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I hope all the pooches and uprights on this site are managing to cope with the health crisis. Like many folks, I'm feeing stressed as life in the city continues to be challenging. 

In the midst of all this I actually just had a good chuckle - which prompts this post - Hopefully to pass along some good cheer ...based on a chance remark by a friend who mentioned the name of their childhood dog: "Dimples". That name tickled my funny bone and reminded me of others that I've come across: Shorty, Biscotti, Mojito, Olive and Tomato, (litter mates), Fatty, Helen, etc. 

Just to pass the time, it would be nice to hear some cool names from others.😀

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I can’t think of any unusual and funny names for dogs but I can share a doozie of a name of  a wonderful horse I had for 26 years. He was an Appaloosa with a registered name of , Zips My Pop Too....I named him Pappy. 

Yes the isolation can be a tough one, but important we all do it. I am hardly a domestic queen but am actually doing things like baking....when this is all over it will be amazing if I can fit through the door! Plus there are two balls of wool and knitting needles that keep on staring at me....don’t have a clue but if I get desperate will give it a try. We do take the two hairy ones for long walks each morning, even though it’s still very cold here with snow and ice covering the landscape.

Hug your dogs today, we are the lucky ones.💕

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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My favorite dog name belonged to a dog who years ago lived down the street, owned by a former Marine, a lifelong bachelor.  "Semper Fido," shortened to Semp. And of course what kind of dog did that gruff ex-Marine own?  A cute red mini-dachshund...Both gone now, but fun and funny neighbors...

I am really finding it hard to stay in isolation though, as someone comparatively high risk (70, plus some health issues) I really need to.  I used to spend mornings in my studio, just a block away.  It is a cooperative studio, though, run as part of a clay arts nonprofit.  I have had a space there for more than ten years.  Due to COVID 19, though, they have closed the studios, the galleries and the shop until at least the end of April and realistically probably longer.  Some of our artists are "hand-building" at home.  I work on a wheel though -- which I do not have at home, and would not bring into our house as I really have no space for something that generates that much dust and dirt. I am spending some time sketching. I also did buy both varnish and paint before stores closed down.  The plan is to refinish my kitchen cabinets and paint a black-and-white harlequin floor on the cement floor in our laundry room.  We will see...   I am hoping for an early spring and the promise of gardening.

I am reading for an hour or two each day, and the dogs think I do this so they can take their naps on top of me.  See photo!

I have been "zooming" with friends, participating in happy hours and in book clubs.  Does anyone here zoom?  Maybe we should have a CairnTalk zoom and finally see each other face-to-face!



Edited by Kathryn
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Kathryn, I am up for Cairn Zooming, let me "bone up" on it...

Katie just finished  Zoomies through the  house ... cabin fever getting to her

Check out Pluto Living on Youtube. Influencer of our times!

Sure to bring a smile in these stressful times. !

Cheers all!


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 My friends' two jrt's were called Tizzie and Ruckus. Named for their behavior when little pups. Ruckus always stirring things up between them and any other live thing around. Tizzie getting in a tizzy very easily. What a pair they were. Sadly missed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

All are stressed from not being able to having face to face encounters. Oh how we miss our Happy Hours with our friends

I know that Katie misses her group doggie walks, playtime and Sunday Social.

Our local California Canine Training Center sent out suggestions for Tips for Keeping your Dog Busy and (and Tired)

Dogs need physical exercise and mental stimulation everyday!

Hopefully with all the extra time the Shelter-In-Place order has created, you are all taking long walks with your dog, playing fetch, and/or engaging in a good game of tug. Below are the things you should do to get the most out of these activities:

  • Be sure to keep walks to a distance or time limit your dog can manage. You can always slowly increase the time/distance as your dog becomes more fit. This will avoid injuries and build stamina.
  • Young puppies under 9 months (when their growth plates are fully formed) are better off getting shorter walks more frequently during the day.
  • Change up the scenery by walking in different locations. New stimuli equals brain stimulation.
  • Mix up fetching with walks and tug games. Too much of the same activity can lead to injuries. Be sure to cross train and build core muscles by keeping fetch sessions short. Change up where you play fetch.  
  • Keep tug games to 5-7 minutes so you avoid over arousal in your dog. This leads to excessive biting especially in young dogs. Let your dog do all the work of pulling to avoid injuries. Teach them the Drop It command.

In addition to the above mentioned physical exercise, consider adding daily mental stimulation games to tire out your dog. These also work for rainy days.

  • Enrichment toys are an excellent way to feed your dog their meal. Kongs stuffed with moistened kibble with a little peanut butter and then frozen is one example.
  • Obedience exercises should be done everyday day. We recommend 5 minutes at a time multiple times a day.
  • Change locations where you do the obedience work - outside your home, on a walk, at the beach etc.
  • Even with Shelter-In-Place there are distractions everywhere. Stand on a corner and see if your dog can do a Watch Me while cars go by or a Down as people walk by (six feet away of course). This is hard work for your dog and they will be tired!

Teach them a new trick! Rollover, shake, play dead, hold a treat on their nose and more!

Thank you California Canine!




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  • 4 weeks later...

We have been in shelter in place,” house arrest”, since mid March.

For us uprights it meant only leaving the house for “essential trips” that translated to going to the market, picking up take out and walking around the block 5 times a day! For Katie it meant the end of her 3 social outings per week: Sunday small dog social at SPCA, Tuesday group walk at Pet Food Express and Thursday’s hour romp at Dawg Gone it Day Care/Kennel.

We in Monterey CA, are in still in phase one for reopening, but some restrictions have been loosened. Veterinary services are still restricted and dog grooming is closed.

Although we increased our play time with her, she missed her romping with the other pups.

I decided to call the Day Care to check on their opening status and discovered that they never closed! Here in Monterey they are considered “essential”. I checked in with some other counties and have noted that pet services are variable in each county.

We signed Katie up for a half hour of playtime. Gave her a “kiss and a promise” spritz bath as we donned our mask and gloves and brought along our disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers.

The Day Care had a double gated entrance and staff wore masks and gloves. Katie was ecstatic!

When we collected her later we wiped her down thoroughly with doggie wipes before getting into the car. Bath later.

We came home with a happy exhausted pup!  The spark was back in her eyes and her step! We will go again in a couple of days.


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  • 5 months later...
Toto-lee Cairn

It did not escape me that there are two -- count 'em -- threads here.  But then, I'm sharp as Toto's teeth.

Funny dog names.  My first little dog, Dad's beagle (for hunting on the weekends), and mine all other times, I called 'Shindig.'  Back in the late '60's there was a music/dance show by the name, sort of a white version of Soul Train.  Shindig boots -- white, and just over the ankles -- were all the rage.  That cute little fella had four white boots, hence 'Shindig.'

My first dog that was truly all mine was a beautiful female German Shepherd.  The blonde variety, she was sweet and smart, and I had a German acquaintance suggest  'Schnukel,' or sweetheart.  My husband's Weimaraner is 'Rupert,' and when I brought Toto home, I thought 'Murdoch' would be fun until I thought of the two of us calling the boys.  Anyway, for sentimental reasons, my Cairns have been 'Toto.'

A couple here in the neighborhood have Montie and Arlo, which I think are pretty cute. My sister-in-law was fond of unusual Biblical names like Malachi, Methusala, and a dog she nursed back to health called Lazarus.  Her last dog was a runaway that the dog police were after, and she rescued him, hid him, and named him 'Forest' because she could holler, 'Run, Forest, run!'  He turned out to be a pregnant female and had a litter of the cutest puppies you ever saw.  She found homes for them all.

 I know I've encountered others over the years.  I'll just have to think about it.


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Toto-lee Cairn

And now for the second thread here:  dealing with the isolation of COVID 19.

While I am predominantly extroverted, I can always do the 'hermit' thing and content myself to hang around the house.  There are books -- and LOTS of them -- movies and TV series, documentaries, history specials, and online games to play -- bridge, scrabbles, word scramble, *whatever.*  I am both entertained and frustrated by the games that I cannot figure out, for the life of me, how to play. I have the sewing machine set up to make masks and donate to different groups, but my hands are too sore from psoriasis (just on the palms).

My yard looks the best it ever has, and come Spring I plan to move some things around in an attempt to hide them from the deer who think the yard is an all-you-can-eat buffet.  George and I have just about killed ourselves building cairns with all of the rocks in the woods surrounding the house.

This is not to say that even with all I find to do, I'm not stir-crazy.  I am.  I am zoomed-out as well. My women's groups like book club meet this way.  We even zoom Happy Hours.

I was thrilled with the news this week that we may be able to vaccinate come Spring.  Now, if I can just avoid getting sick until then.  Fortunately, my family and friends, and I have remained healthy.  My heart goes out to those not so fortunate.



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  • 3 months later...

I don't know if this is funny, but my daughter suggested BRAMBLE, and now I can't get that out of my mind.  It seems "right" for a Carin.

Other names we're kicking around:

- Dougal MacDogg, Gentleman Bastard

- Charlie, Gentleman Bastard

- Hally, which would be short for Hallelujah


Edited by CloverDragons
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