Toto's column: From local dog walks to shop of the month

Sidmouth from Salcombe Hill

The view from Salcombe Hill is enjoyed by many dog walkers - Credit: Simon Horn

Toto of Sidmouth gives his latest mutterings about the town

MUTT OF THE MONTH – Big woof out to Moss! He’s an Oz dog who’s decided to lend a paw with a Tasmanian Devil breeding programme. He spends all day among poo parcels from the She-Devils, trying to sniff out a hormone-heavy one. The He-Devils are then called into action to get busy (I’m not best equipped to describe what happens here) and Little Devils pop out. If all this down under detection works out well, the whole thing will be rolled out to other projects. Boffins, take note – I’m always happy to stick my shnozz into this kind of caper, especially if it’s anything to do with foxes. Can I roll in it too? Mmmmm...

Sorry, lost myself there for a minute. Where was I? Oh yes…

MOOCH OF THE MONTH – I did the nice little pawstretcher up Milltown Lane onto Soldier’s Hill the other day (I think my esteemed fellow columnist Mr Dibble may have mentioned this area too, so it’s obviously the place to be right now). I was very excited to check this soldier place out as I’m as keen on boiled eggs as the next dog. Got to the top only to find no breakfast of any kind. Rubbish. I subsequently gathered that the name actually refers to army soldiers. Well, I just think that’s misleading. Sort it out, EDDC. One thing I did see was a blooming massive pill box. Those soldiers must be serious abusers. Anyway, from there we crossed over to the path that runs from Salcombe Regis to Salcombe Hill and a most diverting ramble it was too. Nice trot down the other side and over the super new bridge named after Alma Sedgewick off of Corrie.

MATTER OF THE MONTH – Well done police for rescuing a whole bunch of dogs who were on a holiday from hell in a travellers’ camp in East Anglia. Let this be a cautionary tale to all pets out there fancying a bit of a break: a brochure may promise all kinds of excitement but you’re much better off staying with your humans. I hope all concerned are safely back home soon. Then stay put and stay cosy, for goodness’ sake.

‘MUSEMENT OF THE MONTH – Listen up, everyone. Seagulls are NOT to be bothered. First of all, they’re sentient beings with feelings and a right to a happy life just like us. And secondly, they’ve got blinking whopping beaks. Right, good, stay clear. Much safer to stick with the toy seagulls we’ve got in the shop. They’re tough, great fun and completely fit the bill. And they don’t fly off just as you get near them. Ooh, and check out our new squeaky postboxes. They have the stamp of quality. Which reminds me…

MERCHANT OF THE MONTH – This month’s pooch positive shop is truly first class. I always love popping into Picture Postcard for my stationery and postage needs. Paper, pens etc – all the staples, in fact. They’ve so got it taped. If I went anywhere else I’d deserve a fools’ cap. As a rule, I have an ink-ling that I’m write in saying that I’m set square on enjoying their A1 service for a protractor’d period of time. And my human hangers-on love the Daffy Down Dilly sweets. Probably love them a bit too much, if you ask me. But I’m more into…

MUNCH OF THE MONTH – OK, you simply have to get your teeth into a Yaker. They’re made of yak milk and a teeny sprinkle of salt and my word they’re tasty (and last a super-long time. Like, days). They’re a choosy chewer’s choicest chew of choice. Yakerty-yak: you won’t look back.

MITHER OF THE MONTH – Poor Ethel came into my shop the other day having had a frightening experience with a very bad-mannered dog out in The Byes. I’ll say this only once, chaps. Be kind out there. Or you’ll feel the back of my paw.

Toto out.

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