Saying Goodbye

Memorials and Bereavement

This section is for all the Cairns that have been loved and have sadly passed away. We welcome photos and stories here as memories to the dogs that were loved so much by their owners.

Having lost pets in the past, I know only too well the intense grief and sense of loss – the space that can never be filled. Everyone copes with bereavement in different ways, but I don’t know anyone who copes well with the loss of their precious companion.

Please share with us memories of your Cairn and also of the Cairn people you have known and who have ‘crossed the rainbow bridge’:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Mel Ford's Poem

Mel Ford has very kindly given us permission to use this lovely poem that she has written in connection with the loss of our beloved Cairns.

Thank you so much Mel.

* Bereavement Helpline

Losing our best friend is always difficult and sometimes others don’t understand how much our ‘fur babies’ mean to us. Every single one is unique and very special. We do understand how challenging this time can be and if you’d like to speak to someone who can offer a listening ear, you may contact Rev Gwynne Wright on 01904 635095 or at [email protected].


We have received this moving tribute from David Legge about Jack the Cairn Terrier:

“Jack was 14 years old when he came to me in May 2018, so he was an old boy even then. His previous owner  developed health problems and very reluctantly had to allow Jack to be adopted. However, his age did not stop him from having a happy, active and interesting life. He settled into the household easily and very quickly made friends with Scruff, my other Cairn terrier. Jack was certainly liked by other dogs and their owners that we met and knew. People used to comment about his flopped ear, but it actually added to his character.

Jack was remarkable for being so unremarkable! He had passed the stage of searching for female dogs, he had no interest in toys of any type even though they were available, all he wished for was a quiet, peaceful and happy retirement. He never at any time showed aggression and was content with his gentle lifestyle. In return for his affection and companionship, I ensured that Jack had a life worth living and that included pleasures that mattered to him. So walks that did not exert him, meeting with other dogs, good healthy food that was ideal for his age and an abundance of love and affection, were the order of the day. Regular visits to the vet kept his health and general wellbeing under control. His favourite place to rest when in the house was on the sofa next to me with his head tight up against my right thigh.

So the months and years passed and Jack continued to enjoy his later years; still active and alert – as the postman knew only too well! When he passed his 16th birthday in August 2020, I reduced the length of his walks, but increased their frequency from 3 to 5 per day and began to give him supplements to aid him. By now, he had lost the sight in his left eye, his hearing was poor and cognitive dysfunction had been diagnosed. Late last year, following his 17th birthday, it became obvious that he was struggling; he had become a tired and frail little dog and he managed to communicate that to me. The result was even shorter walks, always off the lead so that he could walk at his pace and in his desired direction, feeding him his favourite food (chicken), and frequently visiting the vet to monitor his health, as well as other beneficial changes to his lifestyle.

Since then, he has shown pleasure in being able to sleep on my bed, something that I have never allowed before with any of my dogs. Jack acknowledged the closeness between us and used to cuddle up close to me.
What Jack could not do though is tell me when his time was up and the onset of gastro enteritis on January 18th must have proved a pivotal moment for him. I sought medical attention urgently and the vets and I did our best to make his life as calm and gentle as possible, but he had decided that it was time to go and with a huge amount of grief I compassionately and lovingly stroked his little head and we let him leave us.. If only he knew what sadness and pain he left behind.

He is now with my other CTRF Cairn terriers, Kerry, Maisie, Scruff and Casper. This little band of brothers had spent many, many happy days with me, till they were gathered in the fullness of their years and now sleep in their individual graves on the sunny side of the back garden where they will forever be close to me.

No doubt Jack will have now met them in that kennel in the sky, swapped stories about the life they had with me and then had a good old romp around the fields together.

It did not take long for neighbours to discover Jack’s passing and I have been overwhelmed by the supporting comments from them; about how I put Jack first before me, met all his needs, how I loved him and cared for him with the result that Jack was a happy, friendly and contented little dog. My friends, and I, will miss him greatly. No more seeing him waiting at the front window with his little tail vigorously wagging when I arrive home after being out.

Finally, a huge amount of gratitude to the CTRF and its trustees for the support you have given, not only to Jack, but also to all the other wonderful Cairn terriers that I have had the privilege of adopting.”

Thank you David for giving Jack such a wonderful life in his final years.

* Posted 25th January 2022.


We have received this lovely obituary from Tinker’s family and would like to share it as a tribute to this little Cairn.

“We rescued Tinker from you when she was 8 years old because she didn’t react well to her previous owners having crawling grandchildren.

At the time we also had a rescued Springer Spaniel. The two dogs got on well together. After the Springer died, Tinker followed us around the house and always wanted to be with us. Nevertheless she was rather aloof and didn’t like being nursed or cuddled.

Her most memorable trait was that if she came in wet after being out in the rain and we got a towel to dry her, she would treat this as a game and scamper round the house playing “catch me if you can” .
We enjoyed having her around for 8 years and now she has gone the house seems very quiet.

Thank you for the work you do and for introducing us to Tinker, Pauline and Terry Thorpe.”

Thank you Pauline and Terry for sharing this loving tribute to Tinker.

*Posted 3rd January 2022′

Sasha and Archie

CTRF has received this sad news from Sasha and Archie’s family:

“We had to say goodbye to Sasha in November and Archie in February. We loved them so much and needless to say we were devastated at their loss. They were wonderful Cairns and we will never get over their loss.

Thank you CTRF for allowing us to have these two elderly dogs to spend their late years with us.”

We send our heartfelt thanks for giving Sasha and Archie a loving home.

* Posted 4th May 2021.

Poppy and Carrie

Our trustee Chris Roberts has received this sad, but heartwarming obituary to Cairn Poppy :

“Hi Chris, 

I hope you are well these days and life is good (or as good as it can be) at your end?

It is with a very, very heavy heart that I have to report that both of my little pals have died in very quick succession. To say that I am devastated is an understatement; I am absolutely bereft and beside myself.

Poppy (wheaten in colour) came to me in c.2011. You might remember that she was passed from pillar to post and I was the 4th owner in just 11 months because she was ‘too much of a handful’. She was, indeed, damaged as a result of the nomadic lifestyle up until she came to me but with much love, reassurance and sheer determination she quickly turned into the most boisterous, opinionated and characterful bundle of joy you could possibly ask for – she was a typical Cairn, through and through and everybody loved her for it. Sadly Poppy had suspected Diabetes diagnosed in Jan 2020 and subsequently suffered kidney failure. I took the view that whilst she had lost all her weight in recent weeks, as long as she wasn’t in pain and the sparkle and enthusiasm was there we wouldn’t go to the vet for the final time. Sadly, she lost the will and her vim and she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on 24 March. The house was desperately quiet and empty without her and Carrie, Bradley (cockapoo) and I missed her presence enormously.

Carrie (red brindle) arrived in November 2013 from the March area (Cambs). You might recall that she, too, at age 3 had had a desperate start to life. We think as a puppy machine and then in a family who might have been mistreating her, or not giving her the love and attention that she needed. She was seriously damaged when I grabbed her and ran (quite literally on your instructions, as it was very clear that her welfare was at stake) and she needed many months of socialization and education from Poppy, constant reinforcement and reassurance from me to show her she was loved.

Carrie took a good year or so to stop jumping at her own shadow and cowering but she blossomed into the most wonderful, quietly assertive, thoroughly knowledgeable mainstay. Entirely different in character to Poppy, they were polar opposite, they made a fabulous pair and were loved for it wherever we went, especially by children and friends of my daughter.  Indeed, Carrie ‘stepped up’ after Poppy died and became the Mistress of the House, which was especially nice to see given that she would quite literally jump at her own shadow or get spooked by things that were not in place. She made sure that Bradley and I kept positive after Poppy passed on.

Carrie actually went almost completely blind in her last couple of years. It was very clear that there was a problem when she first arrived as one eye was milky and the other followed suit a few years later. This didn’t stop her zest for life or her endless pottering around the garden or the beaches here (I now live in Dumfries & Galloway on the coast). 

However, just after midnight today (20.04.2021) she vomited and collapsed on her hind legs. My vet saw her immediately and diagnosed a potential stroke. Carrie did momentarily rally but very quickly deteriorated after we got home and she died very peacefully on my lap at just after 4am today. Her death was SO unexpected that it has not even begun to sink in fully yet, neither has Poppy’s either to be honest, but I take a very small comfort in knowing that at least the end was quick, painless and in her favourite place – at home on the sofa with me.

I really just wanted to let you know of these awful tragedies but also to thank you so much for allowing me to adopt Poppy and Carrie in the first place. I am absolutely thrilled that they both had such a good life here with such a reversal of fortune and outcome that might have been (if that makes sense). It has been a complete honour and privilege to have been able to be a part of these two girls’ lives and I cannot begin measure my gratitude, I really cannot.

Obviously I have many thousands of photos of them both but here are 2 that I took a couple of years ago when Lydia and I were on holiday in Southerness before I bought a house just down the road.

Bless you Chris, and kindest regards to you,

Chris’s reply:

“Thank you Euan for sending this lovely tribute of Poppy & Carrie. They didn’t have a very good start in life, but they certainly made up for it when you took them into your home and your heart.”

*Posted 4th May 2021


Benji    (20.8.07 to 11.8.20)

CTRF trustee Chris Roberts has received this tribute to Benji the Cairn Terrier from his owner:

I collected Benji from his breeder in Worcester when he was just over 12 months old having already had 2 homes. Within 3 weeks my vet advised me Benji had Liver Shunt, a terminal disorder but with the chance of an operation to prolong his life. On 1.9.10 he was operated on at Bristol University Veterinary Hospital and they saved his life, he did however change colour after the operation from a very light dog into a very dark grey (photos attached).

The liver problem left him with many health problems such as bad reactions to medications, injections and indeed many foods but we weathered the storms together. He was a happy, contented, friendly little dog without a bad bone in his body and very tolerant of all his problems which no doubt he accepted as normal.

For the last 4 years of his life we found a wonderful vet who had set up in a nearby village and he took Benji to his heart. Without his care I doubt he would have survived as long as he did. He had so much carefully prescribed medication and regular 4 hourly feeds but we coped. The final internal bleed was a stage too far for the vet or Benji to cope with. There was only the 2 of us and we were extremely close and dependent on one another. To try and find another Benji is impossible. I love and miss him every minute of every day, he was my life and without him I am bereft and empty.


We thank Hilary for this glowing tribute to her wonderful, brave little Cairn Benji who is gone but will never be forgotten.


* Posted 13th September 2020


Corrie (25th August 2020):

CTRF has have received this sad news from Corrie’s family and we would like to share their tribute to their wonderful Cairn:

“On Friday 21st August 2020 at 6.10pm our wee Corrie fell asleep for the last time as I held him in my arms.

Kyle my son & I are heartbroken at having to say goodbye to the wee dog who was our protector & faithful, loyal, loving, cheeky, playful, determined, mischievous old man.

Corrie came to us from Cairn Terrier Rescue in February 2008, just before his 4th birthday.

Kyle was 5 when Corrie came & has been by Kyle’s side from Primary School 1 all the way through to just before Kyle starts university.

He had double helpings of every characteristic & trait of the breed. He had my heart roasted several times but that only added to his charm.

He’s a wee dog but he’s left a massive Corrie shaped hole & we are lost without him.  He hasn’t missed a beat & has been by our side through thick & thin, good & bad & worst of all when my dad went to stay in heaven.

You’ve been the best wee friend anyone could ask for. We are both heartbroken at having to part with you & will love & miss you forever .
Run fast & free, whole again, at Rainbow Bridge .. Grampa, Sonny, Tootsie & all your friends will be there to meet you & one day Kyle & I will join you.

Thanks also to CTRF for giving us Corrie, he’s been the best wee friend & although we’re hurting now the love, affection, loyalty etc we got from him makes it worth it xx “

Thank you to Corrie’s family for sending us this lovely account of his life with them. RIP little Cairn.


We have received this message from Maisie’s family and would like to share it:

I came into CTRF after living in Avon for a few years. I went to Cirencester and after a while I was interviewed by a handsome chap called Monty. He took me to live at his place. He was a very generous chap, he even allowed humans to live with us! As we all know, humans do require a lot of supervision. After a few years, Monty died (of old age. He was ancient when his turn came.) and I had to take on the role of “boss dog”.  This was a task I took on with gusto, in fact I added this to my portfolio of jobs. The most important of which was  “to find it”. Naturally, we Cairns always do! I have trained my successor and have left my humans in “capable paws”. On my last day in “Maisie land”, I had a lovely morning “finding it” and in the afternoon, ran round a field many times before having a heart attack. I have gone to meet our Cairn friends and hope you guys have lovely times “finding it” and putting the humans in their places when needs be. Lots of love, Maisie.

I have attached a picture of Monty (on the mat), my successor Ruffie (the handsome blonde) and me (sitting on the chair at the front). By the way, the chair belongs to me!


* Posted 25th July 2020


Sadly, Bailey the Cairn has recently passed away. We have this lovely tribute from Bailey’s family which we would like to share:

“I thought I would write a piece about Bailey who passed away on Tuesday. We became Bailey’s parents in October 2012 due to him being diabetic and his owners having difficulty managing his condition. He was a big boy (over 14 kilos) so we had to change his diet, which he wasn’t happy about. He soon settled in with our other Cairn, Molly and so our new routine began. It soon became apparent that Bailey couldn’t be trusted off the lead and he could sniff out food, in any shape or form from miles away. Despite being on the lead he still managed to get things and could often be seen snaffling tit bits with me shouting “Bailey, NO” and him running away chewing quickly. I became super aware of things he would find interesting and diverted him away from them, tissues in particular.

Bailey didn’t like exercise at first, he wouldn’t go up or down stairs but he grew to love his walks as he lost weight. We managed to slowly get him under 10 kilos, as he was more agile he learned to jump up on the sofa which he took great delight in showing off and landing in your lap nearly spilling tea everywhere. He was the most loving dog I have ever known, a very rare Cairn that enjoyed being picked up and cuddled and always had the best doggie kisses. We would often say he was the best cuddly boy. He used to love being close to you, hip to hip or in your lap. He was a fly man and would bark at the seagulls so they would drop their food then he would claim it and run up the garden.

We had 8 wonderful years with Bailey until on Tuesday he had a hypoglycaemic attack which he never recovered from and we  made the difficult decision to put him to sleep. Our hearts are broken and there is a huge Bailey shaped hole in our lives, even Molly is missing him a bit. We would like to thank Cairn Terrier Rescue for funding Baileys medicine/ treatment which enabled us to adopt Bailey and be his parents which was an honour and a privilege. Run free wee man. Xxx “

CTRF would like to thank Bailey’s family for giving him such a loving, special home. It makes it all worth while. RIP little Bailey.


* Posted  13th March 2020.


We have received this tribute from Roo’s family:

“On the Monday 10th January 2020 our beautiful Roo lost his last battle.

He was the light on a cloudy day. RIP my best little mate.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear Roo Thomas-Collins. He fought very bravely until the end but it was too much for him to bear. With the help of his marvelous vet Harry Warwick we helped him on with his last journey yesterday.

Roo will be safe in the hands of his two nans. Nanny Collins will be serving up egg and chips while nanny Thomas will no doubt be dishing up pie and chips. We miss him tremendously. He was a big part of our lives and the void he leaves will be difficult to fill.

At 16 he had a long and happy life. Although we were only privileged to have him in our lives for the past 6 years he will live in our hearts forever.

We thank the Cairn Terrier Relief Fund, firstly for letting us adopt him, and secondly for the care and attention that they gave him throughout his time with us.

Gary Thomas, Sheenagh, and Lucy Lu”

Thank you for sharing your memories of Roo.


* Posted 19th January 2020.


SCRUFFY (10th December 2019):

On the 10th December 2019 we had to say a final goodbye to our beloved Scruffy.

For 10 1/2 years he filled our hearts and our lives with joy and love. We only hope that he knew how much we adored him.

Among the tears & sadness there is also smiles when we remember how he loved to snuggle with us, how he loved to explore off leash, and how he loved to ride in the car.

Sadly though the years passed too quickly,  and although we could see you weren’t quite yourself we never expected the end to come so soon.

When the vet told us you had a tumour and it was inoperable our world fell apart.

Thankfully you left us your daughter Roxy who is 8 years old, so we still have a little piece of you.

Scruffy we miss you every day. We will always have you in our hearts.


* Posted 29th December 2019.


“Our boy Ted passed away on the 9th November 2019. He was the most loving and brilliant dog that anyone could have ever imagined. Whether you had been gone for a day or for five minutes, Ted would be on the window sill wagging his tail, waiting for you to come through the door so he could jump all over you with excitement, no matter how full the house already was. He would put his head flat on the sofa, waiting to be stroked and roll over again and again. He loved to cosy up next to his family, and he loved the heat, whether this was coming from our electric fireplace or from the sun itself.

Ted was intelligent and caring. He learned phrases very fast without us even trying to teach them, and he was always there for his family when they needed.

When we first got Ted, we also had a dwarf hamster named Nibbles. Being a Cairn, Ted would stare at that cage all day if he had the chance, so eventually we closed the door where Nibbles stayed. I remember once Nibbles was in a hamster ball and escaped around the house, and we panicked thinking that Ted would maybe harm her, but he backed away. We found this hilarious at the time, assuming he had been scared of the tiny hamster. Years later, however, a mouse got into our garden and, without a second thought (and without any teeth!,) Ted caught it. We now realize that he wasn’t ever afraid of Nibbles, he just knew that he shouldn’t harm her, because he saw she was important to us.

Ted was a funny dog. He was rarely phased by other small dogs but would get excited around larger ones. If you began to stroke him and then stopped, he would nudge you with his paws or head, or swing himself around to look at you until you carried on. At around the age of 7, we took Ted to the vet and they told us that he needed to have all of his teeth out. We were told he’d never be able to eat anything other than wet dog food again. To our surprise, this was never even remotely an issue. We gave him wet food instead of dry to be safe, but to say he could enjoy a treat would be an understatement. There was no stopping him. He’d enjoy his breakfast every morning with Norma, and a treat or two in the evening with Tony alongside his regular food.

Ted was a people dog. He would never go in front of you on the stairs. He had to walk alongside you, and would match the speed in which you walked. Particularly as a younger dog, Ted would follow us everywhere around the house, and on nights where he couldn’t sleep in a bedroom, he would be snuggled as close to a bedroom door as possible. In the morning, he would often be going crazy with excitement to see us again. This of course meant a lot of the time he did end up in our bedrooms! Being a people dog also meant that having a birthday on Halloween was perfect for him, as he’d love to greet all the trick or treaters at our door.

As long as Ted had company, he was happy. He showed us unconditional love as dogs do, and we loved and will always love him the same. We feel so lucky that he was a part of our lives for well over a decade. He made my childhood and teen years easier, he made the whole family happier, and there will always be a little something missing now that he can’t be with us. He was our very good boy, and he is always with us in our heads and in our hearts. We love you Ted.”

CTRF would like to thank Ted’s family for sharing memories of their wonderful little Cairn.  It is so very sad when we have to say goodbye for the final time but we have our memories and know that it has been a privilege to have had their companionship.

* Posted 14th November 2019.


Barney was a much loved Cairn who was taken from his owners too soon. He lived with his family in Yarnfield, just outside Stone in Staffordshire. Sadly, he contracted the disease Alabama Rot and despite prompt veterinary treatment he could not be saved. He died on 29th September 2015.

Sue and Sean were keen to spread the word about this awful disease and very kindly gave us an account of Barney’s symptoms to include on our website. This can be found here.

From Cairn Rescue:
Our hearts go out to Sue and Shaun in their devastating loss of Barney, and we thank them for allowing their very sad story of Barney to be published.

Posted 30th January 2018.


Our beloved Bobby (3rd October 2015)

I write with sad news about my lovely Bobby who you kindly let me have in 2012 when he was then 12 years old. Originally named ‘Robbie’, he had come from a challenging background having been living with a family with a child with Aspergers syndrome, and he was later rehomed with the grandmother of that family when they could no longer cope; and when this lady died at the end of 2011 poor Bobby was with the body for three days until her family arrived and sent him to CTRF for rehoming again.

Bobby was first taken from CTRF by a couple living in Scotland, but after just 36 hours he was returned to CTRF when he had snapped at his new owner when she tried to groom him, her husband saying he was a dangerous dog. It is a sad fact that there are good hearted people who want to help by giving a dog a good home, but they have a poor understanding of dog behaviour which is so important particularly with rescued dogs who may have had a number of homes in their short little life. These dogs need time, respect and their own space to settle in, and of course lots of love.

I had previously taken on ‘Elsa’ via Chris Roberts in 2010 and at the approximate age of 4 Elsa had been in 5 previous home environments, and I was home No. 6 – her now forever home. I visited Chris at her home to meet Bobby in December 2011, taking Elsa along, and we walked Bobby along the canal path with Elsa to see how they got on, happily all went well. As we stood by my car I opened the back passenger door for Elsa to jump in, but Bobby leapt in and settled himself on the warm rug along the back seat, Elsa followed and they lay contentedly beside one another for the journey home – not a sound from either of them.

Bobby made himself very much at home with us as both Cairns were treated in the same way regarding walks, feeding and, as we were to discover, bathing! Elsa and Bobby both enjoyed a splash in the muckiest water they could find along our favourite walks in Delamere Forest. In the bath Bobby was a dream to shampoo and shower. When it came to brushing and trimming Bobby we found a sausage of the highest quality diced into tiny pieces and offered at regular intervals during the course of the brush and trim worked absolute wonders! Bobby had clearly been through some troubled times as he would growl and snap at me if I stroked too far down his back or touched his shoulders, legs or paws, however, over the (almost) 3 years with me he got used to me using canine massage strokes on his whole body and he would lay for half an hour or more totally relaxed.

I discovered gentle Bobby had some lovely traits, he was a happy dog on waking in the morning – vocalising and rubbing the top of his head into the carpet as he pushed himself along to get going, he was always first to welcome me home, his tail wagging, smiling face and tap dance….awaiting a treat from the kitchen. Bobby enjoyed meeting people both on our numerous walks, especially around picnic tables in case a spare sandwich was available, and in to our home. Bobby was well travelled as has been on lots of holidays with me and Elsa, staying in log cabins, caravans and cottages all over the country from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Wight…which we only returned from two weeks ago.

At nearly 15 years, and although his spirit was very much a lively and all-embracing one, Bobby’s health had deteriorated particularly since July this year, he had lost weight despite his voracious appetite, he had slowed down considerably on his walks, he was quite deaf and his eyesight failing, and he had episodes of confusion. A visit to the Vet gave confirmation that he had terminal cancer and canine dementia. The hardest decision in the world had to be made and I took Bobby home for two more days with him to do his favourite walks for his last time, at quiet times of the day, before the last and terribly difficult journey to see the Vet, who was kind and considerate and had known Bobby for the time I had him. I held Bobby snugly in my arms as he slipped quietly away.

I always believe that every dog comes into your life to teach you something. Bobby taught me more than I believed I could learn in such a short time. I shall miss him so very much. God bless you Bobby.



We have received the sad news of the passing of a beloved Cairn Terrier, Smudge. His owners have asked us to pay tribute to him on the website so here is Smudge’s story and some photographs of him:

Smudge (13.7.99 – 27.1.16)

Sadly, we lost Smudge on 27th January this year, he would have been 17 in July. To say we are devastated is an understatement.

He was the most beautiful and loving dog I have ever had. He never had a day sick, not even an upset stomach. His strength, loyalty and character was amazing. He has been with me through thick and thin and was at our wedding in September 2015, wearing his dickie bow and enjoying all the attention!

His best friend was Eileen, who is now 87. Eileen has been taking Smudge out since he was a puppy and right up to the end. She used to get the bus from her home 2/3 times a week to visit him and take him out. She even took him on regular holidays! She is so amazing. Of course, Eileen is heartbroken that he has gone, as they lived for each other. She too would love to see his photograph and share his long life with fellow Cairn lovers.

“Night night little man, thank you for giving us all so much.”

Smudge was clearly very much loved and a special, loving Cairn. We send our condolences to his family and to Eileen.


Lily (5.5.03 – 9.9.16)

We have received the sad news of the passing of a beloved Cairn Terrier X Lily. Her owners have asked us to pay tribute to her on the website.

Mrs G Chatt did the Great North Walk to raise money for the CTRF in memory of her much loved Lily who sadly died last year.

“We miss Lily dearly and in her memory we did the Great North Walk on June 4th 2017, we raised ?191.00. We hope this helps to rescue a little dog to go to a home like Lily had. In one photo she is 9 months old and the other she is 7 years old. She loved Westies and Cairn Terriers.”

Thank you so much from CTRF.

Kerry and Maisie

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

Kerry (Right) and Maisie 18.3.13

Kerry 29.3.13

Kerry (right) and Maisie 7.3.14

Maisie 23.7.16

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