Friday, November 22, 2013

Fergus Friday, November 22

Poor Fergus. I think he's feeling neglected. We've been at our cottage for four months now, and I haven't done a Fergus Friday post in all that time. I keep telling him he isn't a mischievous little puppy anymore, and now that he's a grown-up dog there isn't as much to blog about. Then he reminded me about the pillows.

A few weeks ago when I went to IKEA I picked up a couple new pillows for the couch. These were to replace the previous pillows that Fergus had ruined. When I got home I told him there was no way he was sleeping on these and ruining them like the last ones. They were definitely "out of bounds." For the first couple of days I stuck to my guns. Then, slowly but surely, Fergus edged his way closer and closer.


He became possessed. If you own a West Highland Terrier you know exactly what I'm talking about. On top of those pillows, covering as many square inches as he could manage, was the only place in the house he wanted to be.



Then Emily decided dog hair wasn't enough; those pillows needed some cat hair stuck to them as well.



If you come to our house for a visit I strongly suggest you don't use the pillows. Not unless you have a lint brush in your pocket.

Fergus has also had his knickers in a knot because of the new little human who keeps coming to visit. Jenny loves Lucy. In fact, we are quite sure Jenny thinks Lucy is her puppy when she is here. She doesn't understand why we won't let her groom her, sleep with her, and generally take over. On the other hand, Fergus gets a confused look on his face, sniffs Lucy a couple of times, then looks up at me with big, brown eyes that are filled with hurt. The first time Lucy was here and I was holding her Fergus looked up at me and peed on the floor. Intentionally. Boring holes in me with those brown eyes the whole time.



I'm not worried about this. Fergus might be quite a jealous little guy, but he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. I'm quite sure they will be good friends once Lucy gets a little bit older and Fergus has had some more time to warm up to this new little person in his life. In the meantime, David is more Fergus's idea of the perfect house guest.


Fergus likes it here at Cultus Lake. There are lots of dogs to bark at, along with some squirrels and bunnies. However, there is one thing here that Fergus hates. With a passion. When it rains he acts like he is being mortally wounded with each drop that falls. And when it rains here it doesn't fool around. I decided it was time to take some action, so I knit Fergus a sweater. This is an indication of how much he has grown up since last year, when he would have eaten a sweater off his own back.



I used to think it was silly to put sweaters on dogs. And I also swore I would never, ever knit things for my pets. There's some sort of lesson in this, I'm just not certain what it is. Have I turned into a soft touch? Do you put sweaters on your dogs? When I was growing up our dogs lived outside, ate table scraps, and had a little wooden doghouse to sleep in at night. Things sure aren't what they used to be, and I think Fergus is very thankful for that fact.

*Ting Ting update:  Amazon has fixed the error on their site listing the book as a pre-order. It is now  in stock. I should also point out it can be ordered from anywhere in the world through Amazon, so if you live overseas you should be able to get a copy through them.

45 comments:

  1. Oh, Fergus. You seem like a very interesting little fellow. A friend of mine has a Westie named Baxter (my kids called him "Basker" when they were younger) and he's a lot like Fergus; he loves his mom dearly and will drape himself over her but won't go near anyone else. When I had a dog, I did put a sweater on him sometimes. I did this particularly often when we lived in upstate New York near Lake Ontario; we had a ridiculous amount of snow there every winter and he needed the warmth, especially on a walk.

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    1. I love that your kids called the dog "Basker." I'm going to keep that in mind for potential future dog names. :-)

      Upstate New York would be every bit as cold as here. Did your dog like the sweater?

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  2. I put sweaters on my old dogs in European winters....though as I can't knit they were discarded baby or child wear...and my dogs have always lived in the house - a fact which drives my current cleaning woman wild.
    Fergus is a gorgeous little chap....and he'll get into playing with Lucy when she is not monopolising your lap - which is, of course,his to monopolise while awaiting further new Ikea cushions...

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    1. Your cleaning woman and my mom would get along great. Our dogs drive my mom crazy. She especially dislikes Fergus.

      I think you're right about Fergus and Lucy. Once she isn't in my lap all the time I'm sure his jealousy will subside. But I'm in no rush for Lucy to grow up. Fergus is just going to have to share me!

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  3. Your cat is gorgeous, looks like she owns that sofa and cushion. Everytime I leave my sofa our cat takes over! And as always Lucy is beautiful

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    1. Poor old Emily. She might be gorgeous in the picture, be she is quite cantankerous. If she was a person she would be one of those crabby people nobody wants to be around. :-)

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  4. My sister has a Westie and i was petting him when they visited yesterday. Judging by Edgar, Fergus will come to adore Lucy when they are both a little older. :-) I'm a cat rather than a dog person, but if I were ever to have a dog, it would be a Westie, as long as he or she could live with at least 2 cats.

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words about Fergus and Lucy. I think it's true. Once she can follow him around and play with him I'm sure they'll be great friends.

      A Westie would give your cats some extra excitement in their lives. I think you should go for it. Many cat people find, to their surprise, they are also dog people.

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    2. Sadly a travelling life doesn't allow for pets at the moment. I was talking about what will be, not what is.:-)

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  5. The caption under Emily's picture should be, "Go ahead ... I dare ya!"

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    1. Sorry Diana - the comment below was meant for you!

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  6. That's hilarious! I wish I would have thought of it when I was writing the post. :-)

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  7. Hmmm...I think my comment got eaten. If not, sorry for the double post! I'm so happy to see Fergus Friday return! That dog is so cute I can't stand it. Also, I feel like it's the natural order for all furniture to be given over to the animals eventually. I've given every surface but 1 couch cushion over to my cat, and I'm hanging on to that cushion with everything I have!

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    1. It must have been eaten. Isn't it annoying when that happens?! Good luck with that final cushion. I'm placing my money on the cat getting it in the end. The animals always win. :-)

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  8. Dear little Fergus, you are a real cutie, I can tell. Fergus reminds me very much of our late lamented Australian Silky Terrier - same face, same attitude, same everything really! Intelligent as you'll ever find in a little doggie. I remember that hurt eyed look so well. They like everything in their world to be comfy (cushion please) and predictable. Except walkies, which have to be wildly adventurous and full of things to bark at. Hugs to Fergus, he'll get over it and love Lucy!

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    1. I'm intrigued. I've never heard of an Australian Silky Terrier. I'll have to Google it so I can see what they look like. One thing I have noticed is all terriers seem cut from the same cloth. I'm sorry you no longer have your little guy. Have you thought about getting another dog?

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  9. I am more a cat than a dog person. But your cute Fergus could persuade me otherwise. He looks full of character......and don't they know when they are doing something wrong. My cat has the exact same expression when she knows she is pushing her luck!

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    1. Fergus is definitely full of character - more than his fair share! I didn't know cats would do that guilty expression. I wonder why Emily never looks guilty when she does something bad. ???

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  10. Oh my, Fergus looks gorgeous in his sweater - so cute!!! I did giggle at the cushions though!

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    1. He looks very handsome. The question now is, will it make him happier when he has to go out in the rain? :-)

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  11. Oh Fergus you are so adorable, I wish you could meet my Max, although Max is not fond of other dogs, he thinks he is a person. Don't worry about that little human she will grow up to love you and you will grow to love her. When she is up and walking she will drop cheerios on the floor just for you. And don't you look handsome in that sweater! I think you deserve one in every color.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Max sounds like a character too. It must be interesting having a dog that thinks it's a human. Good point about the Cheerios. :-)

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  12. Oh your post Kristie made me smile! I could also show identical pictures of Daisy sitting on cushions like Fergus! We also have pictures of her lying fast asleep with our David! Fergus look so smart in his lovely red sweater. Daisy has a coat she wears when it is really cold.
    Sarah x

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    1. That's funny that you have a picture of your David and Daisy asleep together. :-) Does Daisy like her coat? I'm not sure Fergus is going to be happy about wearing his. It will be interesting to see what happens next time it rains and I put it on him. I wanted to say thanks for the tip about the salmon oil. I ordered some and it has helped with Fergus's scratching. He still has some trouble, but it now seems under control.

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  13. As single coated dogs whippets need coats in cold weather, but I've yet to knit one. Of course they need them but that doesn't stop them rubbing against stuff trying to get them off. I hope you fare better with Fergus. He does look very debonair in his :)

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    1. I don't blame you for not knitting your whippets coats. They are bigger than Westies, plus you would have several coats to knit! I'm not holding my breath about getting Fergus to keep the sweater on his back. He wasn't pleased when I put it on him to model for the pictures. :-)

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  14. Fergus, you're still a star! We've missed you! ;-)

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    1. I'll pass along your good wishes, Lisa. It will help take some of the sting out of the whole Lucy thing. Ha!

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  15. Fergus is a character enough for 4 dogs looks like it ! Adorable too.

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    1. He's definitely a character. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. But always very cute, which is why he gets away with so much. :-)

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  16. Fergus will always have the heart of a puppy. As for the pillows....well, that's how it goes when we have pets in the house. I grew up the same way--our dogs had a great house (it would have made a good fort). Every once in a while it seemed strange to see Bandit walking through the living room on his way to the kitchen--there was an animal roaming free in my house!!! So odd, but we'll be getting a dog after the holidays.

    Lucy just keeps getting cuter....and Ting Ting arrived this week. You wrote a great story! :)

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    1. I'm so happy you are getting a dog! What kind are you getting? Are you thinking puppy, rescue, or something in between?

      And thanks for getting a copy of my book. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

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    2. The plan is a rescue dog...a Border Collie, if possible. They are high energy dogs and too many owners don't care for them properly.

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    3. Border collies are wonderful dogs. I hope you find the perfect one for your family, Rick.

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  17. Ha! When I was growing up, our dogs and cats lived in the house, ate commercially-prepared pet food, and slept in our beds at night - and I'm older than you are. But we lived in town, not on a farm, which makes a difference, I think. Still, even my farm-raised grandparents loved their house pets and were gentle and indulgent with them. Of course, they all left the farm for town life as young adults.

    Dogs can be so odd about the weather, can't they? Our Rudy loves wading in creeks and puddles and walking in the rain or through the sprinklers. So did his predecessor Nicky, another dachshund, but Jenny (namesake!), the dachshund my family had in my childhood, despised rain - she didn't want to get her feet wet. She loved running at the beach, even in damp sand, but she wouldn't step in the water. Quirky, but according to my father that's why we keep pets: to laugh at their oddities, and to cuddle them, of course.
    -- stashdragon

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    1. I think the town vs. farm thing made a big difference. Everyone I knew on neighbouring farms had outdoor dogs. I was so jealous of my town friend Cathy who had a standard size dachshund named Pepsi. Pepsi was free to wander around their house, and I thought that was the best thing ever. Now, all these years later, I have a dachshund (somewhat smaller I must admit) wandering around my house, accompanied by Fergus. :-)

      Yes, dogs are very strange about the weather. Fergus hates the rain and Jenny doesn't mind it at all, whereas Fergus loves the snow and Jenny despises it. I loved hearing about your dogs!

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  18. Fergus is gorgeous. I love his knitted coat. My dog Honey is much the same when we have visitors. She has her nose put out of joint and sulks in the middle of the room!

    I'm sorry that I don't seem to leave many comments on your lovely blog. I have 'lost' a few blogs lately and I don't know why.

    Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks Leanne! Isn't it funny how dogs can display human emotions like jealousy? It sounds as if Honey and Fergus have a lot in common. :-)

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    1. Thanks Nadia! Fergus seems to be very popular on my blog. :-)

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  20. Hi Kristie, I'm just getting around to reading this wonderful post. I love Westies, as you know, and I'm tempted to get a second one....which is nuts! So I love reading about Fergus and can have a second Westie vicariously. As for sweaters....Westies have 2 coats...the inner one for warmth and the outer one to shed water (if you don't bath them so much that it softens the hair too much), but I can see where a sweater would be good for your furniture because you could take it off once he comes in the house--he wouldn't get everything wet. And thanks for the heads-up about Fergus being jealous of Lucy. I can see my Gabriel being jealous of the soon-to-be addition to our family--a granddaughter. He already gives me that hurt feeling when my cat, Poetry, sits on my lap. I direct him to lie on the pillows next to the couch where I can reach him. He seems to be contented as long as I keeping petting him.

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  21. My husband and I are looking at dogs at the moment and are really taken by the idea of a West Highland Terrier - and then I realised you had one! Do you think these are a good dog to have with small kids? and do they REALLY not shed much? any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated! xx

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      West Highland terriers are wonderful dogs to have with kids. Of course, like any dog, a lot of how it interacts with children depends on how it is raised. Fergus has been great with my baby granddaughter Lucy. As far as shedding, he only sheds a bit. I hadn't really noticed any shedding at all when we lived in Kamloops because we had carpet. Here we have a dark hardwood floor, so I can see a tiny bit of hair on the floor by the end of the week. It's my signal to pull out the vacuum again! Ha! I suggest you go to Ravelry and ask some questions on the Westie Knitters board in the forums. It's a really friendly group of people, plus there are some cute pictures in one of the threads. The one thing I will say about Westies though is they can be prone to skin issues, so if you get one check the dog's family history with the breeder. ON the plus side, there's nothing cuter on the face of the planet than a West Highland terrier puppy. :-)

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    2. Sarah, I will add to what Kristie has said about the skin issues. I have a Westie whom I got when he was 4 months. He's almost 6 now and has never had skin issues because I've fed him "natural" dog food, meaning it has no wheat or corn, nor other fillers you find in "regular" dog food. My Westie is a picky eater, though, so it's been a challenge to find food according to his tastes. I suspect regular dog food might have something in it that attracts dogs to it and why it sells so well, but from what I've read on forums wheat is a trigger for skin problems in Westies. On the plus side Westies are full of personality, very loyal--he/she will bond with whomever gives them the most attention. They love small children....I suspect because they have equal energy and are just the right size. Mine only gets a "puppy cut" because they have an undercoat that helps protect their skin--so no shaving--and only gets bathed twice a year. They really don't need it at all unless they get into a lot of dirt. A good diet eliminates any dog smell. Daily brushing is all they need and a hair cut if you're not into "stripping" which is actually the recommended way of tidying them up.

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    3. Thank you very much Kristie and Cathy! I really appreciate your comments, and they've only made my husband want one more! :D

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