For my ninth birthday, my parents gave me a wheaten (sandy blond) Cairn Terrier puppy. The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie at the time, and since Toto was played by a black Cairn Terrier, I creatively named my puppy Sandy Toto. Like the Toto he was named after, he was a good friend and playmate to a very lonely little girl. I always joked that the two of us were puppies together.
Yesterday, two months before what would have been his eighteenth birthday, Sandy went to sleep while my mother was holding him and didn’t wake up.
He was a lionhearted, tough little dog who stayed healthy and active long into his elderly years, but old age seemed to catch up with him all at once after his longtime friend and loyal henchdog Buddy died. He puttered around the house, soldiering on through his arthritis and cataracts as best he could for another three years, but he was very tired, and when he was ready he went on his own terms.
If dogs go to heaven like they should, then he’s teaming up with his friend Buddy again, running around keeping all the birds and squirrels out of his Heavenly yard just like old times.
27 February 1999 – 28 December 2016
“Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.”
-L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz