Hello friends and fellow Scottie lovers. Ann here. Remember me? Scottish Terrier and Dog News founding editor and publisher, human to Bridget, still aspiring dog media entrepreneur in spite of a few misfires.
It’s been a while. Has it not? You’re probably as grateful as I am to Sandra and Abby for revitalizing the Scottie News during my prolonged absence and giving us all something to talk about and ooh and ah over. Yeah, Sandra and Abby! You go girls!
Sandra and I have been talking a lot as of late about what to do with the Scottie News going forward. Our plan is to take the summer to turn it back into the active website and newsletter it used to be. We hope you’ll join in because reader participation and engagement makes a site like this all the more valuable and fun. You and your Scotties are a wealth of information and we love it when you share.
Anyway, talking about the good old days, the Scottie News celebrated its eight year anniversary this month and Bridget will turn nine next month. Where is the little dog I carried la la la? While I was looking back nostalgically at the May 2007 archives, I rediscovered one of my favourite Scottie videos of Sadie fetching a beer:
Thematically, it fits well with this pool boy video sent in earlier today by a reader:
Just one tip, everyone. Turn your phone sideways before you take that Scottish Terrier video. I learned the hard way when I filmed Bridget in the snow last February. And speaking of winter, aren’t we all glad that one’s finally over?
Have a great pre-summer weekend, everyone. And if you love the Scottie News, please forward this email to all your Scottish Terrier-loving friends and acquaintances. The bigger our email list gets, the better. More readers means more Scottish Terrier and Dog News:
Ann and I met for our weekly walk in the park with our girls. As we walked by some cutoff stumps, I thought it would be a chance to get some pictures. I put Abby on one stump so I could catch a shot. Ann then put Bridget on the stump beside Abby and I tried to get more photos. When we set this up, there were no other dogs around (or humans). Suddenly, it was like a sale at Target, there were people everywhere with of course – their dogs.
As I mentioned before, Abby is turning into a “mean girl” so I was quite concerned about the dogs getting closer. But I was still trying to get an artistic shot. I guess I was taking too long as Ann suddenly shouted “Take the picture!”. She was also watching the dogs getting closer and was beginning to get worried 🙂 Here are some of the photos.
I had to include these two pictures of Bridget. One was taken when we had one day of snow. Bridget always rolls and rubs one side of her face in the snow. We call this her “Phantom of the Opera” look.
And this is Bridget with her spring pixie cut 🙂 She looks gorgeous.
We decided to take a picture of our little terrier group on a beautiful winter day. What we thought would be an easy task turned into a 20 minute struggle. Ann and Raymond tried to get the dogs to sit side by side on a bench while I tried to take photos.
Raymond tried to get Beau (who is the best trained) to sit on the bench first. However, Beau thought he wanted him to jump over the bench. So as Raymond and Ann were trying to get the rest of the dogs on the bench, Beau would just jump up and over, jump up and over, again and again. Finally, Raymond and Ann got Beau, Bonnie and Bridget on the bench. As soon as one would get settled, another would jump off. After 20 minutes of wrestling the dogs, we gave up and decided to try another time (after Ann and Raymond had time to recover).
Hi everyone, Sorry for the delay in getting back online and updating the Scottish Terrier News site. It has been a busy couple of months. Well, life has been good in my little Scottie world. I was happy to babysit Ann’s Bridget for a couple of days in December. Abby and Bridget had so much fun. They love to race around. I think they are trying to play chase but they don’t seem to know which one is the “chaser” or the “chasee”. I am dying to get another Scottie but having Bridget over keeps me from making any rash decisions. (However, I am keeping my eyes on some of the Scottish Terrier Rescue Sites. If only I lived near New Jersey, I would be begging for Burton on STCGNY.) Here are the girls:
Also, I was looking at Abby’s puppy pictures and I think Scotties also have a bit of mystery about them, somewhat like the bumblebee. You know, the mystery of how bumblebees should not physically be able to fly. When I look at Abby’s puppy picture, it is a wonder she can walk with that big head. Another mystery of life?
Abby and Bridget are the best of friends but at times their attitudes can resemble high school “mean girls”.
Just last weekend, a beautiful Portuguese Water Dog came over to say “Hi”. Abby’s tail was just a waggin’. They sniffed each others faces and Abby seemed to really like this newcomer. As the dog turned to sniff Bonnie, Abby took the opportunity to sniff his bum. Just a little “hello”. But Abby had other things on her mind. She jumped up and pulled the poor dogs tail right from the base. The poor dog yelped so loud. Everyone was so surprised and I was so embarrassed. The owners were nice and said “It’s okay”. But I just wanted to crawl into the nearest hole. I turned to discipline Abby and I could tell she was really sorry. NOT! There she was kicking up the dirt and strutting around like she won some kind of contest. From that point on, I started to look for the warning signs. That fake wagging tail would not fool me again.
Bridget has also had some “mean girl” moments but it only seemed to be with Boston Terriers. When I first got Abby, I would see Ann and Bridget at the park and we would occasionally stop for a Scottish Terrier chat. During one of our conversations, Bridget was playing with her ball. The ball was a magnet to a bold, little Boston Terrier. The Boston Terrier stood in front of Bridget and barked and barked and kept on barking right in Bridget’s face. Bridget kept her head down but her eyes were focussed on the Boston. You could see she was getting fed up.
Just at that point Ann realized that Bridget was getting a little too annoyed and went to pick up the ball. But just in the seconds before she could get there, Bridget charged right into the Boston Terrier. Well, it was like watching two terriers in a spin cycle. These dogs were just going at it. Ann was trying to grab Bridget and I was trying to grab the Boston which I ended up pulling up like a bass in a fishing tournament. Finally, we got both dogs under control. No injuries but Bridget was giving him the eye letting him know that she was not to be messed with. Peace returned once again to the park until a couple days later when wouldn’t you know it – another Boston Terrier decided to go after Bridget’s ball.
This one charged right over to get the ball. Bridget was having none of it and they were off. Again, Ann and I struggled to get them apart. Ann finally was able to pull up the Boston Terrier out of Bridget’s reach. Unfortunately, Bridget had a hold of its back leg like it was a drumstick. Again, no injuries just a lot of noise and excitement. The response of the Boston’s owner got us laughing as he was concerned about Bridget being beaten up by his dog. Little did he know…..
Anyway, the girls are settling down and all of us in the Terrier Pack Walking Group are much more aware of what sets the pups off. As soon as we see something that could cause a problem, one of us yells the cue: “Running dog”, “New Puppy”, “Bouncy Lab”, “Dog in Flapping Coat”…. Somedays, the list can be endless.
I hope you’ve been enjoying Sandra’s posts about Abby, Angus and Chelsea as much as I have and are looking forward to more to come. She’s told me she’s planning to write about “when good Scotties turn bad.” I can’t wait.
In the meantime, here’s some Scottie entertainment for you. It’s a 40-minute video called Leah and the Real Dog starring writer and producer Leah Epstein as herself, a woman inexplicably enamoured of a statue of a Scottish Terrier. Hamish MacDougal McDuff and Nessarose Epstein, a Scottie and an Australian cattle dog respectively, are the canine stars. The Hunterdon County Democrat called it “a head-spinning, mirthful film, light on plot and heavy on belly laughs.” Watch it here>>
Or you can just sit and ogle these uber-adorable Scottie pups who showed up in my Facebook feed.
One more thing, there are lots of great news comments from readers of the Scottish Terrier and Dog News. If you head over to the site, you can check them out.
Bridget was missing. It was Tuesday morning and Ann had her out for her regular morning stroll through the park. Bridget decided that Tuesday was the day to go AWOL. She had done this before but has always turned up nearby within a short period of time.
Today would be different. There was no sign of Bridget. There were early sightings of her in her favourite neighbourhood but as time went on there was no news. No phone calls saying someone had found her…nothing.
Ann spent the day doing what every dog owner does. Trying not to panic, contacting animal services, the local veterinarian, other dog owners, and walking the neighbourhood calling for Bridget.
I stopped by to see Ann on my way home from work to see if there was any news on Bridget. Bridget went AWOL at 10am and was still missing at 5:30pm. You could see the worry in Ann’s eyes. She was concerned that Bridget had gone further afield than in her previous adventures. I called Raymond who is the other member of the Weekend Terrier Group. He was ready to help with the search and off we went. Ann went north to try to enter the ravine and work her way south. Raymond went to the ravine entrance which Bridget had been known to use as an escape route and I went to Bridget’s favourite neighbourhood. Ann had already searched these places but we decided to start where Bridget was last seen.
As I walked by the houses that backed on to the ravine, I called for Bridget. I heard a high pitched “yip.” I waited and called again. Nothing. I called one more time and heard a “yip.”
Raymond was shortly on the scene after having no luck with sighting her further up the ravine. We walked further down the street and went back into the ravine via very icy wooden steps. As we descended, we called to Bridget. We we so excited to hear another “yip.” We were pretty sure it was Bridget. Because of the ice storm earlier in the season, the ravine was covered in a thick layer of sheer ice. Raymond was concerned that it was too icy and told me to go back up and meet him at the other entrance to the ravine. Typical of Raymond to worry about everyone else before himself.
Raymond made his way toward the place we thought we heard the “yip” coming from. He did not hear it again but kept hoping he would see Bridget. Finally, he saw her. She was all curled up in a little ball further up the steep hill. To get to Bridget, he had to grasp on to twigs and branches that were stuck in the ice and crawl his way up to her.
As he got to Bridget, she barked frantically as if to say ,“It’s about time someone found me.” When she made her big escape her leash was still attached. The leash had gotten caught in twigs and branches and Bridget found herself unable to move. She had curled up and waited. We think she had been in that one spot since the time she had disappeared. It was a very cold day so she curled up into a tight little ball.
Raymond decided that to go back down the hill would be too dangerous so the only other option was to go up. There were houses that backed on the ravine and he was hoping he could get to one. They made their way slowly up the icy slope.
Once at the top, Raymond put Bridget over a five foot fence and then climbed over all the while holding on to Bridget’s leash in the event she decided to try her luck again. Now, they were on their way home.
I was making my way back to the point we said we would meet and had stopped to ask other dog owners if they had seen Bridget. As we were discussing her big escape, I looked down the street and saw Raymond. Bridget was by his side practically dancing with glee.
I called Ann right away with the news. Ann was already making her way toward our location after I had informed her that we thought we heard Bridget in the ravine.
Ann and Bridget were reunited and I have never seen Bridget so excited to go home.
Raymond is a hero.
It was very scary in those moments when we didn’t know where Bridget was. The Weekend Terrier Group is close and we care so much about each other’s dogs. It was a very emotional moment to see Bridget come trotting down the road with Raymond.
We are so glad she is home safe and sound with Ann.
As I walked through the park today, I was reminded how much our dogs bond with their friends. There is a small group of us “terrier” people who meet up on the weekends to walk our dogs. The group is composed of three Scotties (Abby, Bonnie and Bridget) and one Cairn (Beau).
Due to vacations, we did not see Beau or Bonnie for three weekends. I noticed during this time that Abby was a bit quieter. She was overjoyed to see Bridget but I could tell they both missed the rest of the gang. We met Bonnie on a walk one day and Bonnie and Abby were so excited to see each other. They were just like teenage girls trying to tell each other all their news after a summer break. Last weekend was the first weekend that the whole gang was together in awhile. I could tell the dogs were overjoyed to see each other. I wonder if Beau told Abby, Bridget and Bonnie of his adventures at the dog sitters while his owner told the humans of his adventures in Florida.
If a new dog approaches the terrier group, Bonnie seems to go out as the ambassador. She is calm and friendly and if she is okay with a dog, the others will be too. Bridget is also good at checking out any new dogs. Although she does not like jumpy puppies or Boston Terriers (that is a story for another time). Abby is getting a bit tougher to judge in her reactions to other dogs. Sometimes she is very friendly but there are times when she will try to nip them which needless to say does not go over well. I have learned from experience that if one dog picks a fight with another member of the group, the rest will join in to back up their friend.
I remember visiting a dog park with Chelsea and Angus. Chelsea was sitting at my side as she was not one who liked to socialize with other dogs. She preferred the humans. Angus was playing chase with a young whippet. (You guessed it – Angus was not winning the game.) The whippet nipped Angus in the backside causing him to yelp loudly. Before I knew it, Chelsea tore across the park and t-boned the whippet knocking him to the ground. Angus and Chelsea ran back to me with gleeful expressions. His big sister had taken care of the bully. Mind you, I did have to do some apologizing to the whippet’s owner as it was a very minor nip.
Unfortunately for Angus, Chelsea’s protective side only came out in certain moments. When he chewed apart my new Ottoman, she practically “paw” printed him for me.
For dogs, once a friend, always a friend. When Abby was a puppy, she used to play with a Rottweiler puppy named Cocoa. To this day, if Abby sees Cocoa she goes really silly and will drag me over to say hi. Cocoa is the same. They always remember their friendship even if they have not seen each other for months.
When you have more than one dog, they can become very close and the absence of one is felt deeply by the others. Once Chelsea was very sick due to coming into contact with many different strains of the lepto virus. She became lethargic and by the time the vet opened in the morning, she was not moving. Chelsea had to stay at the vet’s for a few days as they tried to save her. During this time, I had a friend who volunteered to walk Angus for me as I would go and sit with Chelsea each night for a couple of hours. Angus refused to walk beyond the front yard which was very unusual as he would never turn down a walk. When I had to go in to work, I boarded Angus at the vet for the day so he would have company as he had not spent a full day by himself before.
As we entered the back room at the vet’s, we could see Chelsea laying in a cage hooked up to an IV. Angus ran to her and jumped up placing his paws on the cage wagging his tail and crying with excitement. Chelsea, seeing him, stood up and placed her paws on his. It was a tearjerker moment that I only thought happened in the movies. Chelsea did recover (thanks to an awesome veterinarian and his team). She was back to her old ways of running Angus and me. Angus was overjoyed when she got home. He had missed her. (So had I.)
Dog friendships fascinate me. Dogs can have different types of friendships just like humans. They can have a friend who they can wrestle with, another to play chase, and another to sit and watch other dogs (I am sure they are just gossiping when they do this). They know exactly what type of friend another dog is going to be. Dogs always look for the best in everyone which is something we can all learn from. Although, it is hard sometimes especially with those park people who don’t pick up.
I have always loved terriers. My first terrier was a Westie called Chelsea. When Chelsea was three, I decided to get another terrier. A Scottie called Angus.
If only I had done more research….
Angus was an absolute delight but I have to admit I thought for a long time something was wrong with him. I would call him to me but he would just sit and stare at me. About ten minutes later he would suddenly run to me as if to say, “Oh, you meant me!”
It really concerned me until I saw an interview with George Bush. President Bush called to Barney and Barney came running. Unfortunately, Barney just kept on running. Right on by the President. Did not even stop to say hi.
It was then I realized that a Scottie is no ordinary terrier.
Angus loved to walk. I could power walk for 5km every morning and he would just race ahead of me. I figured it would tire him out but nope. He would do his donkey turn (turn around, face the other direction and bear down) just to delay going home. I have learned this is a common Scottie delaying tactic.
If Angus wanted anything, he went to Chelsea who would then communicate to me. For example, Angus wanted out very early on a Sunday morning. I luckily (or unluckily) had a touch lamp beside the bed. If you touch it three times, it gives out a very bright light. One day, I woke up to a eye-hurting brilliant light. Both dogs were sitting by my head staring at me. I turned the light off and waited to see what would happen next as I knew I had shut the light off when I went to bed. To my surprise, Chelsea touched her nose to the lamp three times. I have no idea how she figured that out. Anyway, we were the only ones out at 5:30am. I eventually had to move the lamp.
Angus and Chelsea had a special bond that remained until both passed in 2010. Angus had bladder cancer along with a tumor in his abdomen. It was too late for treatment and he was put to sleep once we knew he was beginning to feel uncomfortable. A month later, Chelsea had a large stroke and had to be put down as well. Chelsea was 14 and Angus was 11.
It was an incredibly hard time but I felt blessed to have had them in my life for the time I did.
I was heartbroken and could not even think of getting another dog until I visited my brother and saw Bridget next door. Seeing another Scottie was too much. I had to have another. The quirks of their personalities are too hard to resist. Abby is an incredible dog and brings me great joy (and yes, sometimes frustration) every day.
Anyway, enough about me. You will get to know more about my life with Scotties in the coming weeks.
Here are a couple of St. Patrick’s Day photos of Chelsea and Angus. You can tell from the pictures they are not impressed with their attire.