KERRY (28th October 2003 – 16th January 2015) and MAISIE (2nd June 2004 – 8th February 2018)
We have received this wonderful tribute to two Cairns from David Legg, who adopted them both from CTRF. They had a super life and were greatly loved. Sadly, both have now passed away and David wanted to share some memories of them with us:
“It is with great sadness that I write these words concerning two loving, loyal and precious Cairn terriers so sadly departed.
Through the endeavours of Chris Roberts, I first met Kerry at Southwaite services on the M6 near Penrith on July 4th 2008. She was 4 years old, black and had previously been called Sherry – not a name I thought was appropriate. The previous owners had decided that a holiday abroad was more important than caring for this terrier and so, lucky for me, we met and an instant bond was created and soon both of us were travelling home to the east coast of Northumberland.
That night, I arranged her bed in the kitchen, left her a bowl of water, gave her a cuddle and went upstairs to bed. About 20 minutes later, I heard my bedroom door gently opening and after a few minutes switched on the light to see where Kerry was. She had curled up on the carpet and was falling asleep. Downstairs I went, collected her bed and placed it beside her so that she could get into it and from that day forth all my Cairn terriers have slept in the same room as me at night.
Fortunately, living at the coast, she had plenty of opportunities to walk on the beach and take to the water- whatever the weather or season. Kerry loved swimming and took every chance that came her way to get into the water. She also had a great fondness for children and if she heard them playing, she would drag me to them so that she could participate in their fun. The young folk would then spoil her with cuddles and stroking.
The top of the armchair overlooking the front window was her favourite place in the house. From this height, she could keep guard and let me know if any cat or person was in the vicinity. In fact, she went berserk if anyone approached the house. A photograph of Kerry dated March 29th 2013 is attached.
One dog I owned, not a Cairn, was captivated by flying birds and aeroplanes, but not Kerry. She was fascinated by ladders and as soon as one came into view with the window cleaner she became excited and was keen to attempt to climb up it; never succeeded though.
Three walks a day was the normal for Kerry, sometimes on the beach, other times in the country. Where ever it was she loved them and, being curious, she would explore her environment, coming second best during an encounter with a hedgehog! She was remarkably healthy and had no problems until later in life.
The welcomes I received on returning home from shopping, etc. were overwhelming and reflected the concept of her being a very friendly and happy dog, but with a mischievious side to her personality. She was definitely a member of the family and dearly loved.
In spring 2012, there appeared on the CTRF website a black Cairn terrier called Maisie from Co Durham who was up for adoption and I was very fortunate in acquiring her. She joined the family on May 27th 2012 and settled in very easily. Sadly, Maise was diabetic and required insulin injections twice per day, though this did not compromise her lifestyle. Like Kerry, she was active, loved her walks and played with her toys. She was excited by her squeaky toys and no one else would be allowed to play with them! Maisie was an outdoors dog and thoroughly enjoyed sleeping outside on the lawn. When it got too hot, she slept under the hydrangeas. Often she had to be carried back inside when it became too wet or cold.
Once Maisie realised that Kerry was top dog and wasn’t about to surrender that rank, she settled down to a quiet life, preferring her own company. Maisie was not often a sociable dog and did not welcome too much attention. Seeing two black Cairn terriers together, many people frequently made positive comments about them, believing them to be related.
Attached are two photographs, which show both dogs. In both images, Maisie is on the left whilst Kerry is to the right.
Unlike Kerry, Maisie hated water. She would avoid every puddle and refuse to paddle in the sea or streams; preferring to watch Kerry actively swimming with only her face above the water.
A photograph of Maisie taken on July 23rd 2016 is attached.
Fortunately, we live on the coast and within 2 miles of the countryside, so there were many different and safe walks to take the dogs without them being on leads. When out walking, Maisie had little interest in other dogs, preferring to give her attention to their owners who might just offer a treat, and many did. Despite being diabetic, she was a happy and contented dog, enjoying her walks and always dictating the route Kerry and I had to follow.
Not long after I adopted her, she was found to have cataracts in both eyes – a common occurrence in diabetics – and an expensive operation to remove them was undertaken in June 2012. She recovered well, but in later years further eye problems resulted in Maisie loosing most of her sight.
During the late summer of 2014, Kerry began to exhibit problems with her health. Whilst an X ray showed no concerns, a MRI scan indicated a tumour growing behind her right eye. Tragically, there was no possibility of any effective treatment other than pain relief. A desperately sad two months followed whilst we tried to keep as normal a routine as possible, but in January 2015 the vet indicated, and I agreed, that it was time to say goodbye. My beloved Kerry is buried in the garden where she will forever be close to me.
Maisie returned to her normal self in a few days and the following weeks and months passed by gently. She seemed quite content to be the only dog, but in July 2016, through the endeavours of Mr John Francis, a CTRF trustee, we were joined by Scruff, a 12 year old male Cairn terrier from Yorkshire. A photograph of Scruff is shown on the CTRF homepage.
Life continued quite smoothly until October 2017 when Maisie paid a visit to the vet to discover the cause of her excessive drinking. Kidney failure was diagnosed and medication prescribed to ease the problem. I was looking forward to celebrating Maisie’s 14th birthday in June; however, she shocked everyone by unexpectedly suffering a seizure on January 18th this year, followed by two more in February. Despite medication, it soon became apparent that she was in a profoundly distressed state and would not recover. My dear Maise made her final visit to the vet on February 8th 2018 and she is also buried in the garden close to her pal Kerry and close to me.
To have held my two lovely Cairn terriers as they gently pass into the next life is deeply saddening. They have been part of my life for years, I have loved them, they will never be forgotten and I miss my dear pals terribly.”
Thank you David for giving Kerry and Maisie such a fabulous life and we send our condolences to you.
* Posted 27th March 2018