Scout - WestieMed Grant Recipient January 2017


Scout is our third Westie and a three-year-old rescue. We are so happy he’s here with us and is bringing us so much joy!

We were beyond heartbroken when our Callie passed away suddenly in September 2016. Although Callie had been diagnosed with IBS and Addison’s Disease she had been doing really well for many years with much love, monitoring, and medication. She was almost 14 when we lost her.

We knew we would eventually want to rescue another Westie so I contacted Sunshine State Westie Rescue. It was amazing for us when in a very short amount of time we found out about Scout who had been rescued and was being fostered. He is a beautiful, loving little dog who happens to have Addison’s Disease as well! After much soul searching we knew we had to say “yes” to rescuing him, especially since we know so much about Addison’s and what it entails.

It’s only been a little over two months since we brought Scout home to live with us and he’s happier and more comfortable in his surroundings every day. We believe Callie arranged this for us knowing we would take good care of him as we did for her.

Heartfelt thanks to all at WestieMed for the financial assistance you have provided to our family for our little angel, Scout.

The Jacobson Family

Update July 19, 2017

Scout - WestieMed Grant Recipient January 2017
Scout – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Scout is doing great, very happy and healthy, and has brought so much joy to all of us, including his three kitties!

He’s so smart and playful and we feel like he’s always been with us.

Scout is our second Addisonian Westie however this is our first experience with giving the percorten. He takes it well and without a peep!

We’re looking forward to spending many, many, many more years of love and happiness with Scouty. I have also attached a picture for you :))

Thanks again, WestieMed!

The Jacobson Family

Mac - Westiemed Grant Recipient July 2014


Hello every one my name is Mac.

My story begins in 2006 when I was born in a puppy mill near Los Angeles. I was to live my life in a tiny, filthy cage as a “prisoner for profit”. I was no good as a stud dog and was sold to someone in New York City. I made my trip across the country flying as cargo from LA to NYC. I was happy to be out of the puppy mill and thought my future must surely be better than my past!

I dreamed of my new home, a soft bed, good food and my own person that loved me.

When I arrived in NYC I was brought to “The Doggie Gym” in Manhattan, there were other dogs, it was clean, there was good food and the people were friendly. Many different people came to the Doggie Gym, some of them took dogs home with them and then the dogs came back. Soon I started leaving with different people and coming back. I realized I was something called a “Flex Pet”. It was a doggie rental agency, I was once again a “prisoner for-profit” UGH! I hated being a flex pet, I was sooooo nervous and couldn’t adjust. I was found to be “unsuitable” for the program and was to be euthanized.

A lovely couple that had been renting me and taking me to their shore house for weekends adopted me to save my life. They took me to their luxury Manhattan apartment. For the first time in my life, I had my own people and they loved me! The downside is they had another dog, a Doxie that bullied me and beat me up every day that my Mom & Dad were gone to work. I lived on West 57th St, the city noise was constant, the sirens, the crowded streets, the elevator in our building with strange people popping out of it…it was more than I could take, I became so scared of everything and everyone. Mom & Dad took me to a wonderful doggie psychologist that worked with me and put me on anti-anxiety meds, I was diagnosed as agoraphobic (afraid of the outside) but it was so much more than that.

My health quickly declined, I was rushed to the Emergency Vet, I was having something called an “Addisonian Crisis”, I almost died. Addison’s Disease is when your adrenal glands don’t function correctly and don’t release stress hormones. In short, I can’t handle stress! After a stay in ICU, I went home with my Mom & Dad, I was put on Prednisone and was getting a monthly shot of Percorten for my Addison’s and continued on my sedatives and anti-anxiety meds. As time went on Mom & Dad realized that I was never going to be able to relax and be healthy living in the city, especially with my nemesis the nasty Doxie. In May of 2009 Mom & Dad made the heartbreaking decision to give me to rescue. Mom called a few small dog rescues but nobody would take me. Mom called Westie Rescue of New England, they said they would be happy to take me and find a wonderful forever home for me to call my own. Mom & Dad drove me to MA to my foster home in the country. When I arrived it was a nice place but it was scary for me, there were two resident Westies, Zoey & Miss Kate, two young boys that were happy to see me and of course my foster Mom & Dad who told me it was all going to be ok.

I was super nervous but as time went on I started to come out of my very tight shell, I liked to sit with my people and always come running when its time to eat. I found out what it was like to stand in the grass, here I could be outside in my fenced in yard with no scary sirens or crowds of people. I went from NYC to a town that doesn’t even have a traffic light, life in the country is for me!

I have a team of vets both traditional and alternative that helps me stay strong and healthy. After a year of monthly blood work, it was determined that my Addison’s Disease was stable – such a relief! My foster Mom thought perhaps I was ready to find my forever home. My foster home is a bit hectic at times, the kids have friends over, lots of big family dinners, revolving door of short term and long term foster furkids like me and Dad even plays in a band. Mom thought a quieter home would be more my preference so after much thought I was placed on a trial basis in a home with a new Mom, her Westie had died and she was so happy to take me home, I jumped into her fancy convertible car and zoomed off without looking back. Her dog had lived many years with a heart condition so my Addison’s was not so alarming to her (most qualified adopters would not even consider me because of the life long meds and big expense). It was just the two of us in a beautiful home by the beach, I had cozy dog beds all over the house and my new Mom’s undivided attention, we were two peas in a pod.

My foster mom thought this was the perfect placement and I was not too far away so I could still be closely monitored. Well, it wasn’t long before I became very ill, I went into an Addisonian crisis and almost died. The emergency vet said I should be euthanized because I was unstable and would never stay stable. My crisis almost wiped out Westie Rescue of New England, almost every dollar they had went to save my life. It was obvious that the stress of the relocation was more that I could handle, the stress was too much and almost killed me. That’s when my foster family came to take me home, back to the house in the country. Mom arranged for me to speak to a gifted pet communicator, I told them that I didn’t ever want to leave my family or the house in the country, that I loved being part of the pack with Zoey and Miss Kate (even though she was a bossy old diva with ample Westitude), I loved the routine and didn’t ever want to live anywhere else. I didn’t need to find a home I was already home, I’m safe here, this is my family, they love me and I love them. That is the day I became a forever foster for Westie Rescue of New England. That was over three years ago and I continue to thrive. My Addison’s Disease is well controlled. I am still a nervous little man but live a happy life in the organized chaos that is my chosen forever home. I will be celebrating my 8th birthday next month. Mom says we all end up exactly where we belong, I know that is the truth!!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you WestieMed for your tremendous support!

Our gratitude is beyond words!

Westie Wags,
Mac & Westie Rescue of New England

Barney - WestieMed Grant Recipient June 2012


Barney first came to the attention of Westie Rescue for the San Francisco Bay West Highland White Terrier club on October 8, 2011.  His owner’s son emailed me about Barney after being referred to me from the Orange County California Rescue organization.  He said that his Dad was not feeling well and his Mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and they needed a place for Barney, a five-year-old male with Addison’s disease.  When I told him we would be happy to find a new home for Barney, he indicated that his Dad was not ready yet but wanted a place to be found so he would know he could surrender him when he could no longer care for him

Two and half months passed and Barney’s owner’s health suddenly deteriorated and we were told that Barney was boarded in a veterinary hospital in Napa, California.  I started the process of finding a home for him and decided on the application submitted by Nancy Hacker.   Nancy is a single woman living in Hayward, CA who had lost her male Westie Max at age seventeen and was seeking a new playmate for her girl Meghan, a nine-year-old Westie.  Like many Westie owners, Nancy thinks two is better than one and Meghan was lonely.

I spoke to Nancy about Barney and she did not know anything about Addison’s disease so I sent some links to her with information.   I also provided the care instructions given by Barney’s owner.  She was concerned about the cost but thought his photo was adorable and his age was perfect.   I learned that Barney was at the Napa vet on December 22nd through a call from the owner’s son who told me that his Dad wanted Barney to be in his new home by Christmas Day.   Nancy was eager to celebrate the holiday with her new boy so I picked him up on the 23rd and took him to her home.   She has a lovely cul-de-sac home with appropriate fencing including a second fence around her pool.  I was walking Barney when she pulled up and jumped out of her car and said: “Is that my Barney?”   We took him inside to meet his new sister Meghan and off they went as they joined in a merry round of Westie play chases.  Meghan showed Barney around the house and the yard and he decided this would be a great forever home.

Later on, when Meghan and Barney joined Nancy’s son and his dog on walks they noticed a limp in Barney’s back left leg.  She took him to the vet at Rescue expense and was told he might have to have surgery soon.  Last month, he stopped putting down the leg to walk and was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.  She was very concerned with the financial implications so we applied to WestieMed for assistance with his surgery.  We were delighted to hear that funding was approved by the WestieMed Board!

Barney had his surgery June 14th and indeed the ligament was found to be completely torn.  The orthopedic surgeon at VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, Dr. Courtney Ikuta, performed his surgery and the hospital gave us a courtesy discount.  Nancy and Barney and I are forever grateful to WestieMed for helping our Rescue in need!

Mary Young
Rescue Chair, SFBWHWTC

Update January 29, 2013

Barney - WestieMed Grant Recipient June 2012
Barney – WestieMed Grant Recipient

We are so appreciative of your assistance with Barney’s ACL surgery.

He is doing really well and I have a great photo for you. I knew immediately what to send you.

He and his new sister Meghan were in our Parade of Rescues held by the club on November 3, 2012 and I have a photo of him and owner and his sis for you.

He is walking absolutely normally. He is also an Addison’s dog (I had one of those too) and the meds are so expensive so WestieMed really came to our Rescue in a big way.

Below is the story Barney’s new Mom wrote for the Parade which is really sweet. She is a fabulous Westie Mom!

“I walk proudly with my wonderful boy Barney.  My Westie girl Meghan and I lost my Max at seventeen years old. Our lives felt empty and lonely. Then Barney came into our lives last Christmas-I rediscovered what real love is! Here is his story: his owner was 87 years old and went to a nursing home. Barney was not allowed to accompany him there, and their hearts were broken. Mary called me and said–his Dad wants him to have a home for Christmas. That was a yes from me! When I arrived home on December 2nd,  I saw Mary walking with three Westies and their wagging tails–one was Barney!  He came home for the Holidays to a family of love. I immediately had him pose with Meghan in Santa and reindeer outfits for my annual Christmas card!  We played and hugged each other for hours!  Since that day, his existing Addison’s disease has stayed under control and he had ACL surgery on his leg.  Barney is back to catching toys in midair and doing all his tricks again. We share a bond of love!  He has been a perfect gift since I first saw his caring eyes and felt his wonderful heart.  He and Meghan are the loves of my life. Barney-I love you so much! Love,  MOM”

Thanks again for your most generous contribution to this sweet boy’s future health.

Mary Young
Rescue Chair

Update June 11, 2013

Barney - WestieMed Grant Recipient June 2012
Barney – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Barney is doing very well after his ACL surgery eleven months ago.  We had our 2013 Parade of Rescues on April 27th and he marched again with his sister Meghan.  No evidence of any lasting effect of the ACL tear and his owner was very diligent with his rehab.  I will cut and paste his story here from the Parade and include a photo of him from the collection taken at the event.

His owner is forever grateful to WestieMed for covering his surgery as is our Rescue for the SF Bay Westie Club.  Here is Nancy Hacker’s story:

Barney and Meghan – my Westies!  What can I say that explains how I love them and just how wonderful they are?  Barney is my adopted boy from Mary at Westie Rescue on Christmas, 2011.  We have visited Barney’s previous Dad at the nursing home.  They have been such wonderful visits for Gene and Barney.  Barney catches his toy in mid-air 10-15 times and everyone applauds him!  His Addison’s shots continue to be keeping him healthy.  We love him, and he says he loves us!

I hope this does the update for you!  I usually do not allow adopters and surrenderers to meet up but made an exception for Barney since his owner was unable to keep him in the home he was in.  He actually changed nursing homes to be closer to Barney so they could visit.  Guess you could say Barney is a therapy dog!

Thanks again for helping Barney!!

Mary Young
Rescue Chair

Robbie - WestieMed Recipient


Buddy came to us from the Hobart animal shelter, a little abused from the previous owner, with yet a pleasant disposition. Opening our home again to such a wonderful animal, I knew another adventure would begin as we hunted for that forever home.

During that week Buddy came into our lives we were leaving for vacation and quickly had to find a temporary place until our return about one week later during President’s weekend.

A dear friend of mine helped us. Her willingness to share Buddy with her family until our arrival back put a relief to us all.

After a day of unsettled confusion and yet another transfer to another home, Buddy’s personality changed. A  loss of appetite and a general sadness overcame him. 

With us in Florida, Bette contacted me not knowing what his problem was tried to search for some answers knowing Buddy’s condition was drastically changing. At one point he hadn’t eaten in two days, so force-feeding was a temporary remedy that pulled him out of danger until Bette was able to drive through a snowstorm to get Buddy to the Vet Clinic.  With a twenty-minute drive on a normal day, Buddy’s emergency attention was two hours later. His life had been saved. Buddy’s condition was diagnosed as Addison’s Disease.  With the proper monthly dosage, his life will continue as a normal dog and will be happy for the rest of his life.

Update May 13, 2008

I just wanted to give you an update on Buddy’s condition.  Once again thank you for your support through Westie Med in providing Buddy assistance on his health condition.

He has been improving very nicely and is just about his normal self.  We are controlling his medication and weight, so the medication does not increase.  I see a full recovery in the next two months.  I have attempted to find a new home for him, but because of his condition and medical costs for the rest of his life, we find it difficult to place him.  He will probably become part of the family.  We have grown to care for him and also working out some of his anger issues from past owners. Poor thing.

I often get very attached to my rescues, so parting with them is difficult  I guess we all share the love for these wonderful dogs.

Thanks again for all you do and hope someday we will meet.

Best Wishes! 
Denise – NW Indiana Westie Rescue Denise Sunkel

Update March 30, 2010

I would like to give you an update on Buddy.  I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate what this organization does for Westies, and because of that Buddy is living a much happier life.

When Buddy came into foster, he came with many anger issues that developed over a short period.  Because of his aggression, he was not able to be placed into a home because of his unexpected biting and unpredictable behaviors. I knew that he had been abused and would not trust anyone.  As time passed my mother stepped in to see if any changes would happen with a single owner and no small children.  Not only did his anger make it difficult to place him, but medical issues were also of concern.  He was later diagnosed with Addison’s disease.

Buddy today is still with Mom, and still having the anger issues but at a lesser level. Medication is holding for the time being. If it wasn’t for WestieMed I would think Buddy would not be here and probably put down. He is getting older and developing more medical problems, but we will deal with those as they come. I want to thank WestieMed for all your support for Buddy and for giving  him a chance.

With warmest thanks!
Denise Sunkel

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient


December 2007: 

Hello everyone. My name is Chloe and this is my story. Compared to a lot of the other Westies that you are reading about on the WestieMed website, my story is not very terrible. I spent the first 5 years of my life in a home with a family who loved me and took care of me – not one of those horrible puppy mills places. 

My story is not all happy though. One day, something very sad happened in my family, and they could no longer take care of me. They took me to a place called a shelter. I was there for a while, and I did not like it there. It was hard to find a home for me because you see; I have something called Addison’s disease. I don’t know what that means, but I know that I get sick kind of easy. I’ve had it since I was a little puppy, and although I am doing well now, I was sick for a lot of my life, and I guess a lot of people don’t want to have to deal with a doggy like me who needs special care. I got lucky again though because the people from the Westie Rescue found me in the shelter. They came and rescued me and I lived for a little while with a foster family who was very nice and took good care of me.

One day my foster Mommy told me that some nice people had seen my picture on the Westie Rescue website and they had read my story. Those people thought I was adorable and were not afraid of my special needs and wanted me to come and live with them and have a forever home. We went on a car ride and met my new Mommy and Daddy, and I got to go home with them that very day!! I was a little scared, but I sat in my Mommy’s lap and she petted me and talked to me and pretty soon I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I was in my forever home.

I love my forever home. When it’s warm outside, I go out with Daddy and help him in the yard, and I love to greet everybody who walks by. There are lots of nice dogs in my neighborhood, but Jack is my favorite one. Daddy says he’s my boyfriend. I don’t know what that means, but I really get excited when Jack walks by with his Mommy and Daddy. I LOVE my toys and have a big basket full of them. I don’t like them in the basket, though, I prefer them scattered all over the house! Mommy and I play a game – she picks them up and puts them in the basket, and quick as I can, I go get them and scatter them all over the house again! I think it’s more fun than Mommy does, but she doesn’t get mad at me.

We’ve had a few struggles with my Addison’s disease, and are very grateful to the WestieMeds people for helping us. You see, I need very special care. I have to get a shot each month (ouch!) and I have to take pills to make sure I don’t get sick. Mommy and Daddy took me to a vet nearby, but it didn’t work out so well. He didn’t know a lot about my disease and he changed my medicine. Well, I ended up getting really, really sick and I almost died. I had to stay in the hospital for a few days while they got me feeling better, and it was very expensive. Things got much better after that though, because Mom and Dad found a new vet who really likes me a lot and she fixed my medicine and has me feeling great!! She even studied about Addison’s disease and contacted some other vets to find out the best way to take care of me. I like her, and I’m doing much better now.

Mommy and Daddy say that I’m a “princess”. I think that means I’m spoiled, but Mommy says I deserve to be spoiled because I’m so wonderful and I’ve been through so much. For Christmas this year, I went to the salon and got a pretty new haircut and we went visiting family all over. I even got my very own stocking with toys and treats inside! I love Christmas!! I was a good girl (mostly), and got to meet lots of other dogs in our family. I love to go on car rides and meet new people, but mostly I’m happiest just snuggling on the couch with Mommy and Daddy. Daddy says that I’m his “cuddlebug” because I love to snuggle with him, but I don’t ever let Mommy out of my sight for a minute. She says that I am her little shadow.

Anyway, that’s my story up until now. I hope to have lots more years with my forever family and am so happy that the wonderful rescue people found me and helped me find my forever home.

With love and gratitude,
Chloe, John and Rebecca 

Update June 19, 2008:

I am pleased to report that Chloe is doing great!!  Ever since we got her through her last crisis, and got a new vet, and learned the signs of her medical condition, she is like a new dog.  We have switched her over to the Kumpi dog food, which seems to suit her very well.  As long as she gets her shot on time each month, and we continue with the prednisone therapy, she is doing great.  She does seem to have some ongoing dental problems, but we can deal with those.  She is in need of another cleaning, which is going to be around $200.  The vet told us that some dogs just have worse teeth than others.  Her’s are pretty bad, so she will have another cleaning in a month or so, but she is otherwise healthy.   John and I (and Chloe of course) moved to a new home at the beginning of May.  She LOVES it here!!!  She has a fenced backyard, which is a big relief for us, and it’s full of squirrels and chipmunks and all the neighbor dogs come by to visit.  She has a new friend – Mikey – who is a Chihuahua, and he comes over to play in the yard.  They run around like maniacs until they’re worn out.  There is also another Westie right across the street.  Her name is Roxie, and they like each other a lot.    I will send some pictures soon.   Thanks for checking up on our girl.  We love her to pieces!!!   

Love, John & Rebecca (& Chloe)  

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient
Chloe – WestieMed Recipient

Update January 20, 2010:

Chloe was abandoned by her family because she suffers from Addison’s disease. In the beginning, her disease seemed to be difficult, and at one point we nearly lost her due to a vet who did not treat her disease properly. Her “new” vet, Dr. Stopfer, spent time researching her disease and learning how to treat her, and for the last year or more, she has been stable and healthy, and happy due to proper care. Her monthly regimen is a little costly, but she is such a love, she is totally worth it. Seeing her happy little face and bright eyes is a joy every day. She loves to run around in her yard, tormenting the neighborhood squirrels, and is friends with all the neighborhood dogs, including two other Westies who come over to play. Over time, we have learned how to recognize when she is not feeling well, and the know-how to medicate her to keep her stable. Thanks to WestieMed for getting her through the crisis that nearly took her from us a year and a half ago.

She is a pampered and loved little girl and a success story for your organization. If I can ever be of any help to the WestieMed organization, please call on me.

Blessings, Rebecca Pigeon

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient

Update August 4, 2010:

I need to notify you that Chloe passed away today. 

I am still in shock, as she seemed fine this morning, but when I returned home from work she was curled up in her bed and she was gone. 

I can’t stop crying; I’m not ready to let her go.

Rebecca Pigeon


September 2005:

Misty is eight years old and was owner surrendered to Westie Rescue/Austin when her former family felt they could no longer deal with her medical needs since she is an Addison’s disease dog. She was not receiving her medication on a regular basis and would “crash” before they remembered to get her back to her vet for her next shot. The costs of her shots were more than they wanted to absorb, too.

So the family contacted Laura in Shreveport (Louisiana Westie Rescue) asking for help. Laura was full, so she put out a request for a new rescue/foster home for Misty and the Austin, Texas, Westie Rescue program had space for Misty and a foster home that already has another Addison’s Disease Westie!! Misty had the perfect foster home just waiting for her.

A transport network of eight volunteers brought Misty from New Orleans, on Saturday, the 27th of August, just ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, to her new foster home in Austin, Texas. Misty arrived weary but ready for her new adventure.

Westie Rescue/Austin turned to WestieMed for help and assistance with Misty’s medical situation, and WestieMed has been wonderful to underwrite Misty’s health care as she is being treated and monitored for a stabilizing condition. Misty’s prognosis is positive.

Misty has now been evaluated by her new vet and is on a regular maintenance regime that will keep her at her peak of energy. Misty and her new foster sister, Nessie, are having the times of their lives playing together, under the watchful eye of Nessie’s mom, Linda. Soon Misty will be ready for a new forever home.

Update, March 2006:

Dear WestieMed,

I wanted to give you an update on Misty. I adopted her and she is doing great!! She adapted instantly to her new name, Christie.

Christie’s new Vet insisted on examining her the first day here and planned Addison’s treatment and appointments. Before Christie got her first scheduled shot, she began to crash and was rushed to the Vet. They acquired the Percorten injection from an emergency clinic and monitored her all day. Since October, Christie has been successfully treated for serious bladder and ear infections, cysts on her head, and Addison’s disease is under control. The Vet calls me regularly to remind me of appointments and just to check to see that all is well. The Vet’s being so talented, thorough, caring, and five minutes away has been the best I could hope for my new girl!! They have also given me a discount on Christie’s treatment because she was a Katrina dog. 

As her medical condition has improved, Christie has become more and more playful, affectionate, and beautiful- her hair is thicker, softer, and whiter. And Christie is closer with my other three dogs- her two Westie sisters, Gracie and Maggie, and brother Nicholas. As of March 1st, Christie is very happy and loved!!!

Thank you so much, WestieMed and all of the people that came through for this wonderful girl!!!


Misty - WestieMed Recipient

Update March 13, 2011:

I adopted Misty in 2005 after her rescue from New Orleans and WestieMed’s care. Very, very sadly my Christie (Misty) died in December.  I am grateful for the time that I had with her.  She was very special and handled her Addisons, ACL surgery, cancer, and other medical problems with the best attitude and gave back every day. Thanks again for the care you gave her before I adopted her.


Shelby - WestieMed Recipient


March 2005:

I am a one-year-old spunky little fellow, although I kinda hit a brick wall for my early years. You see, I was just recently in the hospital and they told me I have this Addison’s disease. I was bummed to say the least, but at that time, at least I was being taken care of by some really wonderful folks at Pet Pavilion emergency in Olympia Washington.

It all started when I was only 8 months old. Up until that time I was growing like a weed, eating everything in sight and having a grand old time exploring the world from my puppy point of view. I started to get more tired every day and just didn’t feel like my old puppy self. I didn’t want to play with my good pal- a twelve-year-old Scottie named Emma- she had actually been my mom as I was growing up. I just didn’t understand- especially when I started not feeling hungry, then I started vomiting even though I hadn’t eaten anything. Plus I started shaking like I was cold and getting very wobbly on my puppy legs. Not at all like my old self.

My then mom and family took me into my Doc, who said he couldn’t find anything wrong and sent me home again. Well about a week later the same thing happened although this time it was worse- I was not eating at all and shaking and sleeping a whole lot. I didn’t even feel like playing at all.

At the end of February- things got really bad, I just couldn’t make it anymore- my tremors had gotten really bad, I was not eating anything so I had lost almost half my weight and I was a really sick fellow. My then family decided I had to go to the emergency room. Boy, I was glad they took me in, ’cause the Docs took one look at me and threw me on some IV Fluids. I was in shock and my heart was not functioning properly. I was so weak I couldn’t even stand anymore, and I couldn’t stop shaking.

Those nice folks kept me alive with the fluids and started giving me all these tests. They were smart Docs- they figured out right away that I probably had something they kept calling “Addison’s” I wasn’t sure what they were talking about since I was sleeping a whole bunch and felt really, really horrible. The Docs at the emergency room told my then family I was really sick and would need care for the rest of my doggie life. They were really upset. My then family really loved me but had a new baby, a new house, and lots of expenses so they would have a hard time affording my medicines and care. The emergency room bills were a lot anyway, plus having to give me medications. 

But they were really upset and wanted to find me a good forever home, so they called the Westie rescue foundation to see if there was anybody who could take me instead of having to put me to sleep. I was sleeping a lot, but that kind of sleep was different. The Westie rescue folks knew of this nice lady named Anne who had been looking for another Westie to adopt to be a companion to her then “big brother” Westie Macduff, who is two years old. She got a call at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26th, the lady at Westie Rescue of Missouri and Illinois who told her my story and asked her if she wanted to adopt me.

Well, my new forever mom is a Vet Tech, so she knew right away how serious my condition was and what kind of care I would need. But she was not afraid of my being sick, so she called the hospital and my family right away to make arrangements to come and pick me up and adopt me. She knew I would need to be closely monitored because my family had to take me out of the emergency care facility sooner than I should have because they couldn’t afford it. My new forever mom knew I was still a pretty sick boy. She arranged to drive an hour and a half down to Tacoma from her home in Carnation to pick me up on Sunday the 27th of February. I met her on Sunday and immediately crawled into her lap; I knew she was a good forever mom right away.

I didn’t meet my new big brother MacDuff until I got to my new home. My new home is on a beautiful lake that faces these big mountains. We have a big yard that goes down to the water, which I love to play in.

My new forever mom kept me really quiet and let me rest in my Crate for the first few days. I had my first Doc appointment after she got the final results from the ACTH tests done at the emergency clinic. They knew then that I had this Addison’s thing. Well, my new forever mom knows about all that stuff, so she made appointments with her Vets and took me in right away to get me started on my maintenance meds. I am now on those, I take Flurocortisone Acetate tablets and Prednisone. Big names for such a little guy! I am eating like a horse, my mom is trying to put my weight back on so she is giving me roasted chicken meat with my dinner every night and boy do I go crazy for that!

I know I look kinda scrawny here- but I have gained four pounds since the above picture was taken!

I get to go for a hike every day and now that I can run again, it feels so good to have a big brother to chase and show me the ropes! I was an indoor dog before, so the woods are new and there is all kind of smells which are new to me.

My new forever mom had a time of it through the first two weeks. The meds made me go outside every half an hour for the first week. I had a lot of accidents. But mom was patient with me because she knew I couldn’t control it until my muscles got stronger again. Then it slowed down to every hour-even at night, so we didn’t get much rest. But now I can sleep through the night, and I quit shaking finally so my legs are getting stronger every day.

My new forever mom is really strict about making me take my medicine on time every day, but I know it is making me feel better, so I do it for her. She is letting me sleep on the bed now with big Brother MacDuff and I feel really, really lucky to have found this new forever home and be getting my strength back!

I am still not out of the woods yet though and my forever mom thinks I may have something wrong with my left back leg,,,,,,but she tells me just to take one day at a time and we’ll get there!

Shelby - WestieMed Recipient
Shelby – WestieMed Recipient

I know it will still take a few months before I feel completely like my old self- but I trust my new forever mom, she really knows how to take care of me! And my new Big Brother is so nice and patient with me- even when I steal his food or toys. Here’s a picture of me with my Big brother MacDuff on the left- he is letting me share his favorite chair with him!

So thanks WestieMed for finding me my new forever Mom and big brother! I am one lucky Westie dog!


Update May 2005: 

Well hello all you Westie lovers!

Shelby’s my name and getting’ healthy is my game!

I have been living with my new family, Mom, older brother Mac Duff and a really BIG cat named Comet (who I like to hassle a lot) for about four months now! I was rescued and kept alive from certain mortality at the beginning of February 2005, after I was in the hospital and diagnosed with life-threatening Addison’s disease. Since then my Mom and my great Doc, Dr. Longley have been taking really great care of me and monitoring my electrolyte balance, and increasing my meds three times! My Ratio of Sodium to Potassium is now at about thirty, which is a really HUGE improvement! And WestieMed is helping my mom out with my treatments!

My life is so great now- I get to go out and run and hike every day. Now I can even out-run my older brother Mac Duff and boy, does that make me feel good! My muscles are really starting to come in and fill out. And my hair is growing back thick and healthy. When I was really sick before I was rescued, my muscles had atrophied so badly I could hardly stand, and my hair was falling out all over the place! And you know what- since I am getting calcium in my body now- my bones have grown and I have gotten bigger! Mom has also been feeding me cooked chicken as a diet supplement and BOY do I LOVE chicken!

Shelby - WestieMed Recipient
Shelby – WestieMed Recipient

Here are some updated pics so you can see how handsome I am and how well I am doing. 

Pretty soon I will he hairier and bigger than Mac Duff! I am happy ’cause I am really starting to enjoy life, and not being sick all the time is really, really great! Here’s a picture of me and big bother Duff. I’m the guy on the right. I think I am starting to look more like a Westie–right? 

Shelby - WestieMed Recipient
Shelby – WestieMed Recipient

And here’s one of me smellin’ the chicken dinner cooking! See the hair re-growing in on my legs–and LOOK how big my paws are! What more could a Westie want–right!

Thanks again WestieMed- it is so great to feel healthy again!


Update November 15, 2019:

It is with a very sad heart I am writing this final chapter to Shelby’s story. He sadly left me and went over the Rainbow Bridge last Friday, November 8th, 2019.

Shelby not only survived and lived well his whole life with his Addison’s disease, but he also BEAT cancer! He has diagnosed in 2015 with Stage five Lymphoma, went through Chemo, and was also given the new monoclonal antibody treatments for lymphoma. He was still in remission when he passed away.

He was a force to be reckoned with.

He had such a “Joi de Vivre”! He was a wonderful, happy go lucky fellow who LOVED to chase chipmunks with his big brother Duff, who sadly preceded him.

But he just couldn’t beat the Monster KIDNEY failure. He gave it his all, was such a joy in my life and he will always be loved and missed every day of my life.

Thank you WestieMed for bringing this loving, wonderful boy into our lives and for all the help and wonderful years you all made possible for us to enjoy together. 

Austin - WestieMed Recipient


January 2005:

Austin was in essence abandoned at my home. I had originally volunteered to baby-sit Austin over the Thanksgiving holiday, 2004, while his owners went out of town to relatives for the holiday. 

Austin is seven years old and he has Addison’s disease. He came to my home in an emaciated condition. Every bone in his body was protruding, and his head was sunken in the space above his eyes and between his ears. The rear half of his body was primarily pink and black skin. The hair that was left in his rear quarters was mostly a dark red color. His family told me they were going to have him put to sleep that day (Wednesday the 23rd even though they had arranged for me to sit for him), but Austin’s eleven-year-old boy had been so devastated for weeks about it that they decided to put it off until they returned. 

It was a very difficult weekend for me simply because Holidays can be that way and I was caring for a sick dog. We already have three dogs in our house, and I was looking forward to Austin’s family’s return.

But…Austin the Westie was such a sweet boy and being the soft heart for all animals, I vowed to put some meat on his bones before he had to go home. Could I do it in four days? I cooked fresh chicken (two Chickens) and Rice to feed to him, and enough to send home with him. It was my goal to make him look and feel better so his family would keep him for his boy’s sake. Austin ate not only chicken and rice but the dog food that I give my own dogs ate. He ate as if he couldn’t get enough. I bathed him, removed his fleas, and clipped his nails that were so long that they clicked loudly on the wood floors. 

He was taking Prednisone and drank an extreme amount of water. I truly think it was coming out faster than his body could put it to any use at all. So this meant at least three trips outside during the night, and I had to go with him because he would just look at me when I opened the door. Maybe because he was used to being attached to a leash to go out. He had many accidents in the house during his first few days.

Saturday morning after Thanksgiving, and the day before Austin was to leave, his family called and said they had gotten a new puppy for Austin’s boy. I knew in my heart what this meant for Austin…that he had been replaced. Instantly I was saddened and I told my husband that I couldn’t let Austin get put to sleep during the holidays. I knew that Austin’s eleven-year-old boy’s heart would be broken. I had begun to fall in love with Austin and my heart was broken too as soon as I knew he had been replaced. They returned on Sunday to pick up Austin. His boy started crying as soon as he walked in the door and saw Austin. His mother told me she was having him put to sleep the next day because of his health and the expenses. By this time, even though Austin still looked very sick, his temperament had improved drastically. He had become friendlier with my dogs and bounced around like he wasn’t sick. I knew I could improve his health and his looks. It only required my patience, love, consistent medication, good food, and basic care.

The additional veterinary expenses, additional to my other pets, were a primary worry. At this point, I started looking into Addison’s Disease for symptoms and if there were any alternative care to the steroids the disease required. Then I started searching for places where I could buy the medicines he required. I didn’t come up with anything reasonable. Austin ran out of medication within maybe two weeks after his arrival. He went into an adrenal crisis. He shook constantly and wouldn’t eat or drink. His family said he wouldn’t be issued another prescription without blood work and the prescription was quite expensive for my family to deal with. I called his vet and talked her into one more prescription without all the blood work, and she conceded since he was in a crisis. She said that this was “the last one” she would issue without blood work. His crisis lasted about three days. It was crazy! I found myself on the floor pretending I was lapping water, dipping my finger in and placing drops in his mouth to get him to take a lick of it. I coaxed him with primarily cooked chicken for food. He took in enough to get him through this bad time. Fortunately, he had added a little weight before this happened. He lost most of what he had gained previously, during this crisis. Slowly he became himself again. I continued to love and give Austin the care he desperately needed and continued to search the Internet for possible help. 

I came across WestieMed, and I applied for help for Austin. By this time, I had around 6 days of medication left. WestieMed responded very quickly and, though, in a professional manner, you could tell they actually cared. Arrangements were made, and Austin was taken to the vet on a Monday. He would have run out of his medication that Wednesday, and I was faced with having him euthanized myself due to the medical expenses he required. In trying to help, I had put myself and Austin in this situation again. By this time Austin had become our wild, wild Westie. He was so loving, active, and playful. It broke my heart even more.

WestieMed came through and Austin’s life was saved for another time.

Austin is still at my home today, almost exactly two months later. He has gotten most of his hair back and actually had gained almost six pounds by the time he got his veterinary visit. Little did I know that he had only weighed eleven pounds (according to his vet records) and maybe a little less. He was feather-light. Now he weighs almost seventeen pounds. His ears are even starting to get a little fuzzy. He’s starting to look like a healthy, happy Westie.

Due to his constant veterinary bills, and even though he has become part of my family, it is for Austin’s sake that I need to give my iddy biddy Westie to Westie Rescue. They will maintain his health and find an adoptive home for him with someone who can afford to take care of his health needs. I am learning about these rescue services and didn’t know they existed. I am confident they will ensure Austin has a secure loving home. He will be leaving us tomorrow for Michigan, pending the weather coming into our area tonight.

Attached is a picture of Austin with my son. This is a day or two after I applied for WestieMed help for Austin.

Thank You WestieMed and Michigan Westie Rescue.

Linda Brown

Austin - WestieMed Recipient
Austin March 2005 – WestieMed Recipient

Update, April 2005: 

Austin has been adopted and now lives in a home with two other Westies (one who also had Addison’s) and two kitties. He is doing very well.

Austin - WestieMed Recipient
Austin – WestieMed Recipient

Update, May 9, 2005:

This is an update on Scoorie (formerly known as Austin to you). He is doing quite well and has even had the experience of being groomed (see attached picture) and who would have thought that possible seeing his previous picture. He has two westie companions, Misty and Keddy and though he is the oldest, he keeps them going. Thanks so much for the wonderful assistance you provided him. He is truly a pleasure.

Sincerely, Pam

Update, July 2005:

Scoorie is doing just fine. He has adjusted well to sharing my attention with two other westies who preceded him. My interest in Scoorie was due to my original westie having Addison’s disease and I felt I could handle another dog and why not one with Addison’s? His AD is well controlled with monthly injections and daily meds. His coat is just wonderful, he has been groomed twice since coming to me in March. No signs of allergies, fleas, etc.

Your organization has my sincere thanks for what you did for Scoorie. He is a delightful companion, always following me around every time I move. If I can ever be of help to your organization (and I hope to be able to send monies) please let me know. I firmly believe in rescue, having taken Scoorie, and also believe that dogs with problems can become wonderful pets with the right placement. 

Sincerely, Pam

Romie - WestieMed Recipient February 2001


Romie, now eight  months old, was rescued from a woman in Washington state who claimed she was going to put her two-month-old puppy to sleep because she could not find him a home. When rescued, it was apparent that Romie was very sick.

The vet ultimately diagnosed giardia, then it was treated, and cured. Things were going great until six months later, or this January, he lost his appetite greatly. He was very tired, lethargic, he constantly vomited, and had the shakes. Anything he tried to eat or drink was thrown up. Even if he did not eat or drink, he would throw up bile and acid. He would hide under the bed or in the corner. He was also dehydrated and depressed. Due to his constant nausea, he eventually refused to eat or drink anymore.

He was taken back to the vet with the thought that maybe he swallowed a foreign object. Blood work and x-rays were taken. There were no indications of any foreign objects. He was also hospitalized overnight a couple of times, given antispasmotic injections and such. Nothing was working. Then an exploratory laparotomy was done. They found an enlarged fatty tissue located slightly behind the stomach and near the entrance of the small intestine. It was still unknown if that was what the problem was. He was hospitalized for one week and was on fluid therapy. He came out and seemed fine for about a week and was given special canned food. He was still very lethargic. Then he started to throw up constantly once again. He also refused to eat. Once again, he was given injections that did nothing. A second doctor looked at him and recommended him getting tested for Addison’s Disease.

The results came in and sure enough, Romie was suffering from hypoadrenocortism (Addison’s Disease).

Meanwhile, Romie lost six pounds from an original twenty-one.

Romie’s vet bills, along with the required monthly medication, are very costly. WestieMed is glad to have been able to help defray some of those costs.

Romie - WestieMed Recipient


February 2001:

Romie, now eight months old, was rescued from a woman in Washington state who claimed she was going to put her two-month-old puppy to sleep because she could not find him a home. When rescued, it was apparent that Romie was very sick.

The vet ultimately diagnosed giardia, then it was treated, and cured. Things were going great until six months later, or this January, he lost his appetite greatly. He was very tired, lethargic, he constantly vomited, and had the shakes. Anything he tried to eat or drink was thrown up. Even if he did not eat or drink, he would throw up bile and acid. He would hide under the bed or in the corner. He was also dehydrated and depressed. Due to his constant nausea, he eventually refused to eat or drink anymore.

He was taken back to the vet with the thought that maybe he swallowed a foreign object. Blood work and x-rays were taken. There were no indications of any foreign objects. He was also hospitalized overnight a couple of times, given antispasmotic injections and such. Nothing was working. Then an exploratory laparotomy was done. They found an enlarged fatty tissue located slightly behind the stomach and near the entrance of the small intestine. It was still unknown if that was what the problem was. He was hospitalized for one week and was on fluid therapy. He came out and seemed fine for about a week and was given special canned food. He was still very lethargic. Then he started to throw up constantly once again. He also refused to eat. Once again, he was given injections that did nothing. A second doctor looked at him and recommended him getting tested for Addison’s Disease.

The results came in and sure enough, Romie was suffering from hypoadrenocortism (Addison’s Disease).

Meanwhile, Romie lost six pounds from an original twenty-one.

Romie’s vet bills, along with the required monthly medication, are very costly. WestieMed is glad to have been able to help defray some of those costs.