A Whole Lotta Muffins

If there's one thing Heather's passing has taught me, it is that each of us grieves differently. For me, that grief ebbs and flows but the one constant - other than that pain running deep - is my desire to "do right" by Heather and my memory of her. I couldn't save her but that doesn't mean I can't do my part to save others like her. And while this Scottie House won't be taking in any additional rescue dogs for some time, that hasn't stopped me from working on passion projects to help pay forward all the love and happiness sweet Heather Beather brought to my life (and yours!). 

Heather, sniffing a blueberry muffin. Photo copyright Leesia Teh Photography
With what would have been Heather's 12th birthday fast approaching, I knew I had to do something special, something positive. I thought of our last days together and the one thing she enjoyed quite literally until the very end: blueberry muffins. The last thing she tasted moments before she left this Earth. Words cannot describe how excited she was any time she knew she was to receive one, how her eyes lit up when she saw one and how quickly these special treats disappeared once one finally made it to her bowl. I thought of that sheer joy she clearly experienced and knowing blueberry muffins are a favorite with the rest of the Scottie crew, too, I knew what I had to do.

I dug out a dog treat recipe book, which has gotten embarrassingly little use since I purchased it several years ago, and set to work baking dozens of blueberry muffins. I contacted Lifeline Animal Project, a nonprofit organization here in Atlanta, Ga. working to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in area shelters (with amazing success, I must say!). I asked if I could stop by to share these special treats with the pups still searching for their forever homes. Of course, they graciously accepted and I delivered six dozen homemade blueberry muffins to one of their shelters. 

Mr. K showing off the blueberry muffins made in his late BFF's honor.
My hope was that every rescue dog waiting for a forever home at Lifeline Animal Project would have a sweet treat before Halloween - easily Heather's favorite holiday and for obvious reasons! Sadly, the six dozen blueberry muffins were only enough to feed the rescue dogs housed at this particular location. There are nearly 600 others within the Lifeline system waiting for a special treat (and forever homes!) so I'm collecting store-bought treats in hopes the remaining rescue dogs get a treat or two this Halloween. I might attempt to whip up a few dozen more of the blueberry muffins, too. 

While seeing so many furry friends needing homes is certainly heartbreaking, I felt a small part of me starting to heal the moment I dropped off the blueberry muffins. Heather may not need my help any longer, but there are plenty of others that still do. And while I can't change the past and there is nothing that will bring sweet Heather Beather back, I can help change the future for animals in need. And it starts with one small act of kindness. Or in this case, a basket full of blueberry muffins.

Scottish Terriers of Instagram

Didn't get enough of #TooCuteTuesday? We've got you covered. This week's #ScottishTerriersofInstagram are here to bring you even more Scottish Terrier cuteness. Want to share your Scottie dogs' photos with us? Upload them to Instagram using #ScottishTerriersofInstagram or tag @TheScottieMom. Oh, and be sure to follow us and this week's featured Scottie dogs! 

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The Rules of Scottie-tude

Scottie-tude. It is something every Scottish Terrier has and something with which every Scottie Mom is well-acquainted. A distinctive trait of these lovable pups, Scottie-tude takes shape in many forms. Sometimes, in the form of silent treatment (combined with the Scottie stink eye) and other times, in the form of a not-so-silent grumble or bark. My personal favorite? When Scottie-tude inspires a host of mischievous deeds. Still, Scottie-tude can be a perplexing phenomenon even to the most experienced Scottie Mom so I sought out to better understand the rules of Scottie-tude. Here's what the Scottie Mom crew had to say when I inquired...

1. It is no secret that we Scottish Terriers are easily insulted. You make fun of us now and we'll see who is laughing when you discover the present left in your shoe tomorrow morning.

2. Bounce around and get all excited for a walk. Every time. Then, when the humans take you outside, plant your bottom on the green grass and refuse to move. Enjoy the humans' reactions.

3. It is important we Scotties speak up for what is right. If someone is approaching the door, the humans haven't given you enough play time or if dinner is not served on time (gasp!), demand more.

4. When something annoys you, pee on it.

5. If something is out of place, left within reach or the humans accidentally leave a door open, take full advantage of the situation. Never let an opportunity pass to make mischief happen.

6. Wait until other humans are watching you and your Scottie Mom (or Dad). Then, go crazy over a leaf blowing in the wind or a phantom creature no one can see but you.

7. It's not considered stealing if you take a toy and hide it to destroy at a later time. Even those of the unconventional kind like shoes, clothes, towels, etc. Get creative with your toy selections!

8. If you're not amused by something the human says or does, give them "the look."

9. Playing in a Scottie-safe pool or splashing in puddles is all fun and games but don't forget to freak out and act like you're being tortured when they try to give you a B-A-T-H.

10. When you suspect your human has figured out your ways, throw them for a loop and do the opposite of what they expect you to do. This will keep them on their toes.

11. Remember: there is no such thing as "rules"...except the ones made up by Scottish Terriers. And even those can and will be changed at any point in time as we see fit. 

DIY Halloween Cupcake Toppers

I don't consider myself a creative person or even a fan of do-it-yourself projects (they never seem to come out looking as good as the featured photos!). With the HowlOween Pawty around the corner, I wanted to whip up a sweet treat for our Scottie Mom friends and family. So, I set to work on creating a simple cupcake topper design featuring our beloved Scottish Terriers that will add a little trick to your treat this Halloween. Trust me: if I completed this project successfully, you certainly can, too!

For this DIY project, you'll need: lollipop sticks, a pair of scissors, thick paper or cardstock, a color printer, tape, some yummy cupcakes and our free, printable Halloween cupcake topper design. How do you download it, you ask? Simply drop your name and email into the fields below to claim this sweet treat. You'll receive it in your inbox shortly and will automatically be signed up to receive more free Scottie stuff in the future. Doesn't get much sweeter than that, does it?

Now, for the "tough" part...here are the instructions to make your Halloween cupcake toppers.
  1. Download the free, printable design and print the sheet out on cardstock or a thicker paper.
  2. Cut out each circle.
  3. Place the lollipop stick in the center on the back of the circle.
  4. Secure with tape.
  5. Add your own creative touch (like I did with the bows) or go ahead and put these cute toppers in place!
Bonus: This template doubles as the perfect Halloween cupcake topper and festive sticker! If you don't want to take on a DIY project, try printing the free design sheet on Avery 2-inch diameter, round labels (I recommend these) to add a spooktacular touch to party favors or treat bags. 

Claim your Scottie Mom freebie now!

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Scottish Terriers of Instagram

Can't get enough of #TooCuteTuesday? Not to worry! This week's #ScottishTerriersofInstagram are here to bring you even more Scottish Terrier cuteness...plus a few smiles. Want to share your Scottie dogs' photos with us? Upload them to Instagram using #ScottishTerriersofInstagram or tag @TheScottieMom. Oh, and be sure to follow us and this week's featured Scottie dogs! 

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Coping With The Loss of A Pet

I couldn't look at them the day after Heather died. It was the worst feeling in the world. Mr. K, Nibbles and Pudley needed me but I couldn't even bring myself to turn on my other side in bed, never mind go downstairs to walk and feed them. I felt defeated. I had prepared for sadness and ugly cries but this reaction I was not expecting. How was I unable to even look at my dogs? Fortunately, I had reinforcements to take care of the pups that day while I grieved...if that's what you want to call it.

While lying in bed, it dawned on me. I really hadn't told people yet. How was I supposed to do that now? I started with family. My grandmother, who has experienced greater loss than any other person in my life, had me laughing a bit and feeling inspired to at least try to tackle the day by the end of our call. She reminded me that Mr. K, Nibbles and Pudley needed me and that I had given Heather a really good life. Both things I knew but couldn't channel to pick myself up that morning. 

I managed to get through the grocery store and other mundane errands before returning home. I opened the refrigerator and saw the bowl I kept Heather's home cooked meals in and nearly lost it. I whisked around, slamming the refrigerator door behind me. I couldn't handle seeing that. How quickly I had forgotten it was there. And how surprising to find something as simple as food could be such a jarring emotional trigger. No one said grieving the loss of a pet would be easy but I think I had hoped the wonderful memories and love in my heart would prevent things from being this hard.

Sometime that afternoon or early evening, I got down on the floor and opened my arms to let my three Scotties come hug me. They all came smiling - Pudley acting silly and jumping around, Nibbles burrowing her head in my lap and Mr. K with his tail wagging but those soulful eyes showed me he was worried about me. I assured him everything was okay and took up a game of squeaky tennis ball and suddenly, his world was so much better than it was before. I had to pull it together for him.

With each day that passes, things get easier. Nights are the worst, though. It is as if your days return to normal but all that grief that was pushed aside rushes back to the surface once you've settled in for the night. It took me weeks to learn how to quiet my thoughts so I could rest. People always tell me look for signs of her. That she'll let me know she's in a better place and doing okay. Sadly, I have not seen any such sign. Not even after her remains came home. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Instead, I remind myself that she is not in pain. It helps. It doesn't make it all go away but it helps.

Losing Heather was difficult and it didn't matter how many articles I read about dealing with the loss of a pet. I had to go through it and cope with it on my own and in my own way. (And I still am.) It is the best way to heal, in my opinion. I didn't feel peace until I decided to do something to honor Heather and began brainstorming ways to champion the rescue cause on her behalf. Knowing she'll live on in the hearts of many and that her memory will be preserved brings a tremendous amount of comfort. And I know she's looking on with that cute, crooked smile from wherever she is today.

Scottish Terriers of Instagram

We know you can't wait for #TooCuteTuesday so say hello this week's #ScottishTerriersofInstagram! If you'd like to share your photos with us, upload them to Instagram using #ScottishTerriersofInstagram or tag @TheScottieMom. Oh, and be sure to follow us and this week's featured Scottie dogs! 

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