Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Sweet

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Foster Doogie

Post-haircut! Caruso’s 6 Year Gotcha Day is coming up on August 1!

Foster Antonio

Sweet Cindel got a haircut!

Foster Bennie

Jalad has his adoption pending!

Volusia has her adoption pending!

Waves has an adoption pending!

Foster Deb

Foster Jim
Foster Darmok

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Funnies

Off the Leash
Note: Click on the image to enlarge!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday training tips: Introducing Miss Peaches!

We started with the best intentions. Before I left home to travel to North Carolina to adopt my new 7-month-old puppy, Peaches (formerly Beach), I had puppy gates set up through the house. I have four collies, and I’m fostering a senior cairn terrier – Darmok! – and I know that many trainers advocate an extended “separation” time to introduce a new dog into the household. Keep them apart for several days and let them become used to each other’s scents. Well…

Dreams come true

We arrived home and my collies, who have been hosting foster dogs over the past year, were anxious to meet Peaches. And Peaches wanted to meet them! Additionally, my 4-year-old male collie, Nemo, had extensive experience with Westies, so to speak. In 2015, he saw a stuffed full-sized toy Westie at a local pet store, and he went crazy for it! So, we brought it home, and Nemo has treasured his Westie (and her successors, as one after another got left out in the snow or under the garden shed) all these years. And HERE SHE WAS, COME TO LIFE!! Nemo discovered that dreams do come true, and he especially wanted to meet Peaches.

Nemo loves his Westie toy(s)! This is in 2015.
When Nemo met Peaches, he knew his dream had come true.
To introduce the dogs, instead of a days-long introduction period, I followed Patricia McConnell’s advice, laid out in her fantastic book, Love has No Age Limits: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home. Peaches met the dogs one at a time, out in the backyard where there is lots of space. Everyone was on a leash.

She first met Darmok (who has since become her big brother, showing her the ropes of living with collies). Then I brought out the seniors, Princess and then Eddie. They are both late-in-life rescues, and each have a calm, laissez-faire view of the world. Then Nemo got his chance! He greeted her like the dream-come-true that she is. Finally, Rosie. My five-year-old girl can be pretty bitchy with dogs she doesn’t like, so I was grateful for McConnell’s pointers to avoid tension: don’t hover; don’t add your tension to the mix; keep your body relaxed; and keep their leashes loose. Rosie was fine.

We weren’t quite to home base, yet, however. It was time to go in the house, another potential point of tension. McConnell’s advice is so important, I’m going to quote it in full:
“Once the dogs have met outside and are going to be together inside, bring the new dog inside first, and the resident dog in second [ed. note: and third, fourth, fifth, and sixth]. If the resident dog is at all territorial, this tends to diffuse some of that ‘Who’s that entering my house!?’ tension.”
I’m one heck of a lucky dog owner. Peaches was officially accepted into the family, and everyone gets along great.

Patience, patience

One of the hardest things for me to do is… nothing. This little girl is so special, and I want to get her groomed, start obedience classes, and introduce her to the neighborhood. Uh uh, mom, slow down. Rescued dogs are dealing with a lot of changes in their lives, and what they need most is a feeling of security. And what we need most is patience.

As much as I love a day at the spa, we know that grooming is not especially enjoyable for our dogs. So, since Peaches isn’t in dire need of a bath, we’re going to wait for a while before lining up the shampoo and conditioner or clipping her nails. In the meantime, I’ll be holding her paws and showing her the grooming tools, while feeding lots of treats, to help her get accustomed to a life of glamour.

We’re going to wait a month before starting obedience classes, so we can get to know each other – and Peaches can learn to trust me – before introducing her to a classroom environment of strange people and puppies. In the meantime, she IS a puppy and we do have to establish limits. One of the most important training methods I’ve learned is “this, not that.” Peaches’ foster mom warned me that Peaches likes to steal shoes, and truer words were never spoken. This girl is relentless in her quest for shoes. Rather than an eternity of hearing “no,” however, Peaches will have choices. If she leaves the shoe alone, and opts for “this, not that,” she will get something very special. Tonight, it was frozen beef broth, which is tasty and is good for her growing bones. She loved it! Since she’s still a little thing – not even 8 pounds yet – she didn’t get to eat the whole thing in one sitting. She willingly gave it up to me, with no resource guarding. Tomorrow we’ll do it again.

...not that.

We try to forget that death may be around the corner

McConnell also advises patience in taking your new dog to the vet. She suggests waiting a month, if there are no health issues. I wish that was the case with Peaches. She has very serious health issues, and I want to make sure my vet has a firm grasp of those issues and that we plan, together, for appropriate diagnostic procedures and treatment. You see, Peaches was born with a congenital heart defect, called subaortic stenosis. It is severe, and Peaches’ prognosis is bad. According to North Carolina State University veterinarians, the average life span of pups with her condition is 56 months. (It’s less than two years without the meds, which is unthinkable.) Even then, she is at risk for sudden death if she experiences extreme excitement or strenuous exercise. So we are seeing our vet this week.

Peaches loves playing with Nemo, but their play sessions don’t last more than minute or two. Somehow, Nemo senses that Peaches can’t do more than that. This collie, who I re-homed after his original buyer rejected him for being “too hard to handle,” has always been the goofball of the pack, but Peaches has turned him into a “Lassie,” a protector of family and home. Nemo is always near her, even to the point of sleeping next to her crate at night. Peaches has captured his heart, as well as mine. Now, we must steel our hearts for the time that her heart fails.

In the meantime, though, this special girl has a lot of living to do! Check out this blog every Thursday to read more about tips and training with Peaches.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

From the Archives

*From time to time, we will be reposting some of our older blog posts from our archives. We hope you find these posts helpful and useful. Enjoy! **  3/12/08

Seems like a good time to re-send this beautifully written piece.
Susan in Vermont


One by One, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can't run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.

I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is gray, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.

Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the gray, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.

We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.

I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Foster Sondra Dell


Tess fka CP Aphroidite

Foster Telluride

Foster Toni

Foster Tedrick

Foster Surf

Finnegan fka CP Fionn

Foster Jalad

CP Suwannee

Foster Darmok

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Funnies

Friday Funnies!

157 of Gemma

by Gemma Gené and Mochi
Note: Click on the image to enlarge!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday training tips: Let’s start down the Yellow Brick Road

“Then she went back to the house, and having helped herself and Toto to a good drink of the cool clear water, she set about making ready for the journey to the City of Emeralds… Then she looked down at her feet and noticed how old and worn her shoes were.

“'They surely will never do for a long journey, Toto,’ she said. And Toto looked up into her face with his little black eyes and wagged his tail to show he knew what she meant.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, 1900

Ah, to have the perfect connection that existed between Dorothy and Toto!

Bringing a new dog into your life, and developing a deep connection with him, is exhilarating and challenging. It is undeniably fun, but, at times, it can be downright frustrating. We try our best to meet our dog’s needs within the limitations of what we are able to offer; but many of us just can’t provide an ideal farm life. Even if we could, let’s remember that even the most loving homes inevitably experience tornadoes, witches (good and bad), or even flying monkeys.

This Tips & Training column, appearing on Thursdays, aims to help us avoid – or recover from – falling houses. It will help us discover the brain, heart, and courage to find common sense solutions that will build healthy relationships between our dogs and ourselves.

Pups who come from rescue organizations often have special challenges, whether it is a history of abuse or abandonment, or the devastating loss of a loved human companion. People who adopt rescued pups need all the resources we can muster to make that adoption successful. Among all of their many resources, Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network offers a terrific small book, A Sound Beginning: How to Build a Relationship & Gain Trust, that everyone needs to read. Last week, we also presented a suggested reading list of five books. Following that blogpost, several people suggested additional books that they found useful (and we’ll discuss those in the weeks ahead). These books provide a solid foundation for building human-canine relationships and strengthening communications necessary for training.

Now it’s time for us to walk the talk.

Beach, a 6-month-old West Highland White Terrier, is going to walk this Yellow Brick Road with us. Col. Potter rescued Beach from a puppy mill, and found that she has severe subaortic stenosis, which is a congenital heart abnormality. Her prognosis is not good and she is at constant risk for sudden death. This column’s author is adopting Beach on Sunday, July 22, to give her the happiest life possible within the circumstances. This blog post will follow Beach’s life and learning, and we promise to be transparent in discussing our challenges, successes, and failures.

We hope you’ll join us on this adventure.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Foster Wells

Foster Hidalgo

McPherson (Mac) fna CP Gronk

Eddie fna CP Eddies

CP Golden

Georgie Girl

Foster Volusia



Foster Luanne

Foster Matagorda

Madre and Amma

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Funnies!

Off the Leash
Note: Click on the image to enlarge!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Thursday training tips: Five books for your summer reading

We’re halfway through summer, and if you haven’t taken the time yet to relax with a good book – let’s get you started! Some wonderful books that will improve your relationship with your pups are waiting for you.

If you only read one dog-related book this summer, let it be Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier. You will never look at your dogs in the same way again. Suzanne is one of the country’s most innovative trainers, advancing a relationship-based positive training protocol. Her book is easy to read and deeply moving. It also makes sense. If you know, in your heart, that positive training brings more success (and happiness!) than the old “alpha” philosophy, this book will clarify why your heart is speaking the truth. If you still think a certain “dog whisperer” who slams dogs on the ground or hangs them from a leash is offering a path to a successful dog-human relationship, this book will give you a new perspective.

While Clothier focuses on the heart of the relationship, trainer and educator Pat Miller looks more towards the brain. Her tips on conditioning responses, along with handy management tips, come packaged together perfectly for foster parents in her book, How to Foster Dogs: From Homeless to Homeward Bound. Miller provides easy descriptions of the four principles of operant conditioning, and then puts it to use in solving common problem behaviors. As one of the book’s blurbs states eloquently: “Opening your heart to a foster dog is easy; opening your home is much more challenging.” This book will help you meet those challenges.

On the topic of challenges… Another book you may want to pick up is Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home. Thousands of dog lovers have benefited from the advice of certified behaviorist Patricia McConnell, and her advice here is a “must have” for all adopters. This is a concise, practical guide on veterinary care, training, and especially problem solving. For instance, how long does it take for a shy dog to get comfortable? (It might take a year, but “that’s okay, what’s the hurry?”) How do you know if there’s tension between dogs? (Among the signs is your inner voice, “it is often right, even if you don’t know why.”) You’ll keep this book handy forever.

The time may come, more often that we like, when your senior seems lost in a dream world. Is she relaxing, or is she experiencing doggie dementia? One of the most helpful books on the subject is Remember Me? Loving and Caring for a Dog with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, by Eileen Anderson. One of the most valuable chapters includes a check list that you can use to explain your cairn’s behaviors to your vet so that, together, you can examine the options for easing your dog’s way along life’s path. Anderson discusses symptoms, medications, management tips, and specific products that may help. Importantly, she ends with a plain-spoken discussion on deciding about euthanasia. Tough topics, but ones we face throughout our lives.

Ending on an up note, your “feel good” book for the summer would be Old Dogs are the Best Dogs, by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten. Gene writes a humorous weekly column for the Post, but there’s nothing to laugh at (although smiling is allowed) in this delightful and inspiring book. Weingarten presents 60 short vignettes, accompanied by wonderful dog portraits by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michael Williamson. You might want to take your time to savor the vignettes and feel the love and peace surrounding these beloved seniors. Reading a couple of Weingarten’s stories each week would make the rest of the summer just about perfect.

What are some of your favorite books? Let us know in the comment section, and we’ll share them in future blog posts.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet-filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!," send it to us at photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.)

Troon (left on deck)

Foster Alachua


Foster Beach

Foster Colin Firth

CP /Bentley and Baxter


CP Tide


Foster Frankie Avalon

Foster Fargo

Foster Newell

CP Eddies