Articles Global

News Online: Local volunteer rescue dog Toby to become a movie star

Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on March 7, 2011.


Linda Hoang, Global News: Monday, March 7, 2011

Local volunteer rescue dog Toby to become a movie star

His owners call it paw-sitive inspiration.

He was in foster care and was a rescue dog with behaviour problems, and now he’ll be a star on the silver screen.

It’s the story of nine-year-old chesapeake bay retriever Toby, a local volunteer rescue dog whose touching story has turned him famous.

Charmaine and Chris Hammond adopted Toby about four years ago and describe his behaviour at that time as destructive, wounded, and anxious.

The couple would often come home to rooms turned upside down by the dog.

“We had to get help. We called in a behaviourist to basically help us deal with Toby’s behaviour,” Charmaine said on Monday. “She trained us on learning about what was going on with Toby.”

What the family learned was that Toby didn’t seem to know what his role was and that he needed a job, a purpose, in order to get better.

It was then that Toby became a pet-assisted therapy dog with the Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy Project.

Toby has been volunteering every Wednesday for three years at Alberta Hospital, working with mental patients.

It’s a weekly ritual that’s been advantageous for everyone involved, Charmaine said.

“While Toby is giving back to the patients, he is getting so much in return from them,” she said.

“His life has transformed and so has ours.”

Toby has worked with the Humane Society, Vets without Borders, and participates in children’s programs with Charmaine, who is a motivational speaker. He’s helped raise money for SPCAs and other animal and children’s charities.

Charmaine wrote a story about Toby’s progress and the work that he’s down and it was published in a 2009 edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

From there, she wrote a book called On Toby’s Terms, which was published last September.

“The book goes through the journey of Toby and talks about all the rich, powerful life lessons that we learned as Toby’s owners.”

Since then, the family has been going on book tours with their special dog and now, California-based Impact Motion Pictures has offered to turn Toby’s story into a movie.

“He just seems to have this inate sense of the human condition,” said Stephen Hubis, with Impact Motion Pictures, on why the company wanted to put Toby on the big screen.

“He’s just one of a kind. He has a really unique gift, he can teach us all a lot about friendship and emotion.”

“We’re going to follow him through a four or five year period. It will be in a reverse format, we’ll be using a lot of flashbacks. It will mostly focus on how he came into their lives and changing everybody he came into contact with,” Hubis said.

To Charmaine and Chris, the news that their furry friend’s story had caught the attention of Hollywood came as an exciting surprise.

“We’re just thrilled about that. It’s so surreal,” Charmaine said. “We love Toby’s story and we see how much Toby is giving back to people and we wanted to share that story to the world but we thought that would be just through the book, so to have the movie is just another exciting accomplishment.”

Charmaine says Toby has taught herself and her family a number of life lessons and continues to teach others each and every day.

“It’s one of my favourite things to watch, how Toby just steps into his purpose and into his role. He just seems to know what people need,” she said.

“Being authentic, persevering, and just being real and bringing the best version of yourself to work every day. It is amazing.”

Toby is expected to make a cameo in the motion picture, which is now in screenplay development.

Hubis said he would like to shoot the movie in Edmonton.

Click here to read the article on the Global Edmonton website.

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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Iโ€™m a big brunch fan so todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is Brunch for 2 to @BundokYEG! (valued at $40).
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Sabor is very well-known for serving some of the very best seafood in Edmonton! Sabor serves up delicious Iberian (Portuguese/Spanish/Mediterranean) coastal cuisine, using sustainable, Ocean-wise certified seafood. This beautiful restaurant (perfect for wedding receptions and other intimate gatherings) is also home to live music on weekends! Sabor has been voted one of Canada's best restaurants and is one of my favourites. It's got a great lunch deal (appetizer + entree for $18 from a set menu) and has delicious risotto and paella too. Eating 'Family Style' at Sabor is also popular! Chef Lino will prepare a three-course meal that changes daily, based on seasonal ingredients and his daily ingredients. Sabor is a must-try! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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Who doesnโ€™t love a good croissant? Well the ones from @chocorrant are GREAT! Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is an Artisan Chocorrant Collection (Bakerโ€™s Dozen) of croissants featuring all kinds of flavours like matcha, strawberry milk, chocolate and cookies and cream! (Valued at $50).
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Have you tried @ErnestsNAIT? This #yegfood gem and one of Canadaโ€™s Best Restaurants (voted by @opentable users!) features delicious cuisine & service by @NAIT Culinary Arts & Hospitality students! Iโ€™ve always had a great meal at Ernestโ€™s and now you can too - For todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป, Iโ€™m giving away a $50 gift card to this affordable fine dining spot. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
To enter, do two things: 
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2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
Ernest's is an Edmonton food gem - an affordable fine dining spot featuring delicious cuisine and excellent service by NAIT Culinary Arts and Hospitality students. This dining room has been a huge part of the Culinary Arts department for over 50 years, and is recognized as one of Edmonton's top dining experiences. The coolest part is that all the food is prepared and served by students! Ernest's offers a lunch and dinner menu, along with a lunch buffet, and is often host to a bunch of wicked culinary dinners featuring celebrity chefs and local chefs. You're always in good hands at Ernest's. Theyโ€™ve also been named one of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants in past years, AND for 2017! If you've never tried, now's your chance! I used to call it a hidden gem but it shouldn't be hidden because everyone should know about Ernest's! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * THE WINNER IS @reneechan_yeg! * *
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Happy #TacoTuesday!! ๐ŸŒฎ๐ŸŒฎ Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is a $50 gift card to @ElCortezYEG!! Eat all the tacos, tequila, and try their new winter menu!
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To enter, do two things: 
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 6 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
El Cortez is a super cool Mexican kitchen + tequila bar just off Whyte Ave @oldstrathcona. The restaurant/bar specializes in traditional Latin food with a modern twist. Their tasty menu features tacos, tapas, gourmet street food, and Latin brunch. They are one of just 9 establishments in the WORLD to be certified by The Tequila Regulatory Council (so their tequila offerings are legit). They also have amazing decor and an overall wicked vibe - like when I say it's super cool I mean this place oozes cool. Check out the funky graffiti-style wall art and the crazy-lit bathrooms. El Cortez is always a good time. They just launched their new winter menu too so be sure to check it out, PLUS - on Tuesdays its half-price tacos!! ๐ŸŒฎ Theyโ€™re also currently running a holiday gift card promotion! For every minimum $50 gift card purchased, El Cortez is donating $5 to the Humane Animal Rescue Team @hartedmonton! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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Mondays can be hard. Ramen can help! ๐Ÿœ Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is a $50 gift card to @yegnoodles!! Eat all their delicious noodz. ๐Ÿœ
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To enter, do two things: 
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 5 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
The Prairie Noodle Shop takes Japanese ramen and infuses it with flavours unique to Alberta. The team behind Prairie Noodle Shop tested the market with a series of ramen pop-ups before opening their 124 Street location. This prairie-inspired ramen is one of the best (and certainly one of the most unique) in the city! Try their NEW winter menu which includes beef and curry bowls, the return of their ๐Ÿง€ bowl, and new small plates & beers! ๐Ÿบ Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * The winner is Jerb2 from Twitter! Thanks for entering everyone!! .
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  • Sunday Funday at @centralsocialhall trying their delicious brunch ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜ & learning about how the company has evolved over the years - stepping up their #yegfood game! Thanks for the great company @becausemimosas @argenplath @antonatienza & for the invite @jessekupina @vancebosch @chattygirlmedia! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
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  • ๐ŸŽ DEC 3 GIVEAWAY! ๐ŸŽ
On Sundays, we brunch! ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ“๐Ÿคค Thatโ€™s why todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is Brunch for Four to @xix19! (valued at $120!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @xix19!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 4 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
XIX Nineteen offers simply great food. Head Chef Andrew Fung is one of my favourite chefs in Edmonton. Must-orders on their brunch menu: their crispy chicken & waffle (pictured), their five spice bao benny, their Moroccan meatball tagine, and their banana bread french toast. On their regular menu - XIX Nineteenโ€™s signature Ahi Tuna Twists is a must!! XIX Nineteen has two locations - one in Terwillegar south Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Give it a try if you havenโ€™t yet! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * Congrats to @gingergolovely of Instagram, winner of Brunch for Four to @xix19! Thanks to everyone who entered. Watch for more giveaways! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #xixnineteen #xix19 #chefandrewfung #terwillegar #stalbert #stalbertfood #brunch #sundaysareforbrunch #sundayfunday #brunchbrunchbrunch #chickenandwaffles #bubblewaffles
  • ๐ŸŽ DEC 2 GIVEAWAY! ๐ŸŽ
Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is an All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Steakhouse Dinner for Two to @EatPampaYEG! (valued at $100!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @EatPampaYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
Pampa's Brazilian churrascaria provides unlimited fire-roasted select cuts of AAA Alberta beef, pork, chicken and lamb, served table-side. I love their rump steak! They also have a huge salad bar and unbelievably delicious Brazilian cheese buns (#paodequeijo!) Pampa has two Edmonton locations (downtown + Ellerslie) and one location in Calgary! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * Congratulations to Candice M from Facebook, winner of Dinner for 2 to @eatpampayeg!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #pampa #pampabraziliansteakhouse #braziliansteakhouse #churrascaria #rodizio #allyoucaneat #AYCE #buffet #meatbuffet #meatsweets #eatpampaYEG #yegdt #yegdtfood #pampaellerslie

LINDORK