Instead of lounging by the pool or sleeping in until noon, I worked full-time in the summer during my Junior year of high school. I ran a volunteer program at a rest/nursing facility in my hometown. I’m a natural spender, but I was determined to save my earnings for a sole purpose – I wanted a puppy.
I had browsed the internet for hours upon hours trying to find the perfect breed. I was instantly drawn to West Highland White Terriers and as I perused pictures of their fluffy teddy bear faces, I became obsessed with having one of my own. Until I actually obtained the living and breathing version, I decided to pretend and visualize it into existence. I had a Westie monthly calendar pinned on my cork board and a stuffed animal replica on my bed to cuddle with each night. I know. I’m not sure how I had a steady boyfriend either.
On a hot and humid July evening, my family and I piled into the car and made our way to Lincolnton where I was finally going to turn fantasy into reality. I watched a litter of white fluffballs carelessly run and topple onto one another. As I picked up the puppy with the softest hair and cutest personality, my heart melted. I was sold. I pulled out a crisp new check, depleted my savings and left the breeder’s house with little Scottie curled up in my arms.
We’ve been through a lot together the last eleven years. I couldn’t have picked a better dog. Literally. He’s had some interesting experiences over the past decade like the rat poison scare or the time he escaped captivity to chase deer, but nothing compares to the freakish accident he endured a few weeks ago.
My mom was graciously cooking chicken-n-dumplings in the kitchen. As Scottie usually does, he waited patiently by her feet hoping for a drop of one tiny morsel. As mom was transporting the finished product from the crock pot to a serving dish, the handle of the ceramic crock pot unexpectedly broke and the contents spilled onto the floor and ultimately, onto Scottie.
We immediately attended to him and gave him a bath to clean up the chicken broth residue. Despite his initial whelp, he seemed fine and everything appeared normal. It wasn’t until a week later when he started misbehaving and acting erratically that I began to wonder if something was wrong. Once we finally examined his body, we noticed his tail was oozing and unless you wanted to lose your fingers, touching it was out of the question.
I immediately took him to the vet where they confirmed he had third degree burns on his tail. It was by far the absolute worst vet visit of my life. I hate going to the vet in the first place. It smells. I’m not fond of other dogs because they aren’t as cool as Scottie. There is always fresh pet urine on the floor. They always cut Scottie’s toenail too short. It bleeds. I almost pass out. It’s a miserable experience for both of us.
This visit was particularly rough because of the condition of his tail. Since it had started to scab over, in order to heal and to be properly treated, they needed to scrub off the scabs. I could hear my poor puppy wailing from the room next door and there was nothing I could do. I felt horrible. He is such an awesome dog and this freak accident had caused him undeserved immense pain. I imagine that is the closest thing I’ll feel to being a parent and watching a child suffer.
But this tale and tail both have a happy ending. Scottie is now the proud of owner of a healthy and wagging tail. He’s back to his normal fast-eating, treat begging, rub-my-belly pleading self. My dad rewarded him (and me) by creating a custom-built bed for Scottie to lounge and relax. The custom bed matches our living room decor and is built on wheels so we can easily move it around. Dad did all of the hard assembly work, and we simply stained the wood a light grey color to match our color scheme. My dad is quite the handy man and is a master carpenter. Probably the best in the world. Just saying.
Want a custom bed built for your dog? Just say the word. My dad builds them in all sizes for tiny little yorkies or large mastiffs. They’re Scottie tested and approved.