and brave…..Never thought about the ‘brave’ part…but you are absolutely right!  Thank you!

  11. CassieMoon says:

    This story reminds me of the book I read …Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love  … Thank God for people that give these dogs a happy after life!

    • OreoTonka261 says:

      CassieMoon We love the Oogy story!  These poor dogs have endured so much and yet they forgive and move on….they are truly amazing! Thanks for reading his story CassieMoon!