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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Scots Heard Round the World

Our dogs talk. Lest you think I’m kidding, it gets worse. I talk back. We have a very vocal family.

Recently, I was out of the country. Sure enough, the calls to home included talking with everyone of the human persuasion, plus Misha and Grisha, our little Scotties.

“Misha, be a good boy! I love you. I’ll be home soon.”

“Whoa-whoa-whoa,” comes his gutteral reply of joy, a muted bark reserved for special occasions. He must know that these are international minutes.

“Mama he’s licking the phone,” Petya reports, whispering into the phone, as if not to interrupt the dog’s train of thought. “I’ll put Grisha on.”

Naturally, he has to chase down the younger dog, who thinks that the command “Come” is an invitation to a hide-and-seek game. Wrestling him to the phone, Grisha cocks his head this way and that, wondering where I’m hiding in the small contraption.

“Grisha! It’s Mama. You’re my sweetie-pie!”

He half-stifles a high-pitched bark, wanting to let me know he’s my captive (in more ways than one) audience on the other end. We chat back and forth before one or the other of us lets the conversation lapse.

Most of my Scottish friends love to talk. Maybe it’s the cold chill of the air, or the warmth of the pubs, but they can spin a yarn a mile long over a cup of steaming tea. Their dogs are no different. Scottish terriers have tales to tell, and tails to wag.

Misha’s bark bellows, guarding the front door and protecting us from any attacks by air, by land, and by sea. Yesterday, he spied a small airplane passing overhead, and actually took that on, with a deep “Woof-Woof-Woof!”

Grisha is still in adolescence, turning one in another week, but he holds court at the back door, letting us know when Petya and Pasha’s supposed friends have arrived to tear apart their fort. When we congratulate the budding watchdog on a job well done, he takes it to the next level, roaring like a high-pitched lion at every wayward leaf, “Waf-Waf-Waf!”  The fact that he oftens stands on his back two legs, front two paws waving in the air like a menacing bear adds to his fierce image.

“Oooh, I’m afraid, Grisha!” I shield my face as his tail wags furiously, the Puppy Happy Meter in the non-stop “on” mode.

Misha, as the elder two and a half year old, is more mellow. He gives the quick “Woof!” to let me know when he’s feeling neglected, or a “Waw-Waw-Waw” half-yawn, half-talk when he’d really like a bone, or a walk, or the latest i-Phone. These are dogs of many wants, and none too shy to share them.

Both Scotties love massages and need to stretch after every exhausting nap. It’s not easy chasing squirrels and rabbits in your dreams. They awaken, take one or two steps out of their bed (or mine) and start with the concave back, front paws extended low and long, and back side high up in the air.

“Aww-raaww-raawww!” the dogs yawn, loud and strong. The louder, the better.

“Well, excuse you!” I reply, moving in for their morning, or afternoon, rub-down and chat.

We discuss the weather, we discuss the economy, we discuss if they want to go outside, and when it’s time to eat. You can only imagine their favorite subjects.

“Want me to brush you?” I ask. “You want a bath?” Those are the two “b” words that rarely elicit much response. Usually one of them tries to run away, while the other slides under the lowest couch he can find. They would rather chat about platinum food bowls and Burberry dog jackets.

These are my sweet Scotties, always there to listen, always there to comfort. They have more conversational skills than many humans I’ve come across. And they’ve never said a bad word about anyone.



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