Page 11. " they lived in their flat with a number of ageing Highland Terriers "

Highland terriers are a group of dogs including the Scottish, Skye, Dandie Dinmont, and West Highland White Terriers. Gaiman later refers to Miss Spink’s and Miss Forcible’s dogs as ‘Scottie dogs’ (p27), which suggests the dogs in Coraline are specifically Scottish Terriers.

Scottish Terriers have a compact, strong body with short legs, pricked ears and a naturally erect tail. They are either black, a pale wheat like yellow or streaky coloured. They can be a little stubborn, quick tempered and energetic. 


Puppy Dog Web . com Scottish Terrier Page


Page 13. " there was a fairy ring, made of squidgy brown toadstools "

Fairy rings are naturally occurring rings or arcs of mushrooms. They can grow over ten metres in diameter, but most are considerably smaller. They are mainly found amongst trees but can also appear in grass.

In European folk stories, fairy rings can act as gateways to elfin kingdoms, or as a place for elves to gather together and dance. Other folk stories suggest they are created by fairies as they dance in circles on midsummer night. The area within the circle was often avoided, for fear of angering the fairies.

Fairy rings are actually formed by the mushroom having to spread out from where it first established itself in search of new nutrients in the soil, thereby forming a circle. 



Fungi, Fairy Rings, and Father Christmas - The Mythology of Fungi Presidential Address (1998) by Dr Sean Edwards,

Page 23. " I played Portia once,’ said Miss Spink "

A young female lead character in the Shakespeare play, Merchant of Venice.

Page 23. " Miss Forcible talks about her Ophelia "

A young female lead character in the Shakespeare play, Hamlet.