Divinity’s Cairn-Do Attitude

Today, it is exactly four months since Divinity was euthanized. As I have every month on this date since that fateful day, I want to celebrate Divinity’s joy of life.

On the Lookout for Chipmunks

On the Lookout for Chipmunks

Note: Divinity actually tore through the screen on this door trying to get to the chipmunks!

This month I am posting pictures of Divinity, the one time she was in FULL-CAIRN mode. These photo’s were taken at the second of the three places we lived while I had her, and chipmunks were everywhere at this location!

Divinity spots a Chipmunk

Divinity spots a Chipmunk


These small critters drove my little lady bonkers, and for the first, and only time I had Divinity, she barked non-stop for a good two minutes.

Barking was something Divinity only did a few times in the 5-1/2 years we were together. I strong suspect she was beaten in the mill whenever she barked.

Now Divinity was fully capable of barking, however, she was just not comfortable doing it, even around me. It was necessary for me to be be very cautious because of this, as I could not count that Divinity would bark to let me know, that she gotten into trouble.

Divinity's tail goes straight out from excitement

Divinity’s tail goes straight out from excitement


Divinity was never able to catch a chipmunk, but she sure did try. One day she thought she cornered one in hole in this wall. However, the chipmunk found a tunnel to the top, and it stood there looking down at my little lady as she was eagerly trying to locate the critter she thought she cornered at the bottom of the wall.

Climbing in the wall to get her critter

Climbing in the wall to get her critter



Adopting a Senior Dog

Divinity came into my life when she was 9-1/2 years old. I was told that multiple people had submitted paperwork to adopt my little lady; however, all of them decided that at nine years of age, Divinity was too old to adopt.

My thoughts ran counter to the other potential adopters, and the day I brought Miss Divinity home, my life became blessed, in more ways than I could possibly describe.

Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog (from The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs)

* Senior dogs love to sleep and cuddle the day away. They enjoy a brisk daily walk, but the best part of the day is the nap. They love for you to join them.
* Senior dogs have a tremendous amount of love to give. When you rescue a senior dog, you have a best friend for life.
* Senior dogs reward your care with an unwavering devotion. Nothing matches the gratitude of a senior dog for his rescuer.
* Senior dogs have learned many of life’s lessons. They know, for example, that shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing.
* Senior dogs know that the great outdoors is for eliminating and the house is for relaxing. Your carpet will last longer with a senior dog.
* Senior dogs can learn new tricks and be valuable family and community members. They make excellent therapy dogs.
* Senior dogs often fit into your household with ease. They find the softest, warmest spot in the house and claim it for their own, but they will share with you, too.
* Senior dogs make excellent companions for everyone, especially senior people.
* Senior dogs are often overlooked in shelters and pounds. Passed over for cute and cuddly puppies, they often do not have a chance and must go to make space for more puppies.
* Adopting a senior dog saves a life!

The following links are a small sample of the many rescue organizations that help senior dogs.
Please note: There are many fine rescue organizations that are not included in this list.

* Blind Dog Rescue Alliance

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue

* Grey Muzzle Organization

Note: The Grey Muzzle Organization is not a rescue. They do not deal with dogs themselves. However, The Grey Muzzle Organization fundraises and donates money to 501c3 organizations to help them help senior dogs.

* Hope for Paws

* Muttville

* Old Dog Haven

* Paws For Seniors

* Sanctuary for Senior Dogs

* St. Louis Senior Dog Project

Pet Partners Remembers Miss Divinity

A very happy DivinityI saved this post for Divinity’s third month passing date, as it is a fitting remembrance of my little lady.

Occasionally, to recognize the passing of a noteworthy therapy animal, the Pet Partners therapy animal organization publishes a special notice, or call-out about their passing.


It was with Pet Partners (fka Delta Society) that Divinity & I were tested, and registered as a therapy dog team.

Having heard about Divinity’s passing, and after reviewing Divinity’s blog, Pet Partners asked me to submit a short write-up on Divinity. Pet Partners kindly published this obituary in the latest issue of their magazine, Interactions.

To view the Interactions magazine page featuring Divinity, click the following link:
Interactions – Winter 2015 – Page 16

Note: Divinity was not only a therapy dog for people, she also took it upon herself to act as a therapy dog for several injured pets. Divinity had a calming effect on nearly everyone, and everything.

Update: The Col. Potter Cairn Rescue from whom I adopted Divinity, posted a nice remembrance of my little lady on their Post Adoption Blog.

To read this post, click the following link Divinity Remembered

Your Dog Is Never Too Old for Training

There was a nice article written by Mikkel Becker, and published by VetStreet.com on training older dogs.

Divinity with her Canine Good Citizen certificate


The following two paragraphs are excerpts from this article:

“It’s never too late to train a dog. Adult and senior dogs who have never had any formal, structured training can still grasp the idea of following instructions in order to obtain a reward. The trick to training an older dog (who may have picked up some bad manners over the years) is to teach him to think about what behaviors he should do to earn a reward and how to respond when he is asked to perform that behavior. The bigger reward of training, for both dog and human, is increased communication and bonding between pet and owner.”

“Recently, Moxie, a newly adopted 10-year-old Boston Terrier, came into my training class. She had no prior training and growly manners with other dogs. Moxie’s pet parent, Cheryl, was a first-time small dog owner and she wanted to start their relationship off right. Moxie quickly learned the basics, such as sit, down, stand and heel, and very soon began to outperform her younger peers with tricks, such as shake and spin. Despite all of the other dogs in class being years younger than Moxie, she rose to class stardom and unabashedly became the teacher’s pet, stepping up as my demo dog for most of the exercises we learned.”

Divinity was nearly 10-years old when she began her training. Divinity quickly passed her Canine Good Citizen test, and followed that up a month later by passing the Pet Partners therapy dog evaluation test. Divinity was the third oldest dog in our area to become a therapy dog.

To read the complete article on training older dogs, click HERE

Divinity’s last ride

Today, it is exactly two months since Divinity was euthanized. As I did on this date last month, I want to celebrate Divinity’s joy of life with another video.

Note: The photo of Divinity in this post was taken five years ago during our first camping trip to Canada.

Drive-thru Diva


Divinity loved life, and her joy of the outdoors, and going for rides continued through her final hours.

This video is the last movie I made of Divinity, and was filmed while we were on our way to Kivisto Vet Clinic, where Dr. Steve would perform the final act.

Watch the video of Divinity enjoying her final ride.


In late November of 2008, volunteers from a pet rescue, transported Divinity, and 11 other Cairn Terriers, as well as 22 Bassett Hounds, from a puppy-mill located in Southern Missouri to freedom. Divinity had spent the first 9-years of her life in a puppy-mill.

Unfortunately, there are more than 3,000 puppy-mills located in Missouri alone. Countless dogs suffer untold horrors, having one litter after another, until they are used up, and discarded.

Quite by accident, I discovered that Divinity had a microchip implanted by her puppy-mill. This chip was unregistered, but the microchip manufacturer kindly provided the name of the supply firm who sold this chip to the mill. This supply firm is located in Southern Missouri, this is the same area Divinity’s puppy-mill was located.

The next four links are to articles on puppy-mills in Missouri

* Missouri, the Puppy Mill State

* Missouri’s Dirty Dozen: Most of the worst puppy mills in Missouri are still licensed (2011)

* HSUS Releases Update on Missouri’s Worst Puppy Mills

* Puppy Mill FAQ


Each of the following images, are pictures of puppy-mills that are located in Missouri.

Note: These pictures are no where near the worst I have seen. However, they certainly reflect the horrific conditions in which puppy-mill dogs live.

Rescue from a Missouri Puppy Mill

Unknown Rescue from a Missouri Puppy Mill

Missouri Puppy MillMissouri Puppy MillMissouri Puppy MillMissouri Puppy MillMissouri Puppy MillMissouri Puppy Mill Auction Block

Keep sakes & Memento’s

The following items are Divinity’s belongings that I intend to keep.

Col. Potter Scarf (Divinity was wearing this scarf when I picked her up at her foster home)

Col Potter Scarf


Col. Potter blanket (Every Col Potter rescue receives their own unique home-made blanket)

Col Potter Blankie

 Quilt from Marge, Divinity’s foster mom

Quilt from Foster Mom



Yarn Balls (I made these myself in the weeks prior to picking Divinity up at her foster home.
Divinity never liked them, and I have absolutely no idea why I want to keep them!)

Yarn Balls

WebMaster Harness (Divinity pulled sideways wearing a regular harness. This WebMaster harness worked perfectly for my little lady)


Telling TTouch Harness & Light (This harness was used over her raincoat, and winter clothing.)

Tellington TTouch Harness & Light

Co-Pilot Chair (This chair has been sitting on the passenger seat for 4-1/2 years, and I would feel lost without it)

Note: Divinity was safely held in place by two leashes attached to her harness. These leashes were attached to a seatbelt in the rear passenger area.

Divinity's Co-pilot Seat

Hooded Spring/Fall Sweatshirt (I had put this sweatshirt in the pile of worn-out clothing to toss out, but ended up keeping it.)

Red Hooded Sweatshirt

Doggles (Divinity looked cool as all-get-out wearing her Doggles, and she knew it!)

Divinity wearing her Doggles

Let Me Out Bells (I taught Divinity to “jingle” these bells when she needed to go out. They are also handy as they let me know if someone opens my door)

Let Me Out Bells