A month ago Toby asked his followers on Instagram if they had any questions for him. Some did and Toby took time out of his busy schedule to answer them. Here they are:
Questions about Grooming:
How do you keep that handsome moustache so clean?
I don’t really know, luck I guess. Saying that, I don’t dig in the garden or put my face in anything except my dog bowls. Before my brother came along I used to have a shower once a week, but these days I only have a shower every 3 or 4 weeks because mum forgets to shower me. I would say that’s the best thing about my brother being here, less showers. Sometimes when I have a juicy bone my moustache can get pretty bloody and meaty so mum will wash my face with a warm wet flannel.
What is your beauty routine? You always look gorgeous. I don’t wish to offend you but how do you stay clean and fresh enough to be in bed with your baby brother? My fur baby gets pretty smelly after rolling on goodness knows what, gnawing bones, getting wet and we only bath her every week or so. Unless she is filthy as we have heard we shouldn’t wash her too often.
Thank you! I’m definitely not clean even though I may look it. I walk the streets everyday and as you know I can’t take my paws off when I get home. So whatever I have picked up off the streets I bring into our home. My parents are all for germs. Germs are good for you and it has been proven that those people who live with dogs are less likely to get sick then those who don’t have dogs in their home. My parents haven’t been sick since they have had me, not even a cold. And my brother is yet to get sick. Sometimes when I have a dog moment and I dig or roll around in something smelly, I’ll either get my paws washed in the sink or get thrown into the shower with Mum or Dad. I also don’t get brushed, Mum just cuts out my knots and everyday she cleans out the sleep from my eyes. When I was the only child, I would get showered every Wednesday and my vet said that was perfectly OK as long as mum was using a shampoo on me that didn’t dry out my skin. So basically my clean and fresh appearance is just an illusion.
Toby how do you keep your moustache and beard so neat? Do you use an electric trimmer?
No, I do not have a trimmer. Mum just cuts it dry with paper scissors. Using scissors can be dangerous if your dog moves around a lot. I’m very placid and don’t move so that makes it easy for mum to cut. She cuts it once a month.
Questions about photos
How do you sit still for photos and let your mummy dress you up?
When I was a baby, Mum and Dad did extensive training on me. When I came home for the first time, Dad took 3 weeks off work to train me. We worked hard for hours each day, it was hard work but it has made me the dog I am today, one that listens and understands my parents. In those 3 weeks Dad taught me the important commands, Sit, Stay, Wait, Come and Stop. Mum would reinforce these commands at the park each day too. One command she realised was very useful when taking photos was, ‘Stay’ and ‘Wait’. These days, all Mum has to do when she’s taking photos of me is put me in position and say, ‘Stay’ and ‘Wait’. I’ll freeze and stay still until she says, ‘Good boy!’ Then I know I can move. And in regards to putting clothes on me, it’s no big deal, I don’t care, clothes don’t bother me.
Are there lots of takes of your fab pictures? Any time my mum tries to put glasses or a scarf or a hat on me I usually get it off me in about 2 seconds which is usually half way through me having my pic taken.
The photos you see of just me, mum takes about 2 or 3 snaps. All mum does is put me into position, tells me to wait, I freeze and she takes the photo. It’s a totally different story when the photo includes my brother because he wriggles around and moves so much. The photos you see of my brother and I, mum has taken anywhere between 5 to 20 snaps. Photos are much easier when it’s just me. All the videos you see on Instagram have been recorded first go, mum has never had to do it more than once.
You look so relaxed in your photographs…do you stay like that after the photo? Or do you get up straight away and run around?
Some positions I’m in for the photo, I fall asleep or just stay there because it’s comfy. Others that are tricky, after the photo has been taken, I run straight to the fridge because I know I’ll get a treat for staying still so well. I am very aware that I get rewarded for difficult photoshoots so I’m more than happy to do whatever Mum says.
How many photos of you does your mum take on average everyday?
Of just me? Maybe about 10. Of me and my brother? Maybe about 30 a day. She takes lots with her iphone and then a couple with the good camera. There are more photos of my brother and I than there are of just him or just me.
Do you cooperate well with photos? Or are you bribed with a treat or two?
I cooperate very well and will do as Mum says without a treat but Mum thinks I deserve a treat every time because I bring so much happiness to her and my fans with my excellent posing skills.
Dear Toby, of all the dogs we follow on Instagram (and we follow a lot!) you seem the most human like. Are you really that mellow or are there lots of out takes when you do photos?
Thank you for your observation because I like to think I’m more human than dog. My parents think I’m pretty human like too. My expressions and the way I react to situations makes them laugh and they ask me, Are you human? I don’t know if I was born a little bit human or because my parents have integrated me so much into their lives that I just know how to behave in human situations. Yes, I would say I am very mellow and go with the flow. I think you would be surprised with how little outtakes there really are.
Questions about my family:
Dear Toby, what tips can you share on how you grew that special bond between you and Thomas? There’s so much love (and cheekiness!) between you two (maybe a bit more from Thomas).
The best tip I can give you is, let time do its thing. I definitely didn’t like my brother to start with. He didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before and he made loud noises. But after time and after I realised he wasn’t going away, I opened up my mind to the possibility of being friends. I thought, maybe life will be more fun if I accept him as my brother. And life really is more fun. He likes doing silly things with me and I appreciate his love for me. I am the only one he truly loves seeing and being around and that makes me feel pretty special. I would still say Thomas loves me more than I love him. But that’s only because sometimes he yells in my ear or grabs my fur.
How are you and your family coping with the recent departure of your long time friend Gausha? Asking for a friend.
You can tell your friend it was hard. When we moved interstate we were really excited to live in the same town as our good friend, G. You know, as you grow older you stop collecting friends, you pinpoint who a good friend is and spend time with them. G is one of those people who is a great, great friend. So, when we moved states and he told us he was moving back to Canada for good, it was hard. He really likes me, he gives good ear rubs and we were all extremely sad in the lead up to his departure. When he left, our whole famliy was moping for about a week. And as you know, time heals all wounds and now we are OK. Although everyday we selfishly hope he is miserable in Canada and comes back to us.
Who’s your favourite Toby – mum, dad or Thomas?
The way I greet Dad when he comes home from work you would think it was him. The way I protect Thomas when another dog comes near him or a child, you would think him. But really, my favourite is Mum. I follow her everywhere she goes and I know she is the one that keeps me alive and happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love everyone in my family but if I had to choose only 1 family member, it would be Mum.
Are you ever mean to your little brother when your mum is not looking? Be honest now, Toby.
Paw on my heart, no. Not one bit. If you call getting up and walking away from him when he is annoying mean, then I guess I’m a bit mean sometimes. But that is as mean as I get towards him. He is the most annoying person I have ever met but I love him and I’m never mean to the people I love.
Questions about my personal life:
How old are you Mr. Wigglebottom if you don’t mind me asking?
I don’t mind. I’m 4 years old in January.
Are you looking for a girlfriend, Toby? Coco Chownel has a bit crush on you.
I had a girlfriend back in Melbourne, her name was Spice and I got to see her every Wednesday at Doggy Daycare. When we moved interstate at the end of last year, I was heartbroken. So much so I realised girls aren’t worth the heartache and I don’t want to feel that kind of pain ever again. So no, I don’t want a girlfriend but the girl who has a crush on me, Coco Chownel, I think her name is so great and I think we will leave it at that.
How much do you weigh?
I weigh 8 kilos the last time we checked which was a year ago. I have been having a few too many treats of late and I could weigh a little bit more now.
How have you stopped fame from going to your head?
When I start getting a big head Mum just says, ‘Get over yourself, you only have 10 thousand followers. There are other dogs out there who have hundreds of thousands of followers.’ And that quickly puts me back into my place.
Questions about music:
Are you a diehard AC/DC fan? I am and would love to purchase a rockin Neckerchief with lightening bolts or AC/DC print. Any plans to make some?
I’m sorry, the only AC/DC I know is from the alphabet. Is that what you mean? I love the idea of Neckerchiefs with lightening bolts and Mum and I will keep our eyes peeled for some, promise.
Questions about training:
My three dogs want to know if you bark a lot. If so, how does mom stop this?
If you asked this question 9 months ago the answer would have been no. But since moving to our new house I bark every time I hear someone on the street and it annoys my parents a lot. My brother on the other hand loves it. He always gets a fright when I bark and he will jump and then laugh and then crawl to the front door to be with me so he can hear my barking better. Mum and Dad want to curb this behaviour and everytime I do it I get a very stern ‘No!’ over and over again and then I’m put outside for 5 minutes. I think it’s working because even though I still bark, as soon as Mum gets her angry voice on and says ‘No,’ I stop.
Mr. Wigglebottom, how do you feel about your mom putting all those clothes on you?
I feel good about it. I don’t have an issue with clothes. Mum will have an item of clothing in her hands and she’ll ask me to come over to her. I know what’s going on and happily walk towards her and let her dress me. If I didn’t like it I would run away, like when she tells me it’s shower time.
Dear Toby, how did your mommy get you to love water so much? My little guy can’t even bear the thought of drizzle! Oh those delicate paws…he holds his wee in for hours and hours if he has to.
I didn’t love water to begin with but my parents taught me to be a water dog. Mum wrote an article about it here if you like to have a read. It gives you lots of tips you can try with your pooch to get him to enjoy the water. That must be very uncomfortable for your guy to hold onto his wee for so many hours. He must have a very strong bladder.
Was it easy learning how to be let off the lead at the beach? And do you always come back to your mum when she calls you?
I learnt how to be off lead in a huge park when I was a puppy. Dad would run away from me and I would run as fast as I could to catch up to him. When I did that, Dad gave me a treat. Dad also taught me the word ‘Come’ and every time he said it in the park, I would go to him and he’d give me a treat. We took treats to the park for 6 months before I finally understood that when Mum or Dad say ‘Come’ I have to go to them. Now I can be let off anywhere and I will always go to my parents when they call me.
Questions about travel:
Toby, do you ever see your self visiting Texas?
I haven’t thought about visiting Texas to tell you the truth. I know it’s very hot over there and I struggle in the heat as I can’t take off my fur coat. Another reason I’m not keen on going overseas is because when I arrive back to Australia, I have to stay in quarantine for 4 months and I don’t think I could leave my family for that amount of time.
TW, will you ever visit the big apple so I can meet you and your brother?
My parents have never been to America but really, really want to go to New York City. I don’t think they will take me but I’ll give my brother a photo of me and he can show it to you when you guys meet up.