With the revamp of Puppy Tales in July we added Instagram Dogs to our dashboard and have loved all the feedback we have got through likes, comments but most of all we love looking at all the gorgeous pictures of dogs everyday. One of the dogs we featured in August was Toby Wigglebottom — a very cute Cavoodle from Melbourne, Australia. Like many other dogs on Instagram Toby has a growing group of fans and we wanted to find out more about this furry rising star. We were lucky enough to get to ask his Mum, Helena, a few questions!
1. Our first question has to be how did Toby get his full name?
Toby Wigglebottom’s name was a team effort by my husband and I. I’m a teacher and a few years ago I had an autistic student in my class that was obsessed with rats. He told me that he was going to get a pet rat and name him Toby. I thought that would be a really cute name for our dog one day. While we were looking around for a dog my husband, who is a dentist, had a patient whose last name was Mr Wigglesworth which he thought would be a cute second name for our dog. We pondered over the name Toby Wigglesworth and thought it was too proper and changed Wigglesworth to Wigglebottom. And that is how the name Toby Wigglebottom came about.
Toby the Cavoodle
2. How did you get into Instagram and why did you set up an account for Toby?
I love photography and I find using my iPhone and Instagram to be a convenient way to capture everyday moments. I love how the app turns mundane photos into pretty pictures. When Toby came along I knew that I would be taking a lot of pictures of him as a puppy and wanted to post them on Instragram but didn’t want to clog up my personal account with photos of him so I decided to create his own account.
3. Toby currently has 530 followers, did it take him long to get these fans and does he have aspirations of having thousands of followers like Maru?
When I first started to post photos and comments pretending Toby was talking my husband and friends thought I was going insnae. However, now they see that people are interested in what he is doing and even talk back to him, so they have quieted down. Toby gets a few followers each day and it has taken about seven months to get his 530 followers. I don’t actively go out and seek followers by hash tagging his photos or liking other people’s photos in the hope of them following Toby. He definitely does not have aspirations of having thousands of followers like other dogs on Instagram. The account is very tongue in cheek and just a great way for me to take daily photos of something and for my husband and I to see the progression of Toby’s growth. To me, Toby’s account is just like a photo album and the followers are just an added bonus.
Baby Toby the Cavoodle
4. Did you ever think your daily photos of Toby would be so popular?
No never, I was so surprised when Toby had 80 followers! I think people like following him because he is a photogenic dog, and the comments that accompany the pictures tell a cute story of a dog’s life. What I love about Toby’s account is that it actually makes people smile and have a giggle. People comment on the fact that seeing a photo of Toby brightens up their day or makes them smile after a stressful day, I think that’s pretty cool.
5. Who are your and Toby’s favourite dogs to follow on Instagram?
To tell you the truth I don’t follow any other dogs. I like photos of people’s lives not dogs. It’s egocentric but the only dog I like to look at is Toby.
Toby at the Park
6. What kind of life does Toby have?
We live in an apartment in the city and always wanted a dog but thought that it would be cruel to keep one in an apartment without a backyard. Then one day I was talking to a vet who said, “A cell is a cell regardless of its size. A large home or backyard is not essential. What dogs need is to be taken out for daily walks and plays to get physically and emotionally stimulated no matter the size of your property. When their owners are not home dogs mostly sleep, so they don’t necessarily need a big backyard.” This bit of information rang true to my husband and I and we decided that we would get a dog. We researched breeds that would match our lifestyle and found the Cavoodle to be perfect. We have had to change our lifestyle to make sure Toby is happy and healthy. I get up an hour early before work and take Toby to the park to run around. He is usually by himself for 8 hours during the day. I change his toys around on a daily basis and stuff his toys with treats to keep him entertained. I bring work home rather than stay late at work so that I can take Toby to the park to play with other dogs in the evenings. On the weekends he comes with us everywhere, to breakfast at our local café, the beach, friend’s houses and shopping. We live in a very dog friendly neighbourhood which has made it easy to integrate Toby into our everyday lives. I think he is a happy dog.
Thanks Toby and Helena for letting us interview you today and be sure to go and check out Toby’s Instagram feed to see what he is up to.
Notes: All images are from Toby’s Instagram Stream.