......with a few enhancements since then (2007,2008,2009,2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
........and a 2015 Note: In June of this year, Rufus passed
on after a very brief, short bout with Liver Cancer. Over a
weekend, Rufus went from being his typical obnoxious self to
seeming out of sorts - kind of looked hung over. That was a bad
sign so on Monday we took him to the vet and a blood test revealed some
numbers forty times greater than what they should normally
be. The vet said he could gove Rufus some pills to increase his
appetite but that was about all he could do, absent a recommendation to
make a very expensive trip to U.C. Davis for further analysis.
The pills did work and Rufus seemed comfortable enough and on a
Thursday morning going out to let the dogs out in the yard, Rufus
did not wake up.
He had a good run and no, I have no desire to repeat the
experience. One Cairn Terrier is enough for me and that is more
than enough to last a lifetime.
1. "It's all about me! "
2. "It's all
3. "I adore everyone! ...... present company excluded, of
(See Breed Motto #1)
'It's Hard to be Humble'
1. Longevity: 14+ years,
2. Intelligence: 37 on
the Canine Scale, 100 being
highest. Let that be your first clue.
Sickeningly Social (see
Breed Motto #3).
5. Bravery or Grandiose
Stupidity depending on the
6. Territorial Instincts: None.
The grass is always greener
7. Guard Dog: What?
You've got to be
8. Fickleness: 100%
9. Lap Dog: Not
10. Number of AKC Best in Show
Championships: Heh, Heh, Heh
"Honey, where's the dog?"
"Pardon me sir (holding your dog at arms length), would this happen to
belong to you?"
"Why am I so angry this morning honey?
Because the $#^*#% dog
next door spent all night barking at a plastic bag stuck on a
"I swear, the only thing worse than having one of those #@$%! dogs in
the neighborhood would be two of them.
They're not breeding, are they?"
"Oh look honey, isn't he sooooooo cute? (You choke back a
natural gag reflex)"
"Oh God, it's loose again!"
"Is that dog deaf? He never seems to come when they
"No honey, the sparkle in that dogs eye can't be intelligence.
Looks to me more like evil intent."
did we end up with a
Some years ago we picked up a
pound puppy slated for the gas chamber.
The hair was incredibly
It looked like a little
ragamuffin of a dog and we felt sorry for it.
Brought it home and named
We shaved all the hair
off and the dog looked like a poodle cross of some sort.
Several people thought
there was some Cairn terrier in him.
First time we'd ever
heard of a Cairn.
Sparky seemed to be a
very affectionate dog, always rubbing his head against your pant leg.
Turned out to be rubbing
his head because he had a severe ear infection in both ears.
We had him for seven or
eight years. He died one Christmas season from kidney failure.
After several months we
decided to get another dog. Neither of us particularly cared
for poodles, clingy
lap dogs or yappy
Not knowing much about
Cairns, we started to do some reading.
Cairns it seemed, fit the
bill. They were portrayed as independent, not a real shedding
to find one of
I was working in and out
of Kansas at the time and thought locating a Cairn breeder
would be easy.
Toto was a Cairn and Cairn memorabilia was very popular at
the KCI airport and in the local
Think I could find one in
Kansas? Not likely.
I finally found a
reputable breeder in Arkansas. I told her I was only
interested in two
wanted a puppy with a good personality and I wanted the dog to conform
reasonably close to the
Personality was highest on the priority list.
The dog was shipped at
eight weeks of age.
An eight week old cairn
only weighs a pound or two and neither of us had any experience with
I thought as a minimum I
should get a water bottle and a tick-tock clock to simulate mom
because the puppy would
doubtlessly be homesick, taken away from the litter at such a young age.
We drove out to the
airport and were about to ask where air freight was located but that
The loud caterwauling at the end of the building provided the
vital clue we needed.
We presented the claim
ticket to the counter agent, who was grateful to hand over the
She asked us to kindly
remove said crate from the premises as
quickly as possible because
several people had
already came down concerned about the possibility of animal abuse.
I decided I'd better open
the crate right there on the floor in case something really was
The noise coming out of
the crate was incredible.
Out bounced a little gray
puppy and it proceeded to bounce straight down the aisle to the
Fifty feet later I finally caught up with it,
grabbed it and
deposited it into the
hands of my wife.
When pups are shipped, they are usually given doggie downers.
downers wore off prematurely. The inside of the the kennel was coated
doo-doo, as was the
I took the pup to the
men's room and washed him down.
The kennel went in the trunk and the dog was wrapped in a towel.
We got the puppy home and
I washed out the kennel.
I put in a nice, fluffy towel, a hot
clock, stuck in the pup and went to bed.
Around four in the
morning I awoke to a racket out in the garage.
Turned out Junior used the
water bottle as a
teething ring and flooded out the kennel.
I cleaned the
kennel again, put in a fresh towel and inserted the dog.
I then covered kennel
with a blanket and went back to sleep.
We got up the next
morning, had coffee and finally remembered there was a new puppy in the
I set the kennel out on
the back porch and opened the door.
The pup ran straight out
off the porch and into a cactus.
More squalling and
neighbors looking out windows to see what in the world was
This of course also set
the two big dogs in a tither, not knowing what to make of the rat-sized
making all the noise.
The small rat-sized
object spent several months in an outdoor puppy pen until it got big
enough that slipping
the neighbor's fence was more of a hassle than what it was
At six months of age the
pup now named Rufus became a major source of aggravation for the two
Rufus chased them, the
female in particular, non-stop. He'd try to grab ears, cheeks
Typical Day in Paradise
once in a while the
big dogs would have enough and roll Rufus on his back, threatening him
If you have never seen
really Po'd Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dogs, it is quite the
sight to behold.
Not knowing you only
weigh ten pounds, have an IQ of 37 and possess absolutely no common
sense can be an
Ten seconds after being
at Death's door, Rufus was up and back and chasing the dogs around the
And on it went.
The new dog was rapidly
becoming a little four-legged demon from hell.
what do you do in a
situation like this?
Training, of course.
After the first day of
training, my wife swore she would never take him anywhere
Rufus was beside himself with all the new people, new dogs, and new
His attention was everywhere but on his owner.
Compounding the problem
was all the other dog owners who just had to come over and say,
Cute!' and 'Isn't he adorable?' about a thousand times.
It got real sickening real fast.
three months, how
did training go?
Well, the dog comes
... occasionally ... and usually to anyone other
Rufus sits when he feels like it,
down when he feels like it and in general minds only when he feels like
unless of course you happen to have a hand full of Snausages.
His Own Terms
Oh, I almost forgot:
We heard Cairns do
particularly well at agility training and there just happened
to be some
agility course training classes
Seeing the look on my
wife's face after the first day of training, I didn't bother
to ask what
I heard all about it in
colorful detail after a few glasses of wine.
A thing about
Cairns.........there are dire warnings about what happens if you let a
Cairn off lead.
Ever, under any Circumstances let a Cairn off Lead.'
- Those kinds
There are several types
of agility training and the trainer thought Rufus would take well to
Rufus was led to the
front of one of those flexible tubes dogs go through while my
wife walked to the other
Rufus was supposed to be
taken off lead and then my wife would call him, encouraging
him to go through the
tunnel to her.
Well, Rufus was far more
interested in the person holding the leash, the other dogs, the smells,
everything except the owner.
several minutes to get his attention.
The leash was removed
Rufus was set in front of the tube.
My wife called him
through the other end and to everyone's amazement he went
tube was about twenty feet long.
He never came out the
other end. My wife and the helper called him. No Rufus.
After several minutes of
exasperation, a boy walked over and offered to go in the tube and
retrieve the dog
- which he did.
He decided he liked it in the shade and settled in for a nap.
The boy emerged with
Rufus, hanging onto the collar.
My wife walked over to
put the leash back on the dog and Rufus jumped up, broke the boy's hold
and ran back
in the tube.
So after a hot,
embarrassing half hour in front of many amused spectators trying to get
dog out of the tube,
I am afraid that was it for agility training.
Trying to Play the Sympathy Card
Terriers one to two years
My wife seems to forget
this stage of life. Every week or so, I would hear in no particular
'The Damn Thing got loose
'The Damn Thing won't
'I can't find the Damn
'The Damn Thing barked at
God knows what all day.'
'I hope the Damn Thing
doesn't come back.'
'How long did you say
these Damn Things live?'
'Send the Damn Thing to
the pound. I can't take it anymore.'
then came the final straw
I came home one evening
to find my wife on the couch, glass of wine in one hand,
bottle in the other,
staring at Oprah.
She had one of those
looks on her face that suggested I keep my mouth shut until
hour or so she said, "Well, aren't you going to ask me how my night
It felt like
one of those loaded questions where no matter how you respond, it's the
Kind of like, "Honey,
notice anything different about me today?" ..... and damned
if you can see
but you assume it must be
the hair (the safest bet), which of course it isn't.
With no small amount of
trepidation I said, "How did your night go?"
And she said
How did my night
go? Well, let me tell you.
- I put the big dogs in their kennel and called Rufus.
I walked around the yard
calling the little *&^*#$ and still no Rufus.
I said fine, let the
little &$^%$ stay out all night.
- I went out back and called Rufus again. No Rufus.
I looked out
front. No Rufus.
Fine. I hope
the little %*$# stays lost!
- I am actually starting to get a little worried, call the
and ask them if they have seen the dog.
No one has seen the dog.
I drove around the
neighborhood even though it was late to see if I could spot
him. No Rufus.
- I decided to try one last time and walked out on the deck
Rufus again, bouncing his favorite ball at the same time
(Cairns have an obsession
I called for a good five minutes.
I lost control of the
ball and it bounced off the deck out into the
It was dark and I
couldn't see where the ball went so I went back in the kitchen and
the deck light.
I found the ball and walked back up the porch steps.
I happened to look left
and guess who I saw lounging on the most comfortable deck chair?
And he was looking at me
with an expression that said, "What! What are you so upset about?".
*$*$&$# little dog was sitting there the entire time, never
came when I called and never made
I looked at him, bounced
the ball on the deck and said sweetly,
"Rufus, look at what I
got! Do you want your ball?" I rolled it into the
kitchen expecting Rufus to follow me in.
The #!#^)# dog never got
off the deck chair!
I walked out and grabbed
the little %*(#%& and threw him, the ball and the blankey into
the kennel, locked
it and put it in the
Tomorrow, unless I am
feeling any better than I am tonight, my good buddy Rufus is
going on a permanent
the interest of family harmony,
I made a few calls.
Small dogs take a year or
so longer to mature than large dogs, meaning puppyhood is
Neutering might prevent
the roaming instinct.
So, off to the vet for a
This I think may have
ended up being a mistake because the dog really is a good, conforming
of his breed.
The reason for roaming
wasn't so much because that is what male dogs do in his case.
It was because there
wasn't enough action going on in the back yard.
Cairns love to stir the
pot, jack things up, get things going.
If the action is not at home, why there is a whole
neighborhood to explore!
For this reason and due the gregariousness (is that a word?) of these
dogs and the fact that they have absolutely no loyalty,
it cannot be emphasized enough to
And I Mean NEVER, Let The Dog Off
owned a ferret or know someone who owns (or more likely owned) a
ferret? One opening
and they are gone.
Cairns, like Ferrets assume since they love everything except
for rodents, that everything loves them as well.
Off lead their little brains work something like this:
'Oh look down the block! Another dog! I've got to
No, wait! There's a person across the street.
Another best friend!
No, wait! This person is nice but someone is
getting into the Schwan's Truck. I love him too!
No, wait! What's that chatter in the background?
calling me? Can't think of anyone important.............
No, wait! '
....................You get my drift.
And this brings me to the Cairn Terrier alternate theme song:
Three Years Later:
Rufus the Obnoxious is
now Rufus the Marginally Tolerable.
The ball obsession is
still there but he isn't as persistent.
The dog still has
absolutely no loyalty.
He is as full
of spirit as ever.
Rufus is still
even tempered, which is a good thing.
He has a mouth full of teeth a
Pirahana would envy.
He could do some real damage with little effort.
After a particularly trying day at the hair dresser's.
need to take a break sometime, or the other dogs need a break from
I guess you could call this video - 'Bedtime
for Bonzo' or 'Blankey or Ball'
Would we ever get another
I kind of think going
through the experience of puppyhood is analogous to that of
child birth in
tend to forget all the grief you went through at the time, or so I
Or maybe we might just go
for something a bit more exotic - like a bowl of goldfish.
....and just in case you thought I was kidding........
If you have a cairn story, pics or a
video you'd like to pass
along, feel free.
Pup versus Adult Coat Colors:
A number of people have asked if I have pics of coat colors as a pup
and then coat colors as an adult.
I don't have many.
If you have a couple pics to spare of pup and then adult coat
colors, I'd like to start showing the comparisons.
For Emails, please include the word 'cairn' or 'terrier; in the subject
Also, some of you folks take great pictures but you send them along
in sizes too small for me to work with.
If you would be so kind as to send at least 400x 400 pix, that would be
Sizes up to
one mb work fine for me.
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or maybe I plain scared you off................
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