My perfect Scotties can occasionally get angry at one another. Usually it is about space on the bed. For years our dogs slept on beds in the laundry room. In fact we built this house specifically to accommodate our Scottie pack at the time. The laundry room has a large clothes-folding table made so that three dog beds can fit under it. Dogs love to den, and the table created a perfect nighttime den for the pack.

This arrangement worked until all three of those dogs passed away and we next adopted the rescued pair of Scotties, Harry and Lola, about whom I’ve written many children’s books. The first night they spent in the house with us, we brought them into our bedroom and they each were to sleep in their crates. We were told this was how they had been trained and what they were used to.

Soon after the lights went out I heard a funny “grrr” sound. I ignored it. Then there were two grrrs. This kept up for about 10 minutes and I finally got up to see what was going on. Lola was very upset. I let her out and she immediately jumped on the bed and settled down. Needless to say, Harry now had to come out, too.

Once all four of us were in bed the Scotties slept like babies.

Fast forward. Our new pack of three Scotties sleeps with us. Bernie — now our oldest who was the youngest member of the Harry and Lola pack — became used to sleeping on the bed, so we weren’t able to break the habit when we adopted Piper and Chewy.

Even though we have a king-size bed, three Scotties and two adults in one bed means we all have tight space. This shows you that my husband really is a very good sport, and this is why we sometimes have dog arguments in the night. The Scotties are always looking for more sleeping space. They can’t move the humans so they try to get each other to give way.

All of this is to say that the Scotties get mad for a minute but quickly get over it. This is another excellent example of the pack showing us what good family relations should be. It is way too easy to get mad at a family member and let it boil for hours, rather than a minute.

Anger is such a destructive force. It can ruin relationships and it destroys one’s health. Science knows that terribly destructive chemicals are released by anger. When we get mad the brain tells the body to release stress hormones; adrenaline and noradrenaline. These chemicals are important in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They also affect the regulation of the pancreas, which controls the sugar balance in our blood. Bottom-line: getting mad and staying angry at the people we love spreads destruction throughout our body and our family. This is why anger and family fights can send you into a heart attack or they can lead to diabetes.

Christ warned us about anger. He told us to fill our hearts with love. When we do that, we are much less likely to get mad and stay angry with those we love. Let us all take a quick lesson from the Scotties. If we get mad, get over it and move on with a healthy, happy life.

Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbor a grudge.

Ecclesiastes 7:9