Canine sleepover has lasted years

It’s just not a very good idea. It defies logic, goes against all common sense. Completely against any tangible morsel of better judgment.

It’s just not a very good idea. It defies logic, goes against all common sense. Completely against any tangible morsel of better judgment.

Who would adopt an eight-year-old dog? Well, no one in their right mind, that’s for sure. And since I don’t fall into that category, it was no surprise when I brought home a middle-aged West Highland white terrier for a sleepover.

Thing is, our complicated household already contained one tolerant wife, two busy teenagers, one mental shih tzu and a stuck-up cat.

But what could I do, the eight-year-old Westie, confusingly named Scotty, was tied up in the back yard of a family that could no longer keep him and the way I saw it, it was either cuddles or curtains for the fluffy white mutt with the deep black marble eyes.

And so before making any decision, we thought we’d try a sleepover first. It didn’t start out so well.

We arrive at our house, and immediately Scamp, our three year-old shih tzu — a mommy’s boy if there ever was one — goes into a serious canine territorial snit, all teeth and growls.

Scotty simply saunters calmly across the living room, lifts his leg and piddles on the corner of the new leather couch.

Then the cat, who considers herself Emperor of the Household and Queen of the Universe, arrives back in the house after her latest journey as the self-appointed Sovereign Ruler of the Neighbourhood.

Scotty takes the opportunity to prove that he is a tough Scotsman and a cement-head terrier by immediately attacking the cat. Pet owners will know without a shadow of a doubt where this is going.

There’s a blood-curdling yelp, a blinding flurry of fur, and it’s all over in three seconds flat.

The unscathed cat struts away, her nose in the air, gliding in a completely bored fashion to find a cozy spot to curl up in.

Scotty, on the other hand, is whimpering, crying and pawing at his nose, which is bleeding profusely from a deep cat-scratch gash that very nearly required plastic surgery.

And it all pretty well tumbled straight downhill by the time dinner rolled around.

The table is set. The daughter is in her room listening to tunes on her Ipod. The son is in his room Nintendo-ing away on Mario Kart.

My better-half is downstairs getting something from the freezer.

I’m heading to kitchen, when I stop cold in my tracks. Scotty is standing on the kitchen table. Four paws between the four plates.

He turns to look at me, marble eyes flickering, a ham sandwich in his mouth.

I yell out something that is a long way from Scottish and Scotty jumps off the table onto a chair from whence he came, and onto the kitchen floor like he’s been doing that in our kitchen all his life, and slick as you please drops the sandwich out of his mouth — Plunk! — right into the dog bowl that we had placed there for him. True story.

Don’t ask me why, but I knew right then and there that I couldn’t give him back.

Further proof of both my card-carrying status as a fanatical dog-lover, and my confirmation as a certified lunatic.

It didn’t take long, though, for Scotty to adopt us as his new family.

And now, somehow, after a whole lot of Scotty adventures, he has been with us over eight years now — longer with our family than his first family.

The eight-year canine sleepover brought us countless long walks, and countless good times, and that happy little white terrier with the flashing black marble eyes made every dog-day better by making our home his home.

But there is a down-side to adopting an eight-year-old dog. It means that now he’s really getting very old for a small dog and he doesn’t see so well anymore, and he doesn’t hear so well anymore, and I’m worried about how much longer we get to have him on his sleepover.

Now he needs help up and down the stairs and couldn’t get up on the table if he wanted to.

But he sure still knows what to do with a ham sandwich.

Harley Hay is a local filmmaker and freelance writer.

Just Posted

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

Warkentin seeks UCP nomination

Another nominee for Red Deer North

UPDATED: Red Deer air quality risk rated high

Poor air quality and reduced visibility

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Boy, 11, dies after being struck by payloader on southern Alberta ranch

BOW ISLAND, Alta. — A boy has died after an accident on… Continue reading

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government wants to establish a holiday to… Continue reading

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

FREDERICTON — Thousands of police officers and first responders from across the… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfires

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of… Continue reading

As service refusals make headlines, experts say businesses usually in the wrong

Two Canadian businesses that recently made headlines for refusing customers have learned… Continue reading

Irregular asylum claims increased in July after two months of decline

OTTAWA — The number of irregular border crossers in Canada went up… Continue reading

Knocking down statues no way to address a troubled history, McKenna says

OTTAWA — The minister responsible for Parks Canada says tearing down statues… Continue reading

Turning on Trump doesn’t buy credibility for black Americans

WASHINGTON — For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month