Kansas State Rep. Ed Trimmer is moving to correct a serious lapse in the state arrays of official insects, songs, and animals. He has a bill to proclaim the Cairn Terrier — the breed of Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” — the state dog.
Trimmer appears to be listening to Brenda Moore of the South Central Kennel Club and for good reason. Moore is the “Obedience chairwoman” of the club and wants the breed officially adopted. She is quoted as saying “I’ve lived in Kansas all my life. I am a middle-aged woman and would like to say I’ve done something great for my state before I am dead and gone.”
Moore went to Trimmer no doubt because of his Terrier like tenacity and his Cairn-like beard. He will also likely receive the support of those dogged and shadowy powerbrokers over at the Cairn Terrior Club of America. The CTCA is not shy about heralding the noble features of the dog, including its ability to kill rats and other vermin (an added plus for some Kansan farmers):
Over 200 years ago, on the ancient Isle of Skye and in the Scottish Highlands, the ancestors of today’s Cairn Terrier earned their keep routing vermin from the rock piles (called cairns) commonly found on Scottish farmland. . . . The Cairn (the last to be formally named) remained the closest to the original small working terrier, bolting the fox, otter and weasel, sharing the meager fare of the crofter’s household.
Trimmer’s Toto bill is House Bill No. 251 and will now go to House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. However, this will not be a pushover like the recent bill declaring Little Bluestem to be the the official state grass.
Trimmer will have to overcome the expected opposition from the State Rep. Almira Gulch from the Western part of the state: