The casting of the original Toto

Since we have kind of a movie theme going on here today at the Scottish Terrier and Dog News, here’s a great story about how the Cairn who starred opposite Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz won her role and beat out a whole bunch of Scottie contenders:

Numerous dogs, most purebred Scottish terriers, were brought in to impress Oz producer Mervyn LeRoy, but he wouldnt bite. He felt the dogs didnt look enough like Denslows drawings. The tale of the tireless search for Toto was even picked by the entertainment newspaper Daily Variety and thats where dog trainer Carl Spitz first saw the article. After examining Denslows illustrations, he knew the dog the artist had drawn was a Cairn terrier and he just happened to have one named Terry.

Spitz rushed right down to the studio and he was greeted like royalty, or at least Terry was. As Spitz came into the studio, with Terry trotting along at his side, people connected with the Oz film started yelling, “Theres the dog! We found Toto.” Terry was a five-year-old female. Toto was supposed to be a male. But, of course, thats what acting is all about.