Potato Pibble with a Cantaloupe Head

"You CAN find your perfect dog in a shelter. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure."

Carlo has a BIG head. How big? You'll have to keep reading to find out what his Mom compared it to! Seriously! We aren't judging him! His first Instagram post says: "Hello, world! I'm Carlo. I'm part land hippo, part fat head."

Though, for a land hippo, he is active! AND he's a certified therapy dog.

We won't spoil any of the details, because we want you to get to know Carlo!

Carlo is a Pibble, so his odds of getting adopted were sadly, much lower than other breeds of dogs. Educate our readers as to why Pibbles are no different than any other dog, and why breed hate needs to come to an end.

  • Unfortunately, black dogs – especially ones who look like Carlo – are less likely to get adopted. Why should the skin color of a dog (or a human, for that matter) affect the quality of that life? Carlo is such a gentle land hippo, weighing in at 53 pounds and riding low to the ground. I feel like I won the shelter dog jackpot. I can’t imagine why someone would abandon him.

Couldn't agree more! 

How old is he? Is there a story behind the name Carlo? 
  • We believe Carlo to be around 3.5 years old. I adopted him in May 2017 and he was estimated to be 2 years old. The shelter named him Carlo and, although he had only been there a month, he responded to it so I couldn’t change it on him (again). It would have never been my name of choice but it really works and fits his personality. He’s a gentleman who likes to show off his suave tuxedo body. ;) I also joke that since I’m Italian, my dog is Italian. His nickname is Cannoli Carlo.

He is a little younger than Bodie! And the name Carlo fits him perfectly. Can a dog look Italian? I (and the boys) think he looks Italian!

He's a certified therapy dog: how long has he been training?

  • We started training classes for the Canine Good Citizen in December 2017. He earned that certificate in February 2017. We initially started training classes because I wanted to be able to safely socialize him with other dogs. He was so overstimulated his first class around other dogs that we had to be in a separate room. By his third class, we were in the main room with other dogs. I could tell he was eager to learn and to please. I always knew he loved people but being able to focus on me and complete tasks around other dogs and distractions was something new. He really had a knack for it! After passing the CGC, we continued training until he earned his CGC-Advanced. Shortly thereafter, we took the therapy dog test with Paws for Love, which is our local program therapy dog program run through the SPCA Serving Erie County. The test is on par with other organizations, such as Therapy Dogs International. The entire process took about six months. The trainer evaluates the dogs on an individual basis so it could take longer or require less time for others. I would encourage all my fur friends and their humans to check out the CGC. It is GREAT training for both dogs and humans and really provides a strong foundation no matter what the end goal might be. 

That is so interesting.  And quite a journey. I'm shocked he was able to be in the same room as other dogs by the third class, only because I know how stubborn some dogs can be. That right there shows how desperately he wanted to learn. And how smart he is! I think a lot of individuals don't realize that high energy dogs can use training as a form of stimulation. 

Can you explain what being certified means?
  • As a therapy dog team, Carlo and I get invited as volunteers to visit hospitals, schools, the local airport, nursing homes, funeral homes, nonprofit fundraisers, etc. A therapy dog is not a service dog. Carlo does not perform a service for me. He is there to be pet and provide love and joy to others. People are often confused – although he is labeled – and I explain to them that they are welcome to pet him.

What is the main goal of Carlo's training?
  • At first, becoming a therapy dog team was our goal. We continue our weekly classes as ongoing education and because it’s fun for both of us! We’ve both made friends along the way. Now, our goal has shifted to educating our community about bully breeds through our therapy dog work. Carlo literally LOVES everyone. He is so willing to sit on anyone’s foot or lean against their legs or jump in their laps (or get on their beds). He just doesn’t seen the bad in anyone. He teaches me daily to see the good in people and, hopefully, we inspire some others in the same way. He does get personally offended when someone passes by us and doesn’t acknowledge him. I can tell he’s like, “Um hey, hooman. You missed me. Yeah you’ll want to pet me. I’m soft. I’ve got a wiggle butt. Check me out.” He gives them this big dumb grin and head tilt and then looks at me and I say, “Sorry, buddy. Not everyone is going to want to pet you.”

This just goes to show how much a journey can evolve. There is NO WAY I'd be able to pass up petting Carlo if I met him.  

He's a cancer survivor! What type of cancer did he have?
  • He had a low-grade mast cell tumor located on his head.
How long has he been cancer free?
  • The operation to remove the tumor was performed in May 2018 – the day before his first “gotcha day!”

Now that is a gotcha day present!

And is there any long term care as a result of the cancer?
  • The scar was about six inches. He looked like Frankenstein. The physical appearance was much worse than I expected. I unexpectedly cried when I saw him – still woozy with some dried blood on his face. He had to wear the cone of shame for three weeks – a bit longer than expected. It was itchy and we needed it to fully heal before taking it off. This thing was the size of a satellite dish. He was constantly running into my legs and doors and stairs! He was so confused and, at first, he hardly moved with it on. Then he just decided to let it hit everything in his path. He did have some medication before and after the surgery but after two weeks, he was medication free. I slathered a lot of coconut oil and Vitamin E on the scar to help it heal. Mast cell tumors are the most popular type of tumors in dogs. Thankfully, his was low grade and the vet got clean margins, which was the best possible outcome. There’s nothing we can do to prevent another but because he’s young and, otherwise, in good health, we are hoping for the best! Some dogs have several removed over their lifetimes and live long, happy lives.

Oh, the cone of shame! Bodie and Zeke have both had that cone, but not for anything quite so serious. It's never easy seeing our babies in a situation that is out of our hands, but I'm sure it was a lot easier on him with family in his corner. His Frankenstein scar will forever be a part of his journey. And I'm so happy that the surgery was a success. 

You all live in New York, also known as “The Big Apple,” what do you imagine Carlo's opinion on that nickname to be? And if he could Carlo-ize that nickname, what would he rename it?
  • Well, Carlo has never seen NYC but he’d probably rename it “Sidewalks with the Good Ish” because of all the smells and dropped food and whatever else! His nose would definitely be to the ground the whole time. I don’t think he’d be a fan of the subway though.

Ok! That is the perfect nickname for New York (say that five times fast)! In fact, we think a street somewhere should be named that. Perhaps an alley with a dog treat store?! And a hot dog stand! AND an ice cream stand. Talk about some good 'ish!' 

Tell us about Carlo's adoption!

  • I was looking for a Boston Terrier. LOL. Well, I got one…on steroids. I had actually applied to adopt a BT through a notable rescue. I just happened to be perusing Facebook one night in bed (bad habit, I know) and stumbled upon a picture of Carlo someone had shared. It was love at first sight but then I quickly thought how I should just wait to get a response back from this other rescue. I didn’t want to renege on a promise, if you will. More importantly, I wasn’t finished renovating the house I closed on in February 2017 (it was now May) let alone moved in yet! Later that week, my boyfriend was at the Pierogi Fest (which is totally a thing in Buffalo) and he started sending me photos of the adoptable dogs, including Carlo. I thought this is fate. (By the way, he had no idea I had “saved” this dog’s mug on Facebook.)  I went down to the fest and met Carlo. The next day, I busted him out of the shelter (for a whopping $88!). The house still wasn’t done but it was close enough. I had a couch and Carlo. What else did I need? (In hindsight, an oven. I do not recommend living without one. I overdosed on pizza. It CAN happen.) 

That is hilarious! I bet A LOT of people share similar adoption stories. Do we ever really leave with who we thought we would? We (Mat and I) saw Bodie's picture on the local humane society website. He was all ears, but we were sold (so to speak), and Zeke had a quite literal mugshot on Facebook. Zeke looked so sad, and had been "blue tagged," meaning he was aggressive. I left work that day and stormed the shelter. The next day he was home with us. I swear to you I almost kidnapped him when the workers kept reminding me he was "mean." Long story short: he had an ear infection that no one had bothered looking for, so of course he was sensitive. That first weekend I had both boys myself because Mat was out of town. There was A LOT of snuggling...and pizza. So yes, I know the story of overdosing on pizza all to well! 

Carlo was fate!

We’d like to visit New York one day! Buffalo is considered the top dog friendly city in the U.S. Tell us about some of his favorite places.

  • Most people only know Buffalo for its snow storms and our lackluster sports teams. We certainly have an abundance of both but other cities in New York, like Syracuse and Rochester, often get more snow than we do! Our summers are beautiful and the city has been undergoing a renaissance the last 10 years. Certain areas have really blossomed. There are so many great restaurants. (We’re probably up in there in one of the unhealthiest – read: fattest – cities, I’m sure.) There’s a lot to see and do and the living is cheap! We have definitely started to become more dog-friendly. It’s hard in the winter but we’ve enjoyed hitting up all sorts of patios this summer. Our favorite dog store is Buffalo Barkery, which has a great storefront right on Main Street in downtown Buffalo. They do have an online store, too, and make the BEST cookies (that are delicious and nutritious) so check that out! I literally could not keep up with all the dog-friendly events this summer – or even this month and it’s now October!

Also, tell us about some places you’ve heard of that you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting yet.  
  • Unfortunately, Carlo hasn’t visited anywhere outside of the Western New York region. I love Austin – another great dog friendly city. I haven’t made my way to San Francisco yet but it’s high on the list. I’d love to take Carlo on a mini vaca – like a lake house on the Finger Lakes (which is just a short drive) or visit friends we have in Charleston, South Carolina.

Carlo is running for president in 2020! What does Carlo plan to do once he's in the White House?
  • Haha! His campaign would consist of two main platforms: End breed-specific legislation and end dog fighting. Of course, no president has ever lived up to his word so he would be the first one to do that! ;) And unlimited biodegradable poop bags for everyone!

Yes! Poop bags! Every dog parent, everywhere would be forever grateful. 

You and Carlo take part in all types of events and fundraisers. Can you tell us about some of them? And why it is important to be involved in your community?
  • After adopting a shelter dog, I just couldn’t stay away. We’ve got a great shelter/rescue community in Western New York. I wanted to help contribute in a positive way and let Carlo be the spokesperson in sense. Through our therapy dog work, we are spreading breed positivity:
-        You CAN find your perfect dog in a shelter. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That has never rang more true to me.
-        Shelter dogs are not bad dogs. These dogs wind up there for a number of reasons but mostly because people suck.
-        You can teach an old dog new tricks. Look at Carlo. He has learned so much that he didn’t know when I adopted him.
-        We promote adoption but we don’t judge anyone who purchases a dog. One way or another, dogs need homes and if you can give that dog a loving home, you’re making the world a better place. We DO try to educate on responsible breeding. Dogs like Carlo wind up in shelters because of over-breeding and irresponsible dog ownership. We believe it’s important to neuter or spay your dogs (at the appropriate age) to prevent accidental litters. If you do plan to breed or purchase from a breeder, do some research. Responsible breeders will do a full health assessment, which includes genetic tests to ensure poor characteristics like weak joints don’t get passed down generation to generation.
-        Pit bulls can have bad raps but pit bulls aren’t a breed. America has thrown a bunch of breeds and – more importantly mutts that LOOK like these breeds – under that generic term. It inflates the statistics and increases fear of pit bull-type dogs or bully breeds.

Nothing extra needs to be said here! (couldn't agree more!) Seriously, if 
you're reading this interview, read that again. It is all so important!


We've done a lot of serious talking!

Let's transition to a fun (but serious inquiry): 

Just how big is Carlo's head? Compare it to some everyday objects so we can get some perspective.
  • LOL. (No, really. This made me LOL.) I have never measured but now I want to… This would make for some great Insta posts. You might be onto something here! His head probably best compares to a cantaloupe but I will go home and measure some random household objects.

Cantaloupe. Interesting. I will never be able to un-see that now!

Also: this photo shoot NEEDS to happen! And it needs to span at least a week. 'Carlo's Head vs. Everyday Objects.'

He's a Gemini: According to his star sign, what should Carlo's personality be versus what it actually is? 
  • Wow, he really does fit the personality of a Gemini. His element is air, which makes sense because he hates water. “Gemini are adept at moving from group to group. They're not necessarily seeking out popularity, but thanks to their ease at getting along and connecting with others, popularity comes to them.” Yep, this is Carlo. If he was a human, people would probably think he was two-faced – apparently a common Gemini problem!

The shelter he was adopted from seems to be a very important part of his journey. Can you tell us a little about this specific facility?
  • Carlo is a proud City of Buffalo Animal Shelter alum. We have two local SPCAs that do fairly well. The city shelter is a sad comparison. It is constantly at capacity. The building itself is severely outdated and the yard is about the size of my kitchen – small AF. It is not a glamorous place. The volunteers, however, are AMAZING. They have the most dedicated team. There are so many worthy animal nonprofits but this one just charts the top of our list because we have seen firsthand how much is needed and the amount of love that goes into helping these dogs every day.

Does he have any fur siblings? Tell us about them! If he doesn't, then tell us what you think he envisions his future fur sibling to be like? 
  • We currently do not have any other household animals (we’re not counting the human 7-year-old, right?) but we have recently been approved to foster through Queen City Pitties so stay tuned! It will definitely give us some insight into a potential fur brother or sister.

UPDATE: This interview was completed BEFORE a foster member was added to the family. Everyone HAS to go to Carlo's page now (linked below) to meet HER!

We aren't giving it away here! 

Finish the interview, and then GO!

Carlo is the chef for the night! What is on the menu? 
  • If Carlo was in charge of his own diet, he would hijack the popsicles and ice cream from the freezer every day along with his portioned meals, consisting of ground beef, chicken liver, and veggies. Not my preferred combo but the dude likes what he likes! He’s got the taste buds of an old Italian man, that’s for sure. (I can say that because my grandpa eats the weirdest things together.)
Now for the final portion of the interview! It has been designed specifically for you:
Carlo! We want you to be creative!
Imagine the following:

You’re featured in the encyclopedia under any word or words: What word would you represent? And what would the entry read? Please include the photo that would accompany your entry. 

  • I had to sleep on this one and then it came to me while getting ready for work…drum roll, please…POTATO!
  • Potatoes are versatile. You can fry them, bake them, mash them, distill them…you can even put potatoes on your potatoes! Everyone loves potatoes. They are your starchy best friends who are always there for you through good times and bad.
  • Loyal AF.
  • Potato is also a way of life. 
  • See also: couch potato.
    You heard it here, folks! Carlo is a potato! We think his picture would make encyclopedia history. (And probably sell encyclopedias by the millions worldwide!
NOW! Go to Carlo's page : Carlo_the_Pibble

Unlock all the secrets of his foster sister, AND let him know that you read his interview here! (You can let us know too! We love to see who's a fan of our blog!) 

AND us! : Brothers.Goodboy

**Interested in being interviewed? DM us on IG @ Brothers.Goodboy OR Email Us!**


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