China, A Special Needs Cairn Terrier

Mar 19, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Lee Juslin

by Lee Juslin

China, a special needs wheaten Cairn, presented a tough case for Col. Potter Cairn Rescue.

At nine years old, China had suffered years of neglect and abuse. Her tail was broken in several places and her sphincter muscle was damaged, both of which made elimination difficult. She was also missing the top half of her right ear and had chronic bronchitis. And, on top of all of these problems, she was very scared of people. Upon in-take China went to a vet to be assessed. All the strange people and noises caused her to crash, and she spent time in ICU.



When she was well enough to leave the vet’s care, she went to Kathy to be fostered. An experienced foster parent in her ninth year of fostering, Kathy feels that China may have been kept in a multi dog pen where fights often broke out. In addition, Kathy thinks the little Cairn may have been kicked.

Fostering China was not easy. Kathy had to use wet wipes every time China eliminated. Also, China marked in the house so she needed to wear piddle pants. Due to her damaged sphincter, China often had accidents in the house when she barked or ate certain foods. Kathy quickly put her on a feeding schedule with a particular food and supplemented with doses of Metamucil. Kathy also keeps a humidifier running to combat China’s chronic bronchitis.

Kathy has had China for about a year and just recently has gotten her to the point where she is leash trained. China doesn’t like to be touched and prefers a comfy bed in a tucked away spot. She is good with other dogs, doesn’t play with toys, but has a number of little fears. She does love to cuddle up on the rug near the wood stove in Kathy’s family room, and she doesn’t seem to mind when Kathy’s husband sits nearby. China sleeps in her crate at night and is not a big barker. Although she does not ask for attention, China has learned to enjoy having her nose and muzzle

China needs a fenced in yard and at least one other dog to help her learn normal dog behavior. But, despite all her problems, Kathy feels that with a quiet home with structure and her own person with the patience to work with her, China will do well because, as Kathy says, “China is a flower waiting to bloom”.

UPDATE: China has an adoption pending. The adopter looked past all her problems and fell in love with this sweet Cairn. As Kathy said, “It just proves once again that there is someone out there for all these babies if we just keep trying.” Happy forever home, China.

If you would like to learn more about Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue to donate, foster, apply to adopt a sweet Cairn like China, or volunteer, visit their website: Col. Potter.

Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info. 10% of all ad sales goes to animal rescue.

Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. Lee always finds the most amazing people and their dogs ! This little gal has surely had a tough row to hoe – I’m sure the new owners will be a perfect fit for her – Col. Potter does an awesome job of ‘match making’! and I love to hear their success stories!

  2. Thank you so much to this adopter. The nature of modern communication is that you can hear so many sad stories, but without any updates. It is heart wrenching at times, and we really need to focus on those successes to help keep people adopting!! Thank you for this…. that adopter warmed my heart today, made me hug my rescue, and consider adding another one to our loving family!!

  3. “It just proves once again that there is someone out there for all these babies if we just keep trying.”

    How true this is! I can only imagine the joy that Kathy must feel in knowing that she was a part of this little girl’s happy ending.


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