Timmy – a dog on the go for INTERSCHUTZ
Wherever he goes, he takes people’s hearts by storm. Indeed, border collie Timmy and INTERSCHUTZ have a special relationship. Since 2014, Timmy has been the mascot and ambassador for the trade fair. And because he is so popular, he is now also available as a stuffed animal. Timmy’s master is Christian Lang, a firefighter from Hanover, who translted for Timmy during the following interview.27 Nov. 2019
Timmy, it’s great you’re so committed to INTERSCHUTZ. We call you "our mascot". Is that all right with you?
Of course! That’s who I am – a genuine mascot, and I’m happy I can do my part for INTERSCHUTZ. I keep hearing my master say my role has something to do with "emotions", whatever that means.
How and where do you go on the road for INTERSCHUTZ?
I go wherever people might be interested in INTERSCHUTZ, for example at events revolving around topics covered at the show. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be going on a tour across Germany in 2020 to visit fire brigades and emergency aid organizations and invite them to attend INTERSCHUTZ. We call it "Timmy on Tour", and my tail is wagging already.
Tell us briefly how it all started.
It all started in 2014, during the run-up to INTERSCHUTZ 2015. My master was already working for INTERSCHUTZ at that time. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but he told me the idea came to him while we were taking our nightly walk.
He had this idea of conveying the spirit of INTERSCHUTZ in the form of a living mascot whose eyes and presence could spread the vibe with people. So that’s how we did it, and he posted everything on Facebook. And somehow a lot of people embraced the idea.
You’re not a rescue dog in the true sense of the word, so please describe yourself in your own words. What kind of dog are you and what do you do when you’re not on the road for INTERSCHUTZ?
Yes, that's right; I’m not actually a trained rescue dog, even if everyone says I have talent for it. But my master said it would be great to give me a name that went along with INTERSCHUTZ.
I’m actually a border collie, which is a British herding dog. My breed was originally created for sheep herding. But I’m happy taking on all kinds of tasks. I just enjoy working. With my master, I do agility, i.e. canine sports. It’s an obstacle course I enjoy and spend a lot of time with.
And let’s be honest: Everyone wants to pet you or play with you. Does that get on your nerves? When does it all become too much for you?
Oh, how should I put it? I like to play and I like to be petted. At a fair, it’s kind of exhausting, naturally. So many people, so many noises and smells and so many things I have to watch out for. At night I’m always exhausted and sleep like a puppy. I think it’s great when people ask me beforehand whether I want to be petted, and then it’s no problem. I just want to be allowed to decide for myself. But I think that’s okay. Who wants to be touched without being asked first?
Recently they came out with a stuffed-animal version of you. How do you like the cuddly Timmy?
I think cuddly Timmy is great. I know it took a long time until the toy was developed. I found out it’s not all that easy to create a toy version of a living being, but it has become a success. I think it’s wonderful I’ll soon be right at home in people’s living rooms and children’s bedrooms.
But what I really like is that the sale of the stuffed animals is also for a good cause, because part of the proceeds are being donated.
What are you most looking forward to at INTERSCHUTZ 2020?
Hmm, that’s a good question, and one I can’t answer all that easily. INTERSCHUTZ is simply something special, because so many great people will be there and everyone is going to be in a good mood. I look forward to seeing old friends who have known me since the last INTERSCHUTZ, and who follow me on Facebook.
And of course I’m excited about getting to know lots of new people. It’s great when people recognize me at INTERSCHUTZ and can see I’m not just an Internet phenomenon. Of course, there are a lot of new technical things and trucks to see, but I have to be honest: I don’t really know much about all that stuff. But I do look forward to at least trying things out.
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