Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  
Each week we showcase the sweeter side of cairn terriers. 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.)

Presenting Cairns in costumes

Meatloaf masquerades as a "Bluelight Special" (with a side of eggs)

Harry (CP Hubert) as UnderDog

"Save a horse, ride a Cairn," sings Nellie Mae

Connor (CP Bambi) in a little jester's collar

Can you spot the Cairn amid the pumpkin pigs?
(Ellie fka CP's Maria Elena) 

"No bones about it," says Harlequin (CP Bixler)

Donegal as Al-Bark Einstein, Oonagh as a fabulous flapper, and Finbar as a sweet sunflower

"Forget candy, I just want the candy basket," says Rocky.

Shaggy all decked out for another day at the office

Trekkie as a wee little leprechaun

Grand masters of the pet portrait (Boomer, SadieJo, and Willow)

And who can forget sweet Wookie, flashing his teeth (and horns)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday Funnies

Mutt 'n' Busted

click image to enlarge

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Col. Potter Training Tip: Let's (not) make a deal

Remind me again that we have to learn from our mistakes…

Puppy Peaches (now about 11 months old) loves to steal shoes! And my remote control. And my cell phone. And pencils and pens. Of course, I need to manage my stuff better so she doesn’t have the opportunity to grab it, but she is so quick. I constantly find new failures at “puppy proofing” my house.

How do I get my stuff back from Peaches after she grabs it? All the trainers warn you not to chase the dog (since they think “keep away” is a great game) so I thought I found the perfect solution: I would trade, a treat for the shoe!

It's so much fun to steal stuff like mom's rain shoe.
Trading worked perfectly at first. Peaches would run off with my shoe and I’d announce loudly, “trade ya!” and she would bring it back to me and drop it, awaiting her treat. I would congratulate myself on my brilliant solution as I gave Peaches her bit of cookie. But these terriers are smart. Too smart. Peaches quickly learned that the most reliable way to get a cookie is to steal something and keep it until she hears me say “trade ya!” She has turned into a regular kleptomaniac.

It's time to call in the professionals…
“When [the puppy] has an item that you must get back right away, use a distraction to get her to drop it on her own. Rattle the treat bag, go get her leash, or begin playing with a ball by yourself. Pretend that you don’t even notice there is a dog around, but that you just happen to be doing something terrific without her. Be fascinating; catch her attention in some way that entices her to come see what you’re up to. If what you are doing is appealing enough, she will either drop her ‘prize’ somewhere on her way over to you, or come over with the stolen item in her mouth. Once she comes over to get in the game, ask her to ‘sit.’ If needed, you can put a piece of food near her nose to encourage her to drop her prize, saying ‘drop it’ as she opens her mouth to get the treat. But don’t give her the food right away, make her work for it. Ask her to sit or down a few times, so she doesn’t think you are rewarding her for stealing [my emphasis].”
The Puppy Primer, Second Edition, by Patricia B. McConnell and Brenda Scidmore
“...[R]ewarding her for stealing.” That is exactly what I’ve been doing.

Okay, Miss Peaches, the game is over, the jig is up... no more deals! Now, where is my cell phone...???

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of cairn terriers.  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.)

"I can't wait to meet you!"
"I can't wait to meet you!" Foster ShamRocky

True keeps a sharp eye out for squirrels

CP's Sha Sha looks oh-so-pretty in pink

A trio of trouble (Bridgie, Barrett and Barkley)

Foster Santorini makes a great teacher's helper

Cuddle buds Ginger (fka Spangler) and foster Tina

CP Nellie Mae finds a basket just her size
Foster Solovey comes running to give a kiss

Rocky (fka CP Sousa) majestically soaks up the sun

Athletic foster Roland Lee is ready to rumble

George (fka CP Senex) struts his stuff on the beach
 Oonagh (fka CP Eva) has eyes that see into your soul

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Funnies

Stanley & Stella 

Click to enlarge

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Col. Potter Training Tip: Being an "until" mom

I'll hold you until you're not afraid to be touched,
I'll pet you until you're no longer afraid of hands,
I'll feed you until you know you can count on your next meal,
I'll be your mom until I trust someone else to love you,
I'll love you until… always.
-- Author Unknown
Fostering a dog is a wonderful and awful experience. It’s wonderful to bring the pup into your home and heart, helping him find new confidence and security. Watching him overcome shyness or fear, and teaching him how to communicate his needs can fill you with awe. Saying goodbye, as he leaves for his forever home, can give you a sense of pride -- and an awful hole in your heart. “I’ll love you until… always” can hurt so much.

In my experience, Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network has excellent support and education resources for fosters. Experienced and caring volunteer staff members are always willing to lend you advice or a shoulder to cry on. CPCRN provides accessible online files with info on almost every behavior challenge. Their shop carries a book, Adopting a Dog? A Sound Beginning, that is full of handy guidance. But I’d recommend one more book for anyone who is fostering, or is thinking about fostering: How to Foster Dogs: From Homeless to Homeward Bound, by Pat Miller.

Pat is a positive trainer and dog behavior consultant who focuses much of her work on the scientific conditioning processes. So she not only explains how to do something; she explains why. For instance, in her chapter on “Helping Your Fearful Foster Dog Find Courage,” Pat points out that there are actually three related behaviors: fear, anxieties, and phobias. Fear is the reaction to presence or proximity of an object, individual, or situation. Anxiety is caused by an anticipation of real or imagined danger. And phobias -- the most difficult to resolve because they are irrational -- “are persistent, extreme, inappropriate fear or anxiety responses.” Pat goes on to explain how to use counter conditioning and desensitization to change the dog’s fears, anxieties, and phobias.

We all wish that love and good intent alone could resolve a rescued dog’s many challenges, whether the problems are based in genetics or by abuse. But we know better now. The compassion shown by an “until mom” is strengthened by informed approaches to problems.

If only dog behaviorists could find a way to eliminate a foster parent’s tears on the “forever” day...

I was smiling on this foster dog's "forever" day... until he and his forever mom drove away.

If you'd like to foster, please apply here. The joy almost always outweighs the tears.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday Tails: And then there were three

By Karen Kato

I'm still finding it hard to believe that only three short years ago we were a single cairn terrier household, "owned" by the love of my life, My Fair Tuckie Bear (Tucker), who became an absolutely pawsome member of our family in 2003, when he was a wee feisty pupster of 12 weeks old. It bears mentioning here that I had always been attracted to this breed, ever since my lifelong affinity to the famous Toto of The Wizard of Oz. As soon as we were in a position to have a dog in our home, he was *the* one with whom I became completely smitten through a puppy mill rescue and, needless to say, he quickly took over our home as the ruler of the roost. He settled in ever so famously with all the resident humans, as well as our felines (who have both since passed).

When Tuckie Bear turned 12 years young in 2015, he was diagnosed with the vicious cancer beast (twice in remission with chemo and surgeries) and began to slow down just a bit, so we decided it was high time he would benefit from a canine companion. We reached out to Col. Potter and along came My Fair Bridgie Bear (Bridgie), formerly known as CP's Sandy T., an eleven-year-old beautiful baby girl with whom I pawsitively fell in love at first sight via the Col. Potter website. We began the lengthy adoption process, flying her from Washington state to Pennsylvania at our cost, accompanied by foster mom extraordinaire, Janet M., to whom I will be forever grateful. Bridgie Bear had suffered from an extreme anxiety disorder, as well as separation anxiety, so I could not justify sending this precious cargo solo, in a dark, noisy, scary, uncontrolled climate environment. Though it was a costly venture, it was one that was well worth it and has never been regretted.

The day Bridgie Bear arrived, we were experiencing a violent thunderstorm. Bridgie was so terrified, pacing, hyperventilating, panting, and shaking and obviously wondering whatever had she got herself into! But my Tuckie Bear immediately took her under his protective care and held onto her to alleviate her massive stressors. It was definitely an instant bonding with the little timid angel, and they became inseparable. This sweet, tiny, docile little lady has filled our lives with so much love, tenderness and affection, we just couldn't imagine our lives without her.

Sad to say, Tuckie Bear crossed over on November 19, 2017. He died in my arms. His necropsy determined he had developed inoperable cancer of the spleen. I was so inconsolable, I actually had to remind myself to breathe. He was my true love, but more importantly, our Bridgie Bear regressed drastically. She became disinterested in food and in playing, refusing to make eye contact, and spent much of her time despondently "pancaked" out on the floor. She just broke my heart. I feared losing her too, as it seemed she was experiencing a failure-to-thrive situation. So we reached out to Col. Potter in an SOS message, to which they immediately responded. They fast-tracked our adoption of another baby, My Fair Barrett Bear  (Barrett Bear) who was fortunately ready for adoption and stole my heart. He arrived just in time to "rescue" my Bridgie Bear from what I feared would be her ultimate demise over the grieving process. And so we began our two-cairn mansion and felt we were complete.

But now wait just a minute! This time Col. Potter reached out to us to inquire about our availability to foster a new furbaby, BeauWeasel (now Barkley Bear) -- how could I ever say no? I was anxious to rise to the occasion as foster mom to this happy, perky, joyful, little lovebug. Well, I guess this was meant to be, because this gorgeous six-year-old boy fit right in. He made it quite clear that he had absolutely no intention whatsoever on leaving our not-so-humble abode. This cuddly, velcro dog is now officially adopted (YEAH!).

Thankfully I hit the jackpot three times with Col. Potter. Three times really is a charm, and well, three's company too!


Do you have a cairn terrier story to share? Let us know at

Sunday, October 14, 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 Claymore

Foster Arvada

 Foster Bennie

CP Zane

Foster Isla

Foster Starry Night

Foster Skipper Lee

Tess and Lucas

Fosters Capri and Santorini

Fezzy fna Tappan Zee

Foster Bitsi


Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Funnies

click image to enlarge

by Maritsa Patrinos for Buzzfeed

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Col. Potter training tip: The nose knows

“What do dogs have that we don't? For one thing, they possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.”
Since a dog's nose is tens of thousands of times as sensitive to odors as ours, it shouldn’t be surprising that our dogs may not appreciate the chemical air fresheners or even essential oil and candle fragrances we use in our homes. This may be a health issue for asthmatic dogs, but for most of our canine pals it can simply be an issue of preference. Do you want to force your dog, whose sense of smell may be up to 100,000 times as acute as yours, to live with a holiday pine scent if it interferes with the normal everyday scents (of you, for instance)? And what if he just doesn’t like the smell of pines? Would you even know?

Let’s try a little test. Remove the air fresheners, essential oil diffusers, scented candles, and other fragrances from all the rooms in your house. Give your air a chance to clear. And then add the fragrance dispenser in one room, and see if your dog avoids that room or nestles in it. That should give you some indication of your dog’s preferences.

My Westie, Peaches, even sniffs the concrete Pan during her morning garden strolls.

The scent issue also includes our cleaning supplies. I recently got a question from a friend who wondered why her dogs’ “rituals” changed.
“Syd and Logan eat at 4:30, then I eat and they just hang. I then share a chocolate chip cookie with them for my dessert. Syd then falls asleep and Logan lays near the window and looks out. This has been our ritual for 5 years. Now, after chocolate chip cookie time, Logan goes upstairs, lays on the futon. Been going on for 2 weeks. ??????”
I thought this was an interesting conundrum. “Does Logan seem sad, or is he matter-of-fact about it?” I asked. “Did something change outside to make it less interesting? Or, HAVE YOU CLEANED YOUR WINDOWS? (My door window is so smeared with dog stuff that it's impossible to see out, LOL!)”

My friend realized that she changed her window cleaning product two weeks prior, the same time Logan changed his ritual. She had cleaned that window, but not the window upstairs by the futon. She has now changed back to the original cleaner, but Logan has evidently decided he likes the futon, regardless. Was Logan talking with his feet, telling my friend that he didn't like the new smell?
“For humans, smell is a second-tier sense that we use to enjoy food and horribly artificial air fresheners. For a dog, smell is the dominant sense – it rules their world in a way we humans and our puny olfactory abilities simply can’t comprehend.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tuesday Tails: Toto

Today's post is a reprint from the Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion, by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman.

While Frank Morgan's reputation for scene stealing was legendary, he might have met his match in his canine cast mate. According to Beverly Allen, kennel man to Toto's trainer and owner, Carl Spitz, Dorothy's little (female) cairn terrier was not above upstaging a costar. Allen reported, "[Spitz] used to say little Toto would steal a scene from Judy Garland."

A November 8, 1938, M-G-M press release explained that Dorothy's pet was discovered "after a search that covered all parts of the country, the testing of hundreds of dog actors, and receipt by Mervyn LeRoy, the producer, of letters and pictures from every city in the United States." But Toto was found closer to home; Spitz's Hollywood Dog Training School was located right in the San Fernando Valley. The five-year-old, seventeen-pound pup was no stranger to working in motion pictures, having gotten her start opposite Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes (1934). At the time, Toto's name was Terry, but following the popularity of The Wizard of Oz her name was permanently changed.

The Wizard of Oz brought Toto newfound fame, prompting some theatres to raffle off look-alike dogs as publicity stunts. The hottest "signature" among autograph collectors quickly became Toto's paw print. Tongue in cheek, Toto's co-trainer Jack Weatherwax told the International News Service, "She's a wonderful little dog; very stylish when dressed up; and a great little actress." In autumn 1940, Spitz took Toto on the road with five other famous canines in a tour that played theatre stages nationally. Spitz answered questions about proper feeding and training before putting his dogs through reenactments of their on-screen stunts, which climaxed in his Great Dane, Prince Carl, simulating a ferocious attack on a man.

Child actor Martin Spellman worked with Toto when they appeared together in Son of the Navy (1940). He attested to the little dog's appeal, saying, "I have always had dogs my whole life and many were very smart, but Toto was the smartest dog I have ever known." He continued, "I was aware that I was working with Toto [from The Wizard of Oz]. What I wasn't aware of is that I would fall in love with her and she with me. For three wonderful weeks she was my dog. And I missed her when the picture ended like I hoped she missed me." Judy Garland was similarly affected. When she arrived in New York to promote The Wizard of Oz in August 1939, she told interviewer Julie McCarthy she was sad because she missed Toto and even longed to get a dog of the same breed for her very own.

After The Wizard of Oz, Toto continued performing in other pictures, including a 1942 Three Stooges comedy. As was true of all dog actors, she only responded to silent hand cues given from out of camera range (watch her carefully in The Wizard of Oz to see her look off camera for her trainer's direction). Toto passed away during the World War II years, but on June 18, 2011, a permanent memorial honoring her was erected at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Do you have a cairn terrier story to share? Let us know at

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we showcase the sweeter side of cairn terriers. If you would like us to consider YOUR cairn's photo for an upcoming post, send it to us at

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

Doris (fostered as Carlotta)



Roland Lee (ready for adoption)

Solovey (ready for adoption)





Skipper Lee


Plus, see all of our wonderful Col. Potter dogs here!