A Tiger Tale

Posted by M ws On Thursday, January 10, 2013 1 comments
When I decided to adopt Tiger, a West Highland terrier, I did not know that it would so challenging. After all, from 1973 to 1984, I had had the experience of keeping six dogs. Nevertheless, it is amazing how Tiger has transformed our lives.

Having a dog is like having a member of our family. We love him to bits and yet are at a loss in grooming him.

Yesterday, the vet taught me how to brush his coat. But the truth is, since the day Tiger entered our lives, my daily reading has largely been about pets, dogs, westies, grooming, obedience school, etc.

Today, I learnt how to groom his face because Nick and I are so worried as to why his face and beard is getting yellowish even though we are using the correct shampoo for white coats.

According to THIS SITE:

The West Highland White terrier, or Westie, is a member of the terrier group recognised by the AKC in 1908. The breed is originally from Poltalloch, Scotland, which is why it was initially known as the Poltalloch terrier. The breed received its current name in 1909 and is best known for the bright-white coat. Regular overall grooming is mandatory if you own a Westie, and you need to pay special attention to the face. Grooming a Westie's face is a delicate task mainly because of the long hair and beard.

To know how to groom the face of a West Highland terrier, CLICK HERE.

To know more about the characteristics of Westies, CLICK HERE.

Apart from grooming his face and body, we also have to brush his teeth. No kidding. The vet said that dogs are smelly for three reasons: bad breath from dental decay/plague, the coat if it is dirty and also if we do not clean him with a wet cotton bud after he has done his business. I will spare you the details but the vet instructed us to squeeze his glands there around his you know where and to clean it thoroughly.

*faints*

One of my friends swore that he will not sit on the sofa when he visits us when he saw photos of Tiger sitting on my sofas. The first question he asked was whether we cleaned him thoroughly after he did his business.

To me, the worst thing about having babies is not childbirth. Er...it is cleaning their poo. I am quite ashamed to say that for both my boys, I was very terrified of their poo. No kidding lah. My daily prayer was, "Dear God, please let them pang sai when hubby is at home before he goes to work or after he has come home from work or when he is at grandpa's place." God is good for He answered my prayers most of the time.

Mind you, being environment-conscious, I did not want to use disposable diapers and used cotton diapers with nappy liners which I recycled if unsoiled. I am proud to say that my two boys used the same set of diapers and I am sure my grandchildren will get to use them as well...only about six are not so ok and even then, those were the hand-me-downs. I had two dozens of brand new ones for Jon. Sorry for the digression but I thought that was necessary to let you know why it is challenging.

Then I must tell you about his dental snacks. They are called Oradental COLLAGEN strips. You read it correctly!! COLLAGEN strips? Oh man...I don't even use or consume anything that has collagen!

Tiger's eye lotion is three times more expensive than my eye make-up remover! :-)

Today, I gave Tiger my boys' baby pillow. I tried to wrap it with a thick towel but he sniffed his way through and got to the pillow and sniffed all around it. Finally, he slept on it right at my feet.


This is how Tiger looks after lunch each day. He knows Nick will be coming home soon. In fact, he is like Nick's shadow but when the young master is not around, then I am the preferred choice :-).


No matter how tough, I will not give up on Tiger. It is loving in spite of, despite, even though...and he still chews and chews tissue paper.

Tiger loves to sit/sleep on our sofas and one particular chair. However there is ONE chair that he had not conquered. That is the one where I placed my soft toys. Yes, this old woman loves soft toys :-). (You should see the collection I have in my car - Ty toys, Sesame Street toys, Pokemon and one Woodstock stuffed toy which has now become Tiger's play pal.)Well, last night, he dislodged all of them - the Westcliff bear, the cat, the raccoon (whose nose has been bitten off by Tiger whom I believe seriously thinks is a real raccoon) and the rabbit all came tumbling down - dethroned and Tiger sat there looking quite pleased with himself. :-)

Later in the evening, we all thought one of us had taken him out for his walks but actually, none of us did. Tiger came up to each one of us after dinner and made overtures to tell us that he wanted something. I thought he wanted to play. Nick thought he wanted to sit with him. Hubby thought he wanted attention. Seeing that none of us knew it, he could not hold it any more and peed on the carpet. :-( Yours truly had to scrub the carpet and also mopped the sitting room again...

I applied citronella oil on all my furniture after I cleaned up the place and so far, there has been no accident today. Well, he did pee on a towel rack in Jon's bathroom but it is ok. At least it was in the bathroom and none of us taught him to do that so that was a good start...Actually, I am quite sure he had done that a few times at night for each morning, I can smell his urine in that bathroom and have had to scrub the whole bathroom not knowing where he pee-ed.

This afternoon, when writing the post on Celebrating Change, I was singing That's All I Want from You. Well, Tiger looked at me strangely and then his ears moved. And he cocked his head to the right, paused and then cocked his head to the left. Precious. And I stopped singing. :-)

While writing this post, I was also reading my usual dose of websites on Westies. Then I came across this site which suggested ways to train Westies to jump through hula hoops. Straight away, I went to get my hoop and also a bracelet which I dangled in front of Tiger. Oh well, he looked at me strangely again and sniffed the hoop. Oh well, I gave up but will try again tomorrow! :-)

That is life  for the moment. No matter how difficult, we will weather the storms, pick up the tissues and teach him what is chewable and what is not, take him out for walks, give him our love, time, devotion and conversation...and indeed, Tiger is our best friend! Am sure your pet is the same to you. Do share your pet experiences. Have a lovely evening!

1 comments to A Tiger Tale

  1. says:

    Cat-from-Sydney And that's why we won't have a woofie in our home!!! purrr...meow!

    Signed,
    Angelina, Brad, Sebastian
    Nicole, Michael, Nikki

    pee ess: woofies drool too. Yuks!

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