Sidmouth’s favorite dog, Toto, on long walks and ice cream

5:30 p.m. April 9, 2022

Toto, Sidmouth’s infamous dog, gives an overview of the world

We all know the charming Sidders has all the desires of a walking pooch, but it’s good for a dog once in a while to run wild, as my Highland Terrier pal Wooffy McWooffface might say.

So we packed our rucksack with map, treats, water bowl, treats, tea flask, treats, treats, compass, treats and emergency treats and off we went to Dartmoor – kind of like Mutter’s Moor ( but moor so).

Wild wool abounded as we made our way through the brush, only stopping every ten seconds or so for a well-deserved treat and a nostalgic look at the car.

The walk we took took us from Gidleigh, which is quite close to Newton Abbot (Russ’s brother), and took us past a stone with a hole in it.

This famous landmark, renowned throughout the Greater Gidleigh area, is called the Holey Stone (top marks, names of local sights!) and yokel wisdom says to cross it for healing-type benefits.

I didn’t really want to – it takes a rock pup than me to play with the mumbo-jumbo. Also, I was afraid of doing a Winnie the Pooh and getting stuck.

Onward, past stone circles galore, until we came to another stone – this one a bit larger – called Kestor, from where we saw a vast and breathtaking view of grassy goodness and rocky romanticism, experiencing this feeling of a dog and a man alone with nature, two beings in solidarity with Creation, humble, contemplative…and very very lost.

A quick look at the map told us it was an East Devon map so not good for both of us.

Several hours of fruitless stumbling took us through very thorny bushes and then someone’s garden, before hitting the car somewhat by chance. Back to Sidders, sharp.

I think you can have too much adventure.

It’s fanfare time, so get your cones out.

Here’s the inside scoop on glaciers. There’s a whole knickerbocker glory here.

No, not just waffles. It seems like every time I follow a wafer for a few minutes, another pops up. Favorite flavor? Toti-froti, of course.

If I had the right, of course. Dogs should only have special dog ice cream (more on that in a second).

When I have one, I don’t hang around. Cone in 60 seconds. Like a rocket. Zoom. Too much though and you’ll be a good Chunky Monkey.

I had a very insulting time in an ice cream parlor once.

‘Funny feet’? said the man behind the counter. ‘No, perfectly normal, thank you. And FYI, they’re called paws and I zoomed out, causing a bit of a raspberry ripple, I can tell you. He hadn’t been so insulted since the same guy said ‘Flake?’.

I’ll mention three places (I know there are more but I can only count to three): there’s The Fort, Taste and Ice Cream Paradise, and they’re all fabulous and always packed: Must make a good mint chocolate chipping. Oh, and there are vans, helmed by a skinny guy named Mr. Whippet.

Ice Cream Paradise is next to this wonderful dog accessories store… what’s it called? Anyone from somewhere? Toto from Sidmouth? Yes that’s it. Anyway, he sells Marshfield, including a dog-friendly variety (bone flavor, I guess) called Scoops, named after the dog that lives on the farm.

When my owners ran a movie theater, they picked up their ice cream in Marshfield and, get it, they ran into Scoops and everything. I love hearing this story. It must be like when the dogs meet me.

There are 99 reasons why you should visit an ice cream shop the next time the sun comes up. Will you see me in there? Mivvi you will, mivvi you won’t.

It’s Haagen Dazs to me. Toto out.

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