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Red Carpet Rovers: Toto in The Wizard of Oz

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Toto will be forever remembered by film fans in The Wizard of Oz. Decades after crossing the Rainbow Bridge, the little dog who traveled over the rainbow continues to be a prominent part of our culture.

Is Toto a Male or Female?

The character Toto was a male dog–but he was portrayed by a female dog named Terry!

What Breed is Toto?

Toto is a Cairn Terrier.

Is Toto the State Dog of Kansas?

Well, only in our hearts.

In tribute to her portrayal of Toto, in 2012 Kansas state Representative Ed Trimmer introduced House Bill No. 251 to make the Cairn Terrier the state dog of Kansas. If it had passed, Kansas would become the 12th state to have an official state dog– the others being Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Sadly, the bill did not pass.

What dog portrayed Toto?

Before the world fell in love with her portrayal of Toto, Terry won the heart of her co-star, Judy Garland. The pair bonded during the Cairn Terrier’s two-week stay in the Garland household, reportedly prompting the movie legend to ask trainer Carl Spitz if she could adopt Terry.  (Terry remained in Carl Spitz’s care.)

The dog’s skills earned her a salary of $125 a week (an impressive amount in the 1930s) during the production of The Wizard of Oz.

A pro among pooches, over the course of her career Terry shared the screen with such movie giants as Spencer Tracy (in the drama Fury), Shirley Temple (in the family-friendly flick Bright Eyes) and Joan Crawford (a cameo role in the classic comedy The Women).

Terry’s memory lives on in the pages of I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog who was Toto, a chronicle of the canine’s life which was discovered in a leather-bound scrapbook at the celebrity Spot’s original burial site.

Where is Toto Buried?

Photo: Donmike10, Wikipedia; This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Passing away at age 11, Terry was originally laid to rest in the back yard of her trainer, Carl Spitz.

However, the development of the Ventura highway destroyed the pup’s plot. Fans of the terrier rallied, however, and got her a marker at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where a full-size bronze sculpture of the showbiz Spot stands on a granite base.

A memorial marker was unveiled in 2011 for the tiny Cairn Terrier who followed the Yellow Brick Road straight into the collective heart of  fans of dogs in films.

Dogged determination on the part of J.P. Myers, author Steve Goldstein and the followers of the Toto Canine Movie Star Memorial Marker Facebook page paid off when a permanent place to pay respects to Toto on June 18, 2011.  The full-size bronze sculpture was created by Roman Gal, and stands on a granite base.