Toronto: A Canadian Cairn Rescue

Nov 23, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Lee Juslin, Pets

by Lee Juslin

Toronto, or Tori as she is known to her friends, is a little Wheaten Cairn who came from a puppy mill. She was rescued by a Canadian branch of Col Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue and then sent on to Col Potter in the USA. When Cairns are rescued in a group, usually from a mill, thematic names are often used to honor the rescuers. In this case all the dogs in Tori’s group were named for Canadian cities.


Tori went through the usual vetting process by Col Potter, and then the next step was to place her in a foster home and begin the process of finding a forever home. Beth, a dedicated CP volunteer foster mom, agreed to foster Tori. The only hitch was that Beth was in Minnesota and Tori was in Arkansas. No problem for Beth! She loaded up her own two Cairns and they drove the seven hundred miles down to Arkansas. Then, they drove back to Minnesota, where Tori began to settle in to family life.

“Our best guess is that Tori is about nine although she acts much younger,” said Beth. “She has no real health issues but she does have a fear of men.” Beth also discovered a very leathery patch of skin at the back of Tori’s head and guesses that in the mill she may have been carried around by the scruff of her neck. Beth’s young male neighbor who is gentle and soft-spoken has worked with Tori and her fear of men has lessened. “He knows how to give really good scritches, which Tori enjoys.”

Tori is not a Velcro dog. She follows Beth around, but only when she thinks a treat is imminent. She doesn’t sit in laps but does like to share the sofa with Beth at nap time. “She sure has a robust appetite but in many ways she is a girly-girl. Even her bark is lighter and gentler than the boys. She’s a bit on the small side and dainty, though currently a bit overweight. We’re weaning her off the anti-anxiety meds she’s been on and that may help her drop those extra pounds.”

Princess Tori

Although the Cairn breed standard calls for prick or upright ears, Tori has one folded ear. Beth thinks this may be due to something called ear mashing which millers do for identification. Another cause for a floppy ear can sometimes be poor nutrition, a further hallmark of puppy mills. Since Tori can’t tell us, we can only imagine the abuse and mistreatment she underwent as a mill dog. Yet, surprisingly Tori is sweet-natured, gentle, and an overall happy girl. In fact, check out these two videos of Tori: Tori 1 and Tori 2.

Beth thinks the ideal home for Tori would be one with other dogs since she seems to enjoy the company of a pack. “She particularly likes walking with at least one other dog. In fact, she’s made friends with my neighbor’s Schnauzer mix, also a rescue and a bit bossy, but Tori is okay with that.”

Tori is very skittish around loud noises and fast movements and doesn’t seem comfortable with young children. Beth has talked to at least one family who have expressed interest in Tori, but thinks her age of nine may be a turnoff for some people. “Actually I don’t know why that should be as Cairns are a long-lived breed; living to eighteen is not uncommon for these little guys.”

If you would like to learn more about Tori and the other Cairns available for adoption through Col Potter Cairn Terrier rescue, or if you would like to help by volunteering or donating, visit the group’s website.

Check out these fun videos of Tori:

You can find more animal rescue, therapy animal, and other pet related articles in our pet 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. Wonderful article and great images. Thanks for doing this and making people aware.

  2. We were lucky enough to foster Tori’s “sister” from this rescue who was then named Quebec, as we are volunteers with Col. Potter Cairn Rescue. Our “Becky” is also a darling dog, wanting scratches and love, after producing many puppies for a puppy mill. Becky is now happily with her “forever” family. Please check out this great rescue group for Cairn terriers at Many more need loving homes.

  3. Thank you so much for all the collective works Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue does. We and our furry family members will remain forever grateful for all the love every member of the Col. Potter “team” provides.

  4. Another FABULOUS write up… I wish I COULD have Tori out here in Las Vegas, but I’m puppy sitting for my daughter who needs to have her ST in a safe place at the moment… and LILI loves him… but Tori would be perfect… and loved…

    Thanks Lee…

  5. Col otter is a wonderful organization. We have adopte 3 wonderful cairns through this organization.

  6. Tori certainly looks like a lovely dog. I only wish I could help with all the dogs that need rescuing. Very nice story. Hope she finds a home worthy of her. Maria


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