Here is some background information on some of the animals featured in Studios on the Park’s “Raining Cats & Dogs” exhibit:

Though the pug has Chinese origins, the breed was made popular by the House of Orange in the Netherlands and the House of Stuart of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The breed has won best in show at Westminster and the World Dog Show once apiece. Originally, pugs were bred as pets of Chinese sovereigns in the Shang dynasty (pre-400 BCE). Merchants of the Dutch East India Company imported pugs during the 16th and 17th centuries, leading to the breed becoming the official dog of the House of Orange. Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Josephine, used her pet pug, Fortune, to carry hidden messages to her family while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes.

In the 19th century, bull terriers were bred as vermin control. The breed was also often sent into the pits to fight other animals. However, bull terriers were referred to as the “White Cavalier,” referencing the fact that the breed never sought out a fight, but was well capable of finishing one.

The cairn terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds and one of Scotland’s oldest working breeds, having been used to hunt and burrow prey. In Ireland, they hunted rats in cairns (large piles of rocks). The breed received its named after it was first brought to dog shows in the United Kingdom, originally under the name shorthaired Skye terrier. The dog that played Toto in the 1939 Wizard of Oz, was a cairn terrier named Terry and there have been efforts to make the breed the official dog of the state of Kansas.

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