Roise - WestieMed Recipient March 2010


Hello, my name is Rosie.  I am about four years old and I have spent all of my life in a PA Puppy Mill. My home was a wire cage and I was used for breeding purposes only.  I had very little contact with people. Due to the wire cage and poor care in the puppy mill, my feet and teeth are in terrible shape. I have had repeated infections in all my paws.

One day a very kind person from the PA AG Department came and rescued me from my poor environment. She called the MD Westie Rescue to find me a good loving home.  Due to the kindness of the MD Westie Rescue, I was placed in a temporary foster home for about a month for evaluation, for medical care, and for finding me a loving family. Then some nice people found out about me and brought me home with them.  I have been in their home from January 2010 to the present. My current owners are known to me as “Momma and Poppa”. They take good care of me and I have been under the care of a veterinarian who gave me multiple antibiotics and pain medications for my infections. I have been on medications since I have been living with Momma and Poppa. I had numerous surgeries (5) on all my paws.  My Momma changes my dressings every other day.

When I first came to my new home, I was very timid and afraid of any human contact.  My Momma and Poppa have been very patient and good to me. They give me lots of love. They take me on car rides and I can watch TV with them. I love to play outside. Now, I am much more sociable and even walk on my hind legs when I get excited.

I am restricted in what I can eat because the Vet believes I may have an allergy.  I am on special dog food and allergy medication. Hopefully, this will prevent me from getting any more infections. Once my infections are under control, they will take care of my dental problems.

All this care has cost my owners, Momma and Poppa, a lot of money. Due to the wonderful people of WestieMed, they will receive financial help. Their bills total over $2,400 and climbing.  I feel so much better now than I have ever felt in my life. I am beginning to trust and feel much love at my new home. I know this will be my “forever home”.

We want to thank WestieMed for all your help and support. We love our little “Rosie” and we will do all we can to make life better for her.

Thanks again and God Bless,
Bill and Marge Lutz Fallston, MD

Update May 3, 2010

Basically, Rosie is doing very well, except for her two paws, one of which requires lots of care.  The other three are a lot better than when we first got her last Jan. We spend ~ $260/mo. (includes a 20% discount) on her caretaking her to see our vet and having him clean out her re-occurring cysts and 4 drugs given daily. We will send you a more detailed update on Rosie when we get back from vacation in October.  She is a sweet and lovable lady. 


Update April 15, 2011

Roise - WestieMed Recipient March 2010
Rosie – WestieMed Recipient

We had Rosie for the past sixteen months and as you can see via the attachments, she is 100% better than when we got her. She only had two flare-ups in the past six months and she recovered very nicely.  As long as Rosie gets one Atropica tablet every other day is fed venison and potato dog food that we get from our Vet and wears her boots very time she go outside, her flare-ups seem to be controlled and eventually eliminated. One thing we need to do is to housebreak her. She does know how to tell us when she needs to go outside and thus she pees either on the floor or on pads. Thus, Rosie is restricted either to the kitchen or on our bed (she doesn’t mess on the bed).  Rosie and our cat gets along very well — no fights. She is also good around our grandsons (ages two and four), but we need to watch them to ensure they don’t hurt her. There are times when I believe that she remembers her past, from the way she reacts when she is sleeping and having bad dreams. All-in-All, she is a wonderful pet and companion and we love her dearly.  She weights ~ 22 pounds and in good health except for her allergy.

Any suggestions you may have in getting her house broken will be greatly appreciated.

We thank WestieMed for their help in getting Rosie back to good health.

Bill and Marge

Ralph - WestieMed Recipient December 2009


A few days before Thanksgiving 2009, I received an email asking if I could help a stray that had shown up on a porch in southern Missouri.  The woman requesting the help was 100% positive the dog was a wheaten Scottie but in very bad shape.  She was concerned he might not make it through the night.

I requested pictures to help identity and upon receipt, I still wasn’t sure it was a Scottie but thought it was possible.  One of our foster moms and I made the two-hour trip to pick up the dog, and upon arrival found an emaciated and matted Westie boy.  He could barely walk; he had no upper front teeth and his front bottom teeth were worn down to loose nubs.  He was scratching and underneath the mats, his skin was almost completely bare.  The mats on his hind legs were so huge and barely attached that it looked like he was wearing “chaps”.  With heavy hearts, we put him in the car, thinking that we were bringing him home to be euthanized.

Back in St. Louis, I backed out of the driveway after dropping the foster mom at home and looked in my rearview mirror where I saw Ralph (we had named him during the trip back) standing up, wagging his tail.  With tears in my eyes, I headed to the vet’s office, dreading what might come next.

Ralph’s examination determined that he had a major bacterial infection, a possible heart murmur, luxating patellas in both back legs, slight cloudiness in both eyes, and the sweetest disposition.  As the vet looked in Ralph’s eyes, Ralph rested his chin in the vet’s hand…I knew we had to do everything possible to get him healthy again.

The mats were removed, antibiotics started, shot given to control the itchiness, and Ralph went to his new foster home.  On the vet’s recommendation, the heartworm testing was delayed until Ralph had some time to recuperate.

It didn’t take long to find out that Ralph had been someone’s pet at some time.  He is housebroken, loves car rides, begs for food, and has decided the best place to sleep is on top of the back of the couch.  He enjoys walks with his foster Scottie sister.  He has gained weight, his hair is growing back, and since he was showing overall improvement, he went back to the vet’s office for his heartworm test.  To our dismay, he tested positive for heartworms.

After considering the alternatives, it was decided to wait a month for Ralph to get in better health and then begin the preliminary testing to see if he could withstand the heartworm treatment.  We hope to begin his treatment in January 2010.

Ralph has snuck his way into our hearts.  His name has changed to Ralph Henry.  We call him RH for short but then refer to him as HRH (His Royal Highness).  His age is estimated at nine to ten years old and he deserves to live the rest of his life in a loving home.

He will remain in foster care until the treatment is done, and we are hoping that a door will open to a perfect “furever” home.

Many thanks to WestieMed for their help with Ralph’s veterinary bills!
Vicki Frazier St. Louis Scottish Terrier Rescue

Update January 7, 2010

Ralph - WestieMed Recipient December 2009
Ralph – WestieMed Recipient

I wanted to give a quick update on Ralph. Took him in today for blood work.  We will find out tomorrow or Friday if we can proceed with the heartworm treatment. His hair is growing in pretty well.  He still has an aggravated spot at the base of his tail but the vet was overall pleased with his progress. We were able to get him trimmed up (especially on his head) today and think he looks very dapper. Thanks again for your assistance, 

Vicki Frazier 
St. Louis Scottish Terrier Rescue

Update June 26, 2010

We lost Ralph Henry on 3/9/2010.  I had been to the foster mom’s home that morning and he greeted me as usual – happy and smiling.   He was fine in the afternoon and greeted his foster mom the same way when she got back home from running errands.  Just a little later, he threw up blood, etc……his foster mom grabbed him in her arms and ran a block up the street to her vet’s office.  He passed shortly after.

He had finished the worst part of the HW treatment; received the final treatment for the baby heartworms and we thought we were home free. We were both devastated. When the foster mom called me hysterically, I drove to the vet’s office and said my goodbyes.

He truly enriched our lives and we are grateful to WestieMed for the financial aid.  We console ourselves in the knowledge that he was happy and loved in the too-short time he was with us.

Vicki Frazier 
St. Louis Scottish Terrier Rescue

Dolly - WestieMed Recipient February 2009


Four-year-old spay female.  I received a request to surrender from the owner in May 2008, however, they changed their mind.    I asked them to please surrender her over to me when they called before her operation would be more costly the longer they waited.  They wanted to try other options, changed dog food, and so forth.   I tried to keep in touch, alas it was a cell phone and the calls went unanswered.   Nine months later a four to five-old female showed up in Tacoma Shelter as stray on the street.  (aka the name Tacoma Dolly)  I am certain that this is the same dog as the odds of two dogs, same age, same tumors, same-sex, and same geographic location are probably impossible.   In our state, the Humane Society and Shelters charge you $75 to dump your pet.  If it is found as a stray then there is no charge.   Since the people who FOUND Dolly said they had taken it to Banfield vet for an estimate, and since I know the previous owners had taken her to Banfield vet for surgery and that was the same vet the owners told me they went to.   It is the same dog hands down.

Dolly - WestieMed Recipient February 2009
Dolly – WestieMed Recipient

As you can see from the tumors she has a severe calcification of tumors in both ears and which are also coming out the back of her ears.   After speaking to four Veterinarians and understanding the surgical skill of the procedure, we have found a specialist for this operation (see description of the procedure below).  Four Vets in two separate clinics agreed that Dr. EB is the best to do this operation and he ironically was the cheapest.   We are also getting a discount from the clinic.

Diagnosis:  Dolly has had chronic ear infections and underlying Malassezia.  The chronic ear infection was not kept in check and this is the outcome.  Otitis Externa.  This disease is mostly seen in floppy-eared dogs like cockers, and such.

These are tumors that have calcified.  You cannot un-calcify tumors so no amount of antibiotics or medicine will make them go away.   Alas, we are very far past the simple solution for recovery.  The middle ear has built up an infection and has now burst through the inner ear canals and is seeping pus.  The calcification of the tumors are the consistency of stone.

My primary vet explained this operation in layman’s terms for me.  Since she gives me a discount on surgery –  I asked if she could perform this operation.  She said it is a very specialized operation and you must have an experienced surgeon to perform this procedure.  Ironically there are only four in the Seattle area, and one who works out of both the Clinics I use for my rescues!

Procedure: Splay/cut open the ears and work off a CT scan or an X-ray to see how deep the tumors go (as she now has them jutting out the back of her ears)

Remove the outer tumors (which have calcified into rocks) and lay open the ear and remove the inner ear canals  (I believe the middle and inner are also scaled/removed) which the infection and tumors grow out of.    Go deeper into the eardrum and microscopically shear layers of the skin off the eardrum slowly so you can make sure it forms scar tissue and nothing can grow on it and no bacteria can ever form on it/in it? .. then they come back out.  The inner canal is now gone… which has produced all the poison/toxin of this disease, and they sew it up.   The dog has loss of hearing but can hear muffled sounds

She will be at the vet for three to four more days after surgery due to the pain of this surgery and she will be heavily medicated.   She will be released into foster care, and come back in fourteen days for suture removal and then have a six-week recovery.

She also suffers from a bad immune system, and she is being treated for and of course Malassezia and she is on antibiotics.   Dolly also needs dental care and has some bad teeth but we have rescue funds to cover that.

I have never in my life seen anything this gruesome and Dolly is in a lot of pain, but she is a very happy and sweet dog, is great with kids and other dogs even in this pain.    She is fifteen pounds.   She is happy and cheerful and pleasant and will make someone a fabulous dog.   We are grateful to have you as our safety net and guardian angels.   Sometimes in life, you are our only way out of a situation when we are pinned against the wall for funds.

Karin Parish, Rescue Coordinator Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Westies Westie Club of America, Rescue Rep for WA/OR/ID Westie Rescue USA Rep for OR/WA/ID

Update April 13, 2009

Dolly is doing well after surgery.  Her ears are healed and she can hear – not clearly but she can hear!  We are waiting a bit longer and then going to have her dental work done.  Then she will be ready for adoption.

Karin Parish

Update May 26, 2009

Dear Dolly Supporters:

Before you check out the photos….

My question was  … are you going to keep her?   …. and the answer was “what do you think?”

WELL, she finally got adopted but my gosh have we had more setbacks with this little girl. Our little tumor girl.

To date, she has cost me at least $3700 with one trip to the ER… (However, we had the funds to cover it with the two grants and money raised by donors)  … And she had her dental done, and her ear on one side never was cleared up  (which we weren’t too sure of).

However, after she was adopted, her other ear became infected again and the new owners had to take her back into the vet… Lo and behold if she didn’t have estrus.. and go into heat!  There is no hum-drum in the life of Westie Rescue!

Two vets told us she was spayed.   Apparently it was a c-section scar!   Poor Dolly is like the “never-ending story”.

She is getting spayed in a month, and she is back on antibiotics, and the new owners adore her.   Here are their latest photos of her.  Her new owners will be RV-ing around the country and she will be a copilot. I do believe she has her driver’s permit as we speak.   Since her recovery, she has a stellar coat and no allergies to speak of.

Before you check out the photos…

My question was … are you going to keep her?   …. and the answer was “what do you think?”

Look at the photos.


Thank you again for all your support… hope to see you at the Westie Walk on June 27th.

Karin Parish 
Westie Rescue Rep (OR/WA/ID) 
Scottie Rescue Rep (Seattle)

Cilla - WestieMed Recipient December 2008

Cilla (Now Bella)

I was searching on Craig’s List and I found an ad for a Westie that needed to be rehomed ASAP.  Apparently the owner’s 2-week old baby was allergic to the dog. I was drawn to the ad because I am a previous Westie owner (three Westies, one I rescued from Westie Rescue of NE in 1999, and the other two were bought from breeders).

I replied immediately to the ad via email. The gal called me back and I had the opportunity to ask a few questions.  She told me the dog’s name was Priscilla, she was two years old, twenty pounds, and she had to find a home for her as soon as possible and asked if I would meet her that evening.  I was a little weary with the urgency but I decided this was my chance to possibly meet my new Westie.  She asked me to meet her in a parking lot which I found rather odd.

When I arrived the gal got out of the truck and was holding Cilla (her nickname) and poor Cilla was trembling and her legs were out straight as if she was afraid this gal was going to drop her.  I tried to make eye contact with Cilla but she would not look at me even when I cupped my hands around her face.  I asked why she was behaving this way and the girl told me she was scared because she had been confined to the basement.  This made me sick.  I asked the gal to put her down to see if she would settle down a bit.  I looked at Cilla and saw how thin and boney she was, I knew at this moment she was nowhere near twenty pounds.  Right then and there I knew she knew little about this little Westie.  I picked Cilla up and held her close and she relaxed just a little bit.  It was clear that she just needed someone to care and love her.  I think she knew I was not going to hurt her.

I told the gal I would send an email that evening with a decision.  On the way home, I knew something just didn’t seem right and that I needed to get Cilla out of this situation somehow.  As soon as I got home I sent her an email and told her I would take Cilla.  She accepted my offer and we made arrangements for me to pick her up in the same parking lot.  On the morning of the exchange I received an email that someone else was going to be bringing Cilla to me.  I knew at this point, I definitely made the right decision for this little Westie.  She had been passed around so many times just in two days and who only knows how many other times.

Cilla came with nothing but a sandwich bag of dry dog food a leash tied around her neck even though I asked for her toys/blanket, etc. I wanted something from her past-not knowing it was a bad past as I learned by her behavior.  She spent the remainder of the morning, day and night sleeping and hiding in my house.  She ate a little at dinner time and then was up all night violently vomiting.

First thing in the morning I brought her to my vet and at that point I learned about Cilla’s severe dental problems and I also received confirmation that she was malnourished, visibly neglected and possibly abused.  My vet stated that Cilla was not two years old as I had been told.  She is middle-aged, probably six or seven years old. I also learned how much it was going to cost to get the badly decayed teeth extracted, the others cleaned and get rid of the awful infection she has.

The doctor knew that I was a single mother and that it was financially impossible for me to get the appropriate care that Cilla needed. Dr. Gerow suggested I called the Westie Rescue League and try to find her a home that could afford to take on this sweet Westie with health problems.  I left the vet and was absolutely heartbroken for this little girl that I and my 14-year-old son had already started to grow attached to.  I was very familiar with the Westie Rescue League of NE and had a contact name of Susan Smith from a few months ago when I was looking to rescue another Westie.  I told her Cilla’s story and she could hear it in my voice that I didn’t want to give this little girl up.  She suggested I call WestieMed organization. I did as she suggested and received a call back almost immediately.  I spoke to a wonderful person named Lucy who directed me to the application on their website.  I completed the application and the rest is history.

WestieMed is going to help get Cilla back to good health and allow her to stay in a loving home.  Cilla is a gentle sweet girl that deserves anything and everything I can give her.  Thank you WestieMed for giving my Cilla a second chance, and sincerely thank each one of the Board of Directors for their consideration.  I am elated with your fast response, your organization truly rescued this dog.

Update December 23, 2008

Cilla spent the day at Methuen Vet and had her procedure today and did very very well.  She is resting comfortably in her own bed at home tonight.  Her diagnosis was incredibly great.  The doctor did NOT have to extract any teeth. She said that Cilla had a very large amount of tartar build-up on her teeth (more than the average) which was causing her discomfort.  They literally had to chip off chunks of tartar while hoping they didn’t break any teeth, which they did not.  They also think she was crated longer than she should have been as some of her front teeth are worn down from chewing metal or some type of very hard material.  It breaks my heart to think that anyone could do anything to harm a helpless animal.

Cilla weighed in at a whopping 14.3 pounds today up from her 13.2 pounds when I rescued her.  This is partially due to her now eating a prescription canned dog food for sensitive stomachs and was gentler on her teeth until we could take care of her dental issues.  Her appetite grew slowly but steadily in the past week and a half.  It certainly helped her bulk up, so to speak for her big day today.  She will be weaned off the canned form of this food and put on the solid kibble form for now and then will graduate to another prescription food  which is specially formulated for dogs like Cilla.

The doctors would like to see Cilla gain another three to four pounds and I am absolutely positive she will be able to do this now that she’s had her procedure.

Cilla - WestieMed Recipient December 2008
Cilla – WestieMed Recipient

I want to thank WestieMed and the Board of Directors (especially Bette, WestieMed’s Application Coordinator and Lucy, WestieMed’s President, who I’ve dealt with personally) for the support and the same heartfelt hope that I have for Cilla.  I also want to give Susan Smith a special thank you for referring me to your organization.  Without Susan, I would have never found you.  All of you are very special people to me and deserve so much more than I can give you right now.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this possible for Cilla and giving her a very hopeful, healthy and happy life ahead.

God Bless all of you and all of your little Westies.  I wish you a very Happy Holiday Season as my family certainly will, now that we were able to give Cilla the special gift she received from you.

Catherine Smothermon

P.S. I have attached a recent picture of Cilla with her new friend Booda the Hedgehog.  She has grown pretty attached to this guy and sleeps with him every night.

Update October 5, 2009: Cilla is now named Bella

Cilla - WestieMed Recipient December 2008
Cilla – WestieMed Recipient

I want you to know that Bella has come a long long way.  She is a different dog than the one I rescued.  She is so very sweet, well mannered and mild-tempered.  She’s so much happier now that she’s in a loving home and eating very well (thanks to WestieMed).  I don’t think she even remembers the terrible life she had before.

She has grown very attached to me, as well as my son, and has truly overcome her fear of strangers.  She is very playful now, so much more than she was when I rescued her.  Sometimes I catch her playing by herself with her toys.  I can hear her running around the house tossing her toys and chasing them.  It’s music to my ears and it’s the funniest thing.

I can’t tell you how many people I have sent to your website to just read about all the wonderful things you all have done for Westies.  Your organization has truly helped so many Westies and I thank you for that and can speak for all the Westies you have helped.

If it wasn’t for WestieMed, I don’t know what Bella’s future would have held.  I thank you once again and always will for taking care of my precious Bella.  We love her so much.

God Bless, 
Catherine Smothermon

Pedigree Foundation Logo
Cilla’s care was funded by a grant from The Pedigree Foundation.
Angel - WestieMed Recipient June 2008


On Christmas Day 2007, Angel, a seven to eight-year-old Westie, was found wandering in traffic near Louisa, Kentucky (close to the border of West Virginia), by a wonderful woman.  Angel was “in very bad shape”.  Angel had infections in both ears and one eye for which antibiotics were prescribed.  The veterinarian believed Angel was very pregnant.  Arrangements were made to place Angel into Westie/Cairn Terrier Rescue of SW Ohio in Williamsburg.  Once in Williamsburg, Ohio, an ultrasound showed that Angel was not pregnant.  Angel was spayed, further antibiotics were prescribed, and her teeth were cleaned with some removed.  Further diagnostic testing showed Angel had an enlarged heart and cardiac medications were started.  In addition, a mammary tumor was removed that fortunately was benign.  Angel has given birth to multiple liters and is believed to have come from a puppy mill.

Angel remained unadopted for approximately three months.  In browsing through the Westie Rescue, USA website, I found Carla Smith of Westie/Cairn Rescue of SW Ohio in Williamsburg and adopted Angel on 4/5/08.  Angel was initially very timid and fearful.  With minimal activity or after lying down, Angel would start coughing and had periods of labored breathing.  Two days after adoption, Angel received medical treatment for what was believed to be congestive heart failure.  However, Angel’s symptoms progressively became worse.  Angel rarely barked and when she did, she would start coughing.

On 4/11/08, a cardiologist diagnosed Angel with Pulmonary Fibrosis, also known as Westie Lung Disease.  It is chronic scarring of the lung tissue that is mostly seen in Westies.  Angel receives three respiratory medications, including an inhaler, twice a day and her heart medications were discontinued.  Within twelve hours, Angel’s activity level improved dramatically.  Although seven to eight years old, Angel acted like a puppy, full of energy and getting into everything.

When Angel first arrived, she could only walk two to three house lengths without coughing and shortness of breath. Initially, the cardiologist said to restrict her activity; however, Angel was not going to comply with this prescription.  Angel now briskly walks the entire block (twenty houses) several times a day and barks without coughing.

Angel has gained so much confidence, proudly walking down the street with that terrier prance and wagging her tail.  The cardiologist is thrilled with her progress.  In addition, she runs through the house with excitement, plays with toys, and is just as happy as she could be.  Angel has also assumed a very important job, squirrel detective.  Always on squirrel patrol, Angel is the fastest squirrel chaser around and if she could figure out how to climb a tree, she would.  Her front paw goes up and her tail becomes straight when she senses a squirrel is on her turf.  What a smart girl, if she can’t climb a tree, she will just chop the tree down with her teeth.

Angel loves other dogs and has several dog friends.  Angel has become quite the neighborhood dog.  Children on bicycles say, “Hi Angel” and people on porches always greet her.  Angel looks in amazement, “Are they talking to me?”  Although still a little people shy, Angel has just blossomed.  Angel is the best little mommy helper around; she goes everywhere with Mommy including shopping, where she sits in the basket of the cart.  Store clerks and shoppers always come up to her and two people have asked: “where they can get a dog just like her”.  Such a sweet little Westie, Angel has provided much love, humor, and comfort to all of those who come across her path.  Angel has been such a blessing!

Thank you so much to Westie Med, Inc. for providing the assistance for Angel to be able to live out the life that she deserves including the puppyhood that she missed.  Angel and her mommy are so grateful for your kindness and generous support.  Angel has truly been given another chance and she is taking every opportunity to live her new life to the fullest.  Each day is a new adventure.  Angel is truly an angel!

Update October 5, 2008

My life keeps getting better and better.  Words cannot express my sincere gratitude to WESTIE  MED for their concern over my well-being and their financial assistance.

I saw my cardiologist in September and got a very good report.  I wasn’t surprised as I already knew because I feel so much better.  My lung pressures are down, just borderline of the high end of normal.  The doctor said, “that I still will always have pulmonary hypertension”, whatever that means.  I still take my three medications, twice a day, no changes were made.  I wish my doctor would stop that inhaler, I do not like that one, but Mommy waits until I am asleep to use it.  The other two medicines I like because I get really good food with them.  Mommy says, “Come on Angel, time for medicines” and I come running.

If I haven’t told you, I live in a palace!  Boy, I am one lucky dog.  I have my own couch and loveseat.  Old carpet and furniture are a dog’s dream.  I can do whatever I want.  I sprawl out on my couch or loveseat, as big as I please.  Mommy got me dog steps for the couch and I learned real quick how to climb them.  I also have lots of toys.  My toy squirrel is my favorite.  In the palace, I can run all the way through the living room, dining room and kitchen in one swoop.  I do this when I am really excited and happy.  Also, at the palace, when you are hungry all you have to do is toss your food bowl and you get fed.  On the weekends, it operates similar to a Bed and Breakfast.  I get to sleep in and I get a little cream of wheat for breakfast, yum, yum.

Still busy chasing and barking at all those squirrels.  I have my own backyard, I just love it.  I run from one end to the other trying to get those squirrels.  I do wish I had longer legs, so I could climb a tree or that fence.  I can’t get away with much back there as Mommy is always watching; I tell her that she is too overprotective.  I also watch the squirrels from my front door, I have a special mat there that has a beautiful picture of a Westie, just like me.  In the mornings, sometimes I take a snooze on my mat as the sun shines on me.

I get to go on lots of walks, people around here say, “Hi Angel” as I walk by.  My little legs just keep moving as quickly as they can and I wag my tail.  Mommy says, “Good girl” as I prance down the street.  I now potty all the time outside.  After I “Potty Outside”, Mommy says, “Diggity, Dig, Diggity, Dog”, and I dig real fast.  I also know what “Come, Come” means and “Stay”.  Mommy says, “I am the smartest dog that she ever had”.

I have a Pet Nanny, my neighbor, Auntie DeAnna.  She watches me all day when Mommy goes to work.  Auntie DeAnna spoils me rotten.  She bought a digital camera with video just to capture all of my best moments.

Good thing that the power went out for several days and I could not go to the groomer, as I discovered the palace also has a spa.  I got a bath!  I just loved it, lots of warm water, a massage with lather, I thought I was in heaven.  Mommy said, “that I couldn’t go to the Cardiologist without a bath, as they might think I wasn’t well cared for”, boy, I would set the record straight if anyone ever said that.

I also have a sparkly new harness in pink and a matching leash with diamonds.  Auntie DeAnna got me jewelry; doggy charms that go on my pink harness.  I only wear this outfit on special occasions.  And, I love to go “Bye, Bye”, that means a ride in the car. 

Yep, I have a great life.  Each day, I am so excited to get started that I help Mommy open the front door by scratching on it as she opens it, so I can be the first one to see outside.  I am so, so happy!!!  Thank you again for assisting with making my new life possible.  I feel so much better now and in fact, I am able to hold a very important job and it’s in the career of my choice, squirrel detective.

Hugs and kisses,

I hope you enjoyed reading Angel’s progress in her own words.  I cannot believe that still each day, she gets better and better.  Angel is so happy, full of life and more confident with each day.  Quite a contrast from when she first came, so timid and fearful and then unable to do much with the shortness of breath and coughing.  Angel now only coughs occasionally and only becomes short of breath when she overdoes it with those squirrels, but with a close eye, I can intervene before it gets to that point.  Angel wakes up full of energy and ready to go.  I have learned a great deal through adopting Angel.  A ton of patience and love makes such a difference.  I never would have dreamed that Angel would get to the point that she is.  She is too cute and just the sweetest dog around, never growls or gets upset.  Her next cardiologist appointment is now in five months.  Also, her heart has not enlarged any further.

Thank you again.  May God bless WestieMed for that work that you do.


Millicent - WestieMed Recipient


Millie is a precious little five-year-old former breeding female who came to WRT as part of a commercial breeder surrender transport.  Even with all of the afflictions she came to us with (i.e., a severe ear infection, paw infection, skin infection, hook and whipworms, dental disease and severe yeast in her ears and paws), she still managed to wag her little tail and seemed instantly so grateful for being out of the hell she’d been subjected to for the first five years of her life.  Of the four who came us to on this transport, she has socialized at her foster home the quickest and easiest.

She, along with the others, spent many days at the vet’s office, just getting enough daily meds into her system so she would be healthy enough to move on to a foster home.

Millicent - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
Millicent – WestieMed Recipient

Her foster mom reports she is doing so very well, and they are happy to keep her as long as it takes for us to match her up with the best possible furever home.  She interacts very well with the family’s other Westie (one of our adoptees) and the other Spaniel mix.  She also gets along with the family cat, which is a plus!  She loves to play in the yard with the other dogs and kids but is just as content to be held in one’s lap for hours-on-end.

The bottom line is that Westie Rescue of Tennessee, with the generous help of WestieMed, gave this precious little girl a second chance.  We are so very grateful for WestieMed’s generosity.

Update March 4, 2010

Our sweet Millie is doing fine and we love her very much.
George and Linda Driese

Isabella - WestieMed Recipient March 2008


Izzy came to Westie Rescue of TN on a volunteer rescue transport in late January.   It was freezing cold and the wind was howling the night she was taken out of the cargo van and put into my car.  She was in a cage stacked ceiling-high in the cramped van.  It was so full because the rescue angel was trying to get as many dogs as she could out of their horrible living conditions.  She still had an all-night drive ahead of her to deliver the various breeds of little dogs that did not yet realize that their lives were about to change.  They were off to different rescues in several cities.

Izzy was in my car with six other dogs, including three other Westies.  They got as far back in the crates as they could.  They backed into the corners and trembled when we would reach in to touch them.  They didn’t understand what the warm blankets and soft towels in the crates were.  None of them cried none of them fussed, none of them dared to complain about the bitter cold during the time it took us to locate them in the cargo rescue van and transfer to my car.  It took a while because Izzy and the other Westies were almost unrecognizable as Westies.  There are no words to describe the filthy, disgusting shape they were in.  Even though the wind chill factor was in the teens, we drove the 225 miles back home with the back window vents on my SUV open.  The urine that permeated the inside of the car burned our eyes so strongly that we had no choice.  Windows down, heat blasting.  The little dogs had lived in their own urine for so long, it had become a part of them.  Each one of them had a blank look in their eyes that I will never forget.  I had to look hard to find Izzy’s little eyes.  They were covered by so much dirty, matted hair. 

Isabella - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
Isabella – WestieMed Recipient

I would later learn that she suffered from severe dry eyes that had never been treated.  The worst-case the vet had ever seen.  Imagine your eyes hurting and burning and scratching for four or five long years and not being able to tell anyone.  Not that anyone, where she came from, would have cared.  Because of not being treated, she suffered eye damage and will now have a vision impairment that can never be healed.  She will need eye drops every day for the rest of her life to ease her discomfort.  She also had infections in both eyes.  Both of her dewclaws were so long that they had embedded into her skin.  I can only imagine how it must have hurt to walk.  She had infections and yeast on all of her feet and between her pads.  She had an infection in both ears.  Places on her skin were infected from pure filth more than likely.  She had hook and whipworms.  She had a urinary tract infection.  Her little mouth was in horrible shape.  She had severe dental disease and had to have teeth pulled.  A week after arriving at the vet, Izzy had to have surgery for bladder stones.  Izzy was so traumatized that I began to wonder if there was even a little Westie left in that tired and mistreated body.  If only there were some way to show the people that go to the pet shops what is left behind when the puppy truck pulls out to make deliveries.  All they see are the cute little clean puppies.  They never see the broken, tired and dirty little bodies that make those puppies possible because they are forced to.  They never look into the breeding dog’s face and see the pain and long-suffering.

Izzy stayed with the vet for two weeks.  She received all kinds of medicine for her many infections throughout her little body.  Imagine how wonderful it must have felt for her eyes not to itch and hurt.  Even though it was uncomfortable for a little bit, it soon felt better to walk without the sharp nails grown into her skin.  Her mouth began to heal and her appetite picked up.  She had her spay surgery and was on her way to better health.   Soon Izzy was off to her foster home.  When we arrived there, Izzy stood perfectly still in the driveway.  She didn’t dare move.  She did not understand the open space, the feeling of not being confined.  She was afraid of the unknown–freedom.   Her little foster host Westie ran around her to welcome her to their home.  Izzy just stared straight ahead and shook.  Her sweet foster Mom walked over and took her into her arms and welcomed Izzy into a safe world for the first time in her life.

Isabella - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
Isabella – WestieMed Recipient

Izzy continues to blossom and heal, both physically and mentally.  She patiently waits at her wonderful foster home for the family that will take her into their home and makes her theirs forever.

Thanks to WestieMed, our rescue did not go into the red after taking in these four sweet Westies.  We did not have to temporarily shut down our rescue while we paid off our over $3,000.00 debt and then try to start over.  Thanks to WestieMed, we are able to continue to move forward with our determination stronger than ever.  Bette Heidorn, WestieMed and all the wonderful people there are inspirations to us.  It is their heart’s desire to help heal every little Westie that they possibly can.  WestieMed makes a difference in countless little Westie lives every single day.  The dogs they affect move on through life bringing joy and companionship for many, many people.   If Westies could talk, I am sure they would sing the praises of this wonderful organization.   I know a little girl named Izzy that would be in the front row of that choir!

Ian - WestieMed Recipient March 2008

Ian (Now Duffy)

Ian spent the first five years of his life in a small pen or cage except when he was needed for breeding purposes.  He was used up and thrown away basically.  When we got him he was so terrified of humans that he got in the back of the large crate and shook in the corner.  The next morning at the vet, we literally had to turn the hard shell crate up on its end and shake him out of it.  Ian stayed at the vet for days.  He was immediately shaved and cleaned up with several baths that day.  They were able to leave a little hair around his face.  Ian had ear infections, skin infections, paw infections, worms and a urinary tract infection so severe that he was urinating blood.  He also had severe dental problems.  Ian was given several kinds of meds for his infections and other ailments.  He was given a complete dental and had some teeth extracted.  He was neutered.  Ian now has a clean bill of health.  His first real experience with freedom was when I picked him up.  I brought him home in the large hard shell crate.  We picked up the crate and took it in with him inside.  When Ian saw a human, he saw mistreatment.  He was terrified of me.  It broke my heart.  In order to gain his trust, I never reached in and snatched or forced him out, because that is what was probably done to him by his breeders.  I would open the crate door and sit down in front of it and lean up against the wall about two feet away.  I would speak softly to him and plead with him to come out.  He stood in the center of the crate and shook so violently that the wire metal door on the front of the crate jingled from his shaking.  His little eyes had a blankness to them that made me determined to find the little Westie that was in there somewhere.  Every couple of minutes, I would slowly reach my hand in and touch the top of his head.  He would cower and flinch each time.  It took me about thirty minutes to get him to come to the edge of the crate door.  He was afraid to step out because a lot of breeding dogs are punished severely forever trying to get out of their cages.  It takes some of them a long time to be able to walk through a doorway in their new homes.  I continued to touch his head and whisper to him.  I could tell in his little eyes that he wanted so desperately to try out this new thing, but his fear would not allow him to.  Finally, after petting his head and then retreating away from him over and over again, he saw that it wasn’t a trick to be able to get my hands on him and inflict some sort of pain.  He began to trust me just a tiny bit and I knew that I had won the first battle.  Each time it would take me about thirty minutes to get him to come to the edge and then I would pet him and praise him and offer him treats.  He didn’t know what a treat was.  I would put it up to his mouth and he didn’t know how to take food from my hand.  If I laid it down in front of the crate, he would gingerly step out with one front paw, eat the treat off the floor and then wait to see what I did next.  After about three days, I brought him up and introduced him to the three female Westies here.  They got along beautifully.  Ian began to watch them and do what they did.  He would see them go to the always full food bowl and eat.  After they finished, he would saunter over and look around as if to say “are you sure this is ok to do?”.  He began to eat with them, he learned how to interact with them very quickly.  It took about ten days for him to walk through the door to go out onto the deck.  Before that, I would pick him up and take him out.  He doesn’t like to be picked up just yet.  He is still afraid.  He doesn’t fuss or struggle, but his little body tenses up.  I can tell he is afraid he is going to fall.  He didn’t know what a toy was.  The first time he walked up to a tennis ball on the deck and poked it with his nose, it rolled and scared him to death.  I began to pick it up and gently roll it toward him and he would watch it and jump around so funny.  Now he rips and tears up and down the deck chasing it.  He gets it in his mouth and prances with it.   He loves to be petted. He stays right at my feet.  He now loves to wrestle and play with the other dogs and is a very loving little guy.  He is like a stocky little linebacker and solid muscle.  He has grown into a happy little Westie boy.

Ian - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
Ian – WestieMed Recipient

Ian has come a long way on his road towards understanding freedom and is a pleasure to have here.  I will miss him very much when he is adopted.  Ian is still very fragile as far as his ability to just take everyone at face value and relax and enjoy his life.  He is getting there, but not there yet.  He needs a loving owner to help him complete that journey.  Ian is a one-person dog right now and I’m sure will grow into being around groups of people, but he needs his special person to cling to in this transitional stage of his life.

One reason Ian has progressed so well is his health.  Thanks in part to WestieMed, his poor health issues were taken care of.  Ian feels great for the first time in a long time is my guess.  He is healthy and has a newfound desire to focus on learning how to be a pet and part of a family.  It is such a day to day blessing to watch his little face as he discovers life outside of a cage.  Ian is a work in progress and WestieMed is a large part of his progress.  Thank you WestieMed for helping little Ian feel well enough to march into his new life!

Ian - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
Ian – WestieMed Recipient

Update March 29, 2008

I wanted to let you know that Ian went to his new home today.

I think Ian and his new owner are a great match.

But I am sure going to miss him.  When I wasn’t looking, he stole my heart!


Update January 1, 2009:  Ian now called Duffy

I thought you might be interested in an update on Duffy.  It’s now been seven months since Duffy moved in with me.  You would not believe the difference in this little guy.  Completely gone is the hesitant, shaking terrified little furball.  Duffy looks at each new adventure in his life with great interest and curiosity.  He is completely over his fear of men and will greet and like the hand of a strange man with relish.  He loves to ride in the car and often travels with me.  He has been to the Big Apple twice and really enjoys hotel living.  Suits him just fine.

It took several months for him to return the affection I lavished on him.  Everything changed when I had to go to Colorado and Wyoming in late August for a two-week business trip.  He stayed at home with someone taking care of him.  Upon my return, he was visibly shocked to see me and hurled himself straight at me.  Since then, he has decided he cannot stand being on the floor if I am on the couch; he wants to be on my lap or against my side or even on my chest.  Each return home after a trip has knocked down more of his reserve until now he gets so excited he cannot contain himself.  Of course, I can see in his expression that he wonders why he didn’t get to go along.

When I work on the weekends, Duffy comes with me.  He has a special place in my office that he alone owns.  For me, I have found the dog who loves squeak toys.  Actually, he is beyond obsessive about them.  I think this may be his one vice and I plan to consult with a behaviorist in the new year.

He has slimmed down and muscled up from long walks around the neighborhood and I let him choose the path each day.  We began obedience training in the fall and he did remarkably well.  I plan to continue with advanced training sometime in the spring.

He loves to chase squirrels and rabbits.  Squirrels baffle him because he hasn’t figured out he should look UP in the tree to see where they’ve gone.  He keeps racing around the base of the tree trying to find the little escape artist.

Honestly, this little pooch was the absolute best choice for me.  It was worth the 1200 miles I drove that weekend to get him.

BTW, we did march in the Scottish Walk parade in Alexandria, VA.  There were over 100 other Westies and all were rescues.  He wasn’t the least bit bothered by the bagpipes, drums or black powder muskets being fired.  I put a plaid scarf on him and he had a blast.

Happy New Year.  Keep up the great work with Westies. 

MacKenzie - WestieMed Recipient March 2008


Mackenzie is a shy, scared little five-year-old former breeding male who came to WRT as part of a commercial breeder surrender transport.  Mackenzie had multiple health and social problems (i.e. severely infected ears, skin infection, infected paws, yeast in his ears and paws, hook and whipworms, broken teeth and severe dental disease).  While his health has improved, and he is gaining some much-needed weight, he still is not progressing very much socially.  His new foster parents are working diligently and lovingly with him.  It’s just going to take a long time to get this fella out of his shell.

MacKenzie - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
MacKenzie – WestieMed Recipient

We believe that because of the help from WestieMed coupled with the outpouring of compassion and care, Mackenzie will one day be a very content little soul.  He will probably never be very out-going.  It could be that too much mental and physical abuse was heaped on him.  We want his new home to be a very quiet environment without any children; preferably with an older, retired couple.  He’s a ways from being adoption-ready, but he’s well on his way, and thankfully, his health seems to be very good now.

Thank you WestieMed for helping Westie Rescue of Tennessee give this precious little dog a second chance at a good life!

Update March 5, 2010

MacKenzie - WestieMed Recipient March 2008
MacKenzie – WestieMed Recipient

There is so much I could tell you about Mackenzie and the progress he has made since we got him on 5/17/08 but I’m afraid I’ll run out of email room.  The first week we had him I was really afraid I had made a huge mistake because all he did was cower in his travel crate and tremble.  After a few days, I told my husband “you know, he’s lived all his life in a cage, so the crate is going”!  We bought him his first bed and put his toys in it — that was the first positive step.  Every day I pick him up (at least a dozen times), pet him and tell him how much I love him.  He now has two baskets full of toys and you should see him looking in each basket and picking out a toy — just like a little toddler.  From time to time his favorite ball will roll under a piece of furniture and he barks (a certain bark) so I will retrieve it for him.

He is so very smart!  I wish I could have gotten him when he was eight weeks old because I could have taught him so many little things. On March 19, 2009, my husband brought home a six-year-old female Westie named Lilly.  Her elderly mom was no longer able to care for her and just wanted a good home for Lilly.  A few days later I was giving her a treat and told her to “sit pretty” and she did.  I turned to Mackenzie and told him to sit pretty and he reared back on his hind legs and put his little front paws up for his treat — just like he had been doing it all his life.  He and Lilly get along so well and you should see them in the mornings together — so happy to see each other.

Mackenzie has learned to snuggle and cuddle and is slowly but surely getting over his fear of riding in a vehicle but I think Lilly has helped him there because she loves to ride!  He also knows how to cop a real attitude and pouts when he doesn’t get his way (which is not very often).

Mackenzie is the light of my life and I pray that all the other rescued babies are as happy as he is.

Best Wishes
Linda Reynolds

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