TPOC (Therapeutic Paws of Canada) Cairn Terrier Robin Goes to Oz

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When our three-year-old Cairn Terrier Robin was chosen to play Toto in a local production of The Wizard of Oz, he had less than a month to learn his role. Robin is certified with Therapeutic Paws of Canada and works with both seniors and school children, but playing Toto was something completely different. A lot of the action on stage could be quite scary and overwhelming for a little dog.

Definitely Robin's favourite scene was stealing a sausage from Professor Marvel. He had been taught to ignore food in his TPOC "Paws to Read" test, but it didn't take him long at all to learn he had permission to eat the sausage! It wasn't possible to include a live dog in some of the big dance numbers, so I made a Toto "understuffy" which is shown with Robin in the attached picture.

By closing night Robin had found his courage, and this is what co-producer Alison McIvor had to say about him: "From my point of view, I would like to say how impressed I was with Robin's intelligence and how, by the final performance, he knew exactly where he had to be on stage and what he was doing. He added so much to every scene he was in, although he is a bit of a scene stealer!!

Colleen Rutherford Archer
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