Around the New Year, we received word that the runt of a Cairn terrier litter was available from the kennel that produced our adult Cairn terrier Woodrow a few years ago. Kate thought that Woodrow needed a friend to climb rock walls with … and hey, we already had two West Highland White terriers and two Border collies. I am a sucker for dogs … and we are suckers for runts, so I figured a full six pack would be great. The only problem was that this little Cairn puppy was in Pennsylvania.
As luck would have it, our daughter Becca was hankering for a visit to the farm. So she flew from New Hampshire to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, picked up the Cairn puppy and continued on to Kansas. I guess the people who encountered Becca and the puppy wondered what kind of animal it was. And the exercise wasn’t expensive at all … thanks to Expedia.com.
When I first met Henry (that’s his name now), I was stunned that a Cairn puppy of that age could be so small. His short little legs make him look like an animated South Park character when he walks … or runs. He is a precocious little guy and fits into the pack quite nicely. His lack of size makes him a bit vulnerable to getting stepped on … he likes to hang out in my sweatshirt pocket while I’m doing chores. So, now we have two Toto dogs, but their connection to Oz isn’t why we have them. Like all of our dogs, it’s their stamina of will, their naked joy and their physical expertise that make their companionship such a gift.
I can’t say whether Henry will be it in the dog department for us. And I see no reason to make such a pronouncement. But I can report that the addition of Henry the Cairn terrier fills out our six pack quite perfectly.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.