Life on the west coast of Canada can be tough sometimes.
It’s even more harrowing when you’re a seven-pound Yorkshire terrier with a chip on its miniature shoulder.
Local author Diane Wild recently published “Toto” the somewhat embellished true story of Toto, one of her Yorkies, and his hilarious reign of tiny terror.
Wild lived in Harrison Hot Springs for 14 years before moving to Chilliwack. “Toto” is her third book and was about three years of on-and-off writing in the making. She drew inspiration from both Toto and his predecessor, Mr. Pip. Mr. Pip accompanied Wild and her husband, Barry, across the pond when they immigrated from England to Canada.
One of the running themes through the book is Yorkies are maybe not the breed for everyone.
“They need some understanding, that’s for sure,” Wild said. “Yorkies are kind of the leaders of the pack, but it’s the only breed we liked.”
She recalled Mr. Pip throwing a fit while going through immigration. The couple and Mr. Pip ran into complications with rabies vaccinations as there was no rabies in England, and Mr. Pip wouldn’t be allowed to touch Canadian soil without being checked for rabies.
“He was just going off his head,” Wild said. “He wasn’t having anything to do with it.””
Some time after Mr. Pip passed away, The Wilds met Toto.
“We didn’t think anything could be worse (than Mr. Pip),” Wild said.
Oh, how wrong they were.
The book’s chapters alternate between Toto’s narrative and Diane’s, which often conflict with each other, in no small part due to Toto’s insistence he is in the right and the main character. Among his exploits, Toto would chew favourite shoes, vandalize every carpet in the house and be the scourge of the neighbourhood cats, and no one knew what he was going to do next.
“We get asked ‘why did you keep them? Why did you put up with them?’ I don’t know!” Wild said. “I don’t like a dog that’s passive; I like them with a bit of fire.”
Wild has two more books to her name: “Forsaken Trust,” a coming-home tale of a woman fighting to be loved and to reconcile with her family, and “Full Circle,” a chronicle of her mother’s experiences.
In terms of what’s next for Wild and her writing career, that remains to be seen.
“Every time I write, I think ‘that’s it, I’m not going to write anymore,’” Wild said. “But I shouldn’t ever say never.”
“Toto” is available on amazon.ca in both Kindle and paperback.