Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The evolution of Col. Potter and a Shelter Challenge Update

Written by a long time Col. Potter Volunteer

You know,..... I could have waited to write this, but I have time now. I would have, AT LEAST, had something to report about where we "finally" ended up.(G) I have my ideas and others have theirs and no matter where we end up, I must say I have been overwhelmed at the support we've been given by the international community, as well as those of us in the states. I have personally heard from people in Australia, Spain, Italy, England, Sweden, and Canada, to name a few, all cairn terrier owners/breeders, some people I've met, others I've wanted to meet, some I've just read about and all I have admired over the years. We all have the cairn as a "common ground". No matter what your job, how much money you make, how new or old to cairns you are, we all have a passion for our cairns and their well being.

When I first joined Col Potter it wasn't anymore than a list-serve out of New York, not unlike one of the many starting to form back then, with a few people who wanted to give back to the breed that made their lives richer for having been introduced to a cairn in some way. Most only had one, maybe two, cairns in their "packs" but now, as the years have gone by, it's not unusual to see many of these same people have 4-5 in their "packs". Cairns really are addictive, they should come with a warning.(G) Ann and I have been fortunate to have met the people we've met over the years, one being Danielle Rackstraw. She had a dream of creating a breed specific rescue for the cairns that weren't as fortunate as her own. She saw a need and addressed it head on, starting with no money to speak of, with her first cairn rescue, Col Potter. Others saw her passion and joined to help and we've grown into the largest cairn rescue in the world with an amazing group of volunteers who give of themselves, EVERYDAY, to help rescue and save as many cairns as we can take in.

We now have people from the entire spectrum of cairn involvement, located in every state in the USA, even Alaska. We have breeders of show cairns, agility, earthdog and therapy dog owners, and most who are just plain fanciers of the breed and love the cairn for just being a cairn. With this group of people comes a vast wealth of knowledge on the cairn, with most of this knowledge being compiled on the website. If you haven't been to our website I encourage everyone to look it over as it's quite impressive. I don't think there's anything not on it, if you have questions about the general care and upkeep of a cairn. We don't always get along, but hey,....we don't always get along with everyone we meet in life either. We consider ourselves family. When there's a cairn in need, we all pool our resources, come together, and help, when we can. When we find alternative ways to help fund our efforts, we try to take advantage of those opportunities so as to ease the financial burden of our "addiction". Everyone within Col Potter has a "niche" they fill.

There are many cairn rescues out there, CRUSA, (Cairn Rescue USA), Cairn Rescue League, regional and national club rescues, all intent on helping rescue cairns in need, and they ALL do a fine job of helping our breed. We've come a long way since our inception and with the Internet have involved people from all countries. With the formation of different Yahoo groups concerning the cairn we have discussed everything from breed standards, raw diets, nutrition, and just everyday stories about our cairns with everyone everywhere. We've shared our pictures, our successes and failures, giving everyone a more concise picture of where a cairn has been, and hopefully where it's headed as a breed. Ann and I have been proud to have participated in Col Potter all these years along beside you all and hope you'll continue to support cairn rescue through what ever cairn rescue suits your fancy.

Today, we'll learn our final ranking. No matter where we end up, we've already made HUGE gains in getting our message out, educating the public about Col Potter and what we do. We've done this because of you and your participation in contest like the Shelter Challenge and the Bissell Contest where the money won, is significant. Without your participation we wouldn't be where we are today. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from me and mostly from Col Potter. Come May 17th I will be asking you nicely(G) to give your support once again and support cairn rescue by voting in the next Shelter Challenge. We WILL be going after the #1 position this time around, from the start, not to just improve where we finished this Challenge. We hope you will continue to support our efforts by voting in the next Challenge coming May 17th.

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