Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Funnies

Corwgwn Comics

Click on image to enlarge 
by Sarah Schmid 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thursday training tips: A sidewalk not taken

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost 
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
When you stop to think about, our dogs don’t have a lot of choice in their lives. We tell them what they can eat, and when. We tell them where they can play, and when. We tell them to sit, stay, look at me, go lie down. We do this mostly for their good, and to make our homes as safe and comfortable as possible. Still, it seems that one area where we could give them more choice is during their walk.

CPCRN foster Professor Hawking loved to walk with my senior collie, Eddie.

I live in the suburbs, and our neighborhood has sidewalks for about half the blocks – people have to walk in the street for the other blocks. So, to keep me and my dogs safe, I had a regular route that we followed when we went on our walks. I always assumed that my dogs would want to revisit the trees, hydrants, and bushes that they sniffed yesterday, so we would automatically head south when we reached the sidewalk. But then I read an article suggesting that dogs get bored walking the same routes every day. Perhaps my dogs want to sniff new areas, to walk on a sidewalk not taken.

Now, when we get to the sidewalk in front of the house, I give them a choice. Do you want to go north or south? I actually say it. “Where do you want to go this morning?” I love seeing my dog lift her head, sniff the air in both directions, and then set off in the direction she wants to go, tail wagging. And I give her another choice at the corner, east or west?

Sometimes, though, walks can be miserable, even if you allow them to make choices. I’m referring to reactive dogs, of course. My collie Rosie was so reactive – to other dogs, to people, to unfamiliar sights and sounds – that we spent time and money attending some of the nation’s top reactive dog workshops (Pat Miller’s Reactive Rover workshop and several of Suzanne Clothier’s workshops, like this one). Both Rosie and I learned a lot, but our walks were still challenging. She and I both anticipated and tensed up as we passed certain yards with barking or charging dogs, and I couldn’t find a route where there weren’t any triggers for her reactivity. And then a trainer told me she was at a seminar where another trainer made a common sense solution: don’t walk the dog in the neighborhood!

The people and dogs who triggered Rosie’s reactivity, her barking and lunging, weren’t going anywhere, and it didn’t matter how many treats I gave her (“good things happen when you see a husky!”) or how quickly we turned around when a loose dog came bounding up. Rosie’s anxiety was reinforced every time we walked in the neighborhood. Her high cortisol levels, heightened after every incident, never had a chance to recover. (It can take up to 72 hours for cortisol levels to drop back to normal.) So we didn't walk in the neighborhood. For three months, we got in the car and went to the park. I gave her a chance to re-wire her brain and hormones, to forget the neighborhood triggers, to truly relax. It worked for us.

I’d be lying if I said we went to the park everyday. I was working full-time, and many days we just didn’t have the time. So was (am) I a bad owner? (This is another example of my "au contraire" thinking, because I honestly don’t think so.)

Dogs Today Magazine, in the UK, had an insightful article on the subject:
“When it comes to feeling guilty about our four-legged friends, the most common reason for owners feeling guilty is when they haven’t walked their dog everyday of the week. Most training books, websites and professionals will tell you the number one rule of dog ownership is you must take your dog for at least one walk a day, everyday…. 
“...However, there are many things you as a dog owner need to consider before taking your dog for a daily walk. Not all dogs love going for walks and can even find them stressful. Some dogs are too scared by things in the outside world, such as cars, bikes other dogs and people. Although they might not seem hugely distressed because they are not pulling to go back home – although some do – there will be other signs that your pooch is not enjoying their outing…”
I highly recommend that you read “Does not walking your dog make you a bad dog owner?” Like Robert Frost, you and your dog may decide to take the sidewalk “less traveled by,” or to make the walks less frequent. It can make all the difference in your dog's happiness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday Tails: Happily ever after for Holly and Winston

Debbie and Ron had adopted four rescued cairn terriers or Westies in the last decade, and CPCRN’s Wunorse Open Slae (now Holly) was the latest, adopted in January 2018. Holly settled in quickly, following Debbie around the house all day, but she remained a little timid, especially around Ron. Although Holly shared the home with another cairn terrier, Blue is a senior and content to be by himself. Debbie and Ron started to wonder if Holly would enjoy a more active cairn companion. Perhaps a male cairn would help her self-confidence?

Enter CPCRN rescue Darmok (now Winston), a 12-year-old stray rescued in May from the streets of New York City. After his fostering, Debbie and Ron adopted him in July. The planets were in perfect alignment for Holly and Winston, and the stars twinkled just a bit more brightly when these two dogs came together. The doggie companionship was not immediate, of course, but Darmok (now Winston) bonded with Debbie from the get-go.

Winston gazes lovingly into Debbie’s eyes on adoption day, while Holly waits next to them.

It was easy to see that Holly wanted to make friends with Winston, but Winston didn’t give his heart away lightly.

“I’ll just take this corner of the bed. I hope you don’t mind my butt!”

As the days passed, Winston obliged Holly with an easier friendship -- while still maintaining his own space. Holly was determined, however.

“Hey lady, you can lay next to me, but just don’t touch me, okay?”

The weeks passed, and the two started sharing more activities, including the clincher: chasing chipmunks!

"Chipmunks, come out, come out, wherever you are."

The tired couple came in the house after an exhausting and fun search…

And they lived happily ever after...

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Every Sunday we showcase the sweeter side of cairn terriers. If you would like us to consider your cairn’s photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets," send it to

(All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.)

Foster Granby

Foster Daris Rucker

Angus Digging for Chipmnks

CP Pablo


Harley 'Truly'


Smudge fka CP Champ

Willie fka CP Schumann



Foster Sunny Days

Sondra Dell


Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Funnies

Ichabod the Optimistic Canine

Note: Click to enlarge

 by Ayla Stardragon