A month ago today, September 2, 2007, Gordon and I traveled three to four hours to another part of the state to pick up six West Highland White Terriers from a breeder who was getting rid of her Westies because they were no longer producing enough puppies to be profitable.
The breeder would allow us to come to her location on that one day only to pick up the dogs. Needless to say, we dropped everything and high-tailed it to the location.
Papers to release the dogs to the custody of Westie Rescue were signed; the dogs were loaded into the back of the van in three little "pup tents", and I climbed in to comfort the little tykes during the ride back home. (The story of those first hours and days is a whole 'nother fun story!)
We had been blessed with an eighth Westie with a bad eye infection (that required immediate surgery). You will be hearing what a true blessing that one-eyed Daddles has been!
The breeder must have been afraid we would refuse the injured Westie which is why it was sneaked into the van without our knowledge. She obviously did not understand what Westie Rescue is all about!
In the hours riding home with the little treasures, I gave them names that fit their little personalities. By the end of the trip, those little dogs KNEW and responded to their respective names! (I am still amazed at their intelligence!)
Please try to imagine bringing eight love-starved, non-house-trained, very intelligent and energetic little Westies into your home.
As a farm-based home that has had as many as seven indoor/outdoor or under-our-feet English Shepherds at any given time in the past 15 years, we "thought" we were prepared for the invasion of six, seven, nay, EIGHT little white dogs.
Snicker, Guffaw, Ha, Ha, Ha, Chortle, Laugh, Cackle ... fade into a coughing fit .
Bottom line: The past 30 days have been the most fulfilling I can remember in a long, long time. Rescuing these little treasures and seeing six of them adopted so far has been the most worthwhile use of my time in many, many, many a year.
I wish for the talent of Erma Bombeck to be able to convey to you the mirth and energy and drama of the last 30 days!
I promise you will be hearing more about Daddles, Lillibeth, Charlotte, Lara, Happy, Emily, Melody and Elvis! I'll also be sharing the reactions of Annie and Mackie (the previous adopted rescued Westies) and Kelly, Belle, Sunny and Daisy (the long-suffering English Shepherds), and the not-so-happy Rosalie, the rescued Siamese-mix.
Photo 1: The Joy of Real Grass: The eight rescued Westies had lived on concrete slabs the past four to six (or more) years of their lives. Their first steps on the farm were a delight to observe as they rolled in the grass and ran all over the fenced back yard sniffing.
Photo 2: Who is Whom?: With haircuts that reminded one of Jack Russell Terriers or Schnauzers or some blending of styles, it was a bit difficult to differentiate the little dogs until we got color-coded collars on them! Add to that the fact that they were in perpetual motion! This series of photos were taken in the first moments the little dogs were on the farm.
Photo 3: Eight Tails instead of Seven: I counted incorrectly. There are actually eight tails in this photo! See if you can find all eight!
Photo 4: Charlotte: With literally her first few steps on the farm, Charlotte walked directly to my uncle, Charles, and sat on his foot. She did not look for a spot to "do her business". She did not drink any water. She staked her claim on my uncle! We continue to be amazed at this little dog's obsessive love for Unc!
Photo 5: Lillibeth: Lillibeth immediately chose my husband Gordon. Remember how Nancy Reagan looked at her husband Ronald Reagan with those puppy-dog eyes of admiration? Well, that is just how Lillibeth behaves toward Gordon 24/7. She even cries when he leaves the room or the house!
Photo 6: Daddles and Elvis after surgery: The first day our veterinarian was open after we picked up the Rescued Westies, we had them all in for exams and heartworm, lyme and ehrlichia tests and vaccinations and rabies shots. The day after that, Elvis and Daddles were fixed, and Daddles had her damaged eye operated on. We still don't know if Daddles will regain any sight in that eye, but it does not matter. Daddles chose me (like Charlotte chose Unc and Lillibeth chose Gordon).
You just won't believe the transformation in these little white dogs! More photos to come as I can squeeze in a little photo editing time.