Sleepover Scotties


There's only one room in the entire house that is almost completely set up: the guest room. Now, as Scottie Mom followers know, the guest room is not meant to be an ordinary guest room. In fact, the main purpose is to allow Heather, Mr. K and I to continue our sleepovers while Scottie Dad is away without breaking the rules (until we convince Scottie Dad to grant hooman bed privileges, of course). Two weeks ago, we bought a mattress. Seven days later, it was delivered. A week after that, we found a comforter set and today, I went out and bought pillows. We're still missing a head board but that won't stop me from spending tonight in the company of two cuddly Scots!

As I let the pups enter their new suite, I was surprised to see just how quickly they settled in. Heather did her ostrafish dance on the carpet, screatching her chin on the rug and pushing her body forward with her hind legs. Mr. K had zoomies around and under the bed for a solid 10 or 15 minutes before he allowed me to pick him up to rest with me on the newly made up guest bed. Once they were on the bed, Heather looked oh-so-happy and Mr. K proceeded to dance around - hopping this way and that before rolling around on his back and sticking his tongue out for all the world to see. Now, the two are contentedly snoozing away and I've finally gotten a chance to give everyone another long overdue update!

Setting up house takes a lot longer than I ever anticipated but with each little bit we finish, I feel a small sense of pride (and a sense of hope that an end to all this nonsense is in sight and it won't go on forever). At one point, I was so overwhelmed, I didn't know where to start because I had so much to unpack. So, what did I do? I grabbed a box of my favorite mugs (a number of which are Scottie patterned) and set up our very first kitchen cabinet! Then, I set out the dog treat maker on the counter. And after that: the dog food, treats and accessories cabinet. You know, the important things. Would you believe Heather and Mr. K's stuff alone took up the lower cabinets in our kitchen island? (What can I say? They have a lot of cute outfits to keep our friends entertained!)

The more we knock out in terms of setting up house and unpacking, the more pictures I'll be able to take and share. I'm told that the Scottie new home video tour is almost ready and I'm hoping to be able to post that to our YouTube account sometime this week. If you want to go ahead and head on over there to subscribe so you'll be among the first to see it, be our guest. I apologize to all for the long wait but I can certainly promise it will be worth it! It's our first time working with video so Heather and Mr. K insisted on getting it just right. They definitely did not disappoint. I may be biased, but I'm starting to think these two are destined to become stars...but I'll let Scottie Mom friends be the judge when the video is finally ready.

Things that go Woof in the Night


It is getting late and all is quiet in the Scottie Mom household. Heather is resting her chin upon my feet and Mr. K is snuggled close to my side. My eyes are slowly closing when all of a sudden, a soft, little WOOF emerges from the quiet of the night. My eyes open and as nothing else happens, they start to close again. A minute later, another WOOF. I smile. Someone's having a good dream. Then, a WOOF-WOOF-WOOF. I reach down and pet my little girl. Not too fast, though - she startles easily at the slightest movement or touch. A couple of soft pats on her tummy and she's on her way back to dream land. Quietly, I hope.

And so the cycle goes, round and round, when Heather and Mr. K take over the human bed. Mr. K falls asleep first. Then goes Heather. Finally, I get my turn...only to wake at the sound of a Scottie dream creeping its way into real life. Most nights, Heather lets me rest fully after the third belly rub or so. Either that, or I give up on a subconscious level and allow myself to fall into dream land, too, despite the WOOF-y disturbances. One night, I reached over to pet Heather after I heard the first WOOF. Much to my surprise, Heather was wide awake, ears perked up and her eyes focused on me. As another WOOF sneaked out of the dark room, Heather did the Scottie head tilt and we both turned toward a sleeping Mr. K. Guess I wasn't the only one surprised that she wasn't the only Scottie to go WOOF in the night!

Scotties on the Move


To sum up the big move in a nutshell: it was hard work and it was, more than anything, a learning experience. I've moved with Scotties before but never into a townhouse with so much space (and consequently, with much more possibilities for mischief and mayhem!). Mr. K has moved three times with me now and Heather, this was her second move. However, none of our previous moves compare to this one. Here are 10 (new) things I learned about Scotties on the move:

- It's not home until it's home. And it won't be home until you spend time with the Scotties there. Heather and Mr. K kept waiting to go back to the condo and marched over to the car as if they were set to leave every time we went out for a walk after work.

- Finding the perfect pee and poo spots can take a week or more. Add another week or two to the adjustment period to accomodate for the change in schedule!

- The echoes of an unfurnished house turn the place into a fun house. Scottie Mom calls the pups upstairs, they go downstairs. Scottie Mom calls them downstairs, the pups go upstairs. Then, they wonder where she went not realizing they went the wrong way.

- New carpet = a great substitute for grass, even when a Scottie doesn't have to pee but feels like leaving his or her mark anyway.

- If you want to go about making new friends, send Heather to win over the crowds with her smile and leave the grumbling Mr. K at home.

- Expect the unexpected and leave no trash can exposed, no newspaper or toilet paper in sight and find safe places to store the food bag immediately or else. Scotties don't wait for their hoomans to catch their breath when moving - they go in for the gold while they can!

- Three flights of stairs are awfully fun for Scotties to zoomie up and down...except when they have no carpet. Hence, the necessity of Scottie gates.

- Consistency is key. Go out the same doors every time. Walk the same route again and again. Feed in the same spot and encourage them to settle in one place every night.

- More space to explore and "get lost" = more "there-you-are!" and "oh-my-gosh-i'm-so-glad-you're-home-again!" Scotties faces to greet matter how soon  you just saw them. And that Scottie expression NEVER gets old.

- When in doubt, give treats. I went a bit overboard in trying to make Heather and Mr. K feel as comfortable as possible and probably threw Mr. K off his diet temporarily. Alas, if it leads to a happy Scottie. It was worth it in the end!

The Property Deed

[caption id="attachment_2713" align="alignnone" width="500"]Simply said: this house is MINE. Simply said: this house is MINE.[/caption]

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...

Scottie House Prepping


Mr. K here. My weekend was going great. We got to sleep in and take an extra long walkie. Breakfast was scrumptious and Scottie Mom said we got to go for a ride. I figured we would score some treats or visit the mysterious place Scottie Mom keeps disappearing to with our stuff. Alas, such was not the case. We arrived at Barking Hound Village. That means....gulp....a B-A-T-H!

Lucky for me, Miss Barbara makes me look like a rock star and Heather doesn't look too shabby herself when we leave. However, I do have to log a complaint with Scottie Mom: how are you going to ruin a weekend by sending me for a dreaded B-A-T-H? You know I only like them when you give them to me. I especially like to get a massage and roll around wiping my wet fur everywhere I can when I'm at home. Any of my fur friends like to do that, too? It's the best.

Anyway, Scottie Mom said we were long overdue for a B-A-T-H and that she wanted us fresh and clean for tomorrow when we'll be starring in our own video. Yeah! I had not known of these plans but Scottie Mom said Heather and I will get to go to that extra special, super secret place she keeps visiting tomorrow to explore. Plus, she has charged ME with being the tour guide for all my fur friends and fans! I'll have to put on my very best entertaining hat.

This must be the new house Scottie Mom and Dad have been searching for. What else could it be? I hope they took my list of requirements seriously! After all, a Scottie knows what's best. So, dear friends, I guess I can't be too mad at Scottie Mom for making me get a B-A-T-H. I've got to look my best for my video debut. Wish me luck and be on the look out for it soon!

Test Results, Part 1

One thing's for sure: Scottie Mom is tired. The last few weeks have been like a never-ending game of dodgeball. A game, I might add, that this Scottie Mom was losing. So many dodgeballs were coming my way at once and instead of getting out of the way, I was hit time and again. The Scottie Mobile craps out. BOOM! Heather's head wound reopens. BOOM! Scottie Mom falls on her face and her back within 24 hours. BOOM! Something happens to threaten the closing of our townhouse. BOOM! The Scottie Mobile craps out again. BOOM! Heather gets bad liver value test results. BOOM! And that's not the whole of it. As you can see, just as I was about to get up, another dodgeball would hit and put me out of the game. They say bad things come in three's but for a while there, it felt like much more.

I'll take yesterday's good news as a sign of things turning around, however. I got a call from Heather's V-E-T saying the ultrasound looked pretty good. In fact, the V-E-T said it looked a lot better than it did last year. She cautioned that it is still not 100 percent normal, but she was not alarmed about that. If the Cushing's test comes back negative, then we will talk again - this time about the gall bladder and we may explore the option of putting her on a medication to keep the material in her gall bladder fluid. I was told to expect the Cushing's test results in 5-7 businses days so hang tight, Scottie Mom friends. We'll keep you posted as we know more. Also in good news: Mr. K's urine sample came back clean. No crystals were found in this sample. For those who follow us on Facebook, you know Mr. K didn't make it easy on the V-E-T to get the sample...

We headed to the V-E-T early Saturday morning. It had been three hours since I let Mr. K out to pee. The V-E-T ushered him into the back and they didn't come back for quite some time when finally, she comes out and says, "He's got one tiny bladder! I couldn't get anything out of him!" After promising to return with him that afternoon, we walked out the door - leaving dear Heather to finish her testing. We weren't outside for two minutes when Mr. K finds a fence and lifts his leg. I couldn't help but laugh. There is nothing unusually small about his bladder. He just refused to provide any of the coveted urine. Thank goodness we had to return to the V-E-T because this Scottie Mom would have been very upset (but only for a half minute before Mr. K would win her over again) if we had to make that 45 minute trek twice because of a case of Scottie-tude.

Alas, the visit did provide some comic relief and that helped to ease my tension. We got Heather back later that day and she was in good spirits. The only difference was that she was obviously hungry. She had a few yummies waiting at the condo so I think she forgives me for sending her off to the V-E-T for a full day. Now, with testing behind us, the Scottie kids and I are hard at work packing and rewarding ourselves handsomely in the form of breaking all Scottie Dad's rules. Unfortunately, we haven't moved to the new house yet because we found a dreaded cockroach. And where there is one of those, Scottie Mom cringes and Mr. K goes for a snack (which just grosses out Scottie Mom more). I'll never forget the first time he somehow managed to snatch a cockroach up on an evening walk without me noticing until he proudly boasted his catch back in the apartment by spitting it out by my feet the minute we walked through the door.

And so, the locks are changed, the cockroaches gone (I hope), the electric and gas turned on and slowly, I'm bringing items from the condo over to the new house on my way to work each morning. The problem is my back is not yet strong enough to hold much plus Scottie Dad is still a good week or more away from coming home from Houston, Texas. Scottie Grandmadre and Grandpadre came to assist this weekend and they were a big help. With any luck, we'll be moved in by the weekend after next but I promise Scottie Mom friends will get a sneak peek before that happens. Heather and Mr. K haven't even seen the new place yet and you bet they'll be excited to have three times the space they currently own. Plus, they have a special surprise waiting for their arrival. In the meantime, however, Mr. K's been working on a list of amendments for Scottie Dad's rules. He promises to share them as soon as they are ready but is open to hearing suggestions his fur friends have. First on his list: getting rid of the ban on hooman bed privileges!

Popular Scots?


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?

Morning Comes

This morning, I feel like we've gone back in time. It's Wednesday, January 25 again and Miss Heather is going in for a relatively benign visit with the V-E-T, however unbeknownst to her. She frolics around the condo after our morning walk, looking confused as to why we aren't sticking to the usual schedule in which she gets to devour her morning meal the minute we come back through the front door. She is happy, and rather playful. Yes, this is exactly like the morning just a few months ago when a routine dental turned into battle with the big "C."

On the other hand, I refuse to let it be Wednesday, January 25 again. That morning, I was completely blindsided with such news and was hit pretty hard by the revelation that Heather had what I now know was liposarcoma, a malignant form of localized cancer. I don't want any such news this morning and I'm fighting hard against the "what ifs" in order to maintain a "she's going to be fine" mentality. Previous experience at the V-E-T makes a positive mentality harder to achieve but, the most influencial point for me is the fact that my Scottie babies have fought their way out of every scary health situation so far. I need to believe that no matter the findings and diagnosis, my Heather has what it takes to fight and live her best life yet again.

I'm not as scared as I first was of Cushing's, thanks to the support from our fellow Scottie Moms and Dads. The most difficult part for me is knowing the test may not show Cushing's and what it might be instead. Simply put, I've heard from many a Scottie Mom and Dad that our beloved Scotties are gone too soon and I'm not ready to say goodbye to either of mine just yet. Not that I'm expecting such a dramatic diagnosis but, as any Scottie Mom or Dad knows, the "unknown" can really get to you and these are the kinds of thoughts that can consume you...if you let them. And, since my goal is to whole-heartedly believe everything will be fine and we're going to get through this, I won't let it. This morning, I fast alongside Heather as a token of my belief in her. Mr. K is, too. We're a family and we're in this fight together. Keep us in your thoughts, fellow Scottie Moms and Dads. We'll be back with an update as soon as we know more.