Monday, March 19, 2012

Alexandria Maillot & Tobias

Please introduce yourself and your dog.

Hey! I'm Alexandria Maillot, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter/actor from Vancouver, BC. I have many passions, whether it be writing, playing music, watching films, drawing, going on hikes or daydreaming. However, one of my biggest passions comes in the size of a 4-pound Yorkshire Terrier- my dog Tobias.

Tobias is a bundle of joy, and I couldn't imagine my life without him. I have only ever owned two animals in my life before him: our Rottweiler, Ruby, whom we only had for a couple of months until we had to give her away to another loving family due to my horrendous allergies; and my cat, Bandit, whom we got when I was six and had until he passed away when I was in Grade 11. I am not much of a cat person, but Bandit meant the world to me. He was a massive, black and white cat that would enjoy listening to me play piano, and lived five years longer than expected once diagnosed with diabetes (meaning 2 insulin shots daily, equalling over 3,650 shots in his lifetime). He passed around the same time my parents were going through a rather nasty divorce. So, to say the least, it was a hard time on my entire family. But, shortly after, Tobias came in to the picture. He is the cutest, most devious little creature you will ever meet, and I love him to death.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Tobias and I decided to go out for a little walk then lounge indoors for the rest of the day as it is quite ugly outside.

What's brewing?

A skinny Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks.

Any treats for you or Tobias on this occasion?

Tobias devoured a heart shape treat and I stuck to my latte. Got to watch the calories.

How were you and Tobias united?

We got him from a private breeder. Most of our animals had come from the SPCA, but we were all adamant on owning a Yorkshire Terrier, especially since they are hypo-allergenic. When we met him the first time, he was a chubby little creature that fit right into the breeder's hands. He just squinted at us and sat there with without moving a muscle or making a sound. The breeder was holding another dog whom was even smaller than Tobias, and was a little more vocal. There was just something about Tobias that really stood out to me, so I convinced my mom to get him.

How did Tobias get his name? Any aliases?

We named him after our favourite character from Arrested Development, Tobias Funké. When we met him, the name wholly fit his personality. There was no argument.

Does Tobias have a role in your songwriting?

If you mean something to me, you are going to inevitably inspire me when I write. When my cat, Bandit, was diagnosed with diabetes, I wrote this 10 minute song about how if there is a heaven, then there would most definitely be a special place there for him, filled with gourmet fish dishes, little mice and elaborate scratching posts.

Does Tobias have a favorite place to go for an outing?

He does not necessarily have a favourite place to go. There are a few, though, that you can tell get him really excited. Mainly places that involve treats. He's like a miniature elephant when it comes to remembering places that hand out indulgences. For instance, when he goes on to the BC Ferries, he knows that they have dog treats on the opposite side of the counter. He has only been on the ferry about a dozen times, but ever since his first experience, he makes a face at the teller giving us our boarding pass that basically reads, "I know you've got the goods."

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

Door bell. Nothing else to it. He is fine when he is on a walk or is looking outside and sees another animal. He will just let out a little sigh and move on. But, if someone rings the door bell, he just goes off like a broken squeaky toy. He is always so curious for what lies on the other side of the door. It's almost like a game of Hide and Go Seek to him. Or, rather, Hide and Go Seek...and Attack (in a non-vicious manner).

What is Tobias's best quality?

He loves everything and everyone. And, more specifically, he is incredibly caring and patient towards animals and people. My 3-year-old step sister and him have this really special bond. She is very gentle when she is around him, not like the usual terror younger children can be towards animals. And, Tobias is always incredibly gentle and cautious when she visits. He knows she is young and isn't too careful when it comes to throwing toys around, so he will stay out of her way. But, if she is sitting on the stairs or just laying around, he will go up to her and put one paw on her shoulder and just sit there. It's pretty amazing.

If Tobias could change one thing about Vancouverites, what would it be?

Perhaps a level of respect for all things nature. I know Vancouver is known for its initiative to stay Green, but there are still a lot of people that litter and don't necessarily care about nature's values. I mean, we certainly have many people in the community constantly volunteering to clean up the streets and plant flowers, and it's wonderful. But, we need more people out there wanting to invest their extra hours in to bettering our city, and leaving less of a carbon footprint in the world. I know if Tobias had a voice, he'd be an advocate for a cause like that. He just loves nature, like most animals, and it just inspires you to want to be a better person.

What is Tobias's proudest moment?

When Tobias was only a pup, around 7 months, my mom and him were playing on our elevated leather couch. Everything was fine until a loud noise freaked him out, and he jumped back off of the couch, and ended up landing on his head. He was unresponsive and not breathing, so my mom started CPR on him. It took a while, but he came back to consciousness. We rushed him to the vet and were completely heartbroken from what had happened, and were mortified for any bad news that might come our way. But, Tobias is a trooper, and he pulled through. He's our little hero.

If Tobias could speak in the movie about your life, who should do his voice?

I own Encanto by Sérgio Mendes, and the song "Lugar Comum" (the US version, not the Japanese version) always makes me think that if Tobias were to sound like anyone, it would be the Spanish vocalist on the track. I have no idea why, but every time I listen to the song, I always envision Tobias as this suave Spanish lover with a rose between his teeth. I know it makes no sense, considering Yorkies originated in England, however, if a voice actor were to play him in a movie, it would have to be someone along the lines of Demián Birchir or a young Antonio Banderas.

Visit Alexandria Maillot's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

3 comments:

  1. Oh goodness what a cutie!

    When I read his name, I thought to myself "did she name him after the character on Arrested Development??" and to my delight, as I read on further, I discovered I was right :) Great show and great name for a dog!

    I'm from Ontario but would love to get to Vancouver one day. It seems there are a lot of really great people and dogs out that way :)

    If you want to check out a fellow Canuck's doggie profile on this blog, look for Crystal & Pinch under the "daschund" category!

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  2. Great Q&A!! ;)
    Sorry about Ruby.... Giving up a beloved dog must have been heartbreaking!! :-(
    I never knew that Yorkshire Terriers are hypoallergenic!! Wow.... You learn something new every day!! I suffer from asthma, which only acts up during nasty chest colds, thankfully!! But I cannot even imagine my life sans a dog to share it with!! Seriously!! If for health reasons I needed to adopt some hypoallergenic canine, I'd go for a Labrador Retriever/Poodle cross, or something!! But then.... I love mixed breeds!! ;op

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  3. Very cute! But I'm confused, why is Tobias blonde-ish in the first picture & in other pics he is dark brown & black? Do you dye his hair? Do Yorkshires come in different colors? B/c I've only ever seen the black & brown kind. Please reply,Thanks :)

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