Kenner - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2016


I received a call from another rescuer about a Westie that was in a shelter north of Austin. He was found wandering the streets and nobody came to claim him. I was told that while he was at the shelter there was no interest in him and if a rescue didn’t take him he would be PTS (put to sleep). We agreed to take him, coordinated to meet and I made an appointment for this guy at the vet. When I met up with the other rescuer, she said the shelter hadn’t mentioned anything but she thought he had Kennel Cough.

I had already chosen the name Kenner before meeting this Westie. I was taking Kenner straight from this meetup to the vet appointment previously made. It was about a twenty-minute drive which gave me time to listen to his cough. Within minutes, my instincts told me that this was NOT Kennel Cough but probably Westie Lung Disease (Pulmonary Fibrosis).

Between his unknown length of street time and his cough, Kenner was a pitiful sight when he first came into rescue but he had the sweetest disposition and put up no resistance as the vet checked him over. This was the same vet that had treated a prior Westie of ours with Westie Lung Disease and she agreed with my instincts. Sadly, our instincts were confirmed.

We made the decision that Kenner would be a forever foster of Westie Rescue Austin. He has been with us since October 2012 and doing well with his meds. He gets along great with the other furkids in the house. He monitors all activity in the kitchen and thinks the oven exists only to bake dog treats. He can be sleeping soundly in the bedroom but appears instantly in the kitchen when the kitchen light is turned on. Kenner has never been active but does enjoy being outdoors when weather permits (i.e., not too hot or humid). He doesn’t demand attention and will occasionally sit in my lap for a brief spell (and actually seems to beam with pride). Kenner also suffers from ongoing skin issues and heart disease. Recently it became obvious that he was having some issues and his dogtor confirmed his heart ailments were becoming more progressive and now requiring medication.

Kenner is such a gentle soul but as his dogtor says he is a fighter. Sadly, we know he won’t win this battle against Westie Lung Disease but we will continue to love him, bake him dog treats, and keep him happy.

Linda Duncan
Westie Rescue Austin

Update November 7, 2016

I was hoping to be providing a good news update for Kenner. Sadly, he made his trip to the Rainbow Bridge today (11/7). the dogtor is fairly certain it was not Westie Lung Disease but cancer-based on his bloodwork.

Linda D.

Stewart - WestieMed Grant Recipient October 2013


In April 2013, Stewart (a nine-year-old male Westie) was found huddled in the corner of an outside apartment storage closet. The tenant of the apartment had terminated his lease three days earlier abandoning the westie. Stewart was filthy and it was initially thought his collar was embedded in his neck; however, his collar was entangled with the mats of fur covering his body. The closet was littered with his feces. The only sign that there had been a human providing the minimal care/shelter for Stewart was the empty food bowl, small water bowl and wet cardboard box draped by a towel.

Stewart was picked up by the city of Austin Animal Services and taken to the Austin Animal Center on April 10, 2013. The veterinarian that initially examined him at the shelter recommended he be euthanized. Stewart was diagnosed with severe ear infections, severe eye discharge with scarred corneas and possible blindness, severe dental disease/ gingivitis and severe internal parasite infestation.

The individual that abandoned Stewart had told authorities that he found Stewart in a barn late 2010. Since then, there were only two known veterinarian visits – both within the first three months. Stewart’s ears were noted to have infections at the first visit and treatment provided; however, during the second visit (two months later), the ears were still infected but the individual did not want to pay for the ear cytology leaving Stewart’s ears untreated since January 2011.

We had been contacted by another Westie owner that lived in the same apartment complex when Stewart was taken to the Austin Animal Center. She and others that knew Stewart were concerned for his well being. We asked at the Center about Stewart when we were pulling another westie from the Center three days after his intake. We were told of the initial recommendation to euthanize but because it was a weekend day, the coordinator didn’t have the most current info and promised to get back with us.

Approximately thirty days after his arrival at the Center, we were contacted to see if we would be able to take Stewart into our rescue program. The Center provided us with a copy of Stewart’s lab work taken with his initial examination at the Center. We asked our veterinarian to review for her opinion. She told us that the results showed signs of starvation and suggested to ask the Center if they would be willing to do Stewart’s blood work again since he had been in treatment for thirty days. This new blood work did show that Stewart’s body was responding to the treatment; however, the Center still stressed that Stewart might be considered a “hospice” for our rescue.

Meeting Stewart…there was really no hesitation that we had to bring this guy into our rescue and show him the good life regardless of how short-term or long-term. It was still not really known if Stewart had any vision or hearing, but he clearly had the zest for life that westies are famous for. Stewart walked out of the Austin Animal Center holding his head high and enjoying the smell of freedom. Stewart’s past baggage was clearly left in that nasty apartment storage closet.

We took Stewart straight from the Center to our veterinarian clinic for an exam. He was very generous with his kisses (everybody overlooked the odor attributed to his extreme gingivitis) and won the hearts of all the staff at the clinic that met him. We were sent home after Stewart’s initial exam at our veterinarian clinic with a plethora of medicine and a lengthy checklist. Even though Stewart had been receiving treatment for the last thirty days at the Center, his ears were still infected. Initially, it was difficult to determine if the “goop” in both ears were medicine or drainage – sadly, it was drainage. His right ear canal was completely blocked which initiated the discussion of the Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA). His left ear canal was horribly infected with a small opening. His eyes had some crust around them – when tested showed no evidence of tears. Stewart’s skin was dry with flaking and scabs – chronic dermatitis. Stewart was to return in fourteen days for a check on his response to the meds and treatments.

Stewart walked into his foster home without hesitation. We were still trying to determine his vision and hearing status but he was not content to be “sheltered” from the other furkids. Stewart wanted his freedom that he had been denied for so long. We let him out of the dog run and he began to explore the huge backyard. As happens so many other times, it appeared that the other furkids knew Stewart was special and they never challenged him but let him do his own thing. Stewart had the run of the house as well as the big backyard – this boy was not going to be crated or contained again.

At the follow-up visit with the veterinarian, fourteen days after his initial exam with our vet, Stewart’s left ear had shown good improvement. They were able to see inside the left canal at this time but treatment was still needed. The right ear showed no real improvement. His eyes were still crusting so Tacrolimus was prescribed to provide relief. We also learned from the earlier blood work that Stewart was hypothyroid and began Soloxine.

We were referred to Central Texas Veterinary Specialty to get another opinion regarding Stewart’s ears. Again, he kissed his way through this exam. We felt hopeful with the initial comments by Dr. Zacher; however, after her thorough exam in conjunction with the dermatologist, it was agreed that Stewart’s right ear canal was completely blocked and would require surgery. They both said without the surgery that Stewart’s prognosis was guarded and with the Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) surgery his prognosis was good. During the initial month that Stewart had been with us and since, he never exhibited any discomfort because of his ears. Without this surgery, Stewart would be at risk of continued infections in his ear which could result in a ruptured eardrum. Dr. Zacher agreed that it did not appear that there was an urgent need for the TECA so we opted to wait to allow Stewart some time to stabilize his other health issues but also learn to savor his new life.

Now, there is no doubt that Stewart is unable to hear anything. He sleeps through the loud barking of the other furkids when someone walks into the house. Since his arrival, we have determined that he does have some vision but limited. He compensates for his deafness and limited vision with a keen sense of smell. He loves to go outside and explore the backyard. He clearly loves his independence, yet he is content to sit in a lap and give out kisses. Stewart shows no pain even though his teeth are in horrible condition. He has a healthy appetite and enjoys supplementing his diet with carrots, apples, bananas, green beans, strawberries, and homemade chicken liver treats. Our veterinarian has said Stewart will require two sessions for proper cleaning; however, his right ear is a higher priority.

Just six months ago, Stewart was abandoned in a dark closet, scoring a five out of five (with five being the worst) on a Tufts physical care score and a recommendation to be euthanized. Five months ago, Stewart was on seven different medications to clear up various infections and currently he is only on two routine medicines (eye drops and Soloxine). He learned the routine of the foster house quickly and adjusts to days that are not routine. He wakes up each day in freedom and enjoys life. With the help of WestieMed, Stewart will be scheduled for the TECA – eliminating the risk of future emergencies. He is safe, dry and warm – loving life and people!

We are grateful for an organization like WestieMed that provides support for these precious little white furkids. This organization and their support go a long way to help large and small rescues. WestieMed is like a safety-net for so many. Stewart sends a bunch of kisses to all who have made this possible. Thank you just doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.

Linda Duncan
Westie Rescue Austin

Update November 12, 2013

I was able to go by and visit Stewart this afternoon during the visiting hours. He surprised them with his readiness to eat yesterday after his surgery. I took some Cinnamon Apple muffin treats I had made earlier this afternoon for him to enjoy and he did. I wish I had taken more but really wanted to be cautious and not jeopardize his recovery. He doesn’t have any dizziness which is good. He has a short-term nerve side effect with not being able to blink his right eye but they expect that to disappear within two weeks. The nurse told me when I was leaving that if he keeps going as well as he is, he will be coming home tomorrow! Yea! They suggested a Pro-Cone or is it Pro-Collar. The blow-up collar won’t be good for his surgical area. So I will be getting one before I go pick him up tomorrow. Again, we are grateful for the support of WestieMed for Stewart’s surgery. He is just one of many benefiting from this fabulous organization.


Update April 10, 2014

Stewart - WestieMed Grant Recipient October 2013
Stewart – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Stewart continues to thrive. His dogtor was pleased with his smooth recovery and no complications from his TECA (Nov 2013). Stewart had already lost his hearing in both ears prior to this procedure because of the neglect and lack of treatment for his ear infections. We do continue to fight his two other issues – skin and eyes. He gets the prescription eyedrops in both eyes daily along with GenTeal gel. We are giving him medicated baths which help provide relief to his itchy skin. Because of his surgery, he had almost three different lengths of fur all over his body so early February we groomed him giving him a short fur cut. With the unusually cold winter we experienced and his short fur, we had to find him a fleece sweater and discovered that Stewart is a clothes hound! He actually pranced when we put his new hoodie on him!

This month (April) also marks the one year anniversary of Stewart being taken into the Austin Animal Center after being found abandoned in the storage closet at an apartment. Stewart can now decide if he wants to go out and come in! It brings us great joy when we look and Stewart is far off exploring the backyard!

Stewart continues to perfect his two hobbies. One is eating and the other is sleeping! He knows the feeding routine and eagerly goes to his “station” for his food bowl. Stewart is not shy…he is more than happy to thank you with a kiss. Stewart is a happy boy and blends in well with the other furkids.

In the next month or so, we anticipate scheduling Stewart for a dental. His dogtor has said that she anticipates it will take two procedures. We are sure there will be extractions but know that slow Stewart down when he is eating.

Once again, we are grateful for WestieMed’s assistance with Stewart’s TECA but also for their help with all the Westies that need help. If Stewart could give everybody with WestieMed a kiss, he would!

Thank you again!
Linda D/Westie Rescue Austin

Update July 27, 2015

Stewart - WestieMed Grant Recipient October 2013
Stewart – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Stewart continues to do well with no complications from the surgery as expected. He is two years older now. His eyesight has gotten worse but that has not seemed to slow him down. He knows the routines of the house, where his favorite doggy beds are (although he sleeps on my bed at night) and when it is time to eat. We are struggling with his skin this year but Stewart practically sleeps through his medicated baths.

It still amazes us that Stewart is so accepting and loving considering the two years (at least) of neglect and chronic health problems. And we are grateful to the support of WestieMed for Stewart and all the Westies in need.

Linda Duncan
Westie Rescue Austin

Morgan - WestieMed Recipient August 2009


Morgan, age seven years, was surrendered to Westie Rescue of Austin because the family had just been told he was diabetic and would need lifelong care, insulin shots, and careful diet.  With two small children in the family to deal with, the mother felt she could not handle the added stress, so they contacted us and brought him to our program.   We got him to our vet the following Monday and started the insulin injections, working gradually to establish the dosage level most appropriate.

Morgan had dropped from 26 pounds to 19 pounds in the three months before we got him.  He was in serious condition, but with the implementation of the insulin, he responded quickly and became stable.  However, within the first two weeks, he developed cataracts in both eyes and literally went blind over a weekend.  I finally realized what had happened because he kept bumping into me to follow me – he could not see!!

Our vet referred us to an animal ophthalmologist who said Morgan was a good candidate for cataract surgery.  His cataracts were well-formed and should be easy to remove.  But the surgery was going to run approximately $1500 per eye.  A new lens would be inserted to allow for better depth perception and restore his sight to almost normal.

His first cataract, in the left eye, was removed in early June and the change was dramatic!  For the first couple of days, Morgan was not sure that he could really see, but once the eye settled, he was thrilled!  We had to restrain him from jumping for a week, but he did not mind, and the healing went smoothly. 

We are planning on having the other cataract remove in the fall, so he can see again with both eyes and have better depth perception.  Morgan is such a loving and delightful Westie!  He is a big gun but thinks he is still lap-dog size.  He has bonded nicely to his foster family and will make a wonderful companion for a new family.

We are grateful for the assistance that WestieMed is providing so that Morgan can have normal vision again.

Update September 30, 2009

Morgan’s surgery is scheduled for October 16th for the removal of the second cataract, and he should come through with flying colors the vet said.  I will send you another update after he recovers.

Thank you again so very much for WestieMed’s wonderful assistance for Morgan!!

Barbara Ott 
Westie Rescue, Austin

Update March 2, 2010

Morgan is doing fine.  He had his second lens replacement in Oct. and it also was a success.  He can see beautifully.  We had a set back toward the end of the year when we were notified that Vetsulin was no longer available, and that is what he was on.  So we made the transition over to human insulin, went through several more glucose curves until we could establish a level of units that seem to stabilize him.  Now that he is on Humulin N, he actually has better curves than he did on Vetsulin.

Due to his diabetes, he got a few inquiries, but no serious potential adopters, even though his eyes were seeing again, and he was fairly stable on his insulin.  I was also preparing to retire from my day job at the end of December and making plans to move to Tennesse in February.  I felt that sending him to another foster home would be stressful for him, so I decided to bring him with me along with my own two Westies to our new home in Tenn.

Morgan has made the adjustment to our new home very well.  He was confused the first couple of weeks, and would not let me out of his sight.  Now that we have been here a month, he has relaxed and is settling in with our new routines.  I am home nearly all day now, and he still stays close but is content to lie on a doggie bed near me.  My own two Westies have also gone through the same adjustments, and my husband laughs now – he can find me anywhere as there are three little white dogs with their noses pointing to the closed bathroom door……

It looks like Morgan is now a member of our family.  He is happy and playful, and stable on twelve units twice a day.  I am still unpacking boxes, and as soon as I find my camera (it’s in a box somewhere….) I will send you some current photos.

My heartfelt thanks to the assistance we received from WestieMed for Morgan’s care and eye surgery.  He is such a happy Westie and very comfortable with us.  I love him to pieces.

Barb Ott
Retired from Westie Rescue Austin

PS – Westie Rescue/Austin is still alive and well.  One of my foster moms, Linda Duncan, stepped up to take the reins and has been busy rescuing and adopting Westies already.  She is doing a great job. 

Update July 29, 2010

Morgan - WestieMed Recipient August 2009
Morgan – WestieMed Recipient

Morgan is doing great.  He can see about as much as 85% as a normal dog, being restricted only because he cannot focus all that well with his artificial lens in each eye.  But he gets along great and is a happy camper.

I retired from rescue work after the first of the year and we moved from Texas to Tennesse.  During that time Morgan never got any interest in being adopted, primarily due to being diabetic and his age, so we adopted him and he came to Tennesse with our three other dogs, and he has adapted beautifully to his new home, here with us.  He will turn ten on Christmas Day, and I cannot imagine not ever having him as part of our family now.

Morgan’s diabetes is stable and he has regained his lost weight.  He is a sweet, gentle loving Westie, and so eager to please.  He is my shadow, lying at my feet right now as I type and sleeping beside my side of the bed at night.  His eyes have healed beautifully and the new lens has given him back his life.  We are eternally grateful for the help WestieMed gave Morgan toward the huge cost of his cataract surgeries, which came to nearly $3500 with the follow-ups and meds.

I have attached a photo taken of Morgan in our new home in Lawrenceburg, TN.  Isn’t he handsome!!

Barb Ott

Westley - WestieMed Recipient December 2008


Westley, the Westie

Date of birth: 1-15-2008

Westley was left at a vet’s office for boarding, and when the pick-up time arrives, the owner refused to retrieve him, saying he did not want Westley anymore because he was blind.  The vet waited ten more days, and still, the owner did not show, so the vet contacted Westie Rescue of Austin to take him into our program.

While at the vet’s office, Westley did receive a full panel of vaccines, including rabies, and he was neutered.  A grade 3 heart murmur was detected, so when we picked him up we were advised of this added complication, besides the bad eye.

Westley had suffered a serious eye injury to his left eye some time ago when he was a wee pup.  Our eye specialist examined him and said prior “flap” surgery had been done, but it had not been successful, and Westley had no vision at all in that eye.  But his other eye was perfect and he had the full vision with it.  The specialist said the best option was to remove the damaged eye, as glaucoma was developing due to increased ocular pressure and pain was occurring.

We also consulted with a doggie cardiologist, the one who monitored our two previous open-heart patients, and she could not detect the heart murmur, even with a sonogram.  She did say that sometimes the onslaught of the vaccines can induce a transitory murmur and that must have been what happened in Westley’s case.

Westley had his eye removed and the socket stitched closed on Wed. 12/10/08.  He gets the stitches out on 12/19/08 and should be fine after that, with no residual problems.  Since coming back to his foster home after the surgery, you would never know he had anything wrong with him.  He is an active one yr. old Westie, into everything, and loving life in general.

Westley should be very adoptable, once his hair grows back to cover the closed eye.  We are very grateful that WestieMed agreed to help with the costs of surgery. Westley now has a chance for a long and healthy life ahead of him.  Thank you, WestieMed.

Following is a picture of Westley after his eye surgery.  He does look a bit lopsided, but once his hair grows back, we will send more pictures and an update.

Westley - WestieMed Recipient December 2008
Westley – WestieMed Recipient

Barbara Ott Westie Rescue/Austin

Update September 30, 2009

Westley got adopted by a wonderful family, with two children who love him and he loves them.  The father was especially attracted to Westley because as a child he too had lost the vision in one eye, and he empathized with Westley.

It was definitely a match made in heaven for the father and dog… another happy ending!

Barbara Ott
Westie Rescue/Austin

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient

Chloe (Formally Clover)

June 2007:

Little Miss Clover was released from a puppy mill breeder in Missouri allegedly because she had a “slight” heart murmur and the breeder did not want to sell her, so she was offered to Rescue and Westie Rescue/Austin offered to take her. Clover was born on March 18, 2007. When she arrived in Texas, the “slight” heart murmur was very pronounced and a cardiologist was consulted. 

After the sonogram showed an enlarged heart due to the failure of the patent duct to close at birth, it was determined that Clover had a very serious PDA defect that needed to be repaired or she would not live to see her first birthday. She was put on Lasix (a diuretic) for the latent congestive heart failure that was developing and scheduled for surgery on July 3, 2007. At three and half months old Clover had open-heart surgery. Her surgeon, Dr. Caplan, felt Clover had an excellent chance at full recovery and should live a full and active normal lifespan for the spunky little Westie that she is.

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient
Chloe – WestieMed Recipient

We brought Clover home to her foster mom on July 5th, a subdued and quiet little Westie. She had been gaining weight this past month and is now at 7.2 pounds. She will need two weeks of quiet recovery before getting her stitches out of her side, and allowed to play again with her foster sister. But we know she will pull through. Clover was wagging her tail furiously when we went to pick her up and bring her home. Clover will have to follow up re-checks with the surgeon and with her cardiologist for the next six months before getting a clean bill of health, but both her doctors feel she will do fine. Clover will be available for adoption after that.

We are deeply grateful for WestieMed’s assistance with her major medical bills, that have exceeded $2100. so far. Without the support of WestieMed, Clover’s surgery might not have been able to take place. Thank you for being there.

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient
Chloe – WestieMed Recipient

Update August 2007:

Chloe (formerly Clover) Gets a New Family and a New Name

Chloe (formerly Clover) is a little West Highland White Terrier that came into the world before her little heart was finished.  She had what is known as a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).  It happens in humans and can happen in puppies too.  The surgery to correct it for a puppy is fully invasive open heart surgery.  It is quite expensive and as you can imagine, for-profit puppy places are not in the business of saving every dog.

Thankfully there are kind people like Barbara Ott of Westie Rescue of Austin and groups like WestieMed who stand up and devote their time and money behind the scenes to save these precious little lives regardless of the bottom line.

As we were mourning the loss of our Lizzy, our nine-year-old Westie who passed suddenly within two weeks of learning something may be wrong, for the first time in our lives together we were living in our all-too-quiet and deathly still house without a little furbaby.  It was not a joyful place to be.  I certainly wasn’t yet thinking of another pet, but when my husband emailed me the Pet Finder picture and story of Clover (now Chloe), our heart just went out to that precious little ball of fur.

I just couldn’t imagine her having to go through full open-heart surgery.  I was hoping to learn that she was all right.  From seeing her sweet little pictures, I knew that if she survived the surgery there would be no shortage of homes for her, but I just had to know that she had survived the surgery.

I contacted Barbara Ott of Westie Rescue of Austin to check on Clover and one thing led to another and by late August we were so fortunate to be able to foster her in our home!  Our home was joyful again!  Her doctor’s orders were strict and we didn’t deviate…except for the part where a six-month-old puppy is to stay calm ALL the time.  Well…we tried our best.

She was so quick to learn the rules of the house…even learned how to ring a bell on the front door to ask to go potty.  She is truly a remarkable little girl with the sweetest disposition.  The fact that she remains very open and trusting after all she has been through early in her life is a testament to the kind and gentle care she received with all of the good people involved.

She has continued to thrive and her little floppy ear even came up.  (Although it was pretty darling the way it was.)

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient
Chloe – WestieMed Recipient

Update November 2007:

On November 8, 2007 she was cleared by her cardiologist and we were incredibly thrilled to be able to formally adopt her!

Chloe has since been spayed and is up to date with her shots and has been micro-chipped.  Her little coat is filling back in beautifully, which I should add, she insists on keeping quite clean.  When she came to us we were told that she loved her little pool, so we got one for her and, yes,  she loves it…although not as much as the shower.  My husband has learned to be extremely careful not to leave the shower running with the door unsecured.  If he so much as steps out for a new bar of soap, he returns to a blissfully happy puppy frolicking in the water.  She is almost always very very clean.

She is thriving and is the busiest little girl with many many toys in her toy box.  Initially I worried if she would be lonely with no other dogs to play with, but she makes challenging games for herself by always having one toy in her mouth while playing soccer with her balls.  When she isn’t dancing and playing with us, she hops and pounces, and plays a mean game of keep away from herself using a racket ball under the round grate of the coffee table.

She isn’t a barker inside at all, but when her favorite racket ball gets trapped under a piece of furniture she gives us one announcing bark then sits beside it patiently until one of us comes to rescue it for her.

We have a house rule is that she is invisible when we are at the dinner table and consequently she does not ever beg or bother.  Although the hardest part is for US not to acknowledge HER as we see her playing so sweetly and intently.  She is s constant source of smiles.   We are so fortunate to have her in our lives.

I just don’t know how she could be any sweeter.

We were told that we can expect Chloe to lead a full life.   After all that this little girl has been through and the caring and diligent work everyone has done to make her survival possible, I certainly hope to do everything I can to make it a happy one.  She is our little girl.

To Barbara Ott and WestieMed, thank you sooooo much for all you do.  You really do make a difference far beyond just helping the furbabies.


Holly Alario

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient

Update May 2008:

Our little Chloe is doing so well.  She doesn’t seem to have any problems at all.  She has two speeds; Full-On-Boundless-Energy and Stop-I-Need-My-Beauty-Sleep.  I feel very confident that the cardiologist will be pleased at her next check up.

Chloe is the sweetest little girl I can imagine…and smart too.  My husband is convinced that she can tell the good guys from the bad guys on TV.  Actually she does actually watch the television.  (She’s the first of any of my furbabies to do this.)  And oddly enough, while watching if she growls, most often it when an evil character is doing or saying something.  I’d like to think she is a great judge of character, but I do fear that if we were burgled, she’d make fast friends with the person.

Her sleeping and relaxing abilities are second to none.  She loves sleeping in the bed with us and loves to be the last one out of bed in the morning.  (Our bed is too high for her to get into by herself so we’ve installed the “Chloe Climber”, a little step system next to the bed that gives her a little more autonomy.)

Chloe - WestieMed Recipient
Chloe – WestieMed Recipient

hen it’s on the floor for her Yoga where she does her downward doggie stretch followed by the cutest “Zombie” stretch where she sits upright and pushes her little shoulders down, makes her neck stiff and lets out a little groan like a zombie.  We love it every time.

 And she’s actually turning into a little cuddler, which surprises me for a Westie, especially one so young.  I guess now that we’re older we may be treating her more like a grandbaby.  She receives an endless supply of hugs and “kisses” (actually Mwha sounds.)  Just yesterday, I tested out a new “Chloe Call” and to my shock it worked.  She was upstairs and I was down.  So instead of calling her with “Chloe Come” I made two loud kissy sounds, like “Mwha Mwha” and instantly she came bounding down the stairs not wanting to miss out on any hugs and “kisses.”  🙂

She is a constant source of smiles and laughs and warm endearing feelings.

Thank you so much for doing what needed to be done to keep this little light of life shining.

With Gratitude,

Chloe’s Mommy and Daddy

Abbey - WestieMed Recipient


December 2006: 

Abbey came to Westie Rescue of Austin through another rescuer who found her in the Temple, Texas animal shelter in October 2006. Kathy placed her in a home but Abbey was returned due to an undiagnosed bladder infection that caused her to tinkle all the time. Once the UTI was cleared up, Abbey was fine. Kathy lived with Abbey on a farm with other animals, and Abbey persisted in chasing the chickens, so Kathy contacted Westie Rescue/Austin Thanksgiving weekend to take her and find her another permanent home. Abbey is about two years old.

Jim had been waiting as an approved adoptive home so when Abbey came into our program, Jim was thrilled to be given the opportunity to foster-to-adopt little Abbey. Abbey went into his home the next day, and within a few days, Jim noticed something terrible was wrong with Abbey. We took her to our vet for a check-up and it was discovered she had a heart murmur, which explained the funny feeling we could feel when we held her chest. She was also unable to go for long walks without becoming exhausted and collapsing.

Abbey was taken to a veterinarian cardiologist who diagnosed the murmur as patent ductus arteriosus, left to right shunting, with mitral regurgitation (mild) and left ventricular dilation (moderate), and felt she had a good chance of surviving open-heart surgery. Her prognosis with surgery was excellent. Without it, she would most likely develop congestive heart failure and not live a normal lifespan. The expense was more than the limited funds of Westie Rescue/Austin or Jim could afford so an appeal for help was sent to WestieMed for Abbey’s surgery. The WestieMed Board of Directors approved Abbey’s case (bless them) and the surgery was performed on 12/6/2006. Abbey came back home on the 8th and her recovery has been speedy and uneventful. She is returning to the perky, active, inquisitive Westie she was meant to be, and her brother, Murphy Lee (also two years old) is delighted to have a healthy sister to play with.

Our undying gratitude goes to WestieMed for giving this adorable little Westie girl, Abbey, a second chance at a wonderful long life. Thank you for being there for her.

Barbara Ott Westie Rescue/Austin 

Abbey - WestieMed Recipient
Abbey – WestieMed Recipient

Update January 2008:

Abbey is the best she has ever been, (not to the doctor for three weeks), with only one more dipping for mange in two weeks. She remains on Hills Science Diet CD and it has been determined she has a weak immune system so she will more than likely be “higher maintenance” for me forever. However, she is loved very much and keeps Murphy company while I am at work what is just what I planned. 

She has learned what it is really like to be loved and have a nice big backyard to chase the squirrels in. She actually barks once in a while now too, something I think she never did much if at all before. Both the pups are spoiled and as you might suspect have ME trained pretty well. Thanks for everything!

Jim, Abbey, and Murphy Lee

Mac - WestieMed Recipient


October 2005:

Mac first came into our rescue network in January 2000 as a five-year-old owner- surrendered Westie. The family had adopted him in 1999 from the local shelter where he had been dumped by a former family due to snapping at a child who withheld a treat. The second family had him for a year, during which Mac developed aggression toward the husband, and also some allergy issues. That family surrendered him to me in January 2000. Mac settled in with me and my other rescues.

In Feb. 2000 I was contacted by a retired woman who was ready to adopt again after losing her previous westie in 1999 due to old age. She was given Mac’s history and was willing to give him a try, since she was a widow with only an adult son who came by infrequently. She felt she could deal with Mac’s allergies since her former Westie also had allergies.

Over the ensuing years, Mac continued to have allergies, especially ear infections, one right after another, which his loving adopter treated as best she could with the country doctors she had access to. Mac was even taken to Texas A & M for ear scoping and underwent two major surgeries to clear out the ear canal of infections and blockages during 2004. 

But the problems have persisted, although only in one ear. The last surgery was abruptly ended when the vet encountered a “bleeder” and could not get beyond the blockage. It was recommended that Mac undergo a complete ear canal ablation, which meant removing the ear canal, and the tympanic membrane, and closing the ear completely so no further contamination or buildup of fluid would occur. The cost of the proposed surgery was far more than Mac’s adopter felt she could handle, so she contacted Westie Rescue/Austin and surrendered Mac back into our rescue program.

Mac is otherwise a healthy, affectionate 10-year-old Westie gentleman. While in the care of his surrendering owner, he got over his fear of men and became a curious, outgoing Westie again. Mac gets along great with the other rescues we currently are sheltering, although I can tell he misses his “Mommy” as he looks at the door she departed from.

On 10/21/2005, Mac’s ablation surgery was performed, and he is recovering nicely. He looks a bit funny with his one side all shaved, but hey, he’s cool with it! He did not like the E-collar but stoically endured it while his ear recovered. Mac and I are grateful to WestieMed for their assistance. The surgery did cost quite a bit, more than we normally can handle with our rescued Westies, but WestieMed came through to help this loving and affectionate Westie, who has been through a lot of changes over his life. He is now ready to settle down once and for all times in a final, loving home of his own.

Thank you so very much, Barbara Ott Westie Rescue/Austin, TX 


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.


Willie - WestieMed Recipient

Willie Formally Peter

March 2002:

Peter is a six-month-old Westie puppy who had been left outside tied to a car and was ultimately dragged by this car some distance before the driver realized what was happening.

Peter was rushed to the nearest vet to stabilize his wounds, and he was then transferred to a specialty vet hospital and put in ICU on IVs. Peter stayed in ICU for three days, then went to regular care, with wound dressings being changed every other day. Peter was surrendered to Westie Rescue of Austin, where he is getting continued care. His prognosis for recovery is excellent, with continued bandage changes for the next month. His skin will heal, although he may not re-grow much hair.

Peter has that wonderful Westie attitude of spunk, curiosity, and patience. He lets the vet do his changes, under anesthesia, and eagerly waits to go home again with his foster mom. He loves being with the other Westies in the foster home, although he has to be penned nearby so they don’t get too rough. He is anxious to join them as soon as he can with playtime. 

Peter gets his own one-on-one playtime with his foster mom and can explore the backyard by himself. He shows no fear or aggression and should be a wonderful pet for a new family once he is released from the vet’s care and his wound sites have healed. Many thanks to the wonderful people at Westie Med for making sure his recovery is possible.

Update March 25, 2002:

All bandages are now off, and he is healing beautifully. He looks funny because he had been shaved where the injuries are, but nowhere else. He is getting better and better every day, and I let him play with the others for an hour or so at a time now. Throughout all this ordeal, he has not had but one potty accident in the house in the three weeks I have had him!! He is so well trained!!

Update April 12, 2002:

Great News! Peter has been discharged from vet care and is healing beautifully on his own now. With the help of WestieMed, we were able to expedite Peter’s care and he didn’t need surgery after all. And the total of the bills came in at less than expected/authorized by the WestieMed Board. Thank you so very much for that much-needed and critical financial assistance.

Peter’s hair is growing back in over the scarred areas and the hairless parts will be hardly noticeable at all. The only problems he has now are the toes that were broken, which are now sticking out at odd angles. My vet says there is scar tissue between the toes that is causing that. He felt as additional healing takes place the toes might realign themselves in a more natural position.

Again, thank you for your wonderful help in making Peter’s recovery possible!

Update May 4, 2002:

I am happy to tell you that Peter has been adopted by a family that recently lost their older Westie due to cancer and they are all elated to have Peter in their family now. It was love at first sight, and Peter took to them immediately. He went trotting off with his new Dad and never even looked back over his shoulder!! 

I loved caring for Peter these past three months, and it was difficult to let him go. I had so many qualified families ask about him, and the decision process was hard. Peter’s wound sites had healed very nicely, although he will always have the scars and minimal hair there. In time, he will have enough hair to cover all the bare spots and with good grooming, one will never know what he has been through.

Peter was a real trooper. He endured the many dressing changes with minimal complaints, and loved getting the petting and holding everyone gave him. He seems to not have had any residual traumatizing, and even was eager to go for car rides! I will miss that little fellow.

Barb Ott Westie Rescue/Austin

Willie - WestieMed Recipient
Willie – WestieMed Recipient

Update July 11, 2002:

My name is David K. and I am the one who adopted “Peter” that you so graciously helped stay in this world. I thought I would drop you a short note to let you know how “Peter” (his new name is Willie) is doing. 

I adopted Willie on May 4th of this year after quite a bit of correspondence with Barbara Ott of Austin Westie Rescue. Since his first few minutes with me, I could tell that he is one lucky and special pup. I would have thought that with all the trauma he had gone through that he would be leery of just about everything. I’m glad I was wrong. True to Westie form, he loves going in the car and being my shadow. Chasing squirrels and stray cats is also a love of his. He is a very normal and loving Westie and I thank everyone who participated in his recovery. I will cherish him until the day we go our separate ways.

Thanks again, David K. 

Willie - WestieMed Recipient
Willie – WestieMed Recipient

Update December 4, 2002:

Just a short note to let you know that Willie celebrated his first birthday with a few friends. We all had fun and Willie really enjoys playing ball and tug-o-war with us and his best friend Sampson (my girlfriend’s Golden Retriever). He is doing so well that he is now starting to run the household as my last Westie did. He is an absolutely loving dog and I really think he knows just how lucky he is to have friends like you.

Thanks again, David K. 

Update March 30, 2010:

It is with deep sadness that I have to tell you that Willie (AKA Peter) has gone to the rainbow bridge.

He developed an inoperable tumor in his colon area and that led to total renal failure.

Your organization made a great decision to help with his previous injuries.  He couldn’t have been a better dog.

His two brothers and sister will miss him as much as Lisa and I.

He always showed us great courage and love.  He will be beside my other Westie (Kip) at the rainbow bridge.

Regards, David

Peter’s early photos are graphic and could be very upsetting to some. Please do not view the photos if you are easily upset.

To view Peter’s early photos, please follow this link…

Willie - WestieMed Recipient


March 2002: 

Peter is expected to make a full recovery…but it will take a long, long time. It is possible that he will need a number of skin grafts. His wonderful foster mom, Barb Ott, and her wonderful vet’s office are tending to Peter’s wounds, ensuring that his dressings are changed regularly, and keeping him as comfortable as possible. Peter has that Westie spirit…he hasn’t given up. Please keep him in your thoughts in these crucial healing days ahead. 

Willie- Peter - WestieMed Recipient
Willie- Peter – WestieMed Recipient
Willie- Peter - WestieMed Recipient
Willie- Peter – WestieMed Recipient