[caption id="attachment_1433" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.[/caption]
According to the American Kennel Club, the average Scottie weighs between 18 and 22 pounds. When I first met my darling Heather, I knew there was a strong possibility she was outside that weight range but it wasn't necessarily because she was overweight. She was, much to my surprise, bigger than my Mr. K both in terms of height and length. I had been told by the shelter I adopted Mr. K from that his previous owners mentioned something about him being the runt of his litter. It wasn't until I saw Heather that I began to wonder whether Mr. K was really that small or if Heather was really that big. When I got her home and later took her to the vet, I discovered Heather tipped the scale at just over 27 pounds. That seemed a little high for this Scottie Mom's comfort level. When I adopted Mr. K a year prior to, he was only 17 pounds and the vet said he could afford to put a few more on. How very different the two were!
And so, this Scottie Mom set out to making sure each of my babies was the healthiest weight they could be. It was easy getting Mr. K to put on weight and nearly three years later he's up to about 23 pounds, looking as strong and healthy as ever. Ideally, I'd like him to stay around the 22 pound weight and we're working on losing that extra pound. Heather, on the hand, has had a harder time. (Don't all women have this struggle?) She lost a good two pounds in the first year or so but hasn't really been able to go below the 25 pound mark. I'm thinking that might be okay, though, because she certainly doesn't look overweight since she's a little taller and longer than Mr. K is. Losing those two pounds has really made a difference...to me, at least.
But strangers and neighbors don't know Heather's full story. They don't know just how far she's come in the year and a half I've had her. Consequently, nothing upsets this Scottie Mom more than to hear these complete strangers go, "Wow! She's biggg!!" I also often hear, "That's a SCOTTIE?!" I used to think people were referring to how different the color of her coat was because it is a question I get quite often. Then, one day, a not so subtle neighbor took one look at Heather in the elevator and, without so much as acknowledging the wildly wagging tail and the happy-go-lucky face staring up at him, he said: "Man, she's a BIG one, huh?" I looked at him, face all scrunched up as if to say, "excuse me?" Lucky for him, the elevator arrived at his floor and he was on his way before this Scottie Mom could tear into him. A few words for the wise: NEVER insult a fur-child in the presence of his or her mom. It never ends well for the other person.
That particular neighbor might have been the first but, unfortunately, he certainly wasn't the last. I've had a number of people (all men, ironically) make comments about her size. Now, when I see those neighbors whose eyes stayed clued on her, I find myself wondering: are they trying to figure out whether she is a mixed breed or are they thinking she's just fat? Occasionally, I'll get the "Wow! I've never seen a Scottie her color before!" and I immediately feel relief. My hope is that these strangers and neighbors are just taken aback by how beautiful she truly is and loving her for that extra friendly personality of hers. It is a shame for those who make a snap judgment and assume she's overweight. Truth is, the vet is happy with where she's at in terms of her weight now and frankly, so am I so don't you dare call my Scottie fat!