Jump to content

Talk about a small world! It just got small-er. . .

Toto-lee Cairn

Recommended Posts

Our neighborhood has nice sprawling sidewalks, and grassy areas, and there is little traffic through here once the school buses pull-out, and the majority of the 'hood is doing *whatever* they do.  Neighbors, of all ages, walk, or jog, or run, or bike, often with a dog or dogs, in tow.

My routine includes enjoying my coffee in the early hours of the a.m., the first by myself, and then Toto will bark to tell me he's up, come get him.  Hilary and/or George may join me at some point, but as the Tshirt and the bumper sticker advertise,  Life is good.

A number of homes have sold in the last year, and I will espy individuals and dogs, out walking, that I may not recognize.  Imagine my curiosity and delight when I see a couple, with (3) smaller dogs in tow, one of which is very much a Cairn, and the other (2) possibly Cairn mixes.  'Mixes,' I surmise because something might just be a little off -- too long-legged, wrong color, ie, white-white and not cream, muzzle too long, too short.

So finally, I am driving home myself, with my Toto, strapped-in the back seat, and notice the couple with the three dogs, and I stop.

Turns out, one is a Cairn, much like my own dark-brindle, the other two have Cairn in them, and all (3) have been rescues.  Finding that out, I mention my first Cairn had been, too.  LO! and behold!  Same rescue, we're talking about.  The woman had been an intakes officer, helped foster the dogs, and because these (3) had been difficult and might not be able to actually re-homed, she and her husband kept them.  I am thinking :: dog whisperer.  We start sharing names, of workers, and dogs, and she recounts how she and her husband came to live here in Durham, almost didn't choose Durham to call 'home,' but were glad they did.

The Cairn rescue group, originally was founded in CA, and branched-out across the States.  My first Toto was in FL, and when I adopted him, the foster mother met George and I in Savannah to bring him home.  We were able to introduce Hilary to her newest 'little brother' as she was at SCAD at the time.  And, when I lost my first Toto, I checked with them on another one, but when a friend of mine found a Cairn puppy at a pet store -- ugh! -- I figured I just cut-out the middle man.  So many Cairns, terriers in general, end-up needing to be re-homed because people get them for all the wrong reasons.  Had I not been the first one through the pet store doors that particular day, this Toto would probably have gone home to the wrong family -- I could just tell.  The woman was looking for a 'cute puppy' for her small children.  Evidently, she didn't see this one jump up, and at 15 weeks old, bite me on the nose. 

Anyway, there are (3) Cairns in the hood -- mine, and a 'twin' of sorts, a cream-colored one -- and thse two additional mixes that couldn't be any cuter.  Let the antics begin!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow. everybody will move to your neighborhood.

you comment on cairns ending up in rescue (or worse) is very true. these are not simple or easy dogs and too many people throw them away when they (the humans) aren't up to the challenge. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

You can easily become involved in rescue groups for any breed you might choose.  With the exception of this Toto I have now, ours over the years have come to us from all sorts of situations, including the rescue of a box of (3) puppies left alongside the highway.  (How can someone be so cruel?) 

Cosmos, we adopted from the local Humane Society -- one of the women I taught with at the HS knew we were looking for a JRT for our daughter, and when one came into the shelter, she let me know.  There were 2-3 of us interested in the little fellow, who was just over a year old (and quite a handful).  We lived on a large tract of land in the middle-of-nowhere where Cosmos could run free, and have someone in George's family around 24/7.  He was the perfect dog, once he learned he could trust us not to abuse him like he had been, and we delighted in his antics.  With all that he initially destroyed around the house, he was easily the most $$$ dog we ever adopted, but the entertainment and love he provided was priceless.

George found one dog, a young Black Lab, in the swamp.  His family always participated in the Audubon Society bird count each January.  I think if he hadn't stumbled upon Annie when he did, she's have surely drowned or had some other horrible mishap -- gator, water moccasin. No one claimed her, and she was as sweet as she could be.  That Summer, Hilary and I found the box on the side of the road, homed (2) of the puppies and kept Sydney for the long-haul.  She was sweet, too, and good company for Annie.  The two of them were a pair -- a Black lab, and a blonde lab mix.

The family kept the pair when work took us away from what I had come to call The Compound.  Cosmos went with us, and George was called to see if he wanted to make a home for a Weimaraner.  He had had Weimaraners most of his life, having been given a puppy as a young boy.  The breeder happened to be a friend of his family, and he figured he had to gift George a dog to call his own if he wanted his dogs 'back.'  Didn't quite work that way -- he had two of the man's Weemies, and the puppy he called 'Lady.'  Lady had 11 puppies in her first and only litter, and George, now at 74, still talks about those puppies as 'the cutest he has ever seen.'  Over the years, we have always had a Weimaraner; always a rescue and who we found are almost as misunderstood as poor terriers.

I grew up with a few dogs, but always wanted a 'Toto.'  Didn't know it was an actual breed, until I stumbled upon one and learned about Cairns.  The owners had gotten theirs from the group I adopted the first one from, and worked for -- doing correspondence and occasional transport.  He was a delightful little Cairn, whose two previous owners had died (an elderly gentleman, and then his grown son who died from a heartache).  He was fairly traumatized, having been let out to potty, and watched his 2nd owner 'go down' just on the other side of the glass door.  He never left my side, and at the time we had Maxx, a Weemie, who'd been left tied to a tree; an older Cosmos, who has been sorely abused because he did not 'act like a Lab,' and then, my Toto.

There are plenty of poor dogs (and cats, and ponies, and horses, and cows, you-name-it) looking for homes.  We have loved them all, and been glad we could take them in.  About the only thing George's sister didn't 'drag home' and offer a stall in the barn to, was a human -- I think that was largely because she didn't like people.

And another, long-long-long tale . . .

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register after. Your post will display after you confirm registration. If you already have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • A meeting place and
    online scrapbook for
    Cairn Terrier fanciers.



  • All posts are the opinion and
    responsibility of the poster.
  • Post content © the author.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Site Guidelines | We put cookies on your device to help this website work better for you. You can adjust your cookie settings; otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.