Monday, March 30, 2009

One Big Happy Family!

So sorry that it has taken me this long to sit down and write to you about my babies, Toby (Barrow) and Lucy (Miss Mellie). There is so very much to tell you, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Very suddenly last summer, we lost our recently adopted, elderly Westie rescue, Fraser, to cancer. Although we knew he was ill when we adopted him and had no guarantees as to how much time we would have with him, it was still a terrible shock and a very, very sad time for us. Our other young Westie, Geordie, was missing his buddy in the worst way. Our hearts -– never mind our home – felt excruciatingly empty. I know that someone was watching over us because a few short weeks after Fraser’s passing, we learned about Colonel Potter and our whirlwind journey to adopting one then two Colonel Potter kids was underway!!!!

First came little Toby, aka El Diablo, Fang, Munchkin, Bumbos and many other nicknames. Named “Barrow” when he found his way to Col. Potter, Toby may be small in size but he is a big boy in his mind, soul, heart and spirit. As I say to him every day, “Toby, you’re just toooooo cute!!!!!!!!” He drives me crazy he’s so cute, huggable to death cute, want to kiss him endlessly cute, can’t stop looking at him cute!!!! It’s largely because he is so small but has such a huge attitude. Toby is my “full of beans” guy because he loves to run and jump, play and he even chases balls. Sometimes, as I’m watching him run like a champion athlete, I think about what torture it must have been for him to be confined in a puppy mill. Toby bonded with me and my husband, Ken, and our Westie, Geordie, immediately. I also think of him as our little miracle worker because watching Toby enjoying life so much and discovering his new world with Geordie in tow restored the joy and fun in our home that was lost when Fraser passed away.

Well, within a few weeks of young Toby joining our family we were very lucky to be able to also adopt Miss Mellie whom we have renamed Lucy. What a dear, sweet girl our little lady is. Absolutely everything Lucy does is with gusto and a zest for life. She gives the most gentle kisses, loves to cuddle, has the warmest brown eyes imaginable that speak volumes and although I call her my “Princess” she is a right little tomboy who keeps up with her two brothers, no problem! Lucy likes to keep herself busy by emptying the toy box then inviting Toby and Geordie to just dare and try to get a toy away from her. On those occasions when they decide to ignore her, Lucy is very contented to play by herself. Although there are some remnants from her past life in the puppy mill which still haunt her from time to time, she is very cheerful and confident. She loves everyone she meets and always greets people and dogs alike with a tiny whimper as if to say, “please love me.” Lucy is my little pumpkin, the dearest little lady who I try to reassure every day when she looks at me with those endlessly deep eyes that no one will ever hurt her again as long as there is life in my body.

We just can’t believe our good fortune to have these precious little ones with us. I spend most of my day just watching Toby, Lucy and Geordie play together, eat together, lying in the sun together – just being happy puppy dogs together. There is absolutely no place in the world that I would rather be than with my babies. Apart from when we’re at the beach or on the doggie trails, our favourite time is when we go sleepies. Everyone is snuggled up together, quite often Toby and Lucy will lay their little heads on Geordie or on each other, content and safe and comfy-cozy.

None of this would have been possible without the entire Col. Potter organization, particularly the absolutely awesome and incredibly loving foster parents (Lisa and Mark) and (Dilys and Steve) who nurtured and loved our little guys, preparing them for their new homes by showing them kindness and gentleness and so many other wonderful things that neither Toby or Lucy had ever known before. We were also blessed to have Allison as our matchmaker who, with her team, brought us all together with lightening speed and incredible ease, professionalism and compassion. It brings me to tears when I think about how hard everyone worked on our behalf to make this miracle happen, not once, but twice.

Little Toby is the grey brindle bundle of energy, little lady Lucy is our red-head and Geordie is our Westie boy.

Hope this gives you some sense of our lives together. All I really needed to say was that we love our little guys more than anything in the world and are so very grateful to have them. There is never a dull moment around our house with these little monkeys. We couldn’t imagine life any other way.

All the best,
Conny, Ken, Toby, Lucy Muir and Geordie

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Scarlett!

Dear Col. Potter Family,

“On February 17th, 2007, Col. Potter rescued Scarlett from a MO puppy mill. The auction was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM in two tents due to the number of dogs. Due to cold weather and wind the auction didn’t even start until almost 2:30 PM! Insults to injury Cairns were third from the last! Our person got 9 of the 13 available Cairns; 7 females all 2000 and older and the 2 males - a 03 and a 99. He spent every penny of our budget which means these kids were going for pretty high prices considering their age.”

Thank you Col. Potter for your diligence and dedication. Because of this brave rescue, we have had the pleasure of Scarlett’s company for these last 31 months, through thick and thin, in sickness and health, good times and bad, and now we have the honor of watching her turn 11 years old. We get to spend a 2nd birthday with her. How endearing is that?
Scarlett just gets better and better. Goes on and on and on. What a little trooper. We love her so. She had a play date at a friends tonight and now we will cuddle in bed together because she deserves this and so much more. What a gift an older dog is. Who knew? I wouldn't trade her for 10 of the cutest young dogs in this group.

Happy 11th Birthday Scarlet! Colleen K. the Yankee with a little Southern on the side

Saturday, March 28, 2009

C-B Cairn Cards

Betty Richardson (WA artist and Cairn owner) and I have a small Cairn card business, and I'd love y'all to take a look at what we have. A portion of the sale price will go to Col. Potter. Betty did all the watercolors. She also does watercolors of people's animals, etc.--beautiful work.

Carol in CA

Lovie Gets a Job

A few weeks ago I asked if anyone knew about a group who did animal visits at hospital, nursing homes and places like that. Well, I found a group called Pet Pals ( Pets in Education and Therapy, People and Animals in Life Sharing) that does this kind of work. I went for the training and on a visit to a Hospice in my area.

Then, before I did any further work for the group Lovie and I had to go for a Pet Personality Assessment. So we went this morning. Lovie made all of Cairndom proud today! In the waiting area she was so friendly that she went and sat on the lap of one of the other people who were there for an assessment.

She rode in an elevator for the first time and talked to strange dogs, ( a Corgi, a Golden, a Papillon and another Cairn). She was petted, handled and loved on by strangers. At one time there were three adults and a child all crowded around her. Someone dropped a plastic cup of stones in back of her .. she was tested all sorts of ways and passed with a score of 100% and was hired on the spot!! She even got her first pay in the shape of a Beggin Strip broken into tiny pieces which were easy for her to eat since she has no teeth!!

So Lovie, who spent ten years in a Puppy Mill, will be starting out of a new career as a Hospice Visitor. Please wish her luck!!!!

Deirdre & Lovie, IA
Who will both try to Practice Random acts of kindness
And Senseless Beauty

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hi Everyone, My name is Marian G and I live in Bethlehem, PA. Atty (formerly known as Atropos) joined our family on February 14th. She is doing beautifully and we are so happy she found her forever home with us. She has settled in to our home nicely.

She loves toys, walks great on a leash, cuddles lots, and has a sweet disposition. My son, age 11, receives the most kisses for which he is quite proud but she is connecting with all of us. Atty is quite social and seems to think everyone she sees while walking should stop and greet her. She wants to play with all of the other dogs she meets as well.

Her Cairn instincts are definitely alive and well as she encounters the rabbits and squirrels on our walking adventures. She accompanies me to work often at a private high school and the kids think she is great. Atty has been a wonderful addition to our family.

We had a 10 year old Norfolk Terrier named Abbey who passed away in August of 2007. She was a very special girl. It took a year and a half to open my heart again and every time I look at Atty, I know Abbey would be happy that she is receiving our love and care. A hole in my heart is again full.
Atty is quite a special girl too. Our experience with everyone in the CPCRN was remarkable. I know I will volunteer in some way in the future to such a wonderful cause. The photo of Atty shows her with her favorite toy that accompanied her home from her foster mom, Cindy. It has been sewn three times now, but it is still going strong. Atropos was a goddess of fate and we believe it was fate that brought her to us. I'm glad to join the group!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

JJ AND HIS COOKIE...Thinking of Adopting a Senior?

One week from today, my old man JJ will turn 13yrs old. While he spends most of the day in his bed, when he decides to be a clown, he really knows how. For those that don't know, JJ came from a mill. He and the rest of his group were extrememly damaged. Watching him blossom and learn to trust has been one of the most gratifying things in my life. If someone had told me that I could take an old coot of a dog at 10yrs old and love him as much as I do the dogs that came to me as young ones, I would have laughed at them. JJ touched my heart from the beginning, in a way I can't explain. Never hesitate to take one of our senior babies and give them the love they have waited for so long. I hope you enjoy this little clip of my old man the clown
View this montage created at One True Media

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful Bessie

We've had Bessie (originally Ibis) for 2 months now and she has filled out her coat and become a very sweet and compelling presence in our home. She had a wonderful foster mom for 2 months before that who did a great job with her... and life just keeps on getting better for her. Martha often says to her: "Oh, Bessie, you got lucky," but then I quickly remind her that we are the lucky ones!
She has been spending some time in New York City and learning to run at the dog run with quite a few dogs around her and she tends to lead the pack, then go hide under a bench for a breather. Once we get back to the country, she really loves her home there, the long walks and the romps in the meadow.
We have one cat, an old girl, very alpha, and Bessie is quite respectful of her, which means they get along okay. I want to thank everyone in the network who made this possible. We are just so glad we got a chance to rescue Bessie and watch her come into spring so joyfully.
Thanks again, Maureen and Martha

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A "Rescue" Story

Good afternoon to all, my name is Gary P. My family adopted Rescue 3335, who we now call Rudy. He is a great boy and is settling in quite nicely. Without being long-winded, Rudy could not have come to us at a better time. We had a Cairn, Patches for 15 beautiful years. He went to Rainbow Bridge in November 2008. We lost my brother to cancer last week and Rudy came to us the day before Mark's wake. I received my prayers and thoughts from many in the CP organization. Special thanks go to Ruth H., Kathy H. and Keren M. whom I now consider my friends and all in the group. I refer to Kathy as the "Cairn Whisperer". I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful organization and to be associated with all of you. Well I said, I was not going to be long-winded but "Hey, I am Italian what do you expect?" :) Thank you one and all!
Sincerely, Gary & Family

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

A beautiful update on a beautiful boy..... an update on Ghillie, formerly known as Chess.

Hello, fellow Woof mums -- just realized I have had Ghillie nearly 2 months now and thought you might like to know how he's doing. In a word: swimmingly! Still quite timid around people and urban noises when we're out, but he has blossomed and is settling in to his new home. He sleeps with me and goes with me nearly everywhere. When I cannot bring him with me, he stays in the kitchen behind a baby-gate with toys, bed, and water, and has shown no signs whatsoever of any separation anxiety.

I'm working with a trainer using clicker training to counter-condition his fears. This is a slow, gradual process, but he has already made progress and the prognosis is good. Men remain in the "scary things" column for him, so we'll concentrate on that in a few weeks.

He's so funny and cute -- definitely not a morning person, lolls in bed long after I've arisen, and then is just a bundle of energy at night. He loves to run around the back yard, chasing squirrels and crows, and as long as there are no nearby trucks or buses shifting gears, enjoys our walks and sniffing. He now actually stops and waits for a treat when he sees a person approaching -- a very good sign. His appetite is good and I have just switched him to a raw diet. And he gets a nice marrow bone to chew on when I brush him. (And this is news since he appeared to be frightened of the brushes at first.) He's not yet ready to go to a groomer but I have a good one lined up who is familiar with Cairns and is quite gentle and patient.

He has marked a couple of times here and and at friends' homes ... so I'm still working on that (trying to catch him in the act in order to put him out right away). He has barked only a few times but growls at one of his squeaky toys. I am actually looking forward to his barking if some one's at the door -- I think that will indicate his knowing that this is is home.

All in all, he's doing very, very well and I just love him to bits and pieces. Thank you again for bringing him to me! Hope all is well with all y'all and your fur babies!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Hershey!

Please celebrate with us - it's Hershey's 3rd birthday!!! Today is a day for a little extra something in your dinner bowl, a nice salmon roll for a treat and lots-n-lots of belly rubs!!! Hershey, we adore you!!! Love your family: mom, dad, the girls, Dilly and Viola xoxoxox

Friday, March 13, 2009

A New Leash On Life XIV

Col. PotterCairn Rescue Network's
IRS registered 501(c)3 Charity
On To High Cotton
OPENS: Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 9:00 AM EDT
CLOSES: Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 at 9:00 PM EST

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Hello from Freedom Flyer IV, Macaw (now Izzy, our gentle Southern Belle)

Izzy's (fka MACAW) one-month "gotcha day" will be this Friday 3/13, so I thought this would be a good time to do my first post here. She is our first Cairn. Izzy, one of the Freedom-Flyer IV puppy mill rescues, is 4.5 years old, female grey brindle. My husband Bubba and I live in Clinton, South Carolina. My husband is 63 and retired; I am 58 and still working.

We have an RV 5th wheel and plan to take Izzy with us camping once the weather gets better when we visit Hilton Head and other campgrounds. We live in the country on 200 acres. Izzy is indoors except for 2-3 daily walks on leash, however, as our yard is not fenced.

Our 7 yr old cat OREO and Izzy adore each other, so I thought this would be the perfect photo for this post. Who says cairns and cats don’t mix?!?

Izzy does great walking on a leash and loves her crate which she sleeps in at night (next to my side of the bed). She doesn't seem to want to use the crate during the day, but if we have to leave her alone for a short while we put her in her crate until we get back and she doesn't seem to mind. Potty training has gone great, only one accident (& I think this was a stress reaction after her first bath last weekend; she pooped on the sofa while we were napping – I also wonder if I might have let out a snore and scared the poop out of her!).

We lost our beloved Prissy 7/3/08 after 16 years (Shih Tzu) and our other cat
Tigger died of a sudden brain-stroke on 8/13/08, so we were hit with a double-whammy last year in just two month's time. Both of these pets were very precious to us and we are still grieving their loss but Izzy is busy working to fill that empty space in our hearts.

Izzy is progressing, but is still very skittish and easily spooked. She does not bark, wag or even hold up her tail, does not play with toys, and is just now accepting treats (she adores cheese!). We want sooooo badly to help IZZY and really want to do everything right and give her a wonderful life and the best forever home possible. Looking forward to seeing what changes we see in the 2nd month and hope the progress continues!

Most recently, I gave Izzy a few bites of cheese (da dog lubs da cheese!!) then while I "had" her attention, I showed her the long stuffingless fox toy. Wasn't expecting much, as she hasn't played with any of her toys yet. Well, after a few taunts, she started chasing the fox around as I was slowly swinging it around her head. I let her catch it and she started playing with it on her own. After a few minutes, she stopped and rested her head on it. So I acted like I was gonna steal it and she started playing again, started making it squeek all by herself. And here's the big surprise. She grabbed it by the tail and dragged it behind her and went into her crate (she never goes into her crate during the day) to play fox. How cool is THAT?!?!?

Thank you, Col. Potter's Network – what an awesome team of folks and a wonderful thing you are doing for these furkids! A special thanks to Izzy's awesome Foster Parents John and Wendy W (hope we can get together this summer and RV!!) , our very-patient Matchmaker Liz R, our Post-Adoption Coordinator Mary N, our HSI's Edythe and Kristen who we really enjoyed meeting and hope to see again soon, as well as Cathy A, Joanne S, Donna B, and all the other many,many wonderful folks who worked to make this possible for us!

Group-Hug from Susan, Bubba, Oreo, and Izzy-Macaw!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Griff

Hi, here's a video of Griff's life in pictures since he was first rescued by Col. Potter back in March, 2006. Join us in wishing Griffy a Happy Third Gotcha Day! Just click on the link to view
Barb, David, Daisy and Griff

Vancouver, BC Canada

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bea is "Best Senior"

Some of you may remember Beijing. She was found in a local shelter having been turned in because she "supposedly killed a rabbit". Gee, she is a Cairn after all!! Well anyway, CP rescued her on her final day before being euthanized. Bea was fostered in VA where she became best buddies with her foster sister Neha. A wonderful thing happened, both girls were adopted together and now they are living in Mount Pleasant, SC with Mom, Bonnie.

At the beginning of March Bea beat 14 other contestants and won the Best Senior Contest in the 2009 Isle of Palms Doggie Day. Hooray for Bea! The seniors are the best!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lighting a Candle and Celebrating Brandy's Life

My first Col. Potter adoptee, Brandy, crossed the bridge tonight. After 16 years, the majority as a diabetic, her heart and kidneys gave out. She died peacefully in my arms with the help of our vet, after the vet (who had treated her for years and loved her like her own) said all of her body systems were shutting down and it was time.
Brandy was given up by her first owners at age 8 after she became diabetic. She was rescued by Monika R (and became a CP dog) on the day before the owners were taking her to be euthanized because no one had answered their want ad.
Brandy was the dog of my heart and will be deeply missed. But through my tears, I also want to celebrate this beautiful senior dog that Col.Potter brought into my life, and all the joyful and peaceful moments she gave me over the years.
Rest in peace, Brandywine. You were so very loved.
- Linda, Chicago

Remembering Jason (fka Hawkeye)

We all lit a candle for Jason so he may find his way to the Rainbrow Bridge. His Mom said Jason's quality of life has been in decline for about about 1 month, the vet feels it's time to let him go. So he got some extra spoiling over the weekend. Then was cuddled in Chris' arms covered in her tears as he went to the rainbow bridge feeling her love.

Thanks to CP for allowing me to foster this special boy, he was CP's Hawkeye in Nov.05, then became CP's Jason in Sept.07.
-- Chris in Galveston, TX

Monday, March 2, 2009

SGT Devlin Reporting from the Nation’s Capital

SGT Devlin here, reporting from my home near Washington, D.C. Now that I’ve been at this duty post for a year, I can tell you it’s never a dull moment. I am constantly on patrol to keep my family and the whole neighborhood safe from squirrels, chipmunks, Canada geese and any other threats. The worst are the big jet planes. They don’t fly over often, but when they do, I give it to ‘em good. I am proud to report a 100% success rate – not one plane has dared to land in Mom’s yard since I have been on duty! Of course, I have help from my bossy big sister, uh, I mean, CPT Lucy. She’s been posted here longer than me so she thinks she knows everything!

The mess hall here is great! I have lots of fun playing with my toys, my fellow cairn, my boy and my girls. We have two PT times every day – a brisk walk around the pond and a walk with the colonel through the woods and streets, plus play time in the yard. I am in tip-top shape! I have learned many new things – I can shake, lie down, heel, stay, sit, come and be quiet. I can even go up on my hind legs and dance. I am a good listener, but I also like to talk. I like to have long conversations with Mom and the kids, and I always brief the Colonel at the end of the day. My favorite thing to do is cuddle with Mom for scratches and a belly rub. Mom calls me her “Doodle Bug” which is kinda embarrassing for a cairn in uniform, but what the heck. The belly rubs are worth it!

So after a year, I can truly report life is good. I want to thank all the people at Colonel Potter who helped me out, especially my Foster Mom, Terri. Say “hi” to the gang back there in Poca from me! This is SGT Devlin, over and out.

February 2009 Adoptions

February may have been a short month, but still 30 cairns went to their "furever" homes, including 3 to Canada. The lucky kids are:
King Ferdinand in British Columbia
Ajax in CA
Reading now Millie in CA
Writing in CO
Rebel in FL
Rescue in MA
Cherry in MO
Intrepid in NC
Kasold in NC
Parrot in NC
Santa Maria in NJ
Praline in NJ
Lachesis in NY
Euro now Honey in NY
Dixmoor NY
Ellemir in OH
Columbus in OK
Cherubim in Ontario
Diego in OR
Atropos in PA
Kincaid in PA
Dove now Karli in PA
Cockatiel now Molly Moo in SC

Macaw now Izzy in SC
Nider in TX
Mahjong now Macy in VA
Toucan in VA
Dayon in WA
Tahti in WA
Elmhurst in Quebec

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wesson, a CP Miracle, Turns 15!

Please celebrate with us as Wesson turns 15 tomorrow. She spent the first 11.5 yrs of her life in a puppy mill before she was finally released and rescued by Col. Potter. Wesson was in such terrible shape and had so many health issues that the intake vet didn't think she would survive. I agreed to foster her with the knowledge that I would have a very short time to show her love and then have to help her to the Bridge. Well, Wesson had other ideas! With Col. Potter's medical support and all the love and prayers from her CP family, she showed everyone what a tough PM mama is made of.Wesson will always be deaf, have chronic dry eye, arthritis and allergy/skin issues due to all the years of neglect in the mill......but that isn't what I see when I look at her, or even a senior cairn. I see a determined girl who never gave up and proved that miracles do exist. Wesson is my Inspiration and I would recommend everyone adopt a wise and mature(senior) cairn. Lori- Rogers, AR PS....Wesson requests no gifts, but would love some hunky boy cairn pics to pin up in her crate. She wanted the real thing, but I told her no.
Wesson's photos here