-A plucky Schnauzer mix puppy who shares his journey as he seeks his forever home
The name Schnauzer comes from the German word schnauze, meaning a snout or muzzle — a perfect name for this dog with its cute, square face. The Miniature Schnauzer originated in the mid- to late-19th century in Germany, where farmers bred it to create the perfect dog to hunt vermin such as rats.
Mama & Betts
-Toby's loving mother and his playful younger sister
Full names: Lilly and Bettina
Personalities: Protective, caring, loyal, supportive, gentle and proud
Cool fact: When puppies are born, their mother licks and cleans them to stimulate breathing and to encourage nursing. As her newborns knead and suckle, she curls her body around them for protection and warmth — hearts beating in unison. Every lick, which is a doggie kiss, reinforces the mother-puppy bond.
Full name: Sam
Personality: Friendly, happy, even-tempered, inquisitive, determined and focused on food
Cool fact: Beagles have such super nose power that they’re used to sniff out unauthorized agricultural items that are tucked away in passengers’ luggage and carry-ons when they arrive on international flights. The “Beagle Brigade” works at nearly 90 airports across the United States.
-A sweet old beagle who becomes Toby’s first and best friend
-A Confucius-spouting Pekingese who often offers Toby some wise words of advice
Full name: Fei-Fei Ying-Ming Gu Niang, which means Beautiful Wise Girl
Personality: Intelligent, sensible, strong-minded, loyal, dignified and insightful
Cool fact: Pekingese were originally bred as companion dogs to the ancient Chinese imperial family and their name refers to the city of Peking, where the Forbidden City is located. According to one legend, they are lions that were shrunk to miniature size by the Buddha.
-This Irish Setter’s support and encouragement help Toby survive the animal shelter
Full name: Brandy (after adoption)
Personality: gentle, fun-loving, playful, graceful, sociable and sensitive
Cool fact: At least three U.S. presidents owned Irish Setters when they were in the White House. Harry Truman owned Mike, Ronald Reagan had one named Peggy and Richard Nixon’s beloved Irish Setter, who learned to shake paws on command and provided a popular photo opportunity for visiting dignitaries and heads of state, was named King Timahoe.
Full name: Bentley Alistair Berkshire III
Personality: Witty, entertaining, happy-go-lucky, affectionate, independent and charming
Cool fact: The Old English Sheepdog has long been one of the most-loved breeds in Britain. Paul McCartney wrote “Martha My Dear,” a song about his three-year-old sheepdog Martha, for the Beatles’ White Album. Old English Sheepdogs now face extinction, because this iconic breed requires extensive grooming and exercise.
-An Old English Sheepdog whose wicked sense of humor buoys Toby’s spirits
- The brutal animal control officer who is Toby's arch-enemy
Full name: Thurman Cecil Snipe
Personality: Cruel, spiteful, intimidating, foul-smelling, macho and arrogant
Cool fact: Very few animal control offers are like Thurman. Most of these “animal cops” are dedicated to protecting public health and safety and promoting the general welfare of animals and the community. Some of them have even put their lives on the line when dealing with stray animals, injured wildlife or animal owners.
-A homeless man who becomes Toby’s first human friend
Full name: Joseph Anthony Staples
Personality: Kind, good-hearted, worried, sickly, dispirited and generous
Sad fact: Well over a half-million men, women and children in the United States have no home. About 61% of homeless people are men and boys, 40% are African-Americans and 20% are children. The average life expectancy of a homeless person is just 50 years. While homelessness had been declining in some U.S. states, the number of homeless deaths in many cities has doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
-A young college student who rescues and adopts Toby
Full name: Evan Christopher Maxwell
Personality: Easy-going, responsible, compassionate, industrious, athletic and driven
Sad fact: There are around 70 million stray dogs and cats in the United States and only 10% of all dogs find a permanent home. Cruelty and neglect aside, this may be the biggest issue to be tackled in the companion animal world that can actually be solved by neutering, adopting animals from shelters and rescues instead of pet stores, “pet for sale” ads or puppy farms, and enacting change at all levels of society.
Check back soon for more of Toby’s adventures and to meet other fun and entertaining characters who are part of his world.