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Not 'Toto' - I can just hear it


Toto-lee Cairn
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NOT 'Toto?!'  I can just hear it. 

But, what you may assume is a lack of creativity, is actually homage to something -- several somethings -- since my childhood, (which was difficult).  I saw The Wizard of Oz, on tv as a girl, and fell in love with Dorothy, her feisty, loyal little companion, Toto, the song Judy Garland sang -- Somewhere Over the Rainbow -- and all things associated with the storyline.  NO, my house is not decorated with all things Wizard of Oz.  Imagine my delight, as an  adult, when I discovered Dorothy's dog was an actual breed, a Cairn. My first experience with the breed was a 10-year-old rescue obtained from a Cairn Rescue group. He had been named 'Toto'* by the gentleman who had owned him, and left him an orphan.

So, 'Toto' has special meaning to me.

I did a lot of research, when I purchased a Cairn puppy this time around.  I lost my first this past month, and I suppose my poor husband was tired of the crying myself to sleep. I liked any number of Scottish names, including Brodie (brother), Cothram (chance), MacBeth (son of Beth) but too, too negative, given Shakespeare's MacBeth killed his King, and lastly Murdoch, which was perfect for us -- of the sea.  My husband and I are coastal North Carolinians, transplanted to the Triangle, mid-state.  My husband's predilection, however, is for Weimaraners, and he has a Weemie rescue (his 5th since introduced to them as a little boy).  Given my dog's brother's name is Rupert, I didn't see how we could stand out in the yard, calling, "Here, Rupert! Here, Murdoch!"  Perhaps if I registered 'Toto,' he would be Murdoch on paper.  I really like the name.

But my going-on-16-week-old 'Toto' is my very own, and I am holding-out that together, we'll find that somewhere over the rainbow. 

* The rescue group changed his name from his original owner's choice of Toto, to a Scottish one, too.  But I called him -- can you guess? -- Toto!

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  • bradl changed the title to Not 'Toto' - I can just hear it
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Thank you all for your kind messages.  It wasn't until this morning, when a message showed up in my email, that I was finally able to get my password changed, and log in again.  I used to never save passwords, of any kind, and now I save ones like this.

WHAT a ride!  Much like a roller coaster, with its ups and downs, but a lot of fun.  Thank heavens for the fun, or I'd have lost my mind.

When I got Toto, as a puppy, I was full of myself.  Having adopted my first Cairn, I puffed my chest out, and thought, and bragged to others, I GOT this.  NO, I didn't.  He will be 3 in May, and he can still do things that utterly exasperate me.  I do find comfort in others sharing their issues.  And I am so attached to the little stinker.  My issue is -- wait for it -- housebreaking.  Thank goodness I am retired, home most of the time, and have a loving, supportive, and helpful husband.  I often find myself telling Toto that if he wasn't so cussed cute, and I wasn't so attached to him, I could find him a home.  I don't even throw-in a 'good' one.

I have finally accepted that in spite of his following me foot-for-foot around the house, he can 'disappear' in a split second, and go pee somewhere.  I have even had him squat, and pee, with me standing beside him.  He got 'pissed-off' with something George, my spouse, did, and peed on his foot.

And the only way I can find peace of mind, is to keep him on a tight schedule, and give him NO latitude to pee in the house.  I have to, because once he does it, the 85 lb. Weimaraner thinks he can too.  Fortunately, he has a crate, brother has a crate , and I can secure him, or them both, in a decent-sized tile-floored laundry room, when I can't do just Toto 'things.'  I can see him from the kitchen, and as long as I talk to him, he is fairly content watching me.  I also have a screened-in porch, and deck, where I can give him outdoor time, and supervise what he's up to.  He loves watching the yard, barking at the squirrels, or raising hell with the deer that wander through (and I don't have neighbors, thank god, that complain).  I feel he is fairly content, and well-adjusted, because when I am 100% free, it is 100% TOTO TIME, and we do, together, what he loves -- ball-playing (until my arm hurts), being in the yard together (he even lets me flower-garden to some extent), playing in the hose, or putting on a leash, and going for a walk.

When he is exhausted, and I am tired, we can come indoors and have lap time.  Just recently, I can have him on the bed with me, and he settles at the foot, looks out the large windows, maybe chews on his 'bone,' and we can even nap.

So, LIFE is GOOD.  And like someone else put it, here on the Forum, he is the best little buddy I have.

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some cairns never do become totally reliable. it is not a sign of failure for either dog or owner. there can be medical explanations (sometimes having to do with a less-than-optimal neutering surgery). I should think that for owner peace of mind, a wardrobe of cute pants may be the answer?

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  • 3 months later...

I see that this is an old thread, so certainly the original poster has named that little Cairn ... but if you're looking for a good Scottish name, go ahead and name that puppy MacBeth.  The real-life MacBeth was actually a good king who ruled Scotland well, encouraged communication between clans, and made laws to protect widows and orphans.  Or, if that doesn't convince you, name him MacDuff after the not-born-of-woman warrior who killed MacB in the end.  Shakespeare changed his story and made MacBeth into a villain, but history doesn't bear him out. 

Just FYI:  Willie Shakes did this stuff all the time.  For example, he based Romeo and Juliet on an old Italian poem about two youngsters who rashly rushed in to a marriage, but the tone of that poem is quite different; it comes out sounding like "and those stinking kids got what they deserved", whereas Shakespeare makes us feel sympathetic towards the young lovers. 

By the way, I teach British literature.

Anyway, the Cairn I loved as a teen was named Bruce ... for Robert the Bruce. 

I'm thinking my new Cairn might be Dougal MacDogg.  Dougal being an excellent Scottish name.  He may be Dougal MacDogg, Gentleman Bastard (for a great series I'm reading right now -- nothing to do with the Scots though). 

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It is an old-er thread, CloverDragons, but ironically, the topic of my little Cairn's name came up earlier as my husband and I were sharing our morning coffee.  No regrets, no re-thinking it -- he is still Toto.  As un-original as it is, it is still special to me, and this little fellow has, much to my delight, been 'Toto' in every sense.  Well, almost.  I think he would hide behind me should we encounter the Wicked Witch  He is such a little chicken, and has done some of the funniest things in his earnest endeavor ro appear b-a-d.

 

Thank you for your response.  I, too, am an English teacher -- retired, high school.  I loved teaching British Lit and had quite a lot of fun doing it for almost 30 years.  British Lit was a SR level class, and I loved my Seniors (well, until after Christmas when they were so 'graduation-oriented' until they became quite impossible).  I also love Shakespeare, and was familiar with the more accurate account of MacBeth who was also king for a number of years.

 

Your Cairns' names are very clever!

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Toto-lee, we have a lot in common!  I'm going to finish this school year, then teach one more and I'll also be a retired high school teacher.  Yes, Brit Lit is a senior level class in my state too. 

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