Hello, Toby Wigglebottom. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today
TW: That’s OK
Before we start, tell us a little bit about yourself
TW: Well, I’m a dog and I am almost three years old. I have just moved from Melbourne to Adelaide and I live with my mum and dad and I am about to become a big brother.
How do you feel about becoming a big brother? Are you nervous?
TW: Not really. Even though I have never been a big brother before, mum and dad say that I will be excellent at it and that my baby brother is very lucky to have a big brother like me. I believe them because usually what they say is true. For example, when mum says, ‘We’re going to the beach now, Toby,’ that will happen, we end up at the beach.
What are your likes and dislikes?
TW: I love cheese, it is my favourite and I will do pretty much anything for cheese. Sometimes I will be deep asleep in another room and I can hear someone getting some cheese out of the fridge and when mum or dad close the fridge door, ta-da!, I’m sitting there very nicely, hoping for just a crumb. I also love being outside with mum and dad, it doesn’t really matter where, as long as we are together. And I love ear rubs. Mum always says I look very drunk when she rubs my ears because I can’t really keep my eyes open but I try to and my eyeballs roll around in my head and I go all floppy.
What I don’t like is small children, especially toddlers. I don’t understand why humans are so little, humans aren’t supposed to be so small, they should be mum and dad’s size. Also, I hate the way they run up to me with their arms stretched out, that’s scary. I don’t like the noises they make either. I also discovered just recently, I don’t like New Years eve countdowns and then the big commotion that happens when poeple are yelling and hugging and slapping each other on the back. That gives me the shakes.
How do you view life?
TW: I view it with my eyes. Sometimes my hair gets a little long and because I don’t have thumbs, I can’t use scissors to give myself a trim. When there is hair over my eyes, I see life a little hairy.
Do you think you have a good life? What is the best thing about your life?
TW: I do have a good life. I am a happy dog and mum and dad always tell me I have an excellent life and I don’t even know it. Mum has told me stories about dogs who aren’t as lucky as I am and that I should be grateful for the life I have been given. There are lots of ‘best things’ about my life. I like that there is consistency. I know I will be walked twice a day, I know what time dinner is, I know what time dad will be home so that gives me time to get in position to greet him. The love my parents give me is the best, I know they love me a lot and that makes me happy. I like that they have trained me to be a good boy so I know how to behave in different situations and environments and that means I get to go pretty much anywhere they go. Actually, I’m not allowed to go into dad’s car because he says my claws will ruin the leather seats. But when mum drives his car, she sneaks me in and we don’t tell dad.
What is the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome in your life?
TW: Learning how to be toilet trained through my crate. When I was little, I wasn’t allowed to sleep with mum and dad as I do now. When I was little I had to sleep by myself in a crate. I had to learn how to hold onto my wee until mum and dad let me out in the morning. With most dogs, they hold on even if they are bursting because it is not natural for them to wee where they sleep. But I couldn’t do it and I would secretly wee in my crate each night. Mum and dad didn’t realise this was happening and each morning would let me out and I would relieve myself outside. They would praise me and say how great I was doing. Then one day, mum was wondering why there was a strong urine smell and wondered where it was coming from. She figured out it was coming from the crate and realised I had been weeing and sleeping in my wee for weeks. Mum and dad felt so bad that they didn’t realise what I was doing and that I was having trouble holding on. I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t hold on during the night. I eventually learnt how to hold on but it was a hard period in my life.
Do you know you have a bit of a fan base around the world. People love you on Instagram.
TW: Mum and dad have told me that but I don’t really get it. All I know is I have to pose, on average, twice a day for the camera and then mum says, ‘Good boy! That’s a cute one,’ and then I just walk off and go on with my day. Sometimes I will be recognised on the streets and the person who spots me gets really excited and their voice goes up which means they are happy and that then makes me happy and I greet the stranger with excitement which makes them happy. When they leave mum will tell me, ‘That was one of your fans from Instagram!’
OK, Toby Wigglebottom, almost done.
TW: OK good because I need to have a nap
Before we let you go, dogs have a reputation of viewing life the right way and that dogs are the best kind of people. Do you agree and what is your secret to living this simple but happy life. Can you please share your secrets
TW: I think we have a better outlook on life than humans because we live in the moment. We never think about the past or the future we just think about right this minute. Life is less complicated that way and you feel more connected to yourself as well. Also, I love the people in my life very much. Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and difficult as that.
You are very wise, Toby Wigglebottom.
TW: Yes, I know
Well that is it, thank you for letting me speak to you and for giving up your time. I appreciate it.
TW: No worries, do I get paid in cheese?