by Mary Knemeyer
In the fall of 2003, Magnum was adopted by our family in Ohio. His name (usually paired as in magnum force or Magnum P.I.) seemed out of place with his timid demeanor: He only ate by his cage, would not retrieve a toy, and spent much of his time scratching and biting his paws. He seemed miserable. But despite his state of distress, he wanted to be loved and was best-in-show as a lap dog. When we sat down on the sofa, he jumped up on our laps. He won our hearts immediately.
Magnum was definitely not cared for by his previous owner who had abandoned him to a dog pound. But we were going to change the world for our little friend. After a blood test to determine the source of his allergies and an ongoing series of injections of an allergenic extract to desensitize him to over two dozens environmental triggers, he has finally been released from the torment of continuous itching. His fur, which was very thin, has grown back lush and full.
But Magnum's trials did not end here. The poor little guy had another health issue. When we first adopted Magnum, we noticed a film on the side of the iris of his right eye. The vet said that the mass was a benign melanoma which began to grow rapidly. Within a few months, it was necessary to have that eye removed. But don't feel sorry for Magnum! He rebounded astonishingly.
Magnum has developed into a very athletic dog who loves to walk with me for miles every day along the many trails of our local metro parks. He jumps up on the sofas and beds, plays with his squeaky toys, runs after squirrels and rabbits, and challenges his favorite nemesis "thunder" by running along the backyard fence during a storm. He has become everything a Cairn should be: frisky, feisty, and fabulous. And when Magnum is done playing and enjoying his new world, he comes inside and jumps up on our laps for a nap. Life is good for Magnum.
To end Magnum's story, it must be said that the name really does match the dog. Magnum in Latin means "great." So we have renamed our little pal "C.T." Yes, he really is a great Cairn terrier.