Friday, April 13, 2018

Dear Abby - Famous Movie Dogs: Toto from The Wizard of Oz

Dear Friends,

I'm back to continue our chat about movie dogs.   This week my post is all about Toto, the cute little terrier dog from The Wizard of Oz.  This is one of my Momma's favorite lifelong movies, so I have seen it many times with her.

Toto was a female Cairn terrier.  She was born during the Great Depression in 1933.  Her original owners were a young couple who did not train her properly.  She had potty accidents and they looked for another home for her.  (Momma said that sadly this happens a lot in rescue.)  They found Carl Spitz, a famous dog trainer.  He worked training  Terry and found she was very smart.  That is how her movie career began!  Her movies included Bright Eyes (with Shirley Temple), The Women, and Tortilla Flat

Of course, Terry's most famous movie was The Wizard of Oz.  She was seriously injured during the filming of this movie when one of the palace guards stepped on her and broke her foot.  She went to stay at Judy Garland's home to recuperate, and they developed such a strong bond that Judy wanted to adopt her.  (Terry's person, Carl Spitz, said no.)

A little more trivia about Terry in The Wizard of Oz:

She was afraid of the wind machines used in the movie.

Terry made $125 a week - more than the Munchkins!

She attended the movie premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  

After this movie, Terry changed her name to Toto officially.

She passed away in 1945 and was buried at Carl Spitz's ranch.  Her grave was destroyed when the Ventura Freeway was built, but she now has a memorial at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

There is a book about Terry called I, Toto:  The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was Toto by Willard Carroll.  My Momma has a copy of this book here, but she has not read it (yet!).

Here is a little short video about Terry as Toto.  It is narrated by Angela Lansbury.  I enjoyed it and think you might like it too.

I would love to hear your Wizard of Oz memories!  Did you grow up watching this movie?


Abby xoxoxo