Barkley - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2016


I don’t know a lot of history for my Westie but what I do know is sad.

My buddy Barkley was found in Kentucky where he was left tied to a picnic table. When he was taken to a shelter they found that he had been chipped in New York but the chip was never registered. We have no idea how the little fellow got from New York to Kentucky.

When they found him he was not in good shape, coughing and laboring to breathe. The vet said he had an enlarged heart causing breathing problems. He was very lucky that the Westie Rescue of Indiana found him and gave him a wonderful foster mom to care for him and nurse him back to health.

That all happened months before I found Barkley. I had been looking for a Westie to join our family and I knew I wanted a rescue dog. When I contacted Westie Rescue they told me they had a dog with some special needs that had not been adopted. I thought, we all have special needs of some sort so this must be the little guy for us.

We adopted Barkley. He has been such a joy. He doesn’t always feel well and sometimes he can’t play as much as he would like but he is always in a good mood and ready to snuggle up. He is so affectionate and easy-going.

His medical problems are a good bit worse than I originally thought but I am still so glad we got him. He is part of our family and loved by all. Barkley loves to dig holes in the yard to bury his “treasures” and loves to get into the trash. He gets so excited over a new squeaky toy and is always ready for a car ride or to hang out at our kids’ baseball games. Like most Westies (and possibly most Westie owners) he can be a bit stubborn which only makes him more endearing.

My Vet did not give us a good prognosis when she examined Barkley and discovered the extent of his Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. With WestieMed’s help, Barkley was evaluated by a cardiologist and had several diagnostic tests to determine the proper treatment and medication. We are very grateful for the opportunity to get Barkley the medical care he needs.

After doing some research, she discovered that there is a fairly new treatment that might be just what Barkley needs to give many more years to enjoy all the things he loves to do (even getting into the trash) and many more years for my family to enjoy him.


Update January 9, 2018

Sadly, WestieMed received word that Barkley is now at Rainbow Bridge.

Cleo - WestieMed Grant Recipient - October 2014


Cleo and my story.

Have you ever heard the song “What are you doing the rest of your life” by Michel Legrand? Since I am retired with almost no family, I felt alone and miserable without my first Westie that passed two years ago.

So I was drawn to looking online at the different Westie websites. Someone had suggested I take a look at the Indiana Westie Rescue website. Doing so I came across their application process and completed the form. I was contacted about a possibility Cleo that they were trying to place with my arrangements since she just didn’t fit in anywhere with a larger family.

A meeting was set up in an area where we could observe each other at ease. From the van out popped a precious beautiful three years old, ready to take in the world. I have a feeling my “soul dog Wes” had something to do with this arrangement since I was crying inside with happiness. She was ready to be in my life jumping into my car as if saying “Come on Mom let’s go home”.

I soon found out, due to the possible abuse of former owners she had a severe case of Separation Anxiety. After going home she wouldn’t let me out of sight, no matter what time of the day or night or what she had to do destructively to get to me. Right away Indiana Westie Rescue started helping me with suggestions. They provided phone sessions with Deb Duncan, Canine Behavioralist, which helped me A LOT.

Off we went to the Vet for a checkup and medications which cost more than I have ever thought about.

After a month of retraining of the crate, plenty of exercise and lots of love, status changed slowly. After two months and an increase of meds, I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with a pile of Vets and medication bills.

This is where WestieMed came to our rescue and is making it possible with funds for the medications bills and knowledgeable information that Cleo and I definitely know “What we are going to be doing the rest of our lives”.

Marian Allen

Update July 13, 2015

Cleo - WestieMed Grant Recipient - October 2014
Cleo – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Cleo is doing well. I am still working with her to combat the S.A. She is requiring fewer meds and she has taught herself to nap under my bed when I need to go away from my apartment. She has never been happy in her crate with the door closed, so she has taught herself to get herself ready when I brush my teeth doing little damage to my furniture being left free in the apt. She enjoys the Kong chewy.

Of course, being a Westie she has her itchiness so she has to take meds for. That and I am trying grain-free food.

She just had her yearly check and immunizations.

Basically we are enjoying each other.

Thank you, Marian Allen

Abby - Westiemed Grant Recipient August 2014


Little Abby’s Journey: She was rescued by Westie Rescue Indiana (Kentucky & Ohio) from a puppy mill in March 2014. She was living a sad life and used as a breeding machine for seven years. WRI had her vetted and spayed and she was given all of her vaccinations. Abby also had her first real bath and was pampered & groomed. Abby was ready for her new life. Within a few weeks of having her spayed, Abby began to lose weight. She was only eighteen pounds, to begin with at the time of her rescue. But, over the next several weeks she began to lose weight for no apparent reason.

Abby continued to drop weight and muscle mass and quickly dropped to nine pounds. She under the care of an experienced veterinarian who was very concerned about Abby’s overall health. Since she was getting weaker and lame she started a high calorie/protein type of food. Over the next few two weeks, she remained under a watchful eye – medicine & special recovery food. Abby was eating and getting fluids from the special diet, but still not gaining any weight back. With a continued visit to the vet’s office & monitoring her blood, stool and eating habits it was the process of elimination to see if we could find out what was wrong with this little Westie. It was recommended that we may need to monitor her digestive path with an x-ray to see if her food was moving. The x-rays discovered “masses” causing blockage which was not allowing her to digest food or get the nutrition she so desperately needs. More extensive test was needed.

Abby’s next step was to be evaluated at a Specialty Veterinary facility in Louisville, were further tests could be done to see if it could be determined what was causing her such problems. The specialist diagnosed Abby with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Which can be managed and treatment started immediately. We had feared the worse for this little girl, but now with special food & medication and several months of patience, Abby is expected to make a full recovery.

Since being diagnosed — it’s been over a month and her treatments are slowly helping. She gained a whopping four ounces which brings her to nine pounds four ounces. She is diagnosed with Lymphoplasmacytic Inflammatory Bowel Disease and decreased Cobalamin levels. This is a treatable medical condition & with a special diet (Gastrointestinal Health Hills i/d) and she has to stay on this food forever. Abby has a long recovery period, WRI is committed to helping this tiny lady.

Today Abby is initiating play, loves to take walks around the yard and is getting stronger each day. Her appetite is still low, but her Foster Mom is keeping her on the prescribed strict diet and slowly weaning her off the medications (steroid) – she is on her way to enjoy a normal life. Her Foster Mom bakes her special treats from her prescribed dog food.

Abby is a special dog. Her tender heart, her elegant dainty lady-like composure reminds you of Aubrey Hepburn or Jackie Onassis. But underneath that, she is a fighter, a survivor, a Westie who is ready to chase squirrels through the yard. Her strength to survive has been a miracle in itself and the determination she has taught us a lesson of never giving up.

Thank you WestieMed, Inc. for helping WRI help Abby and providing financial support for medical needs to amazing Westies like Abby.

Update July 12, 2015

Sadly to say, little Abby did not survive. All efforts were made to save her but her little body had been pushed to the limit. She quit eating and continued losing weight. Had no quality of life. She knew love and was kept comfortable. I am the one that fostered her through it all and I was with her at the end.

Thank you WestieMed for all of your help and support.

Johndra Sanders
KY Rescue Coordinator

Daisy - WestieMed Grant Recipient December 2013


Daisy was a tiny ten-month-old Westie who was in a lot of pain. She had fractured her leg – how we don’t know. Her owner eventually took her to a vet to see about repairing the complicated break, but could not afford the surgery. So Daisy’s leg was splinted in hopes that it would heal on its own. However, without the surgery, her leg had begun to heal in a way that would have caused Daisy a lifetime of pain and impaired mobility.

Not long after, Daisy found herself scared and alone in a shelter in Evansville, IN, where her owner had dropped her off to become somebody else’s concern. Fortunately for Daisy, one of the shelter’s caring employees was concerned enough about this little pup to contact Westie Rescue Indiana (WRI) seeking help.

A WRI volunteer from western Kentucky met the shelter worker the very next day and immediately took Daisy to her vet in Owensboro, KY. Ultrasounds and X-rays were taken and showed the fracture to be far more extensive and complicated than originally thought. So Daisy was referred to an orthopedic specialist in Louisville where she subsequently underwent extensive surgery.

Daisy’s vet bills soon climbed into the thousands, but one look into her trusting eyes and there could be no question that whatever had to be done for her would be done. This sweet little pup was a trooper, making friends and admirers wherever she went, doing all that was asked of her without complaint and always, always bestowing kisses!

Our dedicated WRI volunteer devoted much of her life over the next several months to making sure Daisy got the loving care she required. She said that the most difficult part of the recovery process was keeping this naturally energetic Westie pup quiet enough to properly heal.

After several weeks of enforced confinement, Daisy was pronounced well enough to begin a course of water and physical therapy necessary to ensure she would be able to put weight on the leg and eventually walk without a limp.

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, to a concerned shelter worker and some very accomplished vet and PT specialists, Daisy now has a full and happy life ahead of her. And thanks to help from WestieMed, Daisy’s bills can be paid in full without jeopardizing Westie Rescue Indiana’s ability to help the next Westie in need who comes our way!

Update August 6, 2015

Daisy - WestieMed Grant Recipient December 2013
Daisy – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Daisy has adjusted quite well to her life as a very spoiled member of our family.  She loves to cuddle, sleep on the bed, and run in the backyard.  She is very much a tom-boy and bosses around her brother Westies Elvis and Preston.  

Now, she even has a job on her brother’s website where she has become a fan favorite and an internet celebrity in her own right.  She has even started traveling to pet expos and a few months ago she flew on an airplane for the first time when she went to the Dallas Pet Expo. 

She has recovered very well from her extensive leg surgery back in 2013 which involved several months of rehabilitation.  Unfortunately, last fall, the pin in her leg started to shift and she had to have a second surgery to remove the pin.  

After another long month of crate rest, she made a complete recovery and the vets say she shouldn’t have any more problems in the future.  Since then, she has been back to chasing her brothers in the backyard.

Daisy has been a wonderful addition to our family and we can’t imagine our house without our “Daisy May”!  

Thanks, WestieMed for funding the surgery that allowed our little girl to walk, run again, and lead a normal life!

Rachel Phelps

Millie - WestieMed Grant Recipient June 2012


Little Miss Millie was as sick as she was tiny and feisty when Westie Rescue Indiana (WRI) managed to get her out of a Kentucky shelter in February. It wasn’t easy…

Although she had a wracking cough and was obviously unwell when her owner brought to the shelter on February 1st, the shelter refused to release her to rescue, preferring to try to adopt her themselves. So Millie languished in the shelter for two weeks as her condition deteriorated. Finally, the shelter sent her to one of their foster homes where she could get be better cared for, but at this point, Millie was listless and running a high fever. Still, two more days passed before a call was made to a WRI volunteer, asking if we would now take Millie.

Once in WRI’s care, Millie was rushed to the vet, where she was kept in isolation for nine days. A battery of tests revealed that she suffered from the effects of pneumonia, a chronic cough and an extremely high white blood count stemming from an infection that had been left untreated for too long. The vet did not expect her to make it, but by the end of February Millie was well enough to go “home” with her foster mom, who had visited her daily at the vet.

The month of March was spent in a series of return visits to the vet for more tests to monitor her white blood count and constant adjustments to her medications, and Millie continued to improve. She started eating well and gained two pounds in short order, bulking all the way up to twelve pounds by early April.

Because her lungs had been scarred from pneumonia that had been too-long left untreated, Millie would always have a cough, but she was healthy now and ready to find a home of her own. But this wasn’t easy either…

As Millie began to feel better, her feistiness emerged in tandem, and she proved to be one conflicted girl — begging to be picked up and then snarling, growling and snapping when anyone tried. Clearly, it would take someone experienced with terriers to handle this seven-year-old diva.

After one failed placement, where Millie didn’t mesh with an older male Westie already in residence, she finally found her forever home in late May. It took almost four long months of care and patience to save this little girl, but to look at Millie now in the arms of her new mom, no one can doubt that it was all worth it.

Thank you, WestieMed, for helping us help Millie!

Update February 8, 2013

Last I heard, Mille was doing great.

Linnie - WestieMed Recipient October 2009


My name is now Linnie because I am loved.  I used to be just a number and the only love I got was from my puppies.  Despite the fact that I have always lived in a small cage, I loved people and attention.  I am a licker and a tail-wagger and when my jailers in Missouri decided I had to go, my rescuers from Westie Rescue Indiana brought me and a lot of my friends here to live a normal life.

My trip to the vet discovered a number of things wrong with me but the most major thing was that I had a bladder stone the size of a hen’s egg that was blocking my urethra so that I was miserable and peeing small amounts of blood mixed with urine. I also got an x-ray to see if I was pregnant.  I wasn’t so I got spayed along with my bladder surgery and antibiotics to keep me from getting an infection.  I have to always eat special urinary food so I don’t ever get these bladder stones again.

Well, that is about it except that I am waiting for my forever home.  Thank you WestieMed for helping with some of my medical bills.


Update April 29, 2010:  Linnie is now named Lynn.

Linnie, or Lynn as she is now called, has a great home with her new owner.  She is well-loved. I will try to get some pictures.


Update October 22, 2010

Linnie - WestieMed Recipient October 2009
Linnie – WestieMed Recipient

Linnie has a perfect home with a wonderful nurse named Judy for her mother.  She even has her own nanny who walks her during the day so she never has to be alone.

She loves chasing squirrels and birds (even caught one once), taking walks around the neighborhood and even cons her mom to carry her when she gets “tired”.

She has lost all the ugly brown stains from the cage that she called home for so many years in the puppy mill in Missouri. 

She has a light in her eyes that weren’t there before and she lives life to the fullest thanks to WestieMed’s help.

Odie - WestieMed Recipient January 2009


Westie Rescue Indiana (WRI) received a call from the owner of Odie requesting our assistance in September 2008.  She said that she loved Odie, but that he did not get along with her young son.  He growled at him and she was afraid he would bite.

On the day Odie was to be surrendered, his owner drove to the home of one of our volunteers. She was in tears, and after talking for a time to our volunteer she decided that she couldn’t give him up. So Odie returned home until January, when his “mom” again called saying that things had not improved and that she really did need to surrender Odie to Rescue. When told we would take him right away, she then asked, “So it doesn’t matter that he has a broken leg?”

Evidently, someone tripped over Odie’s cage with him inside, smashing both the cage and Odie’s rear leg. His owners took him to an emergency clinic where Odie’s leg was put in a temporary splint and the owner was told to contact their own vet to see if surgery would be required. That’s when they contacted Rescue.

Odie (age 10 months) was surrendered to WRI on January 19th.  He was taken to Noah’s Animal Hospital on January 25th for surgery, which was performed on Monday, January 26th.

Odie is now recuperating at his foster home in Indianapolis.  He goes back to the hospital next week to have his surgical splint removed, and the vet said he should be as good as new once the leg heals. An x-ray of his leg taken needs to be taken in about eight weeks to make sure everything is healing properly, and if it is then Odie will be celebrating his first birthday with four paws planted firmly on the ground – or in somebody’s willing lap.

It seems like Odie already has captured the hearts of his foster family and has become fast friends with their current Westie. So it looks like Odie’s search for a forever home may be ending happily ever after a lot sooner than anyone expected!

Mac - WestieMed Recipient December 2008


The story about Mac…the sweet old boy.

Mac came into the foster program in April 2008.  His owner was very ill with cancer and the wife didn’t want to deal with Mac.  He had been kept at the Vets Kennel off and on for up to two months at a time.  Mac turned 14 years old this month.

His skin condition was very bad.  Poor Mac had several hairless patches on his back and legs.  He was constantly biting his feet and legs.  Mac has several what I refer to as warts or growths on his face and ears and several on his legs.  The Vet has said it’s nothing to worry about but, he does have a face only a Mother could love with his bent ears.  But Oh what a sweet boy.

We offered to foster him here in Indianapolis, IN.  I had him for a few weeks and got him started on meds and a healthy diet.  He was then adopted by a husband and wife (both retired) who lived in northern Indiana.  We felt it would be a perfect situation for Mac.  Bless his little heart, just when he was getting used to his new surroundings off he goes to yet another strange home.

The people who adopted Mac after three several weeks decided that they didn’t want him.  They said he was snapping and growling at them and would stand and stare at them without moving.  It just broke my heart.

So, off he goes again to another foster home in Northern Indiana.  Prospects for Mac are not very good.  His sight is failing, he will be on medication for the rest of his life for his skin condition he has arthritis in his joints…and in true Westie fashion, he does growl & pretends to bite you if you want him to do something he doesn’t want to do.  I say he pretends to bite you because he never actually “bites” he just puts his almost toothless mouth over you.

When his foster Mom in Northern Indiana contacted me again about fostering Mac, I naturally said yes.  He is still here with us and I doubt that he will be leaving to go to another home.

It has been very difficult financially to make sure he has his daily medications but with the help of WestieMed, we should be able to carry on.

We are blessed to have Mac and will love him and keep him safe for the rest of his life.

Thank you WestieMed for helping us make Mac comfortable for what time he has remaining.

Pam Hammersley Westie Rescue – Indiana Volunteer

Update September 22, 2009

I wish I had good news about our little foster Mac boy.  Unfortunately, he went to the Rainbow Bridge on February 27, 2009, with congestive heart failure.

We certainly appreciated WestieMed helping us out financially.  I just wish we could have done more for him.  He was a wonderful Westie.

Mac came into the Rescue Program at age 12.  He was somewhat confused and had some difficulty adjusting to his new surroundings.  But before long he was sleeping with us and knew he was loved and well cared for before he went to the Bridge.

It’s always so hard to find homes for the older Westies.  If only people knew how loving and kind they could be.

We still miss Mac.

Pam Hammersley 
Westie Rescue – Indiana Volunteer