Actually, the real thing was called TOTO, TOtable Tornado Observatory. They apparently didn't work (they couldn't position it properly, the best try just blew it over instead of picking it up) and were retired in 1987, according to Wikipedia. It was, however, named after the little dog.
Damage to the pad isn't good, obviously, but I'd rather damage happen to the pad than the shuttle. Damage to the landing pad can be fixed a LOT easier than damage to the shuttle, and there's little to no risk to human life. NASA can inspect the pad to its heart's content (and the public's too) to make sure there's no risk. I wonder if the testing platforms at Stennis Space Center, or others, have any similar damage, since they've vested (supposedly) every engine that eventually goes into space. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Stennis_Space_Center http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_engine_test_facility