Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let's Talk About Christmas Time

So!  Christmas is coming!  Christmas is coming!  And I know Christmas is coming because there’s a Christmas tree in the living room, and there’s colored lights all over the place and Auntie Em is using nutmeg and cinnamon a lot more than she usually does, and there’s peppermint sticks that Dorothy won’t let me have, and she’s put a red and green bow on my collar.  So that usually means it’s Christmas time, or I’m having a really vivid dream.

I remember the first time Dorothy told me about Santa Claus and what he does.  And of course my first instinct is, WHAT!?  NO WAY!  HE’S AN INTRUDER!  WHY ARE WE LEAVING OUT MILK AND COOKIES FOR A GUY WHO ENTERS OUR HOUSE VIA A CHIMNEY!

But then Dorothy promised me that Santa was actually a good person, and to prove it, he left me a few dog treats on Christmas morning.  So then Santa Claus became, like, my best friend ever.

Though there’s a part of me that does sigh at Christmas.  Because they put out some strange Christmas merchandise featuring Dorothy and friends, and sometimes me.  And quite frankly, I come out looking kinda weird on these things.

That doesn’t look a THING like my woman!  And I, I, I, well, I look like a grey CAT!

Hallmark Ornaments did an ornament on us back in 1994: - 

I don’t even look like I’m real you’re an ornament.  I know that!  But I look like a stuffed dog here.

And while I can understand why this is amusing on first glance, the fact of the matter is, it’s kinda CREEPY to put dead witch’s legs and feet on your mantleplace.

(and since this item has been discontinued, I have to imagine that a lot of people agree with me.)

But!  Should you wonder what you should be getting your dog for Christmas (Pssst!  Dorothy!  Pay attention here!)  Wonder no more.  It’s this…


Treat your dog!  It’s Christmas!  Buy your pup something fun and different for a change!

Happy Holidays, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ask Toto #49

Dear Toto,

What do you and Dorothy usually do for Thanksgiving?

Scrutinizing The Stuffing

Hi Scrut!

Well, the very very very first thing that Dorothy and I do is get up before the roosters, so we can claim our seat in front of the TV and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Our favorite float is the winking, blinking turkey one. What can I say, we’re traditionalists.

Then, Auntie Em cooks up a ginormous Thanksgiving dinner that you would not believe.  She cooks a veritable ocean of food, because she’s feeding herself, Uncle Henry, Dorothy, me, and all the farm hands.  It’s something like 20 people or so. No cats allowed.

But there’s turkey, and cornbread stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce (nothing from a can, no thank you!), green bean casserole, roasted asparagus, rolls and butter and pumpkin pie! It’s amazing!  It’s awesome, and it’s…

Hey!  What is that CAT doing in the picture!  Shoo, cat! I said no cats allowed! I am not thankful for you this Thanksgiving!  Go be thankful in your litter box!  Sheesh.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else!  Thanks for the question!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ask Toto #48

Dear Toto,

Everything was fine in my life.  I loved my owners, they loved me, I had the run of the place, kibble all to myself, all squeaky toys and stuffed animals were mine to destroy…

And then he showed up.  The other one.  They say he’s my “brother” but not only are we not related, I lived here a good year before he got here.  He’s not my brother.  And I don’t understand this whole concept of “sharing.” Any advice?

Don’t Play Well With New Brothers In Los Angeles:

Hi Don’t Play Well!

Wow, sharing is awful, isn’t it?  Especially when you think life is about you and only you as the only dog in the house.

While I’ve never had to deal with new siblings of my own, there is that blasted cat that keeps hanging around the house that I hate a lot.  Dorothy refuses to get rid of it, and thus, I’ve had to learn how to live life with a foreign entity in the middle of it.  So believe it or not, there’s a few pros to having another Four Footer running around:

1. There’s someone to blame things on.

Did you accidentally knock over a flower pot? Spill the water bowl? Track in mud?  Bingo, your brother is now the one you point the paw at: I didn’t do it!  It wasn’t me!  It was him!  Because you’re older, wiser, you know how things work around here.  Newbie Dog doesn’t.  Blame away, and keep working it until he wises up, or grows bigger than you.

2. Ambition Is Good.

This sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.  If you didn’t have someone to focus your anger on, to have a goal, an enemy to vanquish, you might become fat, lazy, complacent.  Nobody likes a complacent pup.  Everyone loves a pup who is active, happy, cheerful. Constantly testing your mettle keeps you sharp.  To sum up – it’s better to be fit and actively plotting the downfall of Newbie Brother than to be fat and lazy and sleeping on the porch.  That description actually sounds a LOT like that cat.  Nobody wants to be the cat.

3. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

So I hate the cat.  But so does the horse.  You know what that makes the horse?  My new best friend.  The horse is no longer the one that could possibly kill me by trampling me under his hooves if I happen to get near his corral.  The horse is now my Right Hand Man, and together we plot on how to nudge the cat off the fence onto the water trough, or how to pick apples off the tree and then spit ‘em at the cat.  That’s a TON of fun.

And maybe you don’t have a horse, but I bet you have a mailman.  Or a gardener.  Or a pool guy.  Those are your new best friends in figuring out how to dunk New Pup in the pool, or to “accidentally” leave a pile of poison ivy leaves around.  At the very least, someone could leave the gate ajar, and new pup bounds out to freedom and out of your life for good…

Okay, okay, okay, Dorothy just showed up, read what I wrote and was completely horrified, and says I gotta take it back.  I can’t take it back, I don’t know how to use the delete button, but I will say… that sometimes… 

It is kinda fun to play tug of war with a stuffed snake.  It is kinda fun to see who can run the fastest around the farm.  And it’s kinda fun to have someone around who has fur like you, and understands the pain and suffering of flea season.

So it’s not all bad to have a new brother. It’s all in how you play it.

Thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Let’s Talk About Appropriate Halloween Attire

So Halloween is coming around again, like it does every year, and this year, I would like to take a moment to talk about appropriate costumes to wear. 

I know there’s some of you out there who just LOVE to dress your dogs up in silly outfits for Halloween.  Like this:

 And you know, I’m not really a fan of those outfits, but then again, to each their own, or more like to each dog their own costume burden to bear.  Just remember to take a good long look at your dog in that outfit.  

Does your dog look sad?  Uncomfy?  Giving you the glare of death?  If so, GET THAT COSTUME OFF OF HIM PRONTO! 

But beyond that, let’s talk about Appropriate Halloween Attire for Adults.  I know humans like to dress up in some pretty wacky/wild/weird stuff.  I don’t why you go to such weird lengths for candy, but again, to each their own inner Closet Of Make Believe Stuff.

BUT!  Can we PLEASE call a moratorium (Yeah, I said moratorium. Yeah, I know what that word is) on this whole genre of Sexy Nurse/Witch/Pirate/Doll/Whatever costume? Why are you humans dressing like that?  Isn’t the point of Halloween to get candy and have fun?  Do you really think you need to dress like that to get candy?  Because you don’t, you know.

You can dress like a ghost with two eyeholes, knock on a door, and they’ll give you candy. That’s how it works on Halloween. You put on a (reasonable) costume, you knock on a door that has the lights on, they open the door, they give you candy.

You don’t have to wear something like this. Because, at the very least, AREN’T YOU COLD!?

And definitely, definitely, definitely don’t wear something like this.  This is war.  Dorothy is a young girl from the farm! You are shaming my woman’s honor, and I WON’T STAND FOR IT.

(Not to mention, that dog looks NOTHING like me. And that's Paris Hilton. Who's got major problems anyway.)

If you wear something like this on Halloween, you are essentially the lowest of the low.  You are degrading a cherished memory of childhood. There is something wrong with you.  You wanna be pretty?  You wanna be sexy? Go for it by being a mature responsible fun confident person who loves CANDY.
But if I see you in this on Halloween night, I am absolutely biting your ankle and peeing on your leg. Which I will have easy access to, since if you’re wearing this, not much is on your leg to stop me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ask Toto #47

Dear Toto,

What are your biggest goals and dreams?

- dreaming in Montana

Hello Montana!  Well, what an interesting question!  I break them out into two things - big and small.  Goals are smaller, achievable here on earth, in a reasonable amount of time.  Dreams are bigger, like the dog version of when people win the lottery.

So!  My biggest goal is to get rid of the cat that runs around here on the farm.  I'm sorry, but he's just evil.  Sure, his name Otto, (he was a stray found near Ottowa, Kansas) but don't let that fool you, he's straight up EVIL.  Anything that can stare at you unblinking for long periods of time the way that cat does, is just not cool.

Otto would love for nothing more than to be Dorothy's one and only.  He purrs when she pets him and winds her tail around her LIKE AN EVIL SNAKE.  But he hisses at me and snarls and tries to swat my nose with his claws, and I can tell you it's a good thing that I am a WARRIOR WIREHAIR TERRIER and I have no fear of the evil Otto cat, and I charge him without hesitation (I also weigh more than him).  He knows I'm boss, but I'm not really 100 percent happy until he finds some other farm to live on.

As far as my dream?  Oooooh, that's super easy.  My dream is for me to live with Dorothy forever and ever, without any weird things from Oz or any Otto cats around interfering with us.  I would like to be able to talk to her sometimes.  But I don't wanna freak her out too much.  So just us together forever and ever.  And no cats anywhere.

Thanks for the question!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Ask Toto #46

Dear Toto,

You talk so much about tummy rubs all the time.  What's the deal?  I feel nothing when I rub my own tummy, so why do all dogs go ga ga over it?

Confused in Washington.

Hello Confused!

I gather from your question that you might be human.  If you can rub your own tummy with no problem, you are human.  If you can rub someone else's tummy with no problem, you are human.

You see, dogs can't rub tummies.  Go on, ask your own dog to rub their tummy.  Observe them carefully.  The closest you'll get is a dog scratching underneath their leg pits (we've got four of them!)  Sometimes, dogs can lick a hot spot on their tummy, but our paws are not coordinated enough to rub our own tummies.  It's like trying to use a shovel to ice a cake - clumsy, ill-advised, and messy.

So, when our human rubs our tummy it’s like HEAVEN!  Pure pure heaven!  It’s the human equivalent of a massage at a really expensive spa.  Except less expensive!  Because it’s free!  

If you walked up to someone and immediately turned their back on them, you might be trying to tell them you want a backrub, but they could very well take it as you being strangely rude to them. 

But when a dog flops on their back and goes tummy up, there can be only thing on their minds.

So that’s why do it.  Because it’s AWEEEEEEESSSSSOOOOMMMMEEEEE

Thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Toto Review – Cats and Dogs

It was once again a lazy Saturday at the farm – the pigs were fighting for shade because the sun was hot, chickens multi-tasking by sleeping as they were laying eggs, the horses were flicking flies with their tails and Dorothy found the movie Cats & Dogs playing on a cable channel on TV.

I first thought that maybe the cat here at the farm had somehow managed to tweak the satellite dish into showing cat movies, but Dorothy said that the dogs were the heroes in this movie, and that I should give it a chance.

So, after carefully locking the cat outside the front door with a random ball of yarn to occupy itself with (Auntie Em’s not gonna miss it!  It’s brown colored yarn!  Nobody misses the boring colors!) I settled on the couch with Dorothy to watch the movie.

The hero of Cats & Dogs is a pretty cute beagle named Lou, who accidentally takes the place of a secret agent puppy and is adopted into the home of an absent-minded scientist working on a cure for dog allergies, his wife, and son.  The dog next door is Butch, another secret agent dog who explains to Lou that unbeknownst to humans, there’s a war between cats and dogs waged practically under humans’ noses.  Lou has to protect the house from the various cat spies that will try to infiltrate the house and tweak the allergy cure so that all humans would be allergic to dogs and cats would become the favorite pets around the world.

The main bad guy is a white Persian cat named Mr. Tinkles, and he’s pretty over the top. I guess that would be my main complaint – that the villain is so broad and cartoony.  The filmmakers didn’t have to make the bad guy be a foppish long haired snooty nosed cat. 

The real truth is that all cats are evil, they don’t have to look evil to be evil.  In fact, it’s usually the ones that look the most normal that are the WORST.  Here’s a picture of the cat who lives here on the farm. 

He’s EVIL!  Just look at him!  He’s the absolute bane of my existence and doesn’t look like he belongs on a can of fancy feast.  Real evil comes in the most normal of packages.

But back to the movie!  The special effects are kinda cheesy, though Dorothy said this movie was made in 2001, so you have to cut it a break.  But going back and forth from CGI dogs to real dogs makes it worse, I think.  Maybe the whole thing would’ve been better as an animated movie.

I liked the plot, and Jeff Goldblum, and Lou.  I thought the pacing was a tad slow, I didn’t really need to see multiple scenes of Sam the Sheepdog thinking he’s so stealthy when he’s not.  

And while I heartily approved of Mr. Tinkles being tortured by Sophie The Maid and her many outfits that she forced Mr. Tinkles to wear, Sophie The Maid herself was just as over the top as Mr. Tinkles, and I thought the TV might explode from overkill.

But I can’t help but like a movie that show dogs winning over cats in a world domination scenario, since that’s how nature intended it to be.  As such, even with all its cheesiness and over the topness, I give Cats & Dogs three stars. 

And maybe I forget to let the cat back inside for like, another two hours.  Heh.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let’s Talk About This Grumpy Cat Thing

So perhaps I’m slightly late to this party, but everyone seems to love Grumpy Cat.

This perplexes me on a number of levels.  First of all, IT’S A CAT!  DON’T YOU KNOW THAT CATS ARE EVIL, PEOPLE?  The silent deadly threat of Cat Nation is slowly infiltrating the world, just waiting for the signal given to them by a Supreme Cat Being, and when they get that signal, they will KILL US ALL.

But aside from that.

Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce and you’ll have to excuse me for a few seconds while I go LAUGH MY HEAD OFF AT THAT NAME!

Okay, I’m back.

Tardar Sauce’s appearance is due to a condition of feline dwarfism, and an underbite, giving her a perpetually sour look.  One picture posted by her owner’s brother in September of last year and thus, a viral meme is born.

Since then, Grumpy Cat has a website, a manager, a book, a calendar, a schedule of media appearances, a documentary, a FUTURE LINE OF COFFEE DRINKS CALLED GRUPPUCCINOS and a feature film adaptation are in the works.


All for this cat:

Okay, fine, maybe I’m a little bit jealous.  Not of a cat.  But because of the publicity that cat is receiving.

See, I’m an old school dog.  And there’s not a ton of pictures of me on the internet.
And I’m not talking about Terry, the dog who plays me in the movie.

I’m talking me.  ME.  This is a photo of me.  But it’s very small.  Too small to put a meme on.  


Because when you try, it looks like this:

So if anyone out there would like to take that picture of  me and blow it up and make it pretty and sharp and in focus, maybe together we could start the next big thing.

Bigger than a cat.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ask Toto #45

Dear Toto,

 what do you think about the recent spate of TV series in development based on Wizard of Oz?

- future development executive

- Hi Future Development Executive!

I have to say, Dorothy and I get quite the giggle when we read things like this fantasy-action sci-fi series over at SyFy

First things first, these things are in development, and it really could go either way whether they actually get produced or not. So we could be giggling for nothing.

But then again, anything that gives us giggles has to be a good thing, right?

Secondly, I think it's kinda silly.  I mean, strip away the Wizard Of Oz elements from both of those ideas and what do you have?

A standard sci fi idea about a person from earth sent into post apocalyptic world who meets three people and they go on adventures.  That sorta sounds like Star Wars, doesn't it?

Or a standard hospital procedure about a female doctor working in a hospital.

I'm just a dog, so my brain doesn't work like humans, but it kinda smells like these people were trying to jazz up their original ideas, and squashed Wizard Of Oz elements onto them to try and take advantage of the success of OZ, Great And Powerful at the box office, and DIsney's current obsession with live actioning every animated feature and ride at Disney World that they can.

I guess we'll know for sure if the projects ever air on TV.

thanks for the question!

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ask Toto #44

Dear Toto,

I am exasperated with my dog.  I love Ben to death, but he insists on finding every stinky thing in the yard possible, and then rolling around in it.  Since he has s white coat, this is truly disgusting on a scent AND aesthetic level.  Why on earth would any dog want to do this and what can I do?

--  Fed up in Bishop, California

Hi Fed Up!

I guess we’re on kind of a stinky theme this month, are we?  Okay fine.  No problem.

I admit, this is one of the grosser things that dogs do.  And no, it doesn’t make sense to humans.  But you know, there’s plenty of things that humans do that make no sense to dogs.  Like waxing.

BUT! The common scientific explanation for why dogs like to roll around in stinky things is because back when dogs were wild and roamed in packs and were considered more as hunters than cute cuddly things that you sit on the couch with, rolling around in a stinky mess would help hide our natural scent from the things that we were tracking. So our prey would catch a whiff, and think “Hey, that sure smells awful over there. Thank God it’s not a dog,” and they’d relax and then we’d POUNCE, and the chase is on.

Those days are long behind us, but the instinct is still ingrained within our DNA.  Nowadays when we do it, it’s more like, “Oh my GOSH!  Can you believe this pile of mess I found!?  Nobody’s gonna believe this!  I’d better roll around in it and take it back to show everyone so they too can be amazed at the utter STENCH OF THIS STUFF!”

In other words, it’s the human equivalent of a frat boy calling his brothers into the bathroom to look at the amazing poop he just took.

Yep, it’s gross.  But seriously, can you BELIEVE THIS THING!

P.S., when you google the phrase, “Why do dogs roll around in dead animals, this picture of Russell Brand also came up. Which is hilarious to me, so I had to include it.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS THING!?”

Thanks for the question!

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