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Archive for the ‘Scottie-tude’ Category

Words of the Wise

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I’ve always heard that the older you get, the wiser you become. And the last time I saw my Grandpa Bill, in July 2013, I realized just how true this was (although I never really thought of him as “old!”) as he spoke the wisest words I’ve heard yet. We were talking about his great grandpuppies – Heather and Mr. K – and he asked when Scottie Dad and I were going to expand the family and welcome a third Scottie to the clan. Naturally, I thought the idea (and the man who came up with it) was brilliant!

What was even wiser than the initial family expansion idea was his response to my claim that I would gladly give him another great grandpuppy or two… but Scottie Dad refused to let me. Grandpa Bill’s eyebrows raised and he said, “Sounds like a compromise. If you gotta give up having two more Scotties, what’s he gotta give up?” I smiled ear to ear all the while trying not to jump out of my chair and yell, “YEAH!”

Do you see the wisdom here? Grandpas are so smart and they know just what logic to use to make sure the grandkids get what they want. Yesterday, we got word that Grandpa Bill wouldn’t live to see the day Scottie Dad breaks down his guard and lets us rescue another pup. And so, tomorrow we venture to lay to rest another beloved family member and with him, those loving words of wisdom. Rest assured, Grandpa Bill, when I do convince Scottie Dad to rescue a third, I will be thankful for and thinking of you.

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Sounds of Silence

Heather, Mr. K, Papa and me hanging out in D.C. in May 2013.

Heather, Mr. K, Papa and me hanging out in D.C. in May 2013.

When I was a little girl, many years before I became a Scottie Mom, there weren’t many sounds of silence whenever my grandfather was around. That man loved to talk and I loved to listen. And when he wasn’t talking, he was shuffling about his house, taking care of some chore or another while humming, whistling or singing a tune (usually, “Oh My Darling, Clementine”). When he caught me looking at him and listening in, he would break out a smile I’m sure no one could refuse to return. Over the years, I spent countless hours listening to that man talk…about the weather, about what he was going to have for dinner, about grandma and about life in general.

Each time I found myself on his front door, I was greeted with a heartfelt, “Hi, sweetheart! How are ya?” For the first 14 years of my life, the greeting was accompanied with a great, big hug. When we moved hours away, I lost the hug but I got the sound of surprise in his voice every time I called – even if I called every week – when he heard me say, “Hi, Papa!” I didn’t have to say who I was. He knew my voice and I knew his. I made an effort to visit Rhode Island, my childhood home state, once a year after the move and every time I did, I always found myself winding up at the one place I could go where nothing would have changed: Papa’s house. There was something very comforting about sitting in his kitchen, listening to him ramble on about nothing in particular.

Three days ago, Papa and I talked for the very last time. There was no mention of the weather, of what he’d have for dinner or any of the usual topics of conversation. This time, I called knowing it was my time to talk and his time to listen. The cancer had taken too much for him to be able to say much of anything and I was warned I may not even get a response but to rest assured that he could hear me. I held the phone close and I said, “Hi, Papa.” Then, came the sound of silence…Just when I started to continue talking, I heard him breathe, “Hi, Mandy.” The words didn’t come out clear and they were hardly audible but they were enough to make me smile. I told him I loved him about three or four times – the only thing I could think to say – and much to my surprise, he said it back. Again, very faintly and barely understandable but he had said it and that’s all I needed.

And with that, our conversation was over. Undoubtedly, it was the shortest conversation we ever had. And though it was mostly filled with silence, it was by far one of the most meaningful. I will never let go of the memory of that last call when words couldn’t fill the silence and we were forced to say everything we wanted to without the formalities of casual conversation and small talk. Papa passed on less than 24 hours after that last call. He left to be reunited with my grandmother – his wife of 56 years – who just left us nine months ago. And though I suspect it will take me a long while to get used to the sounds of silence that will come with his passing, I bet the two of them have a lot of catching up to do and I take comfort knowing that he’ll have someone to talk to about the weather, about what’s for dinner and even about the life he built and the family that still longs for him here on Earth. Rest in peace, Papa. With love, your Sweetheart.

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Well, friends, the destruction of The Scottie House continues. Prior to our big move, the only thing Heather ever chewed was treats (okay, and the occasional spilled remnants from a trash can she knocked over). Now, it appears she has taken a liking to chomping on the window sills. I’m not sure what gives. Do Scotties develop new habits over time?

Additionally, it appears that Heather Houdini is a mastermind at figuring out this Scottie Mom’s work arounds to keep her out of things. Two days ago, she figured out how to break into the master suite again and she ransacked a Vera Bradley bag full of stuff we had yet to unpack. She took two small (empty) jewelry boxes given to me by my great aunt and gnawed right through them. When I got home, they were open and scattered across the floor in pieces. Mr. K apparently got so nervous his big sister was breaking the rules that he pooped his pants right there in the master bedroom…What a lovely homecoming it was, let me tell you!

A few days before that, Scottie Dad came home to hear Heather and Mr. K having a party of sorts in the newly finished closet. He said all he could hear was growling  – from a friendly game of tug, I’m sure; not fighting – when he got home. And when he went upstairs, the two had partied so hard there was bathroom tissue shred everywhere and little pee stains here and there to accompany Scottie Dad’s very large paint stain. (Luckily, the Spot Bot took care of those. The poor little machine is still working on the paint, though.)

Honestly, I’m hardly upset with Heather or Mr. K at all – just grateful there wasn’t anything inside they could have swallowed and hurt themselves with. I’m thinking of buying a child proof lock or something for that master suite door. But just because it is child proof makes me think it may not be Scottie proof with the things Heather has been able to figure out. (I swear she outsmarts me, sometimes!) And as for the window sill issue, I’m not entirely sure what to do. We’ve moved the Scottie beds from the windows and that seems to have taken care of the issue for now. Only time will tell whether these tail wagging tales of destruction will continue (paws crossed they don’t!).

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Dress Down

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Scottie Mom always wears nice dresses to work. But at home, those nice dresses get in the way of my play time. Sometimes, she can’t run after me or crawl toward me when she’s wearing one. Other times, my paws aren’t even allowed on her lap because they might dirty the nice fabric. So I wait until she changes. Today, Scottie Mom came home late from work and wanted to relax…a no-no in my opinion. So, I decided to teach Scottie Mom a valuable lesson: when you come home from work, change immediately into comfy clothes that allow for play time activities including running, crawling, chasing and tugging…or else.

How did I do this, you ask? Well, when she went to sit down, I jumped up and grabbed the bow on the back of the nice dress. It didn’t stay a bow for long. In fact, it suddenly became a tug toy! So that’s why Scottie Mom wears nice dresses…they are actually equipped with hidden tug toys!! If I had known this sooner, we could have had lots more play time together all along. And I wouldn’t object to her wearing them all the time. Silly Scottie Mom! Why keep this a secret? At first, I could tell Scottie Mom wasn’t as happy as I was that the secret was out but all it took was me flashing my winning Scottie smile at her and she was laughing again. With how easy it is to make her smile with my mischief, me thinks it’s time to play more tricks! Stay tuned for more. Until next time, dear friends. Yours truly, Mischievous Mr. K.

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I stole the remote. It was getting in the way. You see, there’s a certain amount of required Scottie time that hasn’t been happening lately and it was time to take action. So, I rebelled.

It started when we moved to the Scottie House. There was this big empty, zoomie space. Slowly but surely, it disappeared. But it took a lot of Scottie Mom and Dad’s time to make it disappear. They work during the week and on weekends, they go out in the Scottie Mobile and come back with more stuff to fill what was left of the empty space. Sometimes, all they do is plop their new stuff and get back to the important stuff: playing with me. Others, like today, they have lots of boxes to unpack and then, hours of reading and assembling more things that take away my empty, zoomie space.

And when they are done, they are too tired to entertain me. So, I try to entertain them. They toss a toy back and forth a few times and it is great. Then, they go back to relaxing on the couch and pick up the remote. Don’t get me wrong. We still get our walkies four times a day but a Scottie like me needs so much more than a walk. I need undivided attention, lots of play time, and belly rubs and ear scratches until I fall asleep.

And, since that wasn’t happening, I staged an intervention. I jumped up and acted like I was going to chill on the couch, too. Then, when they put down the clicker, I snatched it up and took it into the Scottie room (which doubles as a guest bedroom). After a few chomps, I heard Scottie Mom coming and decided to play innocent and roll over. I figured she would get a few laughs when she saw I was giving her a peace offering. I’d forgive her after a few belly rubs and, in return for some extra attention, she could get her remote back.

Sure enough, Scottie Mom laughed when she saw me and I got my belly rub. She told me I communicate very well for a Scottie and that my message came across loud and clear. She promised me that next weekend she would give me and Heather a surprise and that there wouldn’t be any housework. I jumped up right away. That sounds more like it! Looks like my plan worked. Now, the question is: what do you think our surprise is?!

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Heather here. Yesterday, I gave Scottie Mom a test. It’s a test I give her every once in a while to be sure she’s a true Scottie Mom. The test begins on any given rainy afternoon and ends when I’m convinced her patience can’t take any more. On these afternoons, Scottie Mom comes home to walk Mr. K and me. I act all excited like I normally do and I Scottie scoot my way down the stairs and out the front door. Once I get down to the driveway, though, I notice the pit-pat of the falling rain and make a mad dash for the door or the nearest covered area. Then, I stand there and stare at Scottie Mom with my most pathetic looking eyes so she feels pity on me and takes me back inside where it is safe from the horrid rain and, best of all, dry.

The problem is Mr. K likes to walk and do his duty…even in the rain. I don’t. Even if I haven’t peed in hours. Why, you ask? Well, let me put it this way: when was the last time YOU peed in the rain (and liked it)? If I pee in the rain, my hair gets messed up, I get all sopping wet and then, Scottie Dad accuses me of being extra stinky (he says I’m stinky all the time but it is worse when I come in from being out in the rain). That’s just not how a girl wants the world to see her, is it? So, there I sit, under the cover of whatever is protecting me from the rain that day and Scottie Mom begins her plea: “Come on, Heather. Please, Heather? I know you have to pee, little girl. Just a quick pee and then we can go back in, I promise. Heather!”

Scottie Mom doesn’t have a pretty raincoat like I do so when she begs me to take care of business, I do feel bad for her. She gets just as wet as I would if I didn’t have the protection of my pretty, blue raincoat. The funny thing is that Scottie Dad doesn’t call her stinky when she goes back in. Still, I choose to sit out of the rain and, if possible, I’ll pee right there where I’m hiding from the rain since it is dry. Sometimes, with this new Scottie House, that’s not possible. There aren’t too many dry spots when it rains and I’ve had to learn to speed pee to avoid catching too much rain. Scottie Mom says I’m getting better at peeing in the rain at the Scottie House. She doesn’t understand, though, that I still don’t like it: I only do it when I know that patience of hers will run low soon enough. (Plus, let’s face it: a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)

It’s a hard test, the one I give Scottie Mom. Most times, she passes. Sometimes, she gives up and takes us back to the house which is okay with me, too, because then I get to be dry. Those days, though, Scottie Mom has to be extra careful and make sure we go out again the minute the rain stops because my poor, little female bladder can’t wait that long and she sure doesn’t want to have any accidents in the house. Although, admittedly, they sometimes happen…like I said, it’s a test and it certainly isn’t an easy one. Alas, Scottie Mom’s patience usually persists and Mr. K and I are able to relieve ourselves on our schedule and on our own terms. And, once I see Scottie Mom pass the test with flying colors, I try to let go and throw her a bone every once in a while and surprise her by peeing the minute we get out in the rain. (I turn around and run right back to the house when I’m done, of course.)  This can’t happen everytime, though, then she’ll think taking me out in the rain is acceptable behavior and that, my friends, just isn’t so.

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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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