"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Toto was actually paid more than many Americans were during that period, which happened to be the Great Depression. Only the main cast in "The Wizard of Oz" of Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Berth Lar, and Jack Haley received a bigger salary than Terry, the canine actor that played Toto.
For her work, Terry was paid $125 per week — That's more than the Munchkins received!
What kind of dog was Toto or 'Terry'?
Toto is described to be very small in size, with long silky black hair and big black eyes that twinkle merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. In most illustrations, Toto is usually drawn to be a Yorkshire or Cairn Terrier.
He is a very well behaved dog, at least for one living on a farm, and in the sequel Oz books, author L. Frank Baum says Toto chases all the chickens around the Kansas farm for fun. He is always portrayed as a genuine and friendly pet — most of the time — and always stays loyal and true to his little mistress Dorothy, whom he loves dearly.
What about the dog that played Toto?
The Vintage News confirmed the canine actor, 'Terry' was cast because of her previous experience on camera:
"Yet, there's one charming little Cairn Terrier and the stardom she obtained is considered the gold standard for animals on screen. Terry, the dog who walked an actual golden road (well, yellow brick road) on screen, got a salary bigger than most members of the human cast that performed alongside her in The Wizard of Oz.
"Before being cast in Viktor Fleming's 1939 musical film adaptation of the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,Terry was already a movie star. Born during the Great Depression, her first ever film appearance was in Ready for Love. This was released on November 30, 1934, no more than a month before her first major film appearance with Shirley Temple in 1934's Bright Eyes as the dog Rags."
Where is Toto from 'The Wizard of Oz' buried?
The Vintage News tells us in her last film, Tortilla Flat (1942), she was reunited with Oz director Victor Fleming, and with Frank Morgan who had played the Wizard. Three years later, she died at the age of 11.
Carl Spitz buried her on his estate in Studio City, California. However, the construction of the Ventura Freeway in 1958 destroyed her gravesite. Years later, on June 18, 2011, a permanent memorial for Terry was dedicated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
This beautiful female Cairn Terrier stole the show from the beginning! The way Terry watched Judy Garland sing 'Over the Rainbow' sold the director and the rest is history. The Cowardly lion, the scarecrow, the tin man, the wicked witch of the west and even Dorothy weren't as beloved as Toto!
The only other dog quite as famous as Toto might be Lassie.
Do you know anyone that lives with a Cairn Terrier? Let us know what characteristics you love about this breed!
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