|Mr. K and me|
Recently, Glynis the Scottie Sister wrote me for a little advice:
After getting a job after college and finding myself 400 miles away from my sweet Scottie Tassel, reading your blog lets me remember all the Scottie ways from the arrrooos to the zoomies...did you find it difficult to have Mr. K in your smaller apartment years back combined with going to work? I want to rescue a Scottie now that I live on my own and Tassel lives with our mom but I’m just not sure about it, especially since my dad works from home and so Tassel always has someone to arrrooo at and let her out any time during the day. It would be great to have your opinion! I ache for Scottie companionship now that I’m on my own but I want to make sure it’s the right choice for a Scottie.
First of all, Glynis, I'd like to point out that you are already thinking of your Scottie's needs before your rescue Scottie has even entered your life....a sign of a true Scottie Mom! I was in your shoes just three years ago: away from home, working my first "big girl" job after college and in a tiny, 600 square foot apartment all by myself. I found Mr. K by accident, really - I accompanied a friend to a shelter and wound up being the one taking a dog home. What can I say? The heart knows what it wants and from the moment I met Mr. K, I knew I had to provide him with a better life.
I was warned from the start that a Scottie wouldn't be the easiest first dog to own and perhaps I should try another dog. I was told they were stubborn, nearly impossible to train, how it was very important to have a fenced-in yard (which I didn't have), and more. All these things are valid points. However, I have learned that owning a Scottie isn't a "one size fits all" scenario. Mr. K lived in various tiny apartments, including a condo in the sky, before we moved to The Scottie House in June. While I won't deny having a fenced-in yard (something we still don't have) would be nice, it is definitely not a necessity when owning a Scottie so long as you are willing to walk.
When it was just Mr. K and me, there was this initial "getting to know you" period. It was like we both couldn't believe the other one was there. I sincerely believe Mr. K was just happy to be inside a home - any home - as he had been left chained up outside day after day. During those first few months, he never once cried when I left him home alone as I went off to work and every night, he would greet me excitedly. It wasn't until I was laid off from my first job and spent three or four months at home with him that some behavioral issues began to arise. Suddenly, he would bark on the rare occasions I did have to go somewhere. Though he did stop barking before I would make it to my car, he left quite a bit of custom artwork on the carpet to show just how displeased he was with my decision to leave.
When we moved to Atlanta, we upgraded to a 750 square foot apartment. This time, though, my hours at work were a little more than what they had been previously (especially when you factor in the time you sit in traffic here). I knew almost immediately that I would have to find a companion for Mr. K. Even though he had more space in that apartment, I left shortly after the sun rose each morning and didn't come home until when the sun was about to set. That couldn't be fun for him! Hence, how Heather came into the picture. Now, if two Scotties can be as happy with that tiny apartment, I'm sure one Scottie would be more than content in your household!
The important thing to consider when deciding if you should rescue a Scottie dog at this stage in life is the commitment. As much as we want them for a companion, can you provide your Scottie with everything he or she will need? As I'm sure you're well aware, it is more than just food and water. It's vet bills, monthly heartworm and flea prevention treatments, as well as grooming and boarding fees on occasion. Also important to note is that things can and will change quickly and you need to be prepared for the unexpected. I wasn't expecting to be laid off but I had enough saved away to care for both Mr. K and me while I was unemployed. Nor was I expecting to pay thousands of dollars in emergency health care costs to keep them alive when their respective medical crises hit, but I did.