About that Scottie-tude...

Recently, a fellow Scottie Mom got in touch and asked us for a little advice.

I am writing because of a problem my husband and I have with Mo, our rescue Scottie. He is an only dog and is with us 24/7. Rarely is he left alone at all. Mo is somewhere between five and seven years old. We know nothing of his history. My husband and I consider him "almost" perfect. However, his behavior regarding other people is often unpredictable. You mentioned in one of your blogs that one of your pups does not always like people and dogs. Mo may be protecting his now happy lifestyle and home, but...his behavior is unacceptable. How do you handle your similar situation?

When I first found Mr. K at a shelter in South Carolina, he - like Mo - had been in that crowded place for two weeks and did not react to my attempts to get to know him. It took me 20 minutes to get him to make eye contact and even then, it was only for a few seconds at a time. I believe the trauma of the whole situation made him unsure of his surroundings. Also like your situation, I do not know much of Mr. K's background to this day - other than the fact he was left tied up outside by his previous owners before they finally surrendered him to the humane society.

Once Mr. K was home with me, his personality started coming out a bit. I hadn't had him for more than a few days when we attended a Bark in the Park event where I learned very quickly Mr. K was not a fan of other dogs. He challenged a big, ole Rottweiler to a dual and within seconds, the Rottie had shaken Mr. K out of his collar and there he was dangling below by the jaw. Naturally, as a first time dog mom (never mind Scottie Mom), this experience was quite frightening. What I was to learn in the coming months and years is that the trick is to let him know (gently, but firmly - the Scottie pride is easily wounded) that his behavior won't be tolerated while getting him used to being around other dogs through socialization - once a scary concept for a new Scottie Mom like me.

As for aggression towards humans, Mr. K is the opposite of Mo. While Mo doesn't seem to like women (besides his Scottie Mom, of course!), Mr. K didn't - at first - care for men. Each one had to go through Scottie Security when they entered the apartment. I can only recall two instances when he went for ankles. Again, all it took was getting Mr. K to understand that his behavior was not OK and with time, he has mellowed out. The most he does now is greet any doorbell ringers with a few, definitive barks. After that, the tail is all wags. I credit his toned-down nature to regular socialization through Scottie play dates and frequent interactions with family, friends and visitors. 

I think Mo is being protective of his new home. He is probably quite happy with his new living arrangements and doesn't want that taken away. Since you adopted him in February, I imagine it is only a matter of time that Mo will learn what is acceptable behavior in the eyes of his Scottie Mom and Dad. Patience, understanding and love are your best allies in the first few months of any rescue scenario. Try having Mo go outside the house and meet any guests before they enter his terrier-tory. Being in a neutral zone may lessen his protective instinct and re-entering the house with or after the house guests may help him understand these people are not threats to the Scottie House. 

I do not pretend, however, to know it all about Scottie-tude! After all, Heather and Mr. K are my first Scottie dogs ever. Each Scottie is different and what worked for Mr. K may not work with Mo. Therefore, I'd like to open it up to other Scottie Moms and Dads - anyone have other advice to share with a fellow Scottie Mom on how to tame Mo's 'tude? 

The Scottie Walker

Dear friends - Scottie Mom's taking on a new job. A new job that we hope will bring her one step closer to our goal of making her a full-time Scottie Mom where she does nothing but write and entertain the Scottie Moms and Dads of the world with our silly shenanigans and cute Scottie selves! This new job is a huge step up for Scottie Mom but we were very upset to learn just how far it would take Scottie Mom away from us. So much so, that she had to hire a Scottie walker...gasp!

Right now, Scottie Mom works within walking distance of the Scottie House. This is great because we get walks in the morning, a walk at lunch (if it is a slow day at the office) and two walks in the evening. So, even though Scottie Mom is gone much of the day, we still get to see her. This new job, which will take her an hour away from the Scottie House, makes it hard for her to come see us during the day like we're used to so she called on our friend Lucky's Shih Tzu Mom and asked her to become our official Scottie walker. Lucky tells us she's good with giving treats - well, at least that's a plus!

We're going to miss Scottie Mom when she starts this new job in August but we think it might be best to milk the situation for all it is worth. For example: Scottie Mom, you've been gone a lot lately...how about a new toy? Or, Scottie Mom - you came home to us awfully late...don't you think we deserve an extra treat for your temporary abandonment? Ok, maybe we won't make her feel worse than she already does...at least not all the time. What we don't understand, though, is why our humans have to work. Isn't it true all you need is love and a Scottish Terrier (or two)? - Heather and Mr. K.

The Pawtographer

©2014 A Day of Bliss Photography Inc.
There are three key components to the Scottie Mom & Dad Wedding. One is the dress. Second is the pawtographer. And third is Heather and Mr. K's participation, of course. Just not in that order. I've always been a sucker for great, photojournalistic wedding photography. Now that Heather and Mr. K share so much of their lives with others, I felt it was important to not only find a good photographer but to find one that had worked with clients who incorporated dogs into their weddings somehow. That way, Scottie Mom friends and fans can see the day come together with Heather and Mr. K there.

That's when I discovered A Day of Bliss Photography. I actually have to credit this find to Scottie Dad who, like me, fell in love with their work the minute he stumbled upon them. We met with Wolfgang and Chiaki at their studio during our last visit to New York back in May. A few weeks later, we ended up signing a contract with them once I talked to the venue's event coordinator and confirmed that Heather and Mr. K could be part of our special day. Now, the only person left to convince is Scottie Dad (can I get a collective, "C'mon Scottie Dad..." and your best pouty/begging faces, please?)

My tentative plan - for now - is to have Heather and Mr. K with me in the bridal suite while the ladies are getting ready. That way, we at least have those moments captured on camera. Regardless of whether Heather and Mr. K get to participate in the actual ceremony ("C'mon, Scottie Dad..."), I still need to find the perfect outfits for this occasion. I envision Heather in a simple, but elegant white dress and Mr. K in a tux he can't figure out how to rip off and destroy. Yes, that would certainly be ideal! Any fellow Scottie Moms know where I can find these precious garments fit for two Scots?

The Rescuers of Brazil

Scottie Love can be felt all across the world. This much we know to be true from Project: International Scottie Love that introduced us to hundreds of Scotties living around the world and across the United States. Perhaps the one thing more exciting to learn about than the existence of Scottish Terriers around the world is the shared mission behind rescue efforts in various countries regardless of cultural, linguistic and societal differences. If world peace could be achieved through Scottie Love, something tells me we'd already be pretty darn close.

The first time Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil got together to find a forever home for a Scottie, they weren't an official organization with a set of formalized rules and code of ethics. What brought the members of the rescue group together was their mutual love and admiration for the beloved breed. They've come a long way from the first rescue efforts - consulting with established rescue groups here in the U.S. to set up standard practices and fundraising for their cause. In the past year alone, Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil has helped 23 of our Scottish Terrier friends!

Recently, the group embarked on one of their biggest rescue efforts yet. It was discovered that one male and five female Scottish Terriers were being given up by a breeder in São Paulo State. Afraid these Scotties would end up in other backyard breeders' hands, the members of Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil spent over a week negotiating with the breeder to get all six Scotties into their care. Finally, he agreed and two days later, Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil was there to save the day.

Brazil is a very large country and the members of Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil live throughout in various regions. This rescue initiative required significant travel (about 124 miles) and logistical planning as the group had never taken in six Scottish Terriers at once. Three people volunteered to foster and the others were housed at a pet care center. Two Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil members - Barbara Sanches and Pati Bianchi - made the long trek to rescue the six Scottie dogs and get them to their temporary foster homes as quickly as possible.

The dogs were covered in ticks and their bones were protruding. All of them were severely underweight. The wheaten male, only two years old or so, weighed just 5.2 kg (or 11 pounds). It was clear immediate medical attention was needed. The treatment for the ticks alone lasted over a week. Blood test results indicated that if Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil had not acted when they did, those little bearded pups surely would not have made it to see the day they had a forever home to call their own. The president of the rescue group, having been married the same weekend as this extraordinary rescue effort, even showed up with her new husband to assist in any way they could.

Fast forward a few months and all six Scottish Terriers are in good health, at the right weight and living happily with their new Scottie Moms or Dads. In fact, many of the "temporary" foster homes became forever homes! Three live in São Paulo, two are in Rio and one in Curitiba. Want to see more pictures of these cuties (named Liz, Joy, Noah, Paris, Luppy and Melody Hope)? Check out Scottish Terrier Rescue of Brazil's Facebook page and join us in thanking this incredible group for their efforts by showing them lots of Scottie Love and ArRRrOo's in the comment section below. 

Another Whole Dog Bath

Does that sign say food and treats? Let's go!
Why, Scottie Mom, why?
He's smiling now but just wait until he gets in the tub...
Your turn, Mr. K. I'm staying curled up in towels down here.
The end result: don't we looking smashing?!
The V-E-T finally gave us the OK to give Heather a bath now that the incision on her tail has healed so we visited Whole Dog Market yesterday to give the pups a little scrub-a-dub-dub in the self-wash tub. You might remember reading about our first trip there back in April and the hilarious photos of Heather and Mr. K none too happy with us for bringing them there. This time, they were too preoccupied with strolling along and sniffing the treats to realize they were really there for a dreaded B-A-T-H...that is, before it was too late and they once again were in the tub. Lots of bubbles, water and brushing later, Heather and Mr. K were finally set free and each was rewarded with a bully stick. Suddenly, B-A-T-H time didn't seem so bad to these two Scots!

My First ArRRrOo

It was the day Heather Beather was supposed to have her surgery. I had accompanied Scottie Mom to the V-E-T. Together, we were headed back to the Scottie House. Scottie Mom in the driver's seat. Me in the passenger seat. Scottie Mom looked sad. So serious. It was very quiet. We were stopped at a stoplight when all of a sudden, I heard it: a loud, long cry of a train passing by us. 

At first, I just looked around, startled by the noisy outburst. As the train kept blowing its whistle, I decided it was looking for me and I needed to return its call to let it know I was there. So, I dug deep down inside me and let out an ArRRrOo for the first time in my Scottie life! Scottie Mom looked freaked out at first. It took her a minute to figure out from where that noise was coming. Then, she looked at me with wide eyes as if she was thinking, "Could it be? Is he actually...ArRRrOo-ing?!" 

Silly Scottie Mom scrambled to find her phone to record this life moment for our friends to witness. Now, she was laughing and looked so excited. I was happy to see her smiling again. As soon as she brought out the phone and hit the record button, I stopped my ArRRrOo thinking she wanted me to smile for the camera like I normally do. Scottie Mom laughed and said, "Of course..." Then, she patted me on the head and told me what a good boy I was. And as quickly as my first ArRRrOo came and went, so too, did the very train that inspired it. When did you first hear your pup ArRRrOo?

The Results are In...

The biopsy results from the tumor on Heather's tail are in and the good news is: there is no bad news! The tumor was not a return of the evil "C" Heather kicked to the curb over a year ago nor was it malignant. In fact, the biopsy results showed it was a benign growth (that still needed to be removed). It is a possibility tumors like it will grow on her body in the future - as this tends to happen to dogs that have them - but we will evaluate those growths individually if that time comes. 

Yesterday, we went back to the V-E-T to have the stitches on her tail removed. All but two were taken out. The incision wound still has a bit of healing yet to go but the V-E-T was happy to see how well it was healing and that there was no sign of infection. We go back to the V-E-T in five days to remove the remaining stitches. Then, we just wait until the hair on her tail grows back before putting yet another health scare fully and completely behind us! Oh, and I'm happy to report Heather hasn't had any more bottom explosions since she was taken off those medications.

We couldn't be happier for or more proud of our sweet Heather Beather with this news. She has taken each thing life has dealt her with stride and always comes out on top - smiling when she does. As always, we appreciate your love and support during this health scare. Thank you to all who reached out with concern for our little girl. We look forward to sharing even more good news soon. Did we mention someone did their very first ArRRoO last week?! Can you guess who it was: Heather or Mr. K?

On the Mend (x2)

Hi, friends - Heather here. Scottie Mom tells me lots of you have been asking to hear how I'm doing and she thought it would be nice for me to make an appearance on the blog and tell you for myself! Well, I can tell you that the night after my surgery wasn't very fun. I kept waking up feeling as though there was something on my tail I just had to get rid of. Kind of like an itch you just have to scratch, you know? Scottie Mom stayed up with me the whole night. 

The next day wasn't much better. Scottie Mom came home with the dreaded cone of shame. I gave her one of my best pouty faces ever to show my distaste for the thing. How could she humiliate me like so? That night, I was relieved of that horrible thing. I settled down with Mr. K, Scottie Mom and Dad to watch some TV. It didn't take long before Scottie Mom retired for the night - the previous night's sleepover pawty had put a real crick in her neck. Funny, though, she wasn't required to wear the cone of shame even though she was hurt like me...

Scottie Dad stayed up with me and took us out for a late night walk around 11:30 p.m. I did my best to go potty outside but the medications the V-E-T gave me really took a toll on my tummy. My bottom exploded nearly as badly as Mr. K's did a few weeks ago once we got back in the Scottie House. Scottie Dad had to go wake Scottie Mom from bed for reinforcement. Not only had I made a mess in the house, but the diarrhea was all over my backside - including on my tail where the V-E-T removed the tumor. I was so confused and so worried they would be mad at me.

Scottie Mom cleaned me up while Scottie Dad cleaned the house. She kept telling me everything was okay but I didn't quite believe her because my beautiful furs were covered in liquid poo! Scottie Mom got on the phone with the emergency V-E-T to find out if this kind of reaction was normal. Apparently, the antibiotics the V-E-T prescribed are known to potentially cause doggie bottoms to explode. They told her I no longer should take that medicine (phew!) and to check in with the V-E-T who did my surgery first thing in the morning. Not again....

I went to see the nice V-E-T lady the next day and she looked over my incision, gave my bottom another bath, gave me a shot and sent me on my way home. I'm proud to say I have not had to go back since then! Scottie Mom says I'm clearly on the mend. I wish I could say the same about her. You see, ever since our sleepover pawty, Scottie Mom has been in serious pain. Finally, she broke down and Scottie Dad drove her to the human V-E-T. Today, we're both on bed rest and have our own discharge instructions with a list of medications and things to do in order to get better. We'll both be just fine in time, I'm sure. The only question I have is: why am I the only one who has to wear the cone of shame? Shouldn't she be wearing it, too, for her own good health??

It Takes a Village

After what seemed like the uphill battle of the century, I'm happy to report Heather is safe at home. I got the call confirming what we already knew from our meeting with the specialist: Heather's liver test results were fine. Therefore, she was approved to move forward with the tumor removal surgery.

We dropped her off shortly after 8 a.m. at a facility closer to home. About four hours later, I got the call saying she did well in surgery and was up and about acting as if nothing had happened. An interesting thing occurred while she was under anesthesia: her blood glucose (which is always low) actually went up during surgery. The V-E-T was encouraged by this and saw no reason to believe anything other than the fact that Heather's body recognized it only needed a certain amount of glucose day to day but could create more if and when needed.

The tumor, located on Heather's tail, has been removed and the V-E-T did her very best to get good margins. Thankfully, the tail did not need to be removed. The incision is nowhere near as large as the last one she had when we removed the liposarcoma. Still, it is evident Heather is none too pleased with the strange feeling that haunts her tail. She often stops and looks behind her quickly in the midst of a walk as if she felt someone was pulling on her tail.

Tonight, I wrapped my first doggie wound to protect the sutures and incision site from Heather's attempts to loosen them while we sleep. Tomorrow, we're going to find her a special "cone of shame" to keep her from trying to open it up. She's in good spirits but she is tired...we all are from this ordeal and I can only hope the recovery is smoother than everything we've experienced this far.

We hope to have biopsy results on the tumor in a week. The stitches are set to come out in 10 days. Heather is on pain medication and an antibiotic to prevent infection since the surgical site is so close to her bottom. Much love goes out to all Scottie Mom friends and followers for your continued support and words of encouragement! It truly took a village to get Heather the care she needed and it will be because of the Scottie Love the village of fellow Scottie Moms and Dads has shown us that I know everything will be okay...no matter what.