Toto was a little Cairn Terrier cross who passed away in the loving arms of her ElderDog foster mom, Allison, on Easter weekend 2020. Toto had been the constant companion to a senior since she was 1 year old. She spent 11 wonderful years with her senior owner and 7 years as a big sister and best friend to Zaza, a Pug-Shih Tzu cross. Toto was the brave one in the duo, always wanting to meet everyone and loving everyone, always wanting to be where the action was. Going out to coffee in her doggy stroller allowed her to peer out at the world in comfort (because she was tiny and her little legs couldn’t always keep up for the whole day.)

The year Toto was 12 was a hard year. Her senior owner had health issues that required a change in housing. Sadly, the new housing would only allow the senior owner to keep one dog. It was a very hard decision. Toto, the noisy, extrovert, let shy, quiet Zaza stay at home with the senior owner. Toto set out on a new adventure with ElderDog.
Toto embraced her new life in a foster household. In March, little Toto had a big weekend where she was checked out by the vet, had a full grooming and was given a beautiful pink bow, went to visit her senior owner and sister, Zaza, and even had a photo shoot. She loved all the attention and seeing her loved ones, and then she went home to her foster family and was fussed over all over again. She enjoyed a few more weeks being the centre of attention, chief snuggler and the boss of the pack at the fosters’ before she had a seizure one day and passed away. She is loved and missed by her senior and Zaza, her ElderDog foster family and the many ElderDog volunteers who met her along the way.

Toto’s foster mom writes: Toto embraced her new life in our home with three adults and 3 large dogs – two senior Labrador ladies (a chocolate named Wiggles and a yellow named Nutmeg) and a Lab/Dane cross gentleman named Cody. She arrived just before Christmas with her many outfits, stroller and toys, and she jumped in, always involving herself in the family’s activities. As she settled in she became the queen of the pack. Her favourite spots were in her stroller, on the passenger’s lap in the car, and at home, on the couch. Night times were spent on her foster mom’s pillow, snoring gently in her ear. Following her foster mom around the house was another priority and greeting her at the door with lots of excited barks became her routine. Toto, as the only little one in the family, was enthusiastically included on outings to the local pub and also on business trips when the big dogs had to stay home. She loved going on the ferry to Vancouver Island, staying in hotels and getting treats from the staff. Toto also enjoyed the first trip in the family’s new trailer, swathed in blankets. She was a great camping dog! She continued to charm everyone she met and spread the love. Everywhere she went, people came up to say hello.

Toto arrived just before Christmas and lived with us until Easter weekend. Those twelve words do not begin to describe the amazing effect she had on our family in that short time. For a small 8 lb dog, she had a large personality and blended into our gang seamlessly. Both our Lab ladies and Dane cross gentleman were afraid of her at first, but that situation eventually morphed into her snuggling with them on the large dog beds around the house and also joining in at their feet when it was time for treats. Her little feet on the wood floors, pattering along after me, became a well-loved sound of a dog that settled in and she was happy to follow me everywhere. She was often picked up and snuggled like a baby, with her round tummy getting lots of cuddles. Toto had a rather large pair of ears and my husband said she reminded him of a Star Wars character, called an Ewok, and he gave her the nickname of “Yub Yub”. When Toto was visiting her senior owner, Marie, for an afternoon or a sleepover, the house seemed quiet and Toto was missed! We had her for such a short time and all of us here were amazed at the large hole that was left, after she passed away. When I held her for the last time, I felt it was a privilege to be with her as she passed on. I held her and spoke to her, telling her to look out for my Dobies that I had years ago, my late husband and my dad. Especially my dad, because she would definitely get lots of heaven treats from him! When I came home that day after the trip to the vet, the house felt empty and our dogs seemed to notice that she was gone. It was a sad first week after her passing. We will always remember her.