Tag Archives: Cairn Terrier

West Highland Terrier Wednesday goes to the theatre

Dorothy and Toto in Oz with Rainbow

A new London production of the Wizard of Oz has four West Highland Terriers playing the part of Toto. And according to a Daily Mail review, the Westies  are great:

You could, unkindly, call The Wizard of Oz a dog of a show.

The most appealing star of Lord Lloyd Webber’s latest telly-marketing musical is not veteran hoofer Michael Crawford or even Danielle Hope, the dark-haired song thrush who warbled her way to stardom via a BBC talent show. It is Toto the West Highland terrier.

Four Westies have been cast in the role and Toto is rarely offstage as he follows mistress Dorothy high into the heavens in a Kansas tornado, to crashland in lurid Oz.

In the preview performance which I saw, numerous doggy entrances and exits were performed without straying, scratching or so much as a hint of cocked leg. Some very creditable barking was done bang on cue, too.

Sometimes the real dog is supplemented by a stuffed toy whose acting abilities are not entirely distinguishable from those of the Munchkins.

Read more at the Daily Mail. Meanwhile here are Bobby, Razzamatazz, Dazzle and Topper, but don’t ask the Scottie News who’s who.

Four Westies play Toto in the Wizard of Oz

And here’s some video of the stars of the stage rehearsing. Terrier stubbornness is in evidence:

Read Scottie Newscoverage of London’s Last Wizard of Oz show, which also starred a Westie, a casting decision that caused comment controversy:

TOTO should NEVER be played by a WHITE dog!!!!
Even if Westies are really only white CAIRNS. Some of the earlier illustrations of the books did show a Scottie. HOWEVER, later ones show a smaller DARK dog (ok black ink)… and most DECIDEDLY CAIRN!!!

Also in looking at the visuals, a white or even a wheaten Cairn would indeed draw eyes away from the human actors. This is in London and they mean to tell the world that they can’t find a CAIRN in the HOMELAND of Cairns (UK – Scotland) to play a better Toto???? DUMB!!! Try Conundrum Kennels up in Leistershire…. mot excellent and smart Cairns are from that kennes (Crufts winner) as well as Border terriers… even a BORDER would be better than a Westie… good grief! Brits really ARE losing their smarts.

Well, with hindsight, it does indeed seem that the white dogs are drawing attention from the humans.

And finally, here are the original Dorothy and Toto.

Crufts Hotties: Cairn and Norfolk Terriers

When we linked to the Terrierman’s post on not-that-attractive dog showers, we knew it would provoke controversy. Basically, we agree that you shouldn’t make fun of people for their looks except when it’s Madonna or Mickey Rourke or, oh hell, there’s a long list of exceptions. But I guess I figured that in the case of the dog show people, it was okay because they place such an emphasis on dogs’ looks and so much damage has been done by that practice.

In all fairness, though, there are some dog show hotties and, they seem to be the ones who resemble their dogs. Not to mention that the Terrierman approves of Cairns.

Is Lola a Bushland Terrier aka Cairn Scottie mix?

A reader writes:

I just came across your post about Lorna Doone the Bushland Terrier. I already sent pictures to her owner, but you said you’d like to see them too, so here goes…
I have just recently realized that my dog Lola is almost certainly a Bushland. She’d been picked up as a stray before I adopted her from a shelter at about 3 years of age, so any clues as to her parentage were long gone. I wavered between Scottie mix and Cairn mix until I came across some poor-quality pictures of Bushlands on dogbreedinfo and realized, Duh! She could be both! The much better pictures of Lorna only serve to confirm my suspicions–the only major difference between them that I can see is that Lorna’s legs look a bit shorter than Lola’s in the picture where she’s pawing at the fish tank. The big round eyes are exactly the same, though I must say I think Lola got more of the Scottie ears!

Thanks for letting me share–as you can see, I’m a bit gaga over her.

The Scottish Terrier and Dog News agrees that Lola looks like she’s a good part Scottie, but we think she’s too leggy to be only Scottie and Cairn. Also, we’re not entirely sure about those eyes, which don’t look totally terrierish to us.

What does everyone else think?

Seeking information on Bushland Terriers

We have to admit that when we first heard the term Bushland Terrier, we thought of some kind of scrawny Jack Russel type dog from the African veldt, but, no, it turns out that a Bushland Terrier is a cross between a Scottish Terrier and a Cairn, so named because it is said to have originated in Australia.

One of our readers wrote that as the proud owner of a new Bushland puppy, she’s looking for photos of an adult dog.

You can see the puppy at Saralyn’s blog. We’d love to see adult Bushland Terrier photos too, so if you have them, please let us know.

You can read about other Scottish Terrier mixes by clicking on the designer dog label below.

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.