Archive for the ‘Scottie Basics’ Category


It’s official: Heather has been cancer-free now for over one year! Last January, just before she went in for a routine dental procedure, I found a bump and reported it to her vet. What we thought might be a fatty deposit turned out to be liposarcoma, a malignant but localized form of cancer. Suddenly, Heather wasn’t just going in for a dental anymore. She was having major surgery. Hours of waiting, over a half dozen staples and thousands of dollars later, sweet Heather not only pulled through the surgery but eventually kicked cancer to the curb. Not a day goes by that Scottie Dad and I aren’t reminded how lucky we are to still have her here with us.

So many of us are affected by cancer…whether directly or indirectly through a friend, relative or canine companion. Recently, Scottie Dad’s best man (and also the man that gave Heather her first kiss – read about it here) found out his family’s Shih Tzu is battling cancer for a second time. Like Heather, little Miyuki the Shih Tzu beat cancer the first go-round and was awarded an abundance of extra time with her loving family. That extra time, however, came at a significant cost to the family but they were able to make it work. This time, Miyuki’s family needs our help so she can have a few more years with the people who love her most.

We know Miyuki is not a Scottie but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve her best fight against cancer. If every Scottie Mom friend and follower donates just $5, Miyuki’s treatment would be paid for in full. If you know someone or some pup that has been affected by cancer, I ask you to consider donating to Miyuki’s cause. Or, if you simply don’t have the extra means, please consider sharing this link to Miyuki’s story to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to help spread the word. Together, we can make a difference and work toward eliminating cancer (canine and otherwise) one case at a time. Much love, The Scottie Mom.


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Scottie Spa Day







It was that time again. That time when Scottie Mom got us psyched up for a ride in the Scottie Mobile. That time we were pumped to embark on our next big adventure. And that time when we realized too late that we had been duped. It isn’t even Howl-o-ween yet and Scottie Mom is already pulling out the tricks!

So there we were…happily trotting into a new building when suddenly, Scottie Mom passed our leash over to the person behind the counter. What’s this? Scottie Mom wasn’t coming with us? The horror! We dug our paws into the floor in protest but it was no use. We were doomed, destined to spend the afternoon in a bath tub filled with lots of bubbles.

Alas, truth be told, the visit wasn’t all bad. We met three fellow Scotties during our stay with the groomer and we traded ArRroOos. We did catch Scottie Mom giving those other Scotties some love (so not cool) but we eventually walked out of that place looking like rock stars. Scottie Mom even gave us treats…to go along with those tricks, we guess.

The real treat will be for all our friends when they get to see us with these rockin’ haircuts underneath our spiffy Howl-o-ween costumes. Oh, and you might see us sporting our good looks in the company of birthday hats next week. That’s right…our special day is just around the corner. But we don’t look a day older, do we?! Much love, Heather and Mr. K.

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Hamish (left) and his brother Duncan.

Hamish (left) and his brother Duncan.

At less than a year old, Scotties Hamish and Duncan learned what it meant to fight for your life as they watched their Scottie Mom battle the disease that is expected to kill nearly 40,000 American women this year alone: breast cancer. Though they were young, Hamish and Duncan watched over their Scottie Mom and doted on her with unconditional Scottie Love to help her through this difficult time. They were there to greet her at the door each time she came home from her chemotherapy and radiation treatments and they were always happy to do what Scotties do best: make their hoomans happy!

Thanks to Hamish and Duncan’s support (and to medical treatments, a little perseverance, and a strong will to live!), their Scottie Mom kicked the evil “C” to the curb and is still thriving eight years later. Little Hamish, who obviously learned a thing or two about being a fighter and how to beat the odds from his Scottie Mom, has since been diagnosed with canine diabetes. For over four years now, he has had to rely on his Scottie Mom to give him two insulin injections every day. He’s on a special diet and has chosen carrots as his treat of choice these days. Each morning and night, instead of running away from the insulin needle, he trots over to his Scottie Mom like a little trooper to get his shot and, of course, a carrot or two.

Canine diabetes isn’t Hamish’s only issue. He also suffers from ear problems, skin infections and dry eyes. With all the trips to the V-E-T his conditions must require, one would think Hamish might be ready to throw in the towel but such is not the case. In fact, Hamish has taken every curve ball life has thrown him in stride and continues to live his best life with his Scottie brother Duncan by his side. Again, having learned a thing or two from his brave Scottie Mom and her battle with the evil “C,” it is no wonder Hamish continues to inspire those around him to look past the circumstances given, make the most of the situation and when a loved one is going through a difficult time, be there for them with a smile on your face and tail-a-wagging!

Many thanks to Hamish and Duncan’s Scottie Mom for sharing her precious pup’s story and much love goes out to you from the Scottie Mom community during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sure Hamish and Duncan will join me in my plea for women everywhere to get yearly mammograms in an effort to detect – and ultimately defeat – breast cancer earlier. For those interested in submitting your Scottie’s story for consideration as a Be Inspired by a Scottie piece, please send an email to thescottiemom(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Relax, Scottie Moms. This isn’t some freaky Scottie love story. No, this is just a tale of the 50 shades of grey that are emerging on Mr. K’s beard. When I first saw them, I was startled. What does a young fellow like him have grey hairs for? It seems like just yesterday was the day I met this spirited three-and-a-half-year-old. So, how can my baby boy be getting grey? Adding more to the confusion is seeing just how gracefully my girl Heather seems to be aging. Going on nine years old, Miss Heather doesn’t have a grey hair on her body. Mr. K is two years younger and yet, it appears he’ll be sporting a fully grey beard within the next year or so.

With every day that passes, another shade of grey appears. At first, it worried me. No, I thought, this cannot be happening. Time is going by too fast and he cannot be getting old on me. However, in time, I learned to love every little piece of grey hair that appears. You know why? Because that means he’s lived another day and that’s another day he’s had to leave his paw print on my heart with his shenanigans. And who doesn’t love Mr. K’s shenanigans?! I consider it a privilege to be the one Mr. K chooses to play his pranks on, to be the one whose lap he decides to jump on top of for a nightly cuddle and to be the one who has the honor of being called his (and Heather’s!) Scottie Mom.

This newfound respect for the shades of grey reminded me of the pups who are Mr. K’s age or older and still looking for a furever home to spend their golden (or should we say grey?) years. Every day, I see photos on Scottie rescue Facebook pages of pups who have found themselves in unfortunate situations and even some who have been given up because of the 50 shades of grey that have made their way to the infamous Scottie beard. Sad, I know but think of the opportunity that lies ahead for each of those pups and all the memories they are just waiting to bring to the right families!

So here’s to getting grey and never slowing down. Here’s to staying active and celebrating the time we do have with our beloved fur friends. And, if you have room in your heart and your home for another, to embracing the adventures that are coming your way. Because, in the end, it’s all worth it!

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Losing a Scottie must be one of the hardest experiences. My heart goes out to those Scottie Moms and Dads who have dealt with that loss already. One of the first Scottie Moms I heard from after we announced the Be Inspired by a Scottie series was Scottie Mom Pam. She owned (or was owned by) a little, black Scottish Terrier named McTavish.

McTavish was a lady of many hobbies: she loved chasing her Scottie Mom’s C-A-T Sophie, snacking on treats like scrambled eggs, corn bread and popcorn (in moderation and only with Scottie Mom’s permission, of course) and cuddling up with Scottie Mom Pam at the end of a long day. In many ways, McTavish was her Scottie Mom’s soul mate. Each morning, she would go to her trusty laundry bin full of toys and pull out her favorites so that she and Scottie Mom Pam could start off the day on a rather playful note. And each evening, McTavish would greet her Scottie Mom and hop on the sofa, ready for a hug.

When she was 12 years old, McTavish found herself struggling with Cushing’s disease and congestive heart failure. However, that didn’t stop this brave, little girl from being by her Scottie Mom’s side. After all, they were soul mates. In December 2009, McTavish welcomed another soul mate into the family as her Scottie Mom said, “I do” to McTavish’s Scottie Dad. Just two short months later, knowing her Scottie Mom was safe in the care of another soul mate, McTavish went to sleep one last time and headed out over the rainbow bridge.

20130720_205300Heartbroken, Scottie Mom Pam sought out projects around the house to stay busy so she wouldn’t be completely overwhelmed with the loss of her fur baby. She and her new husband had said their goodbyes to sweet McTavish and had buried her in the backyard where they set up a memorial for her. Scottie Mom Pam pulled out a large Ziploc bag full of cancelled postage stamps she used to make jewelry and started sorting through them. To her astonishment, she pulled out a stamp with an image of the largest natural bridge with its name written clearly below: “Rainbow Bridge.” In that moment, Scottie Mom Pam knew her sweet McTavish was sending her a message letting her know she had arrived safely on the other side.

Scottie Love like the kind McTavish and her Scottie Mom Pam share is a rare bond that stands both the test of time and spans across dimensions. There is no doubt in my mind what these two shared then (and still share today) is an inspiration for us all to live each moment like it is our last and to love and cherish every moment we have with our four-legged friends. Scottie Mom Pam and her husband have since welcomed another Scottie named Rosie into their home. Rosie turned two just last month. Many thanks to Scottie Mom Pam for sharing her precious McTavish’s story and much love goes out to you from the Scottie Mom community.

If you’re interested in submitting your Scottie’s story for consideration as a Be Inspired by a Scottie piece, please send an email to thescottiemom(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Simply said: this house is MINE.

Simply said: this house is MINE.

Being in a new environment can really throw a Scottie Mom off her game! One day into home ownership, I pulled a rookie Scottie Mom move. Gone were our usual schedules and routines, and gone consequently, were (some of) my Scottie Mom instincts. Scottie Dad was away and so Heather, Mr. K and I conducted business as usual – sneaking into the master bedroom and doing what we wanted when we pleased. It was a rather uncomfortable and miserable experience, however, due to the three of us trying to squeeze on an air mattress that decided the last thing it wanted to do was keep air inside it. And, for those who think sleeping in a bed with Scotties is hard…try attempting to sleep on an air mattress with an injured back AND with a Scottie on either side. (Hint: sleep won’t happen for the Scottie Mom involved!)

I was bound and determined that first day to make Heather and Mr. K feel at home and so, I put common sense aside and let them have the master suite to themselves while I was gone (GASP – we broke the rule again). I did, however, shut the double doors to the room so they wouldn’t wander down a flight of stairs they hadn’t quite gotten the hang of just yet. All was right in the world. For a few hours, I forgot about all the work it had taken to get to that moment and I was happy. The puppies were so darned content hanging out together and snuggling up on the air mattress in their new home. Plus, I could walk to work and come home at lunch on a daily basis to see them. What could go wrong?

Well, lunch time came and I found out just what could go wrong. Mr. K had rediscovered the carpets again and this time, the carpets were for more than helping him scratch that itch on his back. Yes, in fact, the carpets were where Mr. K decided to show Scottie Mom how obviously displeased he was having been left in a strange place all alone. A dozen spots, that’s what I saw across the carpet. And these weren’t “I couldn’t hold it any longer” spots. These were, “I’m going to show you who’s boss, Scottie Mom” spots. I panicked. Scottie Mom was finally busted after a year and a half of sneaking the puppies in the bedroom. And, as luck would have it, we would be busted in the newly purchased house. I did my best, scrubbing the carpets as best I could but the markings just wouldn’t come out.

That afternoon, I returned to work and talked with a colleague, who told me her dog (who is unable to move his back legs and gets around with the help of a doggie wheelchair of sorts) often has “leaks” and that she turned to something called a Spot Bot to help clean the stains. I rushed off to Target that night and picked one up. Wouldn’t you know how quickly the two of us made friends? That little machine took so much work off of me that I could hug it. Sure, it left a ring of damp carpet that needed a good 12 hours or so to really dry up before it blended back in but other than that, it did a really decent job of getting those stains out. I even let it try to get the set in stains the former homeowner’s Pomeranian left behind for us. Those didn’t really improve much but it is obvious those stains had been there a while.

And so, Scottie Mom managed to avoid being caught – at least for now. And, as far as Scottie Dad knows, we bought a Spot Bot for those unfortunate incidents in the future when Heather pees each time her Scottie Dad hooks her up to the leash for a walk. What a thoughtful and resourceful Scottie Mom! As for Mr. K, he’s getting used to his new pad but he made sure to continue marking it up until his little Scottie heart was content that there was no more Pomeranian scent to be found in HIS home. And each time my friend the Spot Bot came out to take care of his mess, wouldn’t you know Mr. K stayed close by with a watchful eye and threatened to attack the noisy monster marking his markings? Silly boy…

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Today, I stumbled across another article which depicted the beloved Scottish Terrier as an unpopular pup. According to 20 Dog Breeds that Have Fallen in Popularity Over the Past Decade, Scottish Terriers are in a four-way tie with our friends the Italian Greyhounds, the English Setter and the White Fox Terrier for last place. This means that there was a significant decline in Scottish Terrier ownership between 2002-2012 but not enough for the breed to claim the “top” spot as the breed whose popularity declined the most in 10 years. The article states:

No. 17 (tie): Scottish Terrier – No. 65 in 2002, No. 90 in 2012

He’s lively and intelligent, but the Scottish Terrier can also be quite serious and scrappy with other dogs. He’s affectionate to those he likes but may take awhile to warm up to strangers, and, as a terrier, he’ll hunt little critters that cross his path.

Now, allow me to be quite serious and scrappy with the author of this article for a moment. I’m interested to know: what is the point of this article and what purpose does it serve? To me, these breed rankings and popularity charts serve no purpose other than to help irresponsible breeders determine which breed to exploit next and which to forget. In that case, I’m glad the beloved Scottie dogs find themselves on the “least popular” list. Can you imagine what might happen if they were listed among the “20 Hottest” Dog Breeds and Mixes?

Alas, now is not a time for grumbling but a time for Scottie Moms and Dads to come together in support of the breed that is so loved. (And, if you’re looking for a place to start, check out my Top 10 Reasons to Love Scotties). While there is no denying that Scottish Terrier ownership is going down, the same simply cannot be said for the dedication to the breed among the lucky few who are destined to be Scottie Moms and Dads. Popularity is merely defined as being suited to the tastes of the general public, which as history has shown, can be very fickle once a trend has passed. What are some of the Scottie’s characteristics that won you over as a Scottie Mom or Dad?

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