Monday, March 03, 2014

Dog of the Geek Finale: Toto!

totoBreed: Terrier (depending on the interpretation, either a Cairn Terrier or Yorkshire Terrier; in some of the Oz books, he's a Boston Terrier)

Original Appearances: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1900

Other Appearances: The other Oz books Tik-Tok of Oz, The Lost Princess of Oz, The Road to Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Grampa in Oz, The Magical Mimics in Oz; The movies The Wizard of Oz and Return to Oz; also in the Wizard of Oz cartoon, as well as other appearances.

Biography: Toto is the pet dog of Dorothy Gale, and is swept up with her in the tornado that brings Dorothy to Oz for the first time. He returns to Oz with Dorothy several more times. He is devoted to Dorothy, but does have a tendency to misbehave at times (this is what gets him in trouble in Kansas).

Powers: None originally, but it's later revealed in the books that he's capable of speech, no doubt due to his time in Oz.

Group Affiliation: The Gale household of Kansas.

Miscellaneous: In the MGM film The Wizard of Oz, Toto was played by a female brindle Cairn Terrier named Terry, and was paid $125 a week. After the popularity of the film, her trainer changed her name to Toto, and she appeared in 13 different films. When Terry died in 1945, she was buried at Carl Spitz' ranch in Studio City, CA, but in 1958 her resting place was destroyed by construction of the Ventura Freeway. In 2011 a permanent memorial for Terry was dedicated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

And with this installment, thus ends “Dog of the Geek.” I'd originally had a few more dogs on the list, but they were getting ridiculously obscure. Next time around on the schedule, this feature will be replaced by “Ape of the Geek,” which will follow a similar format, but with simians instead of canines!

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