Maltese and Yorkies have been favorites of celebrities and stars – even royalty – for centuries. Queen Elizabeth I had a Maltese in the 1500s, and Yorkies were on trend in Victorian England. Now, their offspring, Morkies, are finding favor with today’s rich and famous.
Who Doesn’t Love a Morkie?
Britney Spears, an avowed animal lover, has always taken comfort in her pets.
So how perfect is it that she’s had a Yorkie, a Maltese – AND NOW HAS A MORKIE!
Here’s the superstar with her little Maltese, Bit Bit who has always been her great consolation and joy, through divorces, meltdowns and scalp shaving! It’s reported that Britney has a Chihuahua, a Maltese, 3 Yorkies and now a MORKIE.
So far, paparazzi are identifying Britney’s new dog simply as a “Yorkie mix.”
World famous rapper and Toronto sun Drake is pictured here with his new Morkie; in the other picture, he is seen with his massive “American Bully” called Winter, at Langdon Hall outside of the city.
No word on how the two dogs get along.
Jessie Tyler Ferguson
Jessie has been a Morkie fan since he got Leaf in 2010. Since then, he’s appeared as a spokesperson for Purina ONE’s adoption program.
Ferguson with husband Justin Mikita, pictured in front of their new home with Leaf and Sam.
The legendary rocker brought his little guys Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to “Late Night with Seth Meyers” recently, where he explained that after seeing the two dogs for the first time he just felt like they looked like the classic Western movie.
Actress, singer, model, comedian, and author Tiffany Haddish explains how her new baby got the name “Sleep.”
“I always name my pets after things I LOVE, so naturally this dog is called Sleep. See Haddish’s complete interview here on YouTube, including how the dog has saved her from having “at least 5 kids.”
Singer-songwriter Jann Arden with her Morkie named Midi, who joined Jann in 2008. In an interview with the Toronto Star, the singer admitted that Midi (short for Midler) is not a big music fan and in fact, does not like Jann’s singing. Not at all.
Actress, television director, and singer-songwriter, Emily Rossum is pretty busy on the hit TV series Shameless but she’s never too busy for her rescue Morkie “Cinnamon.”
Rossum is a big believer in animal rescue and she walks the talk. In addition to Cinnamon, Emmy is also ‘mom’ to a Chihuahua named Sugar and a Lhasa Apso mix named Pepper.
In my last post, we looked at Toto in the original Wizard of Oz movie (1939). Most people know Toto was played by a Cairn Terrier called Terry, who even has a book written about his Hollywood life!
But in the books that inspired the blockbuster movie, Toto seems to be a Yorkshire Terrier. The famous movie was based on a series of books written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. Although the books never specified exactly what breed Toto was if you take a close look Toto certainly does look like a Yorkshire Terrier. And interestingly, Mr. Denslow owned a Yorkie!
Toto isn’t the only famous Yorkie. Here are some more.
Famous Yorkies in the Movies
Audrey Hepburn was one of the most famous glamorous movies stars of the 1950s 60s and 70s starring in iconic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday. She as also a devoted humanitarian; when she retired from movies she devoted much of her life to UNICEF.
Her Yorkshire Terrier, Mr. Famous was literally famous in Hollywood and around the world. He even starred in one of her movies, Funny Face along with Fred Astaire.
Meet me at the movies!
In the Ben Stiller movie Meet the Fockers, the Fockers (played by actors Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) have a family dog, Moses, a little Yorkie who manages to get soaked by the mobile home’s exploding toilet, complete with blue chemical.
Not one, but THREE Yorkies appeared in the Jamie Lee Curtis movie, A Fish Called Wanda.
More movies featuring Yorkies
Butterfield 8 (Elizabeth Taylor)
Love in the Afternoon (Gary Cooper/Audrey Hepburn)
Big Business (1988) with Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin
Ace Ventura Pet Detective with Jim Carey
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Dustin Hoffman with a blue Yorkie in the Fockers; A Fish Called Wanda cast and Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8.
This Yorkie looks pretty great on the lap of Queen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603), but she actually had a MALTESE dog among others.
Yorkies were not even a thing back then. They were introduced in the 1890s in northern England, as working dogs who chased down rats in Victorian coal mines and factories.
Famous Yorkies on TV
The best-known Yorkie to appear on TV was no doubt, Mignon, the Yorkie that Eva Gabor’s character (Lisa Douglas) owned on Green Acres.
The show, which ran from 1965 to 1971 was a very popular sitcom featuring a New York couple who make the move to the countryside and buy a hobby farm. The glamorous little Yorkie played beside Arnold Ziffle the pig, on countless episodes.
The late singer Whitney Houston’s Yorkshire Terrier named Doogie was featured with her on the reality TV show: Being Bobby Brown.
On MTV’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave, a reality show involving the now-finished marriage of model/actress Carmen Electra and musician Dave Navarro, the couple had a Yorkie named Daisy.
Milhouse Van Houten from The Simpsons television show owns a stuffed animal Yorkie who he calls Puppy Goo-Goo.
Stuffed animal or not, Milhouse’s dog in the Simpsons is clearly a Yorkie.
Celebs owned by Yorkies
A Yorkie named Pasha belonged to Tricia Nixon and lived in the White House while Richard Nixon was president.
Just a few of today’s celebrity-owning Yorkies include:
Toto was pivotal in the plot of the Wizard of Oz. In the 1939 movie classic, The Wizard of Oz, it’s clear that Toto was a Cairn Terrier. But the book that inspired the movie, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, features illustrations of Toto that make him look a lot like a Yorkie.
published in 1900
written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Winslow
a tremendous success; critics loved the lavish illustrations and full color printing
13 sequels followed but the first was by far the most successful
the first edition, a total of 10,000 copies, quickly sold out. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz sold three million copies by the time it entered the public domain in 1956
released in 1939
produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and directed by Victor Fleming
a sensation; the first Technicolor movie
the film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton with Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, and Clara Blandick,
dozens of versions followed over the years including The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow
Toto was pivotal in the plot of Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz movie starts with a bang when Dorothy’s nasty neighbor, Miss Almira Gulch, threatens to have the young girl’s dog, Toto, put down for biting.
The dog manages to escape the clutches of Miss Gulch and run back to Dorothy. At this point, Dorothy and Toto run away from home, just as a tornado hits….and the fun begins!
How Toto compares in the book and in the movie
In the book
In Denslow’s illustrations, Toto was a scruffy-looking little dog. Many fans argue that in the book, Toto was clearly a YORKSHIRE TERRIER. His personality matches a Yorkie too: brave, protective and smart!
Supporting this theory is the fact that Denslow himself owned a Yorkie. The breed was quite popular at the time, so it’s possible.
The Oz books don’t spell out Toto’s breed, but the illustrations certainly look a lot like a Yorkie.
In the movie
Toto in the movie was a female Cairn Terrier called Terry.
Owned by Carl Spitz, Terry was in 10 other blockbusters, including some with Shirley Temple.
In the Wizard of Oz, Toto made more than many of the actors, earning $125 per week (equivalent to $2,200 a week today).
The little dog lived to be 11 and has a memorial stone in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles
You have to admit it - Toto was a YORKIE in the book
The strange life of W. W. Denslow
An American illustrator and caricaturist remembered for his work in collaboration with author L. Frank Baum, especially his illustrations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
After the phenomenal success of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Denslow, the artist and the writer managed to quarrel with Baum, and refused to work with him ever again. Baum, always desperate for money, went on to publish 13 more volumes of the Oz saga, but without Denslow’s wonderful drawings.
Denslow (and Baum) made so much money from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz book royalties, that he was able to buy an island off Bermuda, called Bluck’s Island in the Great Sound, and build himself a turreted castle-like house, pictured here.
He then proclaimed himself King Denslow I.
Denslow was married and divorced three times. Go figure.
The most iconic line in the movie is spoken to Toto
Though most people say ‘Looks like we’re not in Kansas anymore,’ or ‘Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,’ those quotes aren’t quite right. Dorothy actually says ‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.’
Meet the newest celeb Morkie fan – Tiffany Haddish and her Morkie, Sleeper.
The actor/comedian had become friends with “an older lady” who owned the Morkie. The lady suggested that Tiffany take the puppy home and bring her back for visits. Sadly the lady died shortly after, so Tiffany is the newest devoted member of Morkie Nation!
Which dog is the perfect pet for you and your family?
If you’re like me, it can be really tough deciding between dog breeds.You can narrow them down, but it seems there are always two left and you just can’t decide. For me, it’s Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese Dogs, but happily, I can have “both” when I get a Morkie – the happy results when a Yorkie and a Maltese are bred together. Let’s take a look at all 3 breeds.
The popular Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie
Every now and then, a dog or a breed comes along that just steals your heart.For many people, that dog is the Yorkshire Terrier.In fact Yorkies are the #6 most popular pure breed dog in America* and in some cities, like New York, they’re #1.
Yorkies are smart, energetic little terriers, in brown and tan. They are relatively new as far as pure breeds go, developed in northern England in the 1850s to work in coal mines and factories to catch and kill rats and mice. Those Yorkshire Terriers were much bigger – about 15 pounds at least — and were kept by working men to catch vermin. But when upper class ladies first saw these dog they fell in love and Yorkies soon left their humble beginnings for a more comfortable life.
Often described as “feisty,” Yorkies may be classified by the Kennel Club as “toy dogs” but they are also real terriers – the ideal Yorkshire terrier character or “personality” is described with a “carriage very upright” and “conveying an important air” according to the Kennel Club of Great Britain.
Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier doesn’t know it! He is active, loves attention and should not show the soft temperament seen in lapdogs like the Maltese according to the breed standards, the official benchmark developed by the American Kennel Club.
The elegant Maltese dog
The Maltese dog on the other hand, is not as well known.Maltese ranks as the 29th most registered breed in 2014, behind less common dogs like the Pomeranian, Havanese and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Maltese are an ancient breed, developed strictly as lapdogs since the time of Aristotle. Maltese descended from one of the original six dogs –a Spitz-like dog which was bred for hunting rodents in the marsh and wooded areas.
The Maltese breed spread around the world because like gold, frankincense and myrrh, the Maltese was an exotic article of trade.Caravans took Maltese to the farthest reaches of the civilized world, including the Middle East, Tibet, China, the Philippines and Japan.
Their most treasured qualities are their affectionate, loving natures and beautiful, pure white coats. Maltese were bred to be super affectionate lap dogs, content to sit quietly for a great part of the day. They are very gentle and loving. Maltese were not bred to chase down mice and rats like the Yorkie. They weren’t bred to do any specific kind of work like many other breeds. They have no other purpose than to be a pampered pet.So it’s no surprise they are very sweet-natured.
A symbol of wealth, Maltese were prized by the upper class, aristocrats and royalty and bred to be with people. That explains their engrained people-pleasing, loyal and affectionate behaviour.
However, sometimes Maltese forget they’re small and can seem fearless.Maltese will usually bark when someone new comes into the room or is at your door – his mini-watchdog side coming out. Not all dogs are described as “small dogs with big hearts, but both the Maltese and Yorkie are!”
Order the ebook and learn more! 110 fact filled pages to help you decide which pet would fit best in your family. Instant download just $7.00 and of course, it’s 100% guaranteed satisfaction. More details.
The Morkie – the best of both worlds?
Both the Yorkie and the Maltese are wonderful companion animals, with plenty in common, but enough differences to make their offspring – the Morkie – a very interesting little pup too.
If you decide to go with a Morkie, you’ll find the characteristics, looks, behaviour and health of both parents, the Yorkie and the Maltese, apparent in the Morkie.
But since the Morkie is so new, you don’t really know which breed’s qualities will dominate, and even which parent the Morkie will most resemble physically. That explains the wide range in looks of the Morkie. he can be nearly white, with flopping down ears – thus very close to the Maltese. Or dark haired, with prick ears, like the Yorkie. And of course everything else in between, like a black white and beige Morkie with one ear standing up and one a little floppy.
The Many Faces of the Morkie!
**Good job you found us!
Simon Cowell, a well known meenie music mogul who seems to love to make performers cry, is a baby at heart himself. How do we know? This great big 6’4″ man LOVES Yorkies! Enjoy these photos.
Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman enjoy a day at the beach with newborn baby Eric and their two dogs, Miami. They where joined by family member including Lauren’s mother. All pictures taken on a public beach.Pictured: Eric Cowell, Simon Cowell, Lauren Silverman, Simon’s dogs Squiddly and Diddly Ref: SPL705072 230214 Picture by: SDFL / Splash News
Want to learn more about these 3 wonderful toy dogs, the Yorkie, Morkie and Maltese?
Are you thinking of getting a small dog? Have you considered one of the most popular –the Yorkie? Or one of the most glamorous – the Maltese?
When you cross these two pure breeds, you get a Morkie, the magical blend of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese. These dogs may look similar….
But they’re really quite different from one another.
Luckily, Johnny Depp’s two Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, did in fact bugger off out today before Australia’s Minister of Agriculture had a chance to exercise his threat: euthanasia!
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce underlined the fact that there are no exceptions to their strict animal quarantine laws (even if you were the sexiest man alive, twice).In fact, if the Yorkies in question didn’t bugger off, in his words, they were dead.
It seems Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard, had brought the Yorkies into Australia (and for an extended period) on a private jet and did not register them properly with the authorities. All animals must undergo a 14-day quarantine before being officially allowed to enter, in Australia and many other countries.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to bring a dog to Great Britain; when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were there to make a movie in the 60s, she was not allowed to bring her 4 dogs into the country without a SIX MONTH quarantine. Their famous solution – rent a 120′ Bolivian yacht and keep it in the Thames River as a floating kennel, so that technically the dogs had not set foot in the country!
But meanwhile in Australia, Depp and Heard were in huge trouble with government officials and it all went (hilariously) viral.
From the hashtag #WarOnTerrier to newscasters holding up signs on camera, “Bring Boo and Pistol home” … the internet was alight. But what’s the big fuss?
Australia has strict biosecurity requirements for good reasons—to protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases that can seriously harm humans, animals and their economy. All animals entering Australia must have an import permit, which means they’ve passed the stringent requirements to get in.
Dogs can carry diseases
The problem is that dogs can carry diseases,including rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania and leptospirosis among others.
We know all about rabies, but what are these other diseases?
Ehrlichia is a tick-borne disease and is also called ‘tracker dog disease.’ There are 3 phases and all involve a lot of pain for the animal. Dogs in phase 3 with chronic ehrlichia usually die.
Leishmania isn’t about leashes, it’s an infection carried by parasites (the sandfly) and is more common in the Mediterranean area than in North America.
It’s also known as black fever. Signs and symptoms include emaciation, kidney failure, joint pain and more. This disease can be treated but it never really goes away; and…people can catch it from their dogs.
Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial infection. Although there is a vaccine against it, it’s very dangerous for small dogs (with the highest rate of adverse reactions) and it’s effective against only 3 or 4 of the 120+ strains of the virus.
Lepto as it’s called, can result in chronic fever, vomiting, dehydration, renal failure, severe infection and ultimately, death. This is another zoonotic – that is, people can catch it too.
If you’re travelling…
Be sure and check out BringFido.com – at this link, they summarize all the requirements for visiting other countries.
The Australian dog groomers who let the cat, er Yorkie, out of the bag by posting this pic of their celeb guests.
Singer songwriter Jann Arden with her Morkie “Midi”
There are famous Yorkies, or Yorkies owned by celebrities and famous Maltese – Maltese who are owned by celebrities… and now there are famous MORKIES!
Here’s a list of just some of the celebrities who own Morkies … Singer songwriter Jann Arden has a little Morkie called Midi (midi is short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a technical standard for music that’s just too complicated to go into. You may remember that two years ago, Ms. Arden and Midi were tossed off Via Rail between Ottawa and Toronto. Even though Midi and her dog carrier were perfectly visible throughout the trip, including check-in, an overly zealous porter noticed she as travelling with a dog around Oshawa, and offered her the choice of stashing Midi in the baggage car or finding another way to get to Ottawa. Midi and Jann were soon standing on the platform as the train pulled away.
Miley and Lila
Little Lila, Miley’s Morkie
Another well known singer/actor who has a Morkie? Miley Cyrus. Sadly she used to have a Morkie, called Lila who was the love of her life based on her Tweets about Lila.
Miley Cyrus and her Morkie Lila
In December 2012 little Lila passed away. Lila had been through surgery earlier and seemed to be healing just fine. But Miley’s other dog, a much larger one called Ziggy, “grabbed” Lila during play and that was it.
Miley took a long time to get over the loss, and to this time will mention Lila wistfully.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner Justin Mikita with their Morkie “Leaf.”
This past June (2014) Miley suffered another dog-astrophe. Her 2-year-old dog Floyd, a huskey mix, was killed during a horrible coyote attack. She’s replaced Floyd with a Collie called Emu. We wish her the best of luck with her new dog!
Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Morkie Leaf
Ferguson is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood today – starring in the award-winning Modern Family. In fact he has received 3 Emmys in a row for his part as the uptight lawyer Mitchell Pritchett. On the Golden Globes red carpet in 2012, Jesse told Ryan Seacrest that he had a message for one of his little ones – Morkie pup, Leaf. “You be good, Leaf, and go to bed,” Ferguson said. “That’s what I’m going to say when I win. Oh wait – I wasn’t nominated.”
More Morkie Stars
Rapper Drake and his new Morkie (with the breeder)
English actor Orlando Bloom and his Morkie Frankie.
Judy Garland and Terry the Cairn Terrier, on the set of the 1939 Wizard of Oz
“Toto” is one of the most loved small dogs in movies and books. But what breed was Dorothy’s faithful sidekick? In the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, the part of Toto is played by a Cairn Terrier. The dog’s breed is never mentioned in the original Oz books; however, based on the illustrations, it looks like Toto definitely started out as a Yorkie.
Toto in the original books
Most of us first remember Toto from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. However this movie was based quite closely on a children’s book classic of the same name, published in 1900.
The original editions of the wildly popular book were illustrated by W. W. Denslow who drew Toto as a terrier – but was it a Cairn Terrier or a Yorkshire Terrier?
The book’s artist, Winslow owned a Yorkie himself
Scholars of the Wizard of Oz books (yes there are many!) feel that L. Frank Baum, the author, meant for Toto to be a mongrel. The book does not distinctively mention Toto’s breed, but the dog is is described as “a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose.”
Denslow himself owned a Yorkshire Terrier, and when you look closely at the drawings you can certainly see “Yorkie” all over them!
In the movie, Toto (which means “to make whole”) holds the plot together: he’s the loyal and brave pet who starts the journey and who travels with her while keeping the plot moving.
(Dorothy’s conflict with Miss Gulch was focused on Toto, and the reason Dorothy was caught in the storm. And don’t forget that in the movie, it was Toto who pulled back the curtain, revealing the Great Oz to be a sham. )
It’s also interesting that Toto is the only dog in the Wizard of Oz books who does not speak.
The 1939 Movie The Wizard of Oz
Metro Goldwyn Mayer made the story into the now classic movie The Wizard of Oz (1939) starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. It was the first full length film in colour and is still aired at least once a year on TV stations around the world. Its rich imagery and symbolism, and the quest allegory keep it fresh.
The part of Toto was played by a 6-year-old female Cairn Terrier called Terry (renamed Totoin real life after the popularity of the movie). Terry was a veteran film star, and appeared in 13 movies during her lifetime, starring with actors like Shirley Temple and Joan Crawford.
During the filming of The Wizard of Oz, Terry was nearly killed when one of the witch’s guards accidentally stepped on her, breaking her foot.
She spent two weeks recuperating at Judy Garland’s home, and Garland was reported to have grown quite attached to the dog. She wanted to adopt her, but Terry’s owner refused.
The dog’s salary, $125 per week, was more than many human actors in the film; the Munchkins for example, only received $50 a week for their parts.
Terry/Toto died in 1945 at the age of 12.
The Wizard of Oz was remade many times over the years, always with a Toto.
In Frank Baum’s later Oz books, Toto becomes a Boston Terrier for reasons that are never explained, but then changes back to a terrier in the last books of the series.
In The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, Toto is played by Pepe the Prawn and in the Veggie Tales version, Toto is replaced by a pig named “Tutu.”
Check out this beautiful 100th Anniversary Edition of The Wizard of Oz
“Kevin Jonas*‘s wife, Danielle, hangs with her Morkie, Riley, on Wednesday before heading to a JoBros concert in Auburn Hills, Mich.”
*Yes it’s Kevin Jonas of THE Jonas Brothers, one of the original boy bands, still going strong. Kevin and Danielle, who wed in 2009, don’t have kids yet but tell reporters they’re “getting experience” thanks to their two dogs: 4-lb., 2½-year-old Morkie named Riley, and a 3-lb., 1½-year-old Maltese named Maci. Awwww!
Other celebs with Morkies? Singer-songwriter Jan Ardenn, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler-Ferguson.