This isn’t the Valentine’s Day theme post I planned to send out last Saturday morning. It wasn’t even a subject I had on the blog calendar. But, life interruptus. Early last week, my sweet Scottie dog got very sick and required major abdominal surgery.
The good news is, that it looks like Fibber is going to be okay. We brought him home Saturday afternoon. But, it will be a long three to four week care and recovery period.
I don’t often mention Fibber, and have only shared a couple of pictures. Most followers are primarily interested in tablescapes, holiday decorations, and party posts, rather than my day-to-day musings.
And don’t we all think our kids and pets are the cutest, smartest, and most wonderful on the planet? Because, let me bee clear — mine are! I will be completely shameless when I have grandchildren. People will cross the street to avoid my bragging or being subjected to endless photos LOL!
While Valentine’s Day is primarily about romance, it’s also about the other loving and caring relationships in our lives. Today, I’m marking the occasion by celebrating my own fuzzy, funny Valentine.
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Fibber as a puppy, shaggy and wet after chasing ducks into the tidal creek surrounding my sistah’s then Yorktown home. I’m relaxing in a hammock, after chasing Fibber around with a hose to clean off the brackish water.
Short-legged with a robust, stocky build and distinctive beard and bushy eyebrows are the physical characteristics of the iconic Scottie dog silhouette.
Fibber while at ‘camp’ while hubby and I were traveling overseas. Deluca’s Canine Country Club, where I board him, always takes wonderful care of my boy.
Oh, and that sassy strut! Not to mention those expressive pointed ears and well-known Scottie dog head tilt. Bee still my heart!
Deluca’s posts updates on Facebook while we’re away, which I really appreciate. In this photo, Fibber seems to be saying, “where the heck are you guys?”
Worth the Wait
I had wanted a Scottie dog for years; especially after seeing President Bush’s pet Barney repeatedly on television. Everytime I saw him, my heart went thumpity-thump.
Once the boys were off to college and I was consulting only part-time, it felt like the right time to devote to a pet. Finding one, however, wasn’t easy.
I was fortunate to locate two breeders in Western Pennsylvania, but was on a waiting list for months. Fibber was part of a very small litter of just three, and he was the only male.
My funny, fuzzy Valentine, about a week before I brought him home at 14 weeks of age. Scottie dog ears don’t fully stand on their own until they are several months old. I can always tell when Fibber is guilty of something — his ears lay flat in an ‘airplane wing’ position.
Bonding with Baby Boy
Fibber was just nine hours old when the breeder let me hold him — fitting in my upturned hand. His eyes hadn’t even opened yet. I was surprised his mother Sadie had no problem with me holding her baby. At the breeder’s suggestion, I left behind an old t-shirt I had slept in; so Fibber would know my scent.
After that, I drove across town about once every couple of weeks to visit and bond with my puppy. Both my animal-loving sisters traveled to all the way to Pittsburgh to bring Fibber home — seeing me was bonus!
Member of the Clan
Fibber joined the family just weeks after my Mini Cooper Clubman arrived from Oxford, England. They both are built close to the ground with elongated bodies — although the car lacks ears, eyebrows and beard!
Scottie dog in the ‘rough’ — Fibber in need of a haircut! Scotties do require regular grooming, which I leave to a professional. Be forewarned, few groomers actually know how to properly clip and sculpt a Scottie dog coat.
Fibber has a black brindle coat with a milk chin — which means he was born with white hairs there. Now, at age nine, his coat is taking on an increasingly salt and pepper appearance.
Little Braveheart Highlander
“A solidly compact dog of vivid personality, the Scottish Terrier is an independent, confident companion of high spirits. Scotties have a dignified, almost-human character. Their terrier persistence has earned the breed the nickname “the Diehard.”
In addition to the 43rd President, George W. Bush, two others had a Scottie dog in the White House. FDR’s Fala was known around the world and is portrayed as a larger-than-life statue at his memorial in Washington D.C.
Fala started a craze with a wide variety of famous personalities, including Hedy Lamarr and Winston Churchill, who were often photographed with their Scotties.
Even children recognize a Scottie dog as a well-known playing piece in the board game Monopoly.
For all the Scottie dog imagery out there, I have few good photos of Fibber. All that black fur and dark brown eyes make him challenging to photograph. In many pictures, he ends up looking like a black furball.
Plus, everytime I pull out my cellphone he bolts. I blame that rude behavior as something he learned from hubby — who also hates to have his picture taken! When I do manage to get the lighting right, Fibber looks all grumpy and serious.
Big Personality, Small Package
Fibber’s personality is far bigger than adequately contained in his 24-pound body. Standing on just four-inch legs, he seems oblivious to his short stature. Fibber is definitely an alpha, type A personality.
He’s what you’d call a real character. Funny, playful and affectionate, though a stickler for routine and rules.
Does your dog tell time? God forbid if it’s a minute past 5:30 and I haven’t served his dinner! First comes the stare. Then the grumble and one-paw tap. If I’m talking on the phone too long, Fibber’s up on my lap, nose-to-nose.
Find out more about the breed at the Scottish Terrier Club of America.
My Funny Valentine
Are you familiar with the song, “My Funny Valentine?” Can you hear the melody in your head?
The show tune is from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical, Babes in Arms. It became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists. In 2015. the song was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.
The lyrics struck a chord with me (all puns intended!) when I think of Fibber:
“You’re my funny valentine,
Sweet comic valentine,
You make me smile with my heart.
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable,
Yet, you’re my favorite work of art.
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day”
Over the past month Fibber had been periodically getting sick overnight. He’d feel better for several days, get ill again, I’d call the vet, put him on a bland diet and meds — repeat.
Last Wednesday he vomited his bland breakfast and couldn’t stop. So, I took him to the vet for a full exam, blood work and x-rays. What I saw put my heart in my throat.
Fibber’s gallbladder, which should have been the size of a plum, was softball-sized! Worse still, it was pushing around and displacing his other organs; so much so that his stomach was hard to even find on the x-ray.
In preparation for surgery, Fibber was on intravenous fluids. He’s a very good communicator; I got the message — “take this darn collar off me and let’s go home now woman!”
After various consultations it was determined that there was no saving the gallbladder. In fact, it needed to be removed ASAP, as a rupture would be catastrophic.
Not Very Comfortable
Surgery went extremely well, with little bleeding and no gallbladder leakage. Although they took biopsies of four organs, there were no obstructions or indications of cancer. But, poor Fibber has a 6-8 inch incision in his belly.
We brought him home only a day later, and I’ve spent four nights sleeping on the couch nearby. I’m not sure which is harder, caring for him now or in a couple of weeks — when I have to keep my high-energy terrier on continued “puppy bed rest.” No jumping up on the couch to snuggle, chasing toys, wrestling with hubby, or even walks.
Youngest son saw the picture above and went searching on Amazon for a more comfortable solution. It arrived on Sunday morning.
That look tells me he’s none to happy I’m sharing embarrassing photos of him. I told you he wasn’t keen on having his picture taken!
I’m looking forward to having my happy, energetic and healthy little companion back.
That little Scottie dog personality fills my home and it feels empty and quiet now. Happy Valentine’s Day little buddy.
See the In the Pink Valentines Day Table with sweet Scottie dog accents.
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Do you have a fuzzy Valentine or two at home too? Or maybe a pet from your childhood, or other time in your life?
Update December 2019: Sadly, Fibber had a neurological event while at the groomers. I had to let him pass over the rainbow ridge just three hours later. Read the end section of DIY Christmas Cocktail Ornament Balls for more.
Update December 2020: On the anniversary of Fibber’s passing a litter of puppies was born! My new Scottie boy, Whiskey, comes home in early February — just in time to be my new funny, fuzzy Valentine! Meet him in, Preparing for a Puppy: Favorite Dog Supplies & Toys.
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