Farewell to the Best Little Pal in the World

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.


Sandy Toto

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


13 thoughts on “Farewell to the Best Little Pal in the World

  1. Sara, this is from the blog “I’m Gonna Tell Mom” and I’ve sent it to many people in the loss of their beloved pet.

    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog and I will become as generous and loving as they are. Anonymous,”

  2. OH, I have such a hard time with these life happenings. Mine or yours! Sandy Toto was beautiful! That quote is wonderful, Surly I must have almost all dog heart by now………….

  3. Actually, I don’t “Like” this post; rather, I “Sad” this post. What a sweet canine companion you had. How blessed you were for his long life. How painful it is, that even a “long” life for a dear dog (or cat, or horse, or sheep, or whatever) is not – is never- long enough.

    One of our neighbours just lost their 11-year old Great Pyrenees (a phenomenal age for a Pyr). I was able to cry with her and give her a real hug. All I can give you is a virtual one, but here goes. {Hugs}

    And *of course* Sandy Toto is in Heaven. Unlike we humans (who don’t often deserve the nomenclature “sapiens” and far too often don’t deserve to be called “kind” or “deserving”, or “good”), dogs are without sin. God knew what He was doing when He gave us dogs to be our wonderful, loyal companions. Sandy Toto and Buddy are on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, enjoying each other’s company. And they will be there for you.

  4. Dear Sarah,
    Sweet dog. On his own terms and in loving arms, in the best way possible, to cross to a new Being. Hugs to you…

  5. How lucky and what a blessing to have had his companionship for so long, but I know there is still is a hole in your heart. What a little trooper who left us in the best way possible, asleep in loving arms.

  6. I grew up with Cairns too, a wheaten girl and a dark grey boy. They are such a lovely, bright-eyed, opinionated breed, and between them they taught me a lot about being a good dog owner and the pleasures of the company of a good dog. Run free Sandy Toto!

  7. Sorry for your loss . I have a cairn terrier named Otis he’s a Wheaten or so they say, one thing about them they change colors and a blink of an eye.
    I am retired 66, Recently lost my husband , so my daughter wanted to get me a dog, and I did want this breed; and let me tell you Otis it’s a wonderful companion even at five months . I love him dearly and I can’t picture my life without him . Again I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Cairn Terriers are wonderful friends. They really are the best little dogs. I wish you and Otis to have as many good years together as I had with Sandy.

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