Americans are talking about pets with this week’s release of Dr. Seuss’s new What Pet Should I Get? At OurValues, we’re exploring values related to animals. We are highlighting eight animals that have been world famous. We also are drawing on insights from two leading advocates of animal welfare with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” was rated one of the most memorable lines ever spoken in a movie by the American Film Institute. That line from the MGM movie captures the indelible bond between the spunky little Cairn Terrier and the increasingly courageous girl from Kansas.
“Toto is Dorothy’s protector and companion,” says Reasa Currier, an interfaith activist with HSUS (profiled this week in ReadTheSpirit magazine). “Toto even goes through the tornado with her! You really see how animals stand by you through thick and thin.”
In fact, Dorothy winds up being caught by the tornado and travels to Oz because of Toto’s actions. The brave little dog consistently opens up new truths for Dorothy—including Toto’s famous unveiling of the Wizard as a little old man trying to hide behind a curtain. (Before Oz fans email us about the finer points: We know some fans debate Toto’s breed in the novels, but Toto was a Cairn Terrier in the MGM movie.)
What role has Toto played in your life—or perhaps a dog like Toto? Ask your friends about Toto, too!
The brave collie turns 75 this year. Current Lassies visited the TV-network morning shows this spring to mark the milestone. In 1940, journalist and screenwriter Eric Knight published the landmark novel Lassie Come Home.
The story was such an immediate hit that it resulted in 11 movies, two radio series, a two-decade-long TV series and countless other appearances of Lassie. A search for Lassie on Amazon turns up 20 pages of movies, TV shows on DVD, novels, picture books and other media.
“Lassie and Toto both exemplify the strength of the human-animal bond,” says Bernard Unti, HSUS’s Senior Policy Advisor and expert on worldwide initiatives for animal welfare.
What role has Lassie played in your life?
TALK WITH FRIENDS …
There’s so much to think about, this week, as millions of people are talk about pets! Come back through Friday, this week, for more OurValues columns about famous animals from around the world.