Spotlight Interview with Charmaine Hammond

spotlight interview

Today’s spotlight happens to be all about Charmaine’s furry family; Toby Sr & Toby Jr. Charmaine is a best selling, award winning author including 3 books about Toby! You will find all about all of the positive & inspiring work her & Toby accomplish by reading the interview below.

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*When going to adopt a dog, what drew you to adopting Toby SR?
Toby sr was five years old, and had come into foster care when one of his pet parents passed away. I fell in love with his smile and eyes. When we met Toby and learned his story we knew we could be a great forever family. He was five years old and we knew we wanted an adult dog, not a puppy. We loved the Chesapeake retriever breed but mostly I fell in love at first sight.

*What is the worst mess you cane home to that Toby SR left?
All the closets emptied and items piled up in the front hallway, two toilet tank lids smashed, and he had also emptied the water cooler by knocking it over so that day we had water and mud (because he also emptied all our plant pots all over the floor) everywhere… That was a lot for just one day.

*What made you pick Pet Therapy instead of per say agility?
When we had Maggie, a K9 behaviorist, come to help us with Toby’s behavior, she advised that he needed a job…. A purpose. She suggested that having him tested and trained as a therapy dog would be a great fit for him.. we quickly learned she was 100% right.

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*When Toby SR became a Pet Therapy Dog, What was his favorite thing to do at the hospital?
Toby Sr always let out 2 barks when he arrived at the unit, it was like his way of saying “I’ve arrived” or “I’m here!”. I loved how this greeting was his little announcement. He loved when patients would play fetch and take turns holding his leash on walks. On rainy days we used to play bowling in the basement hallway of the hospital. He loved this game, more because the rubber bowling pins made a squeaking noise that sounded like a duck and of course it echoed and made patients laugh.

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*Dogs teach us many things in life, what is the biggest lesson Toby SR & JR taught you?
Toby Sr?- Toby sr taught me about patience, persistence, and not being a perfectionist. He also taught me the power of the animal human bond in healing and in unconditional love.

Toby Jr? Toby teaches me the importance of play. He also has taught me to lighten up… this dog is all about play, love and play. Did I mention play? Tobys lessons are more subtle… he challenges me to think. He communicates with us non verbally (when he wants something he looks at us, then at what he wants, then at us, then what he wants.). He will do this until we respond or figure it out. His lessons are often ones that require thinking…. He is also teaching me about routine…. Toby loves routine and challenges us to keep them (for example if you go to bed and forget to say “toby, it’s bed time” he will lie in the living room. But once you say it is bed time, he races down the hall to get to his bed before we reach ours).

*What is the PAWS Across Canada Tour?
Paws across Canada is our kindness tours. Our mission to build a kinder world one paw one person at a time. It is also a dog friendly adventure so we can teach others about travelling with pets.

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*When did it start and where was the first stop?
The first tour was Alberta and BC. The second tour was Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Now in 2015 We launch A Million Acts of Kindness… Paws Across North America

*Where are some of the stops along the way?
In September we’ll be driving across Canada from BC to Ontario West to East and then starting the Us part of the tour in New York. We’ll be making 100 plus community stops, and hoping Fort McMurray will be one of them again.

*Where can people find out more information about the PAWS Across Canada Tour? (this website will launch in March)

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*What is your favorite place to take your dog in Fort McMurray?
I love the trails… birchwood trails… are beautiful any time of year. Also anywhere by the river is awesome.. so beautiful.

*What is your favorite thing about going to schools and talking with all the kids?
I love how the childen greet Toby. In unison we shout 321 Hi Toby…. And Toby comes running into the gym with toby. The excitement is off the charts. The children love a video we show about Toby Sr learning to surf, and I so enjoy watching their eyes as we share Toby’s message of kindness… all eyes on Toby and his message.

*What is your favorite quote, and who is it by?
Oscar Wilde “Be Yourself because everyone else is already taken” It reminds us not to be someone else, but to show up in the world who we are with our imperfections and our gifts to the world.

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*What is Pawsitive Radio?
Pawsitive radio is my radio show and blog which features news that is all pawsitive and helps listeners experience how we can transfer the lessons from our pets into our human and work lives.

*How often is it broadcasted?

*Can people listen online, and if so where?
They can listen

*What can you find on TeamTobyTV?
Hilarious videos that Toby has taken and filmed himself with his very own Go Pro camera

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*Social Media Contacts:

*What’s next for Team Toby?
A Million Acts of Kindness (Paws across North America in Sept 2015), and a new book and dogumentary.

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2 thoughts on “Spotlight Interview with Charmaine Hammond

  1. Cathy Armato says:

    What a great interview! I especially love Toby’s Therapy Dog story since my Husky is also a Therapy Dog. The Paws Across Canada tour sounds awesome, I’m glad to hear they are expanding it to include the U.S. I hope they’ll will come to Arizona! I’m going to check out the web site & follow along on their journey! Thanks for introducing us to Team Toby! Wonderful. Sharing this.

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