As we all know from the classic line in the Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.” Unfortunately for the film’s beloved pooch, Toto’s own puppyhood home was bulldozed by the state of California in 1958 in order to build the Ventura Freeway.
Many years later, concerned that there was nowhere to commemorate the celebrity pup, some fans got together and launched an online campaign to build a memorial for Toto in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Before being immortalized as Dorothy’s “little dog too,” the beloved terrier (whose real name was Terry, and who was actually female) grew up on the ranch of Hollywood dog trainer Carl Spitz, in the San Fernando Valley in the 1930s. It was there Toto was buried at the time of his death in 1945. But a decade later, the state of California came a-knocking: The property was demolished, including Toto’s gravesite.
The memorial campaign raised donations from some one thousand people via the memorial’s Facebook page. Artist Roman Gal sculpted a life-size statue of Toto. And Hollywood Forever Cemetery built a monument and supplied a special plot where the character can be remembered.
The memorial was dedicated one June 18th, 201l. Robert Baum, the great grandson of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, even attended to pay his respects to the canine movie star. The crowd at the dedication sang a rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Know Before You Go
You can drive your car right up to the memorial. It's located in the eastern portion of the cemetery right next to Mickey Rooney's crypt.