Happy Birthday, Scooter!

A little over seven years ago I decided to get another dog, not for me, but for Lily.  I’d already had Lily for over four years, and it was clear that she didn’t have the temperament to meet and make friends with new dogs on the trail, or at lessons, or in contained dog parks. I’d tried all of those options. She was reactive and wary and didn’t read other dog’s body language accurately. She longed to play with other dogs, but they stressed her out. Stress can cause aggression. Add to the mix that Lily took her farm dog job seriously. She chased a neighbor’s Portuguese Water Dog out of the Beast’s pond. She told a clueless Labrador who wandered over, to get away from the goats. She’d encounter these same dogs out on walks in the woods. Were they friend or foe? I knew how, and did, do much work with her to calm around other dogs. However, she was an older rescue when I got her, and she’d missed out on that crucial socializing stage during her first few months. Lily was never going to be a relaxed social butterfly. She needed a dog friend that she could feel secure with. She needed a best buddy at home.

So, I went looking for puppy under ten weeks of age. I like intelligent and athletic working dogs. I like mixed breeds. One constraint was size. Lily travels in the car in a large crate, and there was only room in the back for an additional small crate. A dog about twenty pounds would be right. Lily liked boys more than girls, so I’d get a neutered male. I perused PetFinder.com, and there was a corgi mix mama, who had three adorable pups up for adoption! She was exactly the size and temperament I was looking for!



She and the pups were in foster care in a household with other dogs, one quite large and energetic, which meant that they’d been well-socilaized and used to a dog like Lily. The household also had a teenage boy, which also fit in with my criteria. I’d be able to bring the puppy home when he was only ten weeks old, so I’d be able to train him right from the start. No issues!

I chose the little male (sleeping to the far left.) With those coats, I was sure that I was getting a Corgi-Terrier mix. Perfect!



Lily was not immediately ecstatic. Was this a new squeak toy? A chipmunk? The first week I rewarded her for calm interest.



Soon, Lily caught on.

And Scooter made himself right at home.

And they became fast friends.

So, Lily got what she wanted.


Scooter, however, was not what I expected. I have never liked toy dogs. I like sturdy, active smart dogs. Scooter weighs 10 1/2 pounds. He’s a little, shivery lap dog. Most of the day you can find him sleeping where it is warm and cozy.



In the summer, he prefers to sleep in the sun.


Lily protects him from hawks.

Once in awhile he wakes up and gazes sweetly at you.



Then he goes back to sleep. Lily has been taught a repertoire of tricks and useful behaviors. Scooter, who we call the dog of little brain, has one. I say, “look cute!” and, of course, he does.

It turned out that Scooter didn’t match any of my criteria, and yet somehow, he is perfect in every way. He’s taught me to embrace the unexpected. You never know who might become your best friend.



Happy Seventh Birthday, Scooter!


  1. With all the death posts lately I was SO scared where this one was going!!! :)

  2. Me, too!! I was really worried. I’m happy he’s still there and enjoying the good life.

  3. This is timely for me. We are getting a new puppy soon after losing our almost twelve year old last September. I have had lots of puppies (seven) but it has been a while and I am no longer twenty or thirty or even forty something. So I am a little bit nervous. But have decided to take a positive few and look for un-expected blessings. Thanks for posting.

  4. Happy birthday little Scooter! You don’t look a day over puppy-hood.

  5. That video made me laugh out loud. They are a riot. I’m inspired to film my own big-dog-little-dog show now.

    Also, can I just say thank you for talking positively about the dogs that do not play nice with strangers. I’m on my second dog of this sort. They’ve both been older rescues and both have been wonderful at home, but a problem in public. I get so discouraged by people who assume they can let their dogs off leash in public places, just because *their* dog is ok. Those leash laws also protect their dog from MY dog, but only as long as they keep their dog away from us. I can’t do much if their dog is jumping all over us. But he’s a GOOD dog. Grrr. Lily is lucky to have understanding and caring people around her.

    • I agree! People are clueless. They don’t read their own dog’s body language, nor understand others. I have trained Lily to sit and let others pass, but that does no good if the other dog isn’t under control and comes bounding up. I’ve also heard from people with small children who can no longer go to certain trails in town because dogs come running up and knock down their children! And the dog owner says, “he’s friendly!” Very, very frustrating.

  6. Happy Birthday Scooter! I thought you were much bigger than 10 1/2 pounds.

  7. It’s lonely being an only dog. I wish my girls were sweet snuggle bunnies, but they have the relationship that suits them and both are happier with a companion.

  8. Love, love, love Scooter. He is such a charming little scamp! Happy 7th little one. So fun he has such a good friend in Lily. The picture by the fire is priceless….says it all.

  9. Thanks for the video. Loved the part where Lily holds up her paw so he can’t chew on it, and then he goes for the other one. Happy Birthday Scooter, take an extra nap today!

  10. Awww Scooter is SO cute! I love him although small dogs are not my favourite thing, I can always make an exception for Scooter, those liquid eyes are the best. Happy birthday Scooty!

  11. Happy Birthday Scooter. As my mother and I both know from having adopted Luna eight months ago, we never pictured that we would bond with a chihuahua. Luna though is more like Lily in personality, a large farm/guard dog who wants to run everyone off and will give heck all the way to hell’s gate on any bicycles or motor cycles that dare go by her house. Luna can be very strong willed and while we are still working on her manners I would say more often that not she has surprised and delighted us more than anything. Though my mother has not been to thrilled with her last week when she went down to pick up a fallen paper towel that might have food on it and Luna snapped at my mother. Time out in her crate and more training with leaving things alone such as treats or anything else on the floor are still on going. As my mother puts it “She has a stubborn will, but mine is more stubborn than hers. ” I don’t think Luna would accept another dog in our household, but she is great friends with my three year old Maine Coon Mix and she and my elderly cat tolerate each other, I can’t ask for anything more.

  12. Scooter and Lily are dear dogs. So many times we do our “research” and still get to goal by a totally different path. Thanks for the post.

  13. Love this post of your doggies!! Isn`t true that with our pets, just like our children…we want to see them get along with others and have healthy friendships. That pic of Scooter on the grass always brings a smile to my old eyes. :)

  14. Happy birthday scooter. I have to comment on tje people that let thier dogs run free. It works for children also, a few years back I was walking my newly adopted great dane in a public park, now this dog was very unttusting of children, there was a small chilf running around and started running right towards us, I held thornton tight but did not want him to pick up on my fear, lest he would think something wrong, luckily the mother finally became aware. Thornton was 180 lbs bit we woild have been the ones in trouble. Many children have run up to my dogs.parents need to teach children respect of animals even there own and there would be fewer disasters.

    • Happy Birthday Scooter!
      Terry, I have 3 rescues, and they certainly steal your heart!
      They seem to know you have saved them, and try so hard to be on their best behavior!

    • Oh, yes, agreed! When I do my school visits I always sneak in a “be a tree” and “be calm and slow” and “ask permission” bit about dogs and all animals.

  15. Very, very sweet! I love the video, and also the suggestion that we should look for good in the unexpected.

  16. Awwww, loved the video! Happy Birthday, Scooter!

    I, too, have a dog that is unsure around other dogs. He was a shelter rescue that was so abused he peed on the floor if you just looked directly at him, picked up the leash, reached out to pet him, called the kids to come eat lunch, etc… what a mess. As the years passed, with a neighborhood full of dogs AND older people who understood dogs, he began tolerating other dogs but only as long as they stayed off him. He is 10 now and still growls and snaps when they get jumpy around or on him. However, once he realized he lived here and that not all people hit, he became a people lover and a cuddle bug (50 lb. husky/collie mix that likes to think he’s a lap dog!). Jake’s such a sweety, just not a dog lover! :)

  17. Happy Birthday Scooter! We at our place love your dog videos! The video of Lily picking up the toys, this video of them playing and oh, don’t forget, the baying Scooter!

  18. Happy birthday Scooter!
    I’m not really a small dog person, but I just love scooter! He’s such a cute little guy. :)

  19. Happy Birthday Scooter!!

    I guess I’ll give up hope of the email that you are finally ready for me to take Scooter. ;-(

    Have we prepared a little something extra for the food bowl for his birthday?

    • Ken, Scooter insists that he is a dog that should eat meat. Not that dry yucky kibble stuff. But, he’s a little guy and we’re careful he doesn’t get overweight. Today, though he got beef juices from a stew that I made, on his kibble. He was very, very pleased. He says he’s a big meaty dog.

      • Well Terry, for my end of semester Native American class, I did a report on what animals South Americans tribes had developed and domesicated the Teichi, ancestor of all modern chihuahuas. And Scooter does have Teichi blood in him. And the Toltecs and the descendant cultures raised Teichi to put weight fast and be cooked in a green sauce made Amaranth grain or what we know as pig weed. Even him seeking warmth and being wrapped up was encouraged by the Toltecs so that the Teichi won’t lose their fat layer during the cold desert months. So really Scooter is doing what he his breed was created to due, to eat and get fat, and then eaten themselves.

        • PS Apparently the favorite food item to give to Teichi’s by the Toltec people was a dinner of six to eight maize tortillas a day. I don’t suppose Scooter has ever shown interest in maize tortillas ? know my Luna does not like them, and won’t touch them.

          • Kit, that is some amazing trivia! Thank you so much for sharing!

            • Your welcome, though I have a tendency of oversharing of trivia which can annoy people :) Espically if they find it macabre.

  20. Goodness, time flies…I couldn’t believe that Scooter was seven, but then I went back into the HenCm Archives, and there he is in early days; ones I had counted as four or five years at most!

    • I know! Every day I laugh and shake my head and say, “where did this little dog come from?” and I couldn’t believe it’s been going on 7 years of thinking, “this isn’t what I expected, but isn’t he fun?”

  21. Happy birthday, Scooter! I just love the picture of you as a puppy looking up at Lily. I bet you thought she was going to eat you. I’m glad you survived and have brought so much unexpected joy. You are a big meaty dog.

    • Isn’t it interesting how the little white strip on Scooter’s head, as a puppy, has almost disappeared, but the white near his shoulder is still there?

      • So true! I wonder if his stripe stayed the same size as when he was a puppy? Very cute.

  22. Happy Birthday Scooter! You are a cutie…..big birthday smooch to you, pooch! =)

  23. Happu Birthday, Scooter! My God, I loved the video! They´re so happy. Made me laugh and feel good.

  24. Happy Birthday Scooter. Hoping none of those pesky hawks try and peck at you today.It is great knowing that Lily is there to protect you in such an event.

  25. That curly tail of Scooter’s speaks of some chi in the mix.
    Lily is a GOOD GIRL to put up with Scooter’s puppy nonsense. If he were to pull that on another dog? oy!

    So nice to see loving families!