We are on the verge of bringing home a Scottie puppy! I couldn’t be more excited! In preparation for the big day, I first made a list of all the basic dog supplies we already have.
When we lost Fibber MacGee 14 months ago, we donated pet food, medications, bedding, and numerous toys to a local shelter.
But, anticipating we’d someday be ready for another Scottie to join our family, I did pack away many basic dog supplies. That included things like the dog crate, exercise pen, baby gates, car seat, bowls, grooming tools, collars, and leashes. Additionally, I laundered and stored Fibber’s sweaters and coats, fleece blankets, and some gently used toys.
Since I haven’t had a puppy for 12 years, I went to the computer and researched numerous “best” lists for toys and other pet supplies. It was like a puppy baby shower, when four big boxes arrived from Chewy and Amazon! I also dusted off my Scottie, puppy and dog training books to refresh my memory. And, I watched a great dog training class on TV.
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All the Scottie puppy photos are attributed to Wise’s Scottish Terriers, with the generous permission of breeder, Jacqueline Wise.
After ten months of searching and waiting, we’re bringing home a Scottie puppy! One of the two brindle males pictured above is Glenfiddich “Whiskey.” I’ll reveal which one is my boy at the end of this post.
A litter of five puppies was born in Medina, Ohio to Jacqueline of Wise’s Scottish Terriers. There are four males and one female. Two are wheaten color like their mother, Enora. The three others have brindle coats. None are black like their dad, Tamnais or Fibber was.
Pictured above, is a painting I made of Sweet Scottie Dog: My Fuzzy Funny Valentine, Fibber MacGee. It’s his “aren’t I sweet and cute” look — the pose he’d take when scolded, or was trying to patiently wait to be fed or play.
After he passed last Christmastime, I needed time to grieve and process the loss. Not yet ready for a new pet, but missing being around a dog, Mr. Buzz and I became a volunteers at Animal Friends. One of the largest in the country, the no kill shelter offers extensive programming and services. Thousands of dogs, cats and rabbits are adopted locally each year.
Specifically, I trained as a dog floor concierge where I greeted visitors, answered questions about the animals and adoption process, and then steered interested parties to fill out applications, and meet with experienced counselors.
It was a real joy watching individuals, couples and families bond and then take home a rescue animal.
My favorite activity, however, was as a puppy socializer! We’d take a litter of puppies — too young for adoption — and have organized playtime away from their mother. Each session lasted about an hour; twice daily. Volunteers were assigned one puppy to carry to and from a dedicated, sanitized play room with large glass windows. Visitors could look but not touch the puppies, who were not yet fully inoculated or neutered.
At times you could have an entire litter of pups crawling all over you! Most were large breed mixes. By the time they were returned to mom, the puppies were exhausted from all the activity and ready for naps.
Unfortunately, the pandemic shut down the shelter to most volunteers, and adoptions have been on an appointment-only basis ever since. A good thing, however, was that the center quickly emptied of dogs, leaving few available for adoption— even though rescues were transported in from other parts of the country.
Newborn brindle coat Scottie puppy, born December 9, 2020.
Even though I contacted about 25 breeders, securing a dog was an increasingly frustrating and seemingly fruitless endeavor.
Scottish Highland Terriers are in extremely short supply worldwide — even in Scotland! When vacationing there, we saw not one. Yet, Westies were frequently laying at the feet of their owners in pubs around the country. Mr. Buzz said we could have made a killing charging visitors $5 to have their picture taken with Fibber in his tartan collar and coat, lol!
So, finding a breeder who’d agree to sell one as a pet companion was exceedingly difficult. Most wanted a contractual agreement that’d I’d show the dog to achieve champion status; to verify its confirmation to the breed standard.
That would mean learning how to skillfully groom and show a Scottie, as well as traveling to events. Then, the breeder would have the right to breed a female two times, or three for a male.
As one breeder bluntly explained, selling me a pet companion was a “dead end” for the breed.
Fibber had multiple champions lines in his pedigree, and I was required to provide proof he was neutered. Twelve years later, and the agreements are the opposite — in an effort to expand the number of confirmation proven, purebred Scotties.
Worth the Wait
Still, I was determined to have a Scottie, even though family and friends gently suggested I consider a different breed. But, I am a Scottie mom for life.
I love their handsome physical characteristics and expressive ears, and adore their feisty, funny personalities. Oh that Scottie head tilt, aroo, and sassy strut!
Plus, they are incredibly smart and know it lol!
Months went by with one major disappointment after another. On a couple of occasions, a mating was discovered to be unsuccessful — just weeks before the due date. Most heartbreaking was when one Scottie miscarried ten days before her due date.
So, I went ahead with my foot surgery and decided to resume my search after the holidays.
Early Christmas Surprise
Just after Thanksgiving, however, Jacqueline Wise confirmed one of her girls was pregnant with what she expected to be a large litter of puppies. I was number two on the list for a black or brindle puppy! But, I tried to temper my enthusiasm, having been disappointed before.
One week old litter of five Scottie puppies still have their eyes closed and iconic ears have yet to develop.
Then on December 9th, the anniversary of Fibber’s passing, a litter of five pups were born — two of them brindle coat males. I took it as a sign that my long wait had been worth it. By the time the puppy was old enough to come home, I’d be done physical therapy and ready to assume his care.
In the meantime, I finally had a fur baby to look forward to.
Puppy to Adult Crate
One of my friends, repeatedly wished she had kept the crate set up for her Westie long term. She pointed out that the crate is handy when staying overnight at a hotel or in someone else’s home. Or, when the dog is sick or not feeling well.
And, as a dog ages into it’s senior years, it would especially useful to avoid unpleasant messes and keep the pet in a contained space, if needed.
Two-week old Scottie puppy, having just opened it’s eyes on Christmas Day.
I took her advice to heart with Fibber. Our dog crate is probably one size larger than needed for a full-size Scottie. Although most people only think of a crate for housebreaking, I wanted one that my dog wouldn’t outgrow as an adult and still feel comfortable in. Plus, it’s collapsible for travel as a home away from home, and easy to store.
Den & Safe Place
So, after Fibber was housebroken, we moved the crate from the kitchen tile floor, to the carpeted family room. I replaced the pad inside with a comfy bed. It was his choice to go in or out at as he liked, through the wide side door. Unless he was sick or misbehaving around guests, I rarely restricted him inside. Fibber came to think of it as his den and safe place.
Most times, he chose to sleep in the crate overnight. I’d say “bedtime,” and he’d often head there. Even if I tucked him in on a chair or couch, with one of his blankets, I’d usually find him asleep there in the morning.
Eventually, I bought Fibber a new bed for the family room, moving the crate (with padded liner) downstairs to our Ski Lodge Theme Game Room. It’s where he’d often head in a thunderstorm or during fireworks on July 4th. After surgery to remove his gall bladder, we brought the crate upstairs, because it’s where he wanted to recuperate.
Repeat What Works
My plan is to use the crate in the same way for Whiskey; first for potty training and then as his special place. Once housebroken, the crate will move to the family room, so Whiskey can be in the heart of our home.
Crate setup in the kitchen for Whiskey. It does double-duty blocking the puppy’s access to the dining room.
After first checking the crate’s bottom tray measurements, I ordered an inexpensive, padded liner pad for when the divider panel is removed.
Setting Up a Puppy Zone
To block Whiskey from the front hall, living room and staircase, hubby will use the suction cups to secure the boys’ old baby gate.
And, separating the large opening between the kitchen and carpeted family room is a collapsible, black exercise pen. Rather than setting it up in a circle, we opened the fencing and secured it across the length of the room. A convenient gate makes it relatively easy for Mr. Buzz and I to move between the two areas.
Admittedly, the new “traffic patterns” will take a bit of getting used to lol! I figure the fencing will need to be up for a couple of months.
We also needed a new comfy bed for the puppy in the family room. Frequently cited as a “best” dog bed, is this shaggy, donut-shape calming bed. It’s also recommended for senior dogs. I ordered one in tan for Whiskey, and have set it up with one of Fibber’s fleece blankets.
For the long drive home from Ohio and visits to the vet, I also needed a travel carrier for Whiskey. The one I had for Fibber had been lent to me by a friend, and he had outgrown it many years ago.
Because we frequently took Fibber with us on long car trips to visit our sons and other family and friends, I invested in a car booster seat for him.
While wearing a harness, the dog could safely ride in the back seat and look out the window. The seat belt, shoulder strap secures the dog booster in place. It also has a removable, washable cover.
As a result, Fibber loved car rides and long trips to Philadelphia, NYC, and Virginia. He especially enjoyed being able to look out the window, see us, and lie down comfortably. It was a little pricey, but well worth the investment. And, once Whiskey is about four months old and wearing the harness, we’ll use the car seat to hit the road with him.
Bringing Home Puppy
Meanwhile, I’ve already got the travel carrier setup with shredded paper, a bath towel, small fleece blanket and toy for the trip.
Of course, I’m also bringing extra bedding, plastic grocery bags, and roll of paper towels in case there’s a mishap during the long drive.
Basic Puppy Supplies
Two other basics I knew I needed were Rocco & Roxie’s Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator and No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray. Both rank number one in their categories on numerous pet supply lists.
Three-week old brindle coat Scottie puppy.
I especially like that the spray is not only highly effective, but is safe to use on fabrics, rugs and even electrical cords.
Feeding & Care
I’ll continue feeding Whiskey the grain-free Orijen puppy food as the breeder. It’s the same brand I fed Fibber as an adult. Although more expensive, after the problems over the years with toxic grains in Chinese and other kibbles, I feel it’s worth the investment.
What do you feed your fur babies?
To feed Whiskey, I picked up a new Kulmeo Stainless Food and Water Bowls with Non Skid Silicone Mat. When he gets older, the bigger bowls I have from Fibber will also fit in the mat.
For potty and other training, I also purchased high-quality (low three calorie) dog treats. One highly recommended brand is cloud star Tricky Trainers, which are wheat and corn free.
One of two brindle coat Scottie male puppies. Jacqueline sent pictures regularly. Here you can see the ears are beginning to develop before they “unfold” and stand upright on their own.
After a couple weeks, I’ll start brushing Whiskey’s teeth. Tartar buildup is a problem with Scotties; possibly due to their massive jaws relative to overall size. So I picked up a NYLABONE Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit.
And just in case, I’ve also put aside a package of GREENIES Pill Pockets, a bottle of Pedialyte, package of instant white rice, and several jars of sweet potato baby food.
The green dragon in the travel carrier is a miniature of one of Fibber’s all-time favorite toys (shown below). Over the years, he had a number of durable toys made by goDog. fabDog has a similar line. Each dinosaur and animal had a name that Fibber clearly understood and could identify.
Scotties have extremely powerful jaws. Fibber was more prone to tear rather than chew and naw. Within minutes, he’d rip open a stuffed toy and pull out stuffing and squeakers. I’d watch for it to happen, then remove the stuffing and use tapestry tread to reclose the seam or tear. All his toys tended to look like road kill!
But, stuffed animals were Fibber’s favorites. As rodent hunters, Scotties love to play “shake and kill.” Often, Fibber would pretend the animals were alive and sneak up and “attack.”
Go Big & Many
My vet suggested I buy him toys meant for large dogs, and that helped. But what worked best were the toys by goDog. They call it “chew guard technology,” and have a fairly extensive line. Most come in two to three different sizes too.
Puppies need safe, chew toys, as well as stimulation to alleviate boredom.
One of the best tips in my original puppy training book, is to have three toys for each day of the week. Then rotate them daily with a few other regulars, like a KONG , favorite “lovey” and blanket.
That way, everyday brings something new to entertain your dog. A great investment versus the cost of destruction or damage to furnishings, rugs, or shoes.
It worked like a charm with Fibber, and I encouraged my son to do the same with his rescue lab mix, Bentley. I’m hoping for similar positive results with Whiskey.
Puppy Toy Buying Spree
So, I purchased items that were recommended by the AKC and several other online “best” lists for puppies and dogs. A few I had already researched and purchased as Christmas gifts for Bentley. Others are puppy classics, or tried and true favorites of Fibber’s.
Wise litter of five Scotties waiting for their vet appointment and first round of shots. During the pandemic, animals are brought back and forth from cars for vet visits. Technicians and doctors communicate with owners via cell phone or FaceTime.
Here’s the list of some of the puppy toys I purchased for Whiskey. And, in case you are looking for something new for a puppy or your adult dog, I’ve provided convenient links to Amazon. There are also photos with more links at the end of this post.
Debbee’s Favorite Puppy Things
One of the cutest new toys is the plush log with chipmunks. Isn’t it adorable? The company makes many different versions; including a volcano with dinosaurs that I purchased for Bentley. There’s also a spaceship with aliens, and an igloo with penguins, just to name a few others in the best selling line.
- Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy
- Nylabone Puppy Starter Dog Chew Toys & Treat Chicken & Bacon
- Benebone Puppy 2-Pack Maplestick/Zaggler Dog Chew Toys, Bacon
- goDog Elephant, Squeaker Dog Toy, Chew Resistant, Durable Plush
- ZippyPaws – Squeaky Hide & Seek Plush Dog Toy – Chipmunks ‘n Log
- fabDog Teddy Bear
- KONG Frog Plush, Low Stuffing, Squeak Toy
- KONG Wubba
- Puppy Teether KONG
- Petstages Cool Teething Stick Tough Dog Chew Toy
- NWK Freeze Teether
- Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball
- Chuckit! Ultra Ball
- Talking Babble Ball
- ZippyPaws Happy Hour Crusherz Crunchy Water Bottle Dog Toy – Whiskey
And, I had to have the last item on the list — a plush Whiskey toy that fits over an empty water bottle, lol!
At nearly eights weeks old, the litter of puppies are being acclimated to wearing fleece sweaters to help keep them warm this winter. Jacqueline also had them spend time getting use to wearing collars and on a lease.
When Whiskey is a bit older, I also plan to get a puzzle toy or two, and a snuffle mat. Both are categories of enrichment toys I never had for Fibber, but used while volunteering at Animal Friends. Overtime, some toys Whiskey will grow out of, and be replaced with those more appropriate to his size and development stage.
What are your furry friend’s favorite toys? Any recommendations to share? Did I forget any category of puppy “must haves” I didn’t already have from Fibber?
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Whiskey will be a little over eight weeks old when we bring him home. On the contrary, Fibber was nearly 11 and more physically mature, with both ears standing fully erect.
When Fibber was only nine hours old, I held him in the palm of my hand! The breeder had me bring one of Mr. Buzz’s old undershirts that I had slept in — so Fibber would know my scent. Plus, I went to see him two other times.
Fibber’s ride home was only 30 minutes, versus the two and a half trip for younger Whiskey.
In the end, Fibber didn’t seem to experience any problems with separation anxiety. He didn’t make a peep his first night in the crate. I anticipate Whiskey will have a tougher time of it. Due to the pandemic, he’ll only spend a few minutes getting to know us, before the long drive home.
So, I’ve ordered a Snuggle Puppy. My son suggested it. It simulates being with one of their littermates, and help dogs transition to their new home. They do this by calming the animal with a pulsing heartbeat and heat pack. It’s also suppose to help with thunderstorms. Have you ever used one with your pet?
So which of the two brindle coat puppies will we be bringing home? I didn’t choose until a couple of days before.
Whiskey (on left) and his brother Alistair at eight weeks of age; shortly before going to their forever homes.
In the end, it was that Whiskey was slightly more physically developed and a bit larger. Alistair also had a minor injury on his face (after the picture above was taken), likely due to some rough play with his siblings. The choice was mostly splitting hairs (pun intended) lol!
Here’s my handsome Scottie boy at 6 weeks of age. I also preferred the blond, gray, silver and brown shading and highlights on his face.
How sweet is that furry face and expression? Bee still my heart!
And, here is Whiskey two weeks later, with his ears starting to unfold and stand.
Whiskey actually came home last Friday afternoon. But it’s taken me forever to get this post crafted! I had planned to share it a week ago. By the time you read this, Whiskey and I had a challenging week dealing with all the snow and frigid temperatures. However, all is well and I’m delighted to have another fuzzy, funny Valentine join our family.
Happy Valentines Day to you, and all those you love.
June 2021: follow along with the next installment, Energetic & Playful Scottie Puppy: 6 Months.
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