Yorkshire Terrier Dog Names in Pop Culture
Toto was originally an animated character. He appears as a drawing in Baum's first work in the series The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, Toto only resembled a small Yorkshire Terrier. (He was illustrated by W. W. Denslow who himself owned a Yorkie.) He is chiefly Dorothy's dog, never really occupying any place except that of a companion to Dorothy. One special thing about Toto is the fact that, while other animals who entered Oz gained the ability to speak, Toto never acquired this capability. However, in one sequel to Baum's original work, Tik-Tok of Oz, it is revealed that Toto has had the ability to talk all along, he just chooses not to do so.
Again, Toto was not initially named as a Yorkshire, but Baum described him as a "little black dog with silky long hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose." Some experts argue that Toto is a Cairn Terrier while others hold to the idea that he is a Yorkshire Terrier. At this point in the early twentieth century, the Yorkshire Terrier was immensely popular and W.W. Denslow's illustration favors the Yorkie much more than the Cairn Terrier. Of course, Toto was played by a female Cairn Terrier in the 1939 original film.
Toto remained a popular fixture in American culture. Later books by differing authors featured Toto as the lead character. Chris Dulabone wrote a book called Toto in Oz in 1986, and Gina Wickwar penned Toto of Oz in 2006. As he visits Oz, Toto seeks out the good witch Glinda with a wish for a title. Toto falls in love over the course of the tale, and he returns to the Emerald City to relinquish the title he so badly desired. Of course, Toto as he is portrayed in The Wizard of Oz book is the most popular Yorkie with the name Toto. Many owners "borrowed" the name over the years, however.