Australia

‘Australia’s First Dog’: Toto Albanese makes her Twitter debut

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a campaign trail features no shortage of candidates greeting a furry friend, baby or a small child.
But it seems we’re about to see a whole lot more of new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s dog Toto, with the female cavoodle making her anthropomorphic debut on Twitter via the account ‘Toto Albanese, Australia’s 1st Dog’ on Tuesday.

“Hello Australia! Dad thought it’d be a furry good idea to get me a Twitter account so here I am! Woof!” the account’s opening tweet read.

The admin who runs the account landed somewhere between a human voice and a dog voice, but Twitter didn’t seem to mind with the account racking up four thousand followers in a matter of hours.
The Feed contacted the owner of the Twitter account and confirmed it was just a fan and not someone from Mr Albanese’s office – though some on Twitter seem to think it’s the latter.

Dylan, a 20-year-old law student from Brisbane is behind the account, creating the page because: “I just like the dog”.

So far, the account’s content includes retweets and shares from other accounts spotting the dog.

“Toto Albanese: Minister for Good Boys,” read one retweet, which featured a picture of Toto sporting his signature campaign look of a red ‘Albo 2022’ neck scarf.

A man stands with a dog running in the background on grass.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after emerging from isolation on 29 April 2022. Credit: Twitter/@AlboMP

Toto joined Prime Minister Anthony Albanese several times during the campaign trail. When the Labor leader contracted COVID-19, Mr Albanese often thanked Toto his “iso companion” for keeping him company. When he emerged from isolation, the first photos of a recovered Mr Albanese captured him walking his dog while holding a bag of fresh droppings.

Last year, Mr Albanese spoke of his attachment to Toto.
“I definitely feel better for all the time I spend with Toto, ” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“She’s loving, she’s loyal, she’s great company, and she’s always so happy to see me.”
Former prime minister Scott Morrison also had a family dog, a black schnoodle called Buddy. The schnoodle did not have a Twitter account, which seems to make this a first for Australia’s ‘First’ pets.

It’s not the first in the world though, with former US president Barack Obama’s administration running an account for his dog, Bo. Bo, a black and white Portuguese Water Dog, died last year, aged 12.

Man smiles with dog.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison with his dog, Buddy. Credit: Facebook/ Scott Morrison

In 2019, former US president Donald Trump caused an upset when he became the first leader of the country in more than a century to move into the White House without a canine friend.

In an interview about her album the same year, singer Barbra Streisand asked how it could be so.

“How does the president not have a dog?” she asked, incredulously. “He’s the first president in 120 years that doesn’t have a dog in the White House.”

A screenshot of some text.

A screenshot of the Obama dog Twitter account which is followed by former US president Barack Obama.

Answering the question that perturbed Ms Streisand, Mr Trump said while he had been told it would look good politically, he felt like a “phony” getting a dog he did not have time for.

The response to Toto’s arrival on Twitter has been mixed.

One person under the tweet said: “Great idea for an account but please, please, please, for love of dog: Toto’s ‘dad’ was another dog. Albo is several things to Toto, but ‘dad’ ain’t one of them.”

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