Read all about it! Toto pays a visit to the bookshop

Dog wearing glasses and bow tie pops

Toto has had his head down in the books this month - Credit: Toto

The beach is back! Now the fair-weather fans have cleared off for another year, it’s all ours. Yes! As Jay-Z said on his summer hols when he couldn’t get his flake into his ice cream but consoled himself with the lovely seashore, we’ve got 99 problems but a beach ain’t one! I imagine this is a reference that will go down hugely well with Sidmouth’s thriving hip hop community, so I’ll move on sharpish.

Mutts of the Month – Boyo boy I just read about a whole bunch of Welsh dogs rescued from a puppy farm. Conditions there were horrid so I won’t go into that side of things. If you want to adopt one of these fab fellas, go to the simply super and they’ll get you hooked up with a corking cocker or jolly Jack Russell.

Merchants of the Month – Bookshops.
What the Dickens? Two excellent literature merchants in one small town? That’s a turn-up for the books! One of them must have been an exotic bird merchant at one point. That’s called the Parrot Gone, I believe. The other one’s owned by Hollywood hardman Ray Winstone. Well-read dogs are allowed in to have a good nose through the latest must-reads (don’t dog-ear them though). What are Wordsworth to me? Well, I don’t mind Shelleying out a few quid for a decent read, and I’m just the chapter to be in and out all the time. ‘Back Sassoon?’ they always ask me. My cummings and goings aside, there’s nothing verse than not having a book of rhymes close at paw, especially doggerel. Without this, I’m Donne for. Are you on the same page?

Audenarily I like Larkin about with poems, but given the Chaucer something else, I like prose too. Shaw I am Wilde about it. Quite the expert, in fact. Someone asked me yesterday about who wrote The Barkchester Chronicles, apparently featuring some loose woman always on the flirt. Trollope, I thought to myself. Not sure who wrote it though. Must just mention my friend Monty who’s come to live with us. He’s still got his complete works (if you know what I mean) so he’s probably into macho books full of ruff stuff. Mind you, he says he loves his Balzac, so he must be into French literature, I guess. As far as I’m concerned, my fave is Clive Barker. He really speaks my language. Anyway, something’s Amis if you don’t support your local bookshops, so Hugo on in and see for yourself what I’m Tolkien about. Right, that’s books covered.

Mosey of the Month – My human asked me if I wanted to go for a nap this morning. Super, I thought. I’ve reached that age where, if you don’t snooze, you lose. Turned out he was on about a quick stomp to the Knapp. Up a hill and behind a big graveyard (note: bones NOT available) up to a spot that the old fool thinks looks like an iron age fort (who cares? He was certainly doing his best to put the nap into Knapp) and which gives an excellent opportunity for racing round and round like a goober. You might want to combine it with a trip to the Knowle across the road. (Remember your poodle cross code though. Look left. Look right. For nosh to bite). Fab park there that used to be a zoo, apparently. Maybe that’s where the parrot went.
Don’t forget to vote for a special someone in the Herald’s Pet of the Year. Someone perhaps who has brought loads of fun into people’s lives across the region for almost a whole year now? Someone with a shop full of super toys and treats, selflessly distributed to the needy dogs of Sidmouth (in return for money)? Oh, you mean me? Did not see that coming. Bit embarrassing, that. But if you insist…

Toto out.

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