Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ask Toto #34

Dear Toto,

How old are you?

- Mandy from Kissimmee, FL.

Hi Mandy!

What a great question, because not a lot of people know this about me.

I am technically five years old in human years, 35 years old in dog years, BUT GET THIS!

One of the super super secret things that Ozma from Oz did for me and Dorothy is that we… never… grow… old.


Because Ozma figured that we needed to stay the same age to make sure children all over the world, and the new children that are born every day and haven’t heard our story yet, will always be able to experience us in our youth!

So once a year, we go to Oz.  People in Oz never grow old, did you know that?  Totally true.  And we eat just enough food and drink there to where we’ll stay the same age for another year when we get back to the real world.

So I am forever FIVE!!!!  It’s an awesome age to forever be, I can tell you that much.

Thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ask Toto #33

Dear Toto,

What else was in Dorothy’s basket?

 -- Marc from Orlando

Hi Marc! 

Very very technically, when Dorothy and I went on the original adventure in The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, she put bread and covered it with cloth in the basket for snacks on the yellow brick road (it’s in Chapter 3 – “How Dorothy Saved The Scarecrow”)

These days, Dorothy carries anything and everything in there.  A hairbrush, a change purse, some energy bars, some hair elastics for her pigtails when she wears them. The one thing she doesn’t carry in there are dog treats for me, probably because she knows I’d gobble them down in a heartbeat.  The dog treats stay in her pocket, I and the basket stay on the front of the bike, and everyone is happy.  Well, okay, I’d be happier with a belly full of dog treats, but still.

Thanks for the question!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ask Toto #32

Dear Toto,

Do you ever get sick of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”?  What’s your favorite song right now?

 -- from the internet

Awwwww, how could I get sick of hearing that song?  Not when Judy Garland sings it, nosiree.  She’s the best.

Anyone else who sings it, though.  Well, they just don’t do it justice, do they?  Nope, don’t think so.

I myself, I’m a classic kind of dog.  Heck, I AM a classic.

But when it comes to my musical tastes, I tend towards the classics.

Elvis Presley’s “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog.”

My guilty guilty pleasure (so don’t tell anyone) is Huey Lewis And The News’ “Happy To Be Stuck With You.”

But my all time favorite, I love LOVE Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World.”

thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ask Toto #31

Dear Toto,

Favorite sleeping position?

-- from the internet

Oooooooooh, you have just hit upon a secret thing that’s AWESOME about dogs!  We can sleep in weird and wonderful ways.  Check it out:

It’s awesome to have a compact body, with an extra extra bendy spine, and a waggly tail.

Normally, my #1 absolute favorite sleeping position is smack next to Dorothy.  I like to curl up next to her tummy, so she has easy access to pet me, but she complains that I have bad breath and we need to brush my teeth tomorrow, and then I growl at the thought and then she says “don’t you growl at me!” and then I wag my tail and say I’m sorry and all is mostly forgiven, as soon as I move down to sleep at her feet.

BUT!  That’s at night.  During the day, when it’s just me, my favorite position is sleeping on my back.  My friend Hops will demonstrate:

OH!  It’s SOOOOOOOO comfy!  You guys just don’t know.  You have no idea!  It’s soooooooooo comfy.  Sure, you humans can sleep on your back.  But to sleep on your back with your back legs dangling in the air?  Heaven!  Heaven I tell you! 

Thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ask Toto #30

Dear Toto,

Water can get pretty boring after awhile.  Any other favorite beverages?

 -- from the internet

Ah yes.  Water day in, day out.  When the temperatures get to soaring here at the farm, sometimes water just isn’t gonna cut it. 

Dorothy puts ice cubes in my water bowl, and that’s nice.  But wouldn’t a lovely slice of lemon, lime, cucumber, a sprig of mint, perhaps, wouldn’t that be just PERFECT!?  So divine, so elegant, so let’s take our parasols and sit on the veranda and eat little  sandwiches with the crusts cut off…


I don’t go for that frou frou stuff. 

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, Uncle Henry will give me a nip of whiskey, and that’s AWESOME.  But he’s the only one that does it, and I know better than to ask for more.

So water it is.  I like it, it likes me, and BONUS!  No calories.

Thanks for the question!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Ask Toto #29

Dear Toto,

Why do you hate cats so much?  Can't you all just get along?

-- from the internet

Okay, you don't fool me at all, Cat.  I don't care WHICH cat you are, you're totally a cat and you're totally trying to prank me here.  well, it's NOT gonna work!

But on the maybe 2 percent chance that you're not a cat, and because Dorothy says I have to give you the benefit of the doubt, I'll PRETEND you're a human (even though you're TOTALLY NOT) and answer your question.

I hate cats because they're cats.  THERE!  Okay, okay, okay.  

I hate cats because they're snobby and snooty and think they're so great, prancing around on those hush hush feet, stalking around silently and those eyes that don't really blink when they stare at you, it's like you're looking at a SNAKE!  They hiss like a snake too!

I hate cats because they can scratch you.  I hate cats because they ignore you and don't really need anything from you except when it's FOOD TIME, and THEN they change into a sweet loving kitty and curling around your legs like you're they're best friend ever when really it's because they're hungry AND YOU HUMANS FALL FOR IT EVERY TIME!

When I'm happy, you can see my smile, and I sit by your feet, or on the couch, or the bed, or where ever you'll let me stay.  When cats're happy, they sound like cars in the idle position.  

Cats will not tell your when there's a stranger at the door.

Cats will not protect you.

Cats do not love you.

At least, not like I do. :):):)

does that answer your question?  Thanks!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ask Toto #28

Dear Toto,

Don't you get hot in the summertime?  How do you stay cool?

-- from the internet

Oh yep yep.  I HATE hot weather.  You think you humans have it bad, you don't have to walk around with the equivalent of a fur coat THAT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE OFF!

Lucky for me, my breed has short wiry fur, unlike my poor cocker spaniel or golden retriever friends.  So it could, like, TOTALLY be worse.

There's a couple of tips.  I do all my running around the barn around 6am or so, before it gets really really hot (which also explains why I sleep most of the day).  I stick to shady spots.  Dorothy puts ice cubes in my water bowl.  And then when the sun comes down, I run around the farm a couple more times.  

It's not that I'm a vampire, because I like the sun.  I just don't like it much over mid 70s.  It's uncomfy, no?

thanks for the question!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Ask Toto #27

Dear Toto,

What do you think about the new movie - Oz, Great And Powerful?

-- from the internet

Yep, yep.  I've been getting this question a bunch.  It makes sense.  It's a movie about Oz.  I've been to Oz.  My story (some would say it's Dorothy's story and I happen to be in it, but you know, MY BLOG, MY PERCEPTION, MY RULES) is one of the great classic tales about Oz.  I should have an opinion about this, shouldn't I?

Before I say anything, here's the trailer:

Prequels are tough.  I haven't seen a lot of them that I liked.  Maybe parts of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me?  The parts that I didn't cover my eyes with my paws and zoom under the bed?  Dorothy says things like the most recent Star Trek and Godfather II are prequels, but since I thought they were stand alone movies, I didn't count them as prequels.  Maybe that's the point?  I mean... HEY, I'M A DOG!  NOT A MOVIE CRITIC!

In depicting Oz, the trailer kinda gives off the stench of an overripe tomato (felt the same way about the recent reboot of Alice In Wonderland, too).  It seems like it's trying too hard to use a lot of callbacks to the 1939 version of Wizard Of Oz.  And when you do that, it becomes less of a stand alone movie and more of a potential mess.  I guess I'll buy a ticket (Wait, I'm a dog, I don't have to buy tickets, Dorothy sneaks me into the theater in her basket), but I have really kind of ehhhhhhhh feelings about this.   But what do you expect?  #1 - I'm a dog.  #2 - the movie doesn't have ME in it.  Did you think I was gonna be overjoyed by it?  NOT REALLY.

thanks for the question!
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Ask Toto #26

Dear Toto,

Why didn't you bite Miss Gulch harder?

-- from the internet

Hey there!  Okay, to straighten things out a tad:  Miss Gulch was in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, not in the original story about my life, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.  It's important to be clear about things from the get go.

As such, I wasn't the one in The Wizard Of Oz movie.  That would be Terry, the cairn terrier, who does a FANTASTIC job conveying my mixed emotions at arriving in Oz (I hate it here!/must protect Dorothy!/what IS that thing coming to kill us?!)

But if I HAD to take a guess at why Terry playing me and the 18 WRITERS (seriously, people, just look here ) didn't have Toto bite Miss Gulch harder is, well, she's a tough old bird.  And dogs are not cannibals.  No need to chomp through the skin.  One warning bite is enough to get the broad to back off.  Besides, the character of me in Wizard Of Oz had a GREAT reason to bite Miss Gulch:  

 Oh, but Aunt Em, Miss Gulch hit Toto right 
 over the back with a rake just because she 
 says he gets in her garden and chases her 
 nasty old cat every day.

YOU DON'T HIT A DOG WITH A RAKE!  DON'T DO IT!  IT'S MEAN, ROTTEN AND WRONG!  Miss Gulch deserved to be bit!  A bunch!  Oooooh, ooooooh, now I'm just madder than mad.  I'm gonna have to go take a dip in the lake to cool off.

So, lesson we've learned today - Miss Gulch is tough.  Terry is Cairn Terrier is playing a version of me, but is NOT me.  18 writers on the MGM version of Wizard Of Oz is excessive.  And above all else, don't hit your dog with a rake.  

Thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ask Toto #25

From  kellyannford on twitter

Dear @totothedog - just you prefer to ride inside or on top of the car? Also, is a Starbucks gift card a romantic gesture?

Hi Kelly!

Oh, I’ve heard about this one!  Some guy named Mitt Romney who wants to run for Emperor Of Emerald City or something took Barrett, his golden retriever for a car ride and strapped the dog carrier on top of the car with the dog inside .

There’s a lot wrong with that story, regardless of what Whackadoo Mitt says.  This is obviously a case of Owner Not Listening To What His Dog Is Not Saying.

It’s really important to be able to be attuned to your dog’s needs.  Humans need to understand our many many moods.  We’re practically people in dog’s fur.  Just because we like the wind in our ears, and just because we will occasionally deign to sit/sleep in a crate does NOT mean we like to sit in a crate strapped to the roof of a car traveling to Canada.  A + B does NOT equal C in this case.

Does Barrett the golden retriever need to TELL his Mittmaster that no, no, no, this idea is bad, please don’t make me do it?  That no, no, no, what happens if you get in a wreck and suddenly I’m launched like a projectile canine football into the interstate air?  No, no, no, just because you’re bigger than me does not mean you have the better ideas?

No, no, no, Barrett does not need to tell Mittmooney that.  BECAUSE MITT SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

Mitt should listen to what Barrett is not saying by following this simple rule.


If  Mittastic is perfectly willing to squash himself into a crate, strapped to the roof of a car and drive across borders with Barrett behind the wheel, then fine, go to it.

What?  Mitt can’t fit in the crate?  Mitt thinks it might be scary to be strapped to the roof of a car and driven for 12 hours?


Now for question 2 – Is a Starbucks gift card a romantic gesture?  Um, um, um, I’m gonna have to get a ruling from Dorothy, hang on.  Dorothy!  Is a Starbucks gift card romantic?  Should I run out and buy you a truckload?

Okay, well, Dorothy can’t understand me, but some Google research tells me that Starbucks is either about coffee, or multiples copies of a character on Battlestar Galactica.  How would you get a gift card that gives you a person?  And why does Dorothy need anyone other than me?  I’M all she ever needs.

So I’m gonna say that unless you want your significant other to break up with you, do not get them a Starbucks gift card.  Unless it’s for coffee.  That is TOTALLY okay.

Thanks for the question!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Let’s Talk About This April Fool’s Day Thing

So yesterday, Dorothy called for me to come into the living room. Where she sat me down in front of the fireplace, and told me there were going to be a few changes around here. You know your stomach drops at that phrase, right? “There’s going to be a few changes around here.”

And I was like, hey, I haven’t done anything wrong. Not in the past hour, anyway. No reason for any changes to be made because of some goof I did. Toilet bowl water is cool and refreshing! If the water in the water bowl was the same crisp temperature as the water in the toilet bowl, I’d be drinking outta that! Why do you humans have to make things so DIFFICULT for us dogs, huh?

Anyhow, so Dorothy had this really solemn look on her face as she says three things:

1. My favorite stuffed rabbit chew toy got accidentally thrown out.
2. She read an article saying bacon is bad for dogs and I can’t have any any more.
3. They’re getting another cat.

Then her mouth kept moving, but I couldn’t hear her anymore and black walls started closing in, like we were driving through a tunnel, and I passed out, and Dorothy thought I was playing dead, and it took a couple of tummy rubs to revive me, and when I finally staggered to my paws, she grinned big and said


Wha-huh? April who? We don’t know anyone named April, so who is she, and what is she doing around here? She sounds pretty evil, and I don’t let Dorothy hang out with evil people. I mean, not here in the states. On our trips to Oz, it’s a little unavoidable, and we manage as best we can.

Dorothy then went on to explain that April 1st is a globally known day for practical jokes, where you prank dogs who love you and give them minor coronaries before screaming APRIL FOOL’S and all is apparently forgiven.

I do not like this date. I do not like it at all.

Still, to get into the spirit of things, I ran outside and found the cat and promptly told it:

1. Dorothy doesn’t love you.
2. Neither does Uncle Henry and Aunt Em
3. You’re not welcome on the farm anymore.

The cat just yawned in my face and said something like, “April Fool’s doesn’t work on cats.”

So then I chased it into the pig’s water trough. And went about my day.

But in all seriousness. Do not prank your dog on April Fool’s. It’s seriously not cool.

Cats are fair game, though.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ask Toto #24

It’s time to shake things up here at Ask Toto. I’m gonna do a movie review! Of The Artist!

I love movies. You know how you humans are always loving the movies because it’s only the movies where a guy and and a girl can meet cute because she spills something on him, or he hits her with a car, or they both realize they’re working for the same company and fall in love? Well, dogs love the movies, because we love to see dogs walking with their masters and sometimes it’s without a leash! Freedom! FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMM!

Terry didn’t need a leash when she played me in Wizard of Oz. Can you imagine it? Lions, scarecrows, tin men, flying monkeys, and a green witch and Terry got through all of it LEASHLESS!

And Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier doesn’t need a leash for any of The Artist. FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMM!

The Artist is about silent screen actor George Valentin, and the madness that consumes him when he realizes he can’t get a job any more during the advent of movies with sound. It’s up to his dog to be his faithful companion even though his master is a self involved boob who doesn’t realize his dog is the best thing to ever happen to him, and it’s up to the faithful dog to protect him when Valentin’s madness forces him to burn his house down, causing one character to comment (with the helpful title card) “He owes his life to that dog!”’

I was kinda bored during the second half of the movie, ‘cause I thought we spent waaaaaaaaay too much time on Valentin’s mopey-ness and How Many Ways Can I Stumble Through My Career Crisis.

But Uggie did a really good job, especially since he’s portraying a dog who doesn’t even have a name (thanks for that, Michel Hazanavicius!)

While Uggie did great with his expressions –

Smiling Open Mouthed,

Concerned Look,

and Bark Face…

… my favorite part was of course when Uggie ran down the street to get the policeman to follow him back to Valentin’s house because Valentin had set his house on fire. Uggie ran faster than Valentin and Peppy’s tap dancing at the end of the movie. Now there was drama! There was dramatic stakes! There was the one character in the movie who knew what was important – his master was insane and trying to kill himself!

Uggie is now retiring from show business, and this is definitely a career high (which has also included Mr. Fix It and Like Water For Elephants) for him. And while he didn't win an Oscar, he got to MEET Oscar, which to me, is tons better.

Way to go, Uggie!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Ask Toto # 23

From WillTurc on Twitter Do you resent Dorothy getting all the credit when you are the obvious hero of the story?

Hi Will!

First of all, may I commend you on your perceptiveness and sheer brilliance. it's not everyone who can look at the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and see past the surface to the beating heart of the story underneath (that's me!)

But I have to say, in my own humble way, that I don't mind people thinking Dorothy's the star. After all, she's my owner, my master, my lady. Plus she can talk (I can only type). And in fiction throughout the centuries, it's usually the ones who can talk that drives the story. I'm all about showing, not telling (when I'm not typing.)

Here's a prime example. Most people watch this clip from the movie and see Dorothy and the Scarecrow dancing. But watch it and keep your eyes on Terry, the cairn terrier doing an excellent job of playing me (I'm under the subtitles. heh):

Sure, you can look at that clip and see the beginnings of the friendship developing between Scarecrow or Dorothy. OR you could keep your eye on me the whole time and see that the scene's really about the DANGEROUS scarecrow, with limbs a flyin', and how if you're smart, you keep your distance. Says me.

So nope, I don't resent Dorothy. I LURVE her to pieces, I do, I do, I do.

thanks for the question!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Ask Toto A Question #22

This one comes from the Twitter wide question net that awesome Patty Jean Robinson occasionally casts:

Dear Toto:

"Do you feel marginalized by being forced to ride in a basket?"

Heck no! Have you guys ever ridden in a basket before? okay, okay, you all are human, so the human equivalent is riding doubles on a bicycle. Sidecar optional (though very old fashioned.)

The wind in your ears! Your tongue to the side! Someone else at the wheel! (Dorothy drives a bike like a madwoman, and I love her for it.) It’s almost like flying! But a CONTROLLED flying, not crazy like a certain twister.

Look, I know I’m a dog. I know my options in terms of transportation are limited. It’s either:

#1 My paws.

#2 Ozma’s Magic Picture (she checks it to see Dorothy at 3pm every day, but she checks it at 2:57pm every day to check on me FIRST.)

#3 Someone’s vehicle (Uncle Henry’s wagon, Aunt Em’s jalopy, Dorothy’s bike)

I don’t like to hit the Ozma option unless I absolutely need it, like to go to another state or something (which we’ve done occasionally on Adventure Fridays, which you can read about on my Twitter feed every Friday!)

And practically speaking, my paws don’t go nearly as fast as Dorothy’s bike. Plus the paws get dirty and dusty and they hurt after, like, the first mile or so.

Plus I’m not the one doing the pedaling. I’m just chilling in the basket. Wind in my ears! Tongue out to the side! It’s heaven for a dog!

Now riding in the basket of Dorothy’s bike doesn’t sound so bad anymore, right?

Thanks for the question, person in the Twitter universe!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Ask Toto A Question #21

Dear Toto,

Who will win the Superbowl this year?


Hi Tracy!

So Uncle Henry and the farmhands are all excited about the Superbowl, and I try to keep up, but within ten minutes, it becomes a whirlwind of colors and grass and yelling and Doritos commercials and it hurts my head!

So I make it really easy on myself. I root for the ball.

Any time a player fumbles, that’s one for the ball. Any time the ball bounces out of a players’ hands, one for the ball. Any time a field goal goes wide right or, um, wide left, as perhaps it did VERY RECENTLY, that’s another one for the ball.

The ball is awesome! It’s the most coveted thing on the field! So root for the ball, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time!

But I know you’re not forgetting the OTHER BOWL game that day. Perhaps, the BETTER BOWL.


YAY YAY THE PUPPY BOWL!!! That’s SO much easier to follow.

I kinda think Deliliah, the 13 week terrier’s a little cutie, but my money’s on Baskin.

He looks like he can run REALLY FAST! He wants to play Frisbee every day! ME TOOOOOOO!

Thanks for the question!

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Ask Toto A Question #20

Dear Toto, what kind of treats do you like?

- @angelwhip (Trina Mock)

Hi Trina!

Boy oh boy oh boy are you going to buy some treats for me!? I LURVE YOU LOTS AND LOTS!

This is a very important question, especially since you gotta be careful out there in the Dog Treats department, especially since some of those chicken jerky treats from China are very very bad news indeed.

Which is why my favorite treats are the kind that people eat. If it’s good enough for you guys, it’s TOTALLY good enough for me. Unless it’s chocolate, because we all know that chocolate is a big huge no no for dogs.

Aunt Em likes to think carrots are a good dog treat. She is wrong. Carrots are a veggie, a side dish, an important source of nutrients, an obligatory food. Sure, I’ll eat them, but let’s be real, carrots are NOT a treat.

Here are some of my FAVORITE TREATS:

BACON BACON BACON!!!! Bac-Os do not count as bacon.

APPLES!!!! Ryan Gosling knows this.

And lastly, CHEETOS! (the puffy kind, please)

I can’t to see you on the farm, Trina, arms loaded with these goodies! I will even share with you, as long as you understand that “two for me, one for you, three for me, one for you,” counts as sharing.

Thanks for the question!

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