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  • Writer's pictureJulie Osborne

Toto Around Town


As a canine reporter with Current in Carmel, Toto is becoming a local celebrity around town. Below you can check out his adventures as well as the friends he is making along the way ...

Toto Around Town – On the Ice

With the bitter cold weather, ice skating may not be on your immediate radar, but the new Carmel outdoor ice skating rink, The Ice at Center Green, is still open. The Christkindlmarkt closed before Christmas, but ice skating will continue from Wednesday through Sunday until March 11. Toto had an opportunity to try it out – with special permission for a photo shoot (Sorry no pets are allowed). For more information and hours, visit

Toto Around Town — Good, Clean Fun on Carmel's Main Street

With the frigid cold and new year upon us, it seemed like the perfect time for Toto to take a trip to the groomer. Little did Toto know that it would turn into a playdate as well. Canine Cloud Nine on Main St. is a cage-free groomer so dogs have the opportunity to play when not bathing or getting their hair or nails clipped. Co-owners Heather Bauer and Amber Hosford also support local businesses through their pet boutique with a focus on Indiana-made products including healthy, grain-free treats. Pictured above are Heather Bauer with Toto and many of his new friends. For more information visit

Indiana-made food and treats are featured at the boutique along with clothing and accessories. Cosmos products are made in Carmel.

Toto Around Town — Christmas Gift Indianapolis

Toto joined approximately 350 volunteers for the Third Annual Christmas Gift Indianapolis – a Christmas party to benefit the homeless men, women, and children of Indianapolis. Two thousand adults and children were provided with coats, blankets, toiletries, haircuts, shoes, and toys. Guest also enjoyed a delicious dinner. The event was organized by Carmel residents Bobby Hayden and Lexi Laconi and sponsored by Cardboard Box Ministries. Hayden founded this organization after living in a cardboard box as a heroine addict for almost ten years. Today, he and Laconi travel the country to share Bobby’s story of hope and redemption through their Christian faith. For more information visit Pictured here are Lexi Laconi, Julie Osborne (with Toto) and Bobby Hayden.

Toto Around Town with 450 Dozen Donuts

On a chilly fall Saturday, Toto joined over 120 volunteers from Traders Point North Christian Church in Carmel for “Random Acts of Donuts.” The goal was to distribute over 5,000 donuts to local businesses throughout Carmel, Westfield, and Fishers. The volunteers also had buckets of cleaning supplies in hand and offered to clean their bathrooms. The reason was clear on cards taped to the boxes: “Because you matter, you are loved, and working on the weekend is always better with donuts.”

Toto could have easily been lost among the 450 dozen donuts and cleaning supplies at TPCC North.

Toto Around Town: Neighborhood Cider Stand

Fall is upon us, but some people are already thinking ahead to Christmas. Toto met one of them – Landon Lewis (age 8). Recently, Landon (above) had a neighborhood cider and sweets stand to help children in faraway places. “I am raising money for three Compassion (International) kids who live in Kenya, Uganda, and Brazil,” Landon said. “We want to have enough money to be able to buy them Christmas gifts.” Landon’s stand was a success and, with the proceeds from the sale, he will be shopping for those presents soon.

Toto Around Town: Barktoberfest

Toto was among friends, some of them furry, at the recent Barktoberfest held at the Ritz Charles to benefit TheraPets of Indiana, Inc., a non-profit that provides animal-assisted therapy to people of all ages in hospitals, retirement/nursing homes, disaster areas, schools, and workplaces. Nationally-syndicated Pet Pals TV host Patty Spitler (above) was the master of ceremonies and shared her love of animals and passion for this organization to kick off the event. Among the hundreds of guests, a few of the 20+ working therapy dogs were also in attendance.

Toto had many canine companions and landed in the lap of TheraPets Founder/Executive Director Darlene Gosnell (center). Also pictured here from left, Debra Gordon with Reggie and Charlotte and Connie Coleman with Izzy.

Toto Around Town: Carmel High School Make Good Decisions Soccer Game

Toto enjoyed attending a recent Carmel High School soccer game to help raise awareness for Make Good Decisions, a non-profit started in memory of Carmel senior soccer player, Brett Finbloom. Pictured here from left are Senator Jim Merritt, Dawn Finbloom, and Norm Finbloom. To learn more about their incredible work visit: Make Good Decisions

Enthusiastic 5th grade members of the Carmel FC gold 07 travel soccer league loved having their picture taken with Toto at the game.

Toto Around Town: Carmel PorchFest

Toto almost got lost in the huge crowds at Carmel’s PorchFest, held Sept. 17. More than 40 musicians performed on 20 porches along 1st and 2nd Ave. NW. Food and beverage trucks were available to make the event complete. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and Toto made many new friends of all ages.

Toto Around Town: A Visit to the Fire Station

Carmel’s fire department headquarters recently had a 6-pound visitor – Toto. Not only did he get a tour of the station, he also ended up in the office of Chief David Haboush (above), where he heard stories from the past. Toto learned that the fire station was home to the mayor’s office until 1990, when it moved to its current location at Carmel’s Civic Square. “We shared the same fridge with Mayor ‘Dottie’ Hancock,” Battalion Chief Gary Brandt (below) said, “One day we discovered a large (unlabeled) ham in the fridge and you can guess what happened.” It sounded like the mayor was a good sport about losing her ham to hungry fire fighters.

Toto Around Town: The Path of Toto-ality!

On Aug. 21, many Carmel residents donned their funky glasses to get a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse. With 91 percent coverage in the area, only a slight haze was noticeable for most viewers. But, save your ISO 12312-2 approved glasses because in seven years, the next “path of totality” will be directly through central Indiana – including Carmel. Mark your calendars for April 8, 2024, at 3:05 p.m. This time, the darkness will settle in with a predicted duration of totality of 3 minutes, 51 seconds. Can anyone say party on Main Street? Toto will be ready!

Toto Around Town: Exploring Clay Terrace

Wondering what to do on these mild summer days? Recently,Toto enjoyed a leisurely stroll around Clay Terrace. Of the 50-plus stores, one stood out. It’s name seemed to perfectly fit Toto – Pretty Cute Things. Retail associate LeeAnn Clark (above) welcomed us into their charming boutique complete with women’s and children’s clothing as well as home accessories. Later we took a break at Starbucks and the baristas (below) couldn’t get enough of pretty cute Toto!

Toto Around Town: Checking out Carmel’s Bike Share

“I’ve never really liked bikes (especially if a green witch is riding it), but these cool ones around town look like fun,” Toto said. “And I even fit in the basket!” Toto doesn’t have a helmet so he won’t be using Carmel’s Bike Share anytime soon, but anyone over the age of 18 with a valid debit or credit card is welcome to try it out. The first hour is free and then it’s only $3 per hour (maximum 24 hours). If you love riding, you can even buy a monthly membership for $15 or pay $30 for the entire year. There are 12 bike stations around town: Clay Terrace, Village of WestClay, Main Street, Hamilton County Tourism, Carmel City Center, Carmel City Hall, Monon Center, Clay Township Offices, Residence Inn, Market District, Allegion, and Westfied.

Toto Around Town: The Village of WestClay Summer Concert

Toto didn’t have to go far to meet some of his neighbors at the monthly Sunday night Village of West Clay outdoor concert. Families packed the Village Green for the music of 3 to 1 and enjoyed food and beverages provided by local food trucks. Toto loved hanging out with the Jungels family and even in Molly’s wagon. With Toto are, from left, Molly, Greta, and Brett Jungels. He wasn’t the only four-legged friend present. Pictured below with Toto are, from left, Diane Carson and Lesa Abes with Brickley. This month, the 719-acre neighborhood of The Village of WestClay is celebrating its 17th anniversary from its debut on Broad Street. Approximately 95 percent of the 1,400 lots of single-family homes, town homes, and apartments are completed.

Toto Around Town: Toto stays up for Late Night on Main!

Apparently, Toto is a bit of a night owl as he enjoyed Carmel’s Late Night on Main July 1. A portion of Main Street was closed and packed with concertgoers listening to LemonWheel from 9 p.m. until midnight. Mark your calendars for two more Late Night on Main events scheduled for Aug. 19 and Oct. 7. Taking in the festivities with Toto are, from left, John Dearth (Carmel), Chris Schmidt (Indianapolis), and Kerry Miller (Carmel).

Toto Around Town: Toto visits A Giving Tree Community Pantry

Recently, Toto visited A Giving Tree, one of 34 food pantries throughout Hamilton County. Founded by Don (below) and Christina Stilts, the nonprofit's goal is to “serve the people of Hamilton County both physically and spiritually.” They accomplish this through a food bank and mobile pantry which travels to different locations around town. According to, 1 in 7 Hoosiers struggles with hunger. In Hamilton County alone there are 27,150 people who are food insecure, 11,470 are children.

Toto (and Mobile Library) Around Town!

Apparently, Toto is not the only thing roaming around Carmel. The Carmel Clay Public Mobile Library makes stops at community events, parks, daycares, senior centers, neighborhoods and many other places throughout Clay Township. The mobile library not only carries books but also DVD’s and audiobooks for rental. Visitors can also return books here or even register for a library card. The mobile library has five staff members and two were present when Toto discovered them in The Stratford parking lot. Pictured above are, from left, Dan Hiner and Michael Thorburn.

Toto Around Town: Toto Visits The Stratford

On April 26, Toto stopped by The Stratford Hobby Show to visit with residents and check out their talents and personal collections. Homemade jewelry, paintings, photography, miniature homes, and wood carvings were just a few of the examples of the variety of displays. Pictured above are Toto with Ina Feldman and Julie Osborne with Ina’s hand-crafted miniature homes.

Toto Around Town: Toto Sees 'Beyond the Rainbow'

It seems only fitting that rescue dog Toto’s first stop around town would be at ATI’s dress rehearsal for “Beyond the Rainbow” which tells the story of Judy Garland’s life, including her famous “Over the Rainbow” performance as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The show runs until May 14, and tickets are available at


Meet Author Julie Osborne

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