The Beauty of a Dirty Paw

How many times have we said to our anipals at one time or another, or too many times to count, “Your feet are filthy! Wait, wait, wait…gotta wipe them off before you come in the house!”

At our house, we spoke in “three’s” so Stuart was used to hearing, “Wait! Wait! Wait!” or “Come! Come! Come!” or “Go! Go! Go!”

Don’t ask me why. But he knew the drill.

Now I’m thrilled his feet were nearly always dirty.


I don’t know why I was so quick to say “yes” when the emergency room tech asked if we wanted a paw print the night Stuart passed. What did I want a paw print for? What would I do with it? It’s morbid. And tacky. Why, oh why, did I do that? It’ll bring nothing but more sadness into our lives.

Now I know.  Specks of dirt from our final walk that day are captured on that paw print. So are some of his paw hairs and even padprints, like fingerprints, and faint toenail impressions.

I didn’t notice these things at first. But now, I clearly see the minute specks of dirt that sparkle in the sunshine when I hold it just right.

And there’s not one thing tacky about that.

UPDATE: One of Stuart’s anipals sent him a pawprint kit for Christmas one year. I loved it and planned to make one, but for some reason, I never did. In NO WAY is making a pawprint a tacky thing to do. For me, though, as Stuart was making his way over the Bridge – in fact, he’d already gone – I thought it wasn’t the best thing to do. At the time. Now we’re so glad we have one!

About The Scottie Chronicles

Winston welcomes you to The Scottie Chronicles - a blog that began in 2009 as a voice for Stuart, a more than memorable black, brindle and white Scottish Terrier who captured hearts around the world. Stuart passed suddenly in December 2015 from cardiac hemangiosarcoma, a nasty cancer that took him far too early. If you love Scotties, please follow along. Arroooo!
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77 Responses to The Beauty of a Dirty Paw

  1. Kismet says:

    Nothing wrong with that. I’ll have to show you what we do sometime.

  2. Bella, Roxy & Macdui says:

    And it’s uniquely Stuart!

  3. gentlestitches says:

    It is Stuart star dust connecting us all . It really is. It’s science. It’s God’s big light shining on the small light . Nothing with his paw print on it could ever be tacky. 😢❤️

  4. indyandlucy says:

    Our Mom had ours done when we were at the Scottie rally last spring. It is her most cherished possession.

  5. That’s byootiful. and so sad. – Ainsley

  6. Nessa Noodledog says:

    It is not tacky, it is very sweet. Just like Stuart was.
    Nessa Noodledog

  7. When my beloved Mischief went over the Rainbow Bridge I didn’t know why I ordered a paw print either. However, now I know that it reminds me that his paw prints are forever in my heart. From the Mom of Hemingway and Shakespeare….

  8. theguster says:

    What a beautiful remembrance of Stuart. I am so happy you said ‘yes’ so quickly. We often don’t understand the reason for anything when we’re caught in a terrible moment…but it’s so wonderful when we finally do.

    McDuff & Mom

  9. fergusnguinness says:

    We especially love the photos of Stuarts footptints in the sand. Enlarge and frame one and display it with the footprint.

  10. nordhuesn says:

    Not at all strange. We had Elsa cremated and Mom is having a statue made for the garden of her. So we understand all of that. They are never far from our hearts and minds.

  11. rjkeyedup says:

    Im so glad you have it…. I often trace my finger over the plaster paw print of my Jesse and Watson. When Toggie passed they did not do that…. I also have a lock of hair from my babies who crossed.
    They suggested cutting a piece at the vet.

  12. Lee says:

    Some things just seem to happen and you wonder why and then you see it clearly filtered through a different lens and you know it was meant to be. I am glad you have his paw print.
    Sweet William The Scot

  13. Wiley says:

    Oh yes, I have a paw print of my beloved Archie too. I look at it every day, and it brings me comfort.
    So glad to see you blogging…. i am sure I speak for everyone when I say we missed getting the emails!

  14. corkscot says:

    I have a paw print kit too. I never used it. I do have boxes with the ashes of the Scotties that passed over the bridge on my night stand. I only have tags from the New York Scotties. I’m sorry that I don’t have little wooden boxes. It was done in the late 70’s.

  15. 3scotties says:

    My last Scottie who passed, MacKenzie, was at the vet and they asked if I wanted glad they did! I also have one of her curls, she had the most beautiful coat. I see her every morning when I look at her print and I smile!

    3AZscotties, Nessa, MacGregor and Kenzie

  16. Claudia Daum says:

    I hope you frame it with the picture Stewart with his legs stretched out behind him. That’s how my Newman layed. It’s probably one of my most favorite pictures I have of my Newman. I love that you did this! I wish I had the option. Keep soaking in the memories and feeling the love he sends!

  17. Fozziemum says:

    Nothing morbid at is a sweet and sentient reminder of what Stuart was on your life..a walking friend..a squirrel botherer and a dear family boy..i think it is gorgeous and i hope it fills your heart when it sparkles..i wish we had done this when we lost our Rottie Eich..but when packing precious things in readiness to evac if there is a fire a found a Mothers Day card.with all our pets paw prints in Vegemite.Hubby had done this years ago..all the prints belong to pets now at the Rainbow Bridge.but i can clearly see the fuffy fur between Eich our rotties paw pads..i love it..All our love Fozziemum xxx

  18. lauramarec says:

    I had bought a paw print kit to make a paw print of our last dog. Hazel, who left us for the Bridge on 12/06/2012, but I too never “got around” to using it, and the same thing happened to me, I was asked if I wanted her paw print when I took her in, (after she’d passed away in my arms at home). I said “yes” and I was so happy that I did for the same reasons you gave.
    How we miss our wonderful and so very much loved companions! It was such a dark time for me after she left, that I feel so bad when someone else is going through it! I totally know how terrible it is! I am so happy you got Sweet Stu’s paw print!
    Riley-Puppy and Tessie-Girl and Mum

  19. Laura,

    We received notice of your generous gift to Scottie Rescue today. Words escape me. Thank you so much.

  20. Marty the Manx says:

    How I wish that someone would have offered me one when I lost Oskar or Alyce. I would have jumped at the chance. It is so perfect, especially with the dirt and Stuart furs.

  21. Oh, that is just beautifuls. What a great gesture of the tech to do this. Sometimes you just don’t think about how special something can be until you pull it out weeks later. What a special gift.
    Nows, I don’t thinks a terrier is a terrier without dirt on their feeties! hehehehe (or in my case loooong talons and furs and dirt and waters and mulch and……)
    {{{hugs}}} and lots of kisses
    Ruby ♥

    • I’m sure lots of things that are painful now will be treasured later.

      Now, about that mulch. As we were saying our goodbyes to Stuart, I was pulling leaves from his skirt. Typical terrier style. A skirt with lots of things in it! Like Velcro!

  22. sue ellen says:

    so sweet…one of your most prized possessions. We understand….glad you have that paw print.♥

  23. Oh that is so sweet, what a treasure, just like Stuart, left a pawprint on all our hearts
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  24. Stuart’s pawprint is so superspecial♥

  25. Oh I think Stuart would want you to look at that paw print and touch it knowing it’s a “paw to paw” kiss every time! We have one of those kits and I intend to do this with Sammy now. It’s just a super special thing to have……………. Sending Hugs…….

    Pam and Sammy

  26. Piglove says:

    I think it’s perfect! It’s a wonderful reminder of Stuart – we love it! XOXO – Bacon

  27. Phil, Ms.Harley, Maggie , Buddy, Hannah, Tucker, Nessie and Betsy says:

    I have two of these paw prints. The first one I didn’t realize that I was going to get it, but when it came I cried tears of joy! Little hairs stuck in it. I have them displayed where I do my work and every time I look at them it makes my heart warm!!!

  28. I think it is wonderful! You know Stuart left pawprints on your heart, but not everyone can see them. With this, everyone can see the pawprints he left behind for all of us.

  29. We are very happy to hear from you, and, Mama is so glad you blogged on this topic. The comments have been extremely thought provoking and helpful to her. She was presented with Noah’s paw print after he had transitioned, and she was in such a state she wasn’t sure how she felt about it, so it was placed in a box that stores every one’s ashes and tags. She has also seen the kits, and was reluctant to buy them as gifts, again because she wasn’t sure how the recipient would react. Reading everyone’s thoughts has clearly changed her mind. She always has everyone’s portrait painted while they are alive, and thought that the best way to commemorate us.. But now she is going so seek out Noah’s paw print and think of a way to display it. Our love and thanks, Skyler

    • I’m so glad this has helped you. Aren’t blog pals special? These friends have given me such comfort and will continue to help us as we transition to life without Stuart. It’s so hard, but I have to say that Angel Stuart and his pawprint are magnificent. It’ll be hard to see Noah’s paw print at first, but I hope the warmth from it comes quickly and often for you.

  30. Mum had a pawprint kit at one time, but never got around to it and now the kit has been lost in the move. Perhaps she will try to find another…these things we take for granted till it’s too late…we are so glad you have this little piece from your last day with sweet Stu.

    Edgar and his mum

  31. Daisy says:

    We are so glad you have this. When I picked up Piper’s little box from the vet, her paw print was on top. I didn’t even know it was offered! It has little bits of her fur, too. It was hard to look at in the beginning, but I’m so very grateful I have it now. We think of you often and are happy to see this post!

  32. Sherry Streitenberger says:

    How wonderful to hear from you and thank you for sharing the paw print… Wonderful wonderful memories… I miss you and Stuart!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  33. Mama has her first 3 girls and first 3 boys foot prints in glass. And yes, you can see the “fingerprint” type worls of their pads. This Christmas Mama did mine, Sparta and Taylers, though not in glass, but it’s our paw prints anyway. Mama says its special touching those paw prints as it brings her closer to her babies that are across the ‘Bridge. We are so pleased to see Stuart’s paw print – you will have that, as well as the memories, for ever xxx

  34. raisingdaisy says:

    This brought me to tears – those little hairs, the dirt from your last walk. Those little sparkles in the sunshine are like Stuart’s sparkling eyes looking back at you from over the Rainbow Bridge. Such a beautiful memento.

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