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JillyJilly is looking for her forever home. She’s a 9-year old healthy Westie in search of a fairly quiet home life. Do you work from home? Are you retired and home a lot? If so, Jilly would love to spend her time with you.

She has been in foster care for a while now and has progressed immensely so she’s not as timid as when she first arrived at Lacy’s Legacy’s door. She gets along well with other dogs, enjoys short walks, is not a big barker, is crate trained and housebroken if kept on a fairly strict schedule.

Jilly is a little lap-lover and if your lap is full, she will be near you. Even though her confidence has increased the past few weeks, she occasionally seeks some quiet time alone to ponder the important things in life.
Jilly says that her wild, wayward puppy ways are behind her now and she would just like to settle down and enjoy her new family in a low-key fashion. Is she dreaming or could she be the girl of your dreams?
If you are interested in adopting Jilly, contact John or Steph Wisecarver through http://lacyslegacyrescue.org/
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Available for Adoption

CarlyCarly2

This is Carly, a spayed Westie female born 8-8-05.  She is on the small size about 13 pounds but is Big on cute.  She comes from a backyard breeder but is a real “people” dog, enjoying lap sits and hugs.  A quiet little lady she gets along very well with other dogs and is crate trained.  She walks well on a leash and knows what to do when outside.  Carly is a smart and loving little Westie who needs a good forever home to spoil her.

DorieDorie2

Meet Dorie a very cute, quiet and petite Westie girl.  Her birth certificate shows 8-8-05 but she looks like a puppy.  Rescued from a backyard breeder she has learned crate training and her name very quickly.  She walks on her leash and knows “Go Outside.”  Dorie does have an issue with her left front shoulder but other than an occasional limp she moves around fine.  She gets along very well with other dogs and really likes people.  A true lap Westie, she would make a wonderful small companion.

Visit http://lacyslegacyrescue.org/available-for-adoption for more information.

Cubby and Toby are 6-year old Westie boys in need of new families.

These boys will be adopted separately.

Both are:

Housebroken, crate trained and they walk well on a leash.

They are good with other dogs, like to play with their toys and ride well in a car.

They have been bathed, groomed and behaved well – even during the nail trim!

They are neutered, heartworm negative and up to date on all vaccinations.

Toby, the big boy at 23 pounds, is a tad shy and reserved, but still very loving.

Toby

Cubby weighs 19 pounds and is very self-confident party boy.

Cubby

Each boy has a $250 adoption fee which will go to Lacy’s Legacy Scottie & Westie Rescue.

These boys are RTG!! (Ready To Go!!) Are you ready for them???

If you are interested in adopting one of these boys, please contact John or Steph Wisecarver from Lacy’s Legacy Scottie & Westie Rescue at 320-963-6085.

This Westie boy, Tugger, is in rough shape and will definately ‘tug’ at your heart strings as seen by the attached photo. He is in foster care with John & Steph Wisecarver and Crossroads Animal Shelter. Tugger is a “special needs” boy that will require some extra funds to get him well and ready for adoption. This will take some time and obviously more finances than a typical foster dog. He needs help!

If you can, please consider an monetary donation to Crossroads for Tugger. We know finances are tight for everyone, but small amounts add up and little Tugger will be forever grateful.

Please send your donations for Tugger to:

Crossroads Animal Shelter
Attn: Tugger the Westie Fund
2800 10th St SE
Buffalo, MN 55313

Heeeeere’s Angel! This young, energetic Westie mix is a bundle of fun that is needing a new home. She’s sporting a short haircut right now, but her skin looks great and when her hair grows out, she’ll be an even prettier girl.
Angel is crate-trained, house-broken if kept on schedule, likes to play with other dogs, and absolutely LOVES to be loved! She will sit on your lap and cuddle, but she also likes to play as she is young and full of energy. Her wiggly antics will definitely make you smile and love her even more. She doesn’t appear to know many commands so some training is certainly going to be needed.

Angel

If you are wanting your very own Angel, this gal is for you! Interested parties should contact John or Steph Wisecarver at 320-963-

Through the months of March and April, The Photographer’s Guild in St. Paul, Minn.,  will give you a FREE pet portrait session and one FREE 8×10 print (reg. $98) when you make a tax-deductible $40 donation to Pet Haven, a wonderful local animal rescue organization, through which we adopted one of our beloved cats, Xander, and our Westie, Keely.

(I also donate $2 from every copy of my book, “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss,” sold through this website to support Pet Haven and four other local no-kill shelters.)

Check out the Photographer’s Guild website for more info or call them at 651-646-3239. They do an absolutely FABULOUS JOB on these photos. I’ve brought in my entire pack and gotten their pics taken several years running, always for the one low price of $40. But, to be honest, you’ll probably feel the need to purchase a few more of these adorable shots from the Guild directly—unless you have superhuman powers of sales resistance when you see all the choices featuring your furry (or feathered) friends’ beautiful visage!

You still need proof? Check out my Westies, Ambrose, Keely and Blanche (this was before Oliver joined us) in their ad!!!

Below is our free 8X10 from their March 2010 photo shoot.

Memorialize ’em while you can!—Sid

Blanche, Keely and Ambrose, photo by The Photographers Guild

A New Twist on Adopting Oliver, that Little Dickens

By Sid Korpi

Sometime last spring, I think it was, I dutifully posted to this “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss” blog and its related Facebook page some pictures and a blurb about a Westie named Fonzie that needed a home. I tried not to look too closely at his adorable little face (for what other kind of face could a Westie possibly have?) because I was not in the market for any more animals in my home. We already had seven rescued pets—three pretty young Westies, two older cats and two finches. I didn’t want a fourth dog. I didn’t need a fourth dog. I knew I’d need my head examined for even for a moment considering adopting a fourth dog. Avoidance was my best defense against temptation.

Maybe a month or more passed, however, and an updated “Fonzie still needs a home” message landed in my email’s in-box. This time, masochist that I apparently am, I read his story a bit closer. It was an all-too-typical story of the owners having had and loved this dog for years, but since they’d decided to have kids, now it was time to get rid of the superfluous pooch. (My ire was raised, a dangerous sign.)

Compound that with the fact that the people who had advertised this dog on craigslist, Fonzie’s current caregivers, weren’t even that aforementioned newly child-laden/dog-rejecting couple. That meant that this dog was being had already been shuffled from home to home and was no doubt feeling insecure, confused, and rejected. The fact that he was being given away free of charge, I later learned, spoke to the second family’s desperation to be rid of him.

Out of morbid curiosity, I called the then-current caregiver, who told me Fonzie had always been an only dog in his household and hated cats—I did a couple mental checkmarks in the this-won’t-work-for-us column.

While I was talking to this woman about Fonzie’s inability to relax, his incessant barking, and his aggressive growling toward her 11-year-old son, who has impulse-control issues himself, I told her I wished her luck but that I would highly recommend this dog be placed in an adults-only household, preferably retirees who could spend a great deal of time with him, and that he remain an only dog.

But this family was anxious to be rid of Fonzie now, as they were just about to leave for a two-week vacation, during which time this dog would be in his crate the whole time between a few scheduled potty breaks. As we finished our conversation, an older man had arrived to check out Fonzie, so I was hopeful my wish for this dog would come true.

Glutton for punishment that I am, I called the next day to check on the outcome, hoping for a happy ending to share on my blog. The woman described how critical the man had been of Fonzie, checking him out as though he were being judged at a dog show, even though a neutered 6-year-old was never going to be in the running for such a competition. Apparently, Fonzie’s head was too big and his tail too short, or something irrelevant like that, and the man rejected him.

I realized this was likely a case of dog flipping, wherein a dubious person nabs free pure-bred dogs only to re-sell them for full price. Disgusted by this man’s callous behavior and feeling sorrier than ever for this dog, I posited that we might drop by the next day just to introduce Fonzie to our three Westies—Blanche, Keely, and Ambrose—and see how he was with other dogs. I figured their interaction would clinch for me forever that this was not meant to be, so I could then walk away with a clear conscience. At best, this was just supposed to be a play date.

Well the family had just left for their vacation, but we were put in contact with a neighbor of theirs who had a house key and was familiar with Fonzie. We advised her to meet us out on the sidewalk with the dog on his leash, and ours would be in the same condition, so we could just take a walk together and not trigger any unnecessary territoriality issues.

Our pack met this pooch with friendly indifference and we walked. Fonzie seemed to be limping somewhat and had some trouble keeping up with our normal brisk pace. The neighbor told us the extent of his walks were super-slow gambols around one block, so he was probably just out of shape. As we regularly took our dogs for three-mile jaunts around the cities’ lakes, again, I was thinking this dog, cute though he was, was not a match for us and our household’s energy level.

As a final test, we entered the family’s fenced-in yard and took all the dogs off their leashes. Instantly, Fonzie was transformed. He ran full bore around and around the yard, playing tag with our pack of pooches. He looked like a puppy. The neighbor’s voice choked a bit as she said, “If that dog were to die today, you could know this was the happiest day of his life.”

Damn her.

We loaded up his kennel, food, toys, etc. and walked our new “kid” to the car.

Because of his white color and unconfident demeanor, so different from the black-leather-jacket-wearing Arthur Fonzarelli (Fonzie) from “Happy Days,” we simply couldn’t call him that name. It just didn’t suit him, and we wanted him to have a clean slate with us. As we drove toward a park for another walk with the dogs, I blurted out, “Let’s call him Oliver, after Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. He was an orphan who eventually got adopted into a terrific home.”

I’d wanted to go to a shady park because it was very hot that day, but my husband insisted we go to Como Park instead. Once there, I saw why. There in front of us, posted at the entrance to the Como Park Pavilion was a large play bill advertising their musical, reading, “Playing tonight, Oliver!”

After our walk, as we drove home, we passed a single political sign in someone’s yard, urging people to elect Trevor OLIVER for some local office! (Oddly enough, I’ve looked but never noticed that person’s sign anywhere else in St. Paul since that day.) We acknowledged that something bigger than us was guiding this whole affair, but at least we were sure we were getting the message and doing the right thing by this dog.

Fast forward to our last several months with Oliver, we have spent over $1,000 on surgery for this supposedly “free” dog when it was discovered he had had a large bladder stone and a big cyst on his back that both needed removal. We had his teeth cleaned while he was under anesthetic, too, giving him a total tune-up.

He has big-time trust issues, meaning he won’t come when you call or reach for him and growls if you pick him up. He also has a tremendous amount of fear, triggered by any new sound, including and especially that made when we open the blinds or a window. We suspect that Oliver’s blinds-triggered response especially is past-trauma-based because of the horrific “screams” that come out of him when he hears that sound. That’s pure terror coming from this poor dog, not dominance barking as we’d once thought.

Oliver has bitten my husband pretty severely 11 times as he simply tried to soothe the crazed dog after a blind was inadvertently opened in his presence! The moment afterward, however, Oliver comes out of his hysterical trance and meekly kisses Anthony’s bloodied hand as if to say, “I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to do that! I really couldn’t help it.” (To his credit, my husband has never blamed Oliver for these instances. He knows he should have had a better hold of the dog’s head when easing him into a down-stay position to try and relax him.)

There are signs of great progress, too, fortunately. For the most part, being a member of a pack has helped him learn to be a dog and to play. Oliver’s favorite thing to do is to lightly clamp his teeth around the base of Ambrose’s tail and let the 27-pound giant Westie drag him around the room—simply hilarious to witness. He’s doing great on our walks and even does short runs with my husband while Anthony rides his bike. He’s enjoying a healthful raw-food diet that’s settled his tummy and is keeping his teeth shiny and white. Recently, he discovered our fireplace and is blissed out over being able to lie in its warmth, soothing what we suspect may be a touch of arthritis in his front leg.

He has learned to get along with one of our two cats, Xander, who knows how to work Westies by standing still and giving them nothing to chase and presenting an elevator butt for the dogs to sniff. But 14-year-old Giles has begun hissing and growling occasionally in Oliver’s presence, possibly because the senior kitty isn’t feeling well himself or because he’s neurotic and has a death wish—we haven’t decided which—the sound of which sends this fearful new dog into an apoplectic fit of barking, thus triggering the other dogs to recall, “Oh yeah, that’s right, we’re pack animals, too. Let’s help him terrorize the cat we normally like just fine.”

Yelling, screaming, flailing and even growling hasn’t dissuaded them out of the red zone when they’re attacking in unison. But, I’ve discovered purely by accident that if I make a clipped, high-pitched screech-like sound myself, it almost magically snaps Oliver out of his barking fit. This throat-straining sound of mine has cut short some really deafening bark-fests, I tell you. I’m thinking of making a CD…

So, though still a nervous “Grumbly Gus,” Oliver is showing ever-increasing signs of his love bug side emerging. His issues are severe enough that I recognize the former caregivers, who were dog-owning newbie’s, simply weren’t equipped to handle a Westie with such debilitating issues beyond just being a terrier, which can be challenging enough by itself. (Though we don’t know for sure, we doubt he was actually abused by his former owners. More likely, these deeply ingrained neuroses stem from his being a puppy mill dog.)

Lucky for Oliver, we’re a Westie-wise home and stubborn enough to persevere through his worst behaviors, though at my own times of high stress I have told Oliver in exasperation—usually while the cat is shivering in fright, yanking out tufts of his fur, and no longer joining the family in any activities we once shared when he felt safe—“You’re here for the long haul, but I see why other people had to give you up, dog.”

We L-O-V-E our most recent adoptee, Oliver, and he has found his forever home with my hubby, Anthony, our menagerie, and me despite anything in this story that might be construed as second thoughts on our part about that. I just thought giving folks a factual, rather than euphemistic account of an actual rescue would benefit some of them in their decision-making.

My advice to everyone, do adopt a shelter animal, please! Just don’t wear rose-colored glasses when you go pet shopping. We lucked out repeatedly over the years with several quickly adjusted rescues—this is the first time we’ve had actual ongoing conflict between any of our four-legged family members—but we had to be prepared for challenges like those presented by our dear little Oliver. He will likely be our greatest teacher yet, and for that we thank him and welcome his sweet kiss on our chins.

 

 

Check out the firefighter costumes on some wonderful Westies at this weekend’s Westie Walk Parade, as part of the annual James J. Hill Days celebration in Wayzata, MN. (It is always held the first Sunday following Labor Day, which, coincidentally, also happens to be National Pet Memorial Day.) The dogs’ garb was chosen to commemorate our first responders in the 9/11 tragedy and to honor the rescue professions for their fine work everyday. Thank you all!!!

Unfortunately, our pups were not personally videotaped this time, as there were 100 dogs present, but I’m including below the video link the sign we held while walking to generate interest in animal adoption. Below each pooch’s picture is his/her name and where we adopted him/her from. We thought this was especially appropriate given that the firefighter costumes they wore are all about “rescue.”—Sid

P.S. Turn off the video right after the dogs’ spot. It goes on awhile afterward but has nothing more to do with the Westie Walk.

WCCO Westie Walk Coverage

Rescues Rule!!!

P.P.S. A gentleman we met at the parade recognized our dogs’ photo and exclaimed, “I took that off the (Westie Walk) Facebook page—it’s my screen saver!” The awesome photo is by my good friend Susan Timmerman.


Read the story of our newest Westie’s rescue on the New Arrivals page of this blog.

From left, Ambrose, Keely, Oliver and Blanche. Photo by Susan Timmerman

I know it’s a hot button to bring up the teachings of “The Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Millan. People seem to either love him or hate him and his philosophy, and I’m not going to open that whole discussion here. What I am here to say, however, is that I used his techniques today and spared myself and my three Westies—Blanche, Keely and Ambrose—from falling victim to an attack by a charging rottweiler mix.

Here’s what happened. I was walking my pooches along Minnehaha Parkway in Minneapolis when I saw coming toward us a 20-something man and his two big dogs, a huge white Pyrenees Mountain dog and a rottie mix. His two dogs nearly overwhelmed him with their bucking, barking and general “I want to kill those Westies” behavior.

FYI: A Pyraneese Mountain Dog (not THE dog in the story)

A Rottweiler mix similar to the one in the story.

My dogs, to their credit, stayed quiet and calm. (I’d like to take a moment to brag about my dogs if I may. I’ve received several comments from strangers, while we’re out on our walks, who have noted what well-behaved Westies I have. This was not always so, and I thank Mr. Millan for his dog-walking tips that have taken 95% of the squirrel-chasing chaos out of our strolls.)

Anyway, back to the story. We steered clear of those aggressive dogs and went on our merry way. Some time later, on our return trip, however, I saw we were going to cross paths with them again. I casually took my dogs several yards off the sidewalk to give them a wide berth. The Pyrenees went ultra ballistic this time, which I found worrisome, because the dog had to weigh well over 120 pounds. But what really startled me was the 70–80-pound rottweiler mix—who broke free of its collar and came charging at us!

The young man hollered fruitlessly to recall his dog, as he was still struggling with the Pyrenees. Normally, I’d have screamed bloody murder to see my dogs and myself under attack, but something clicked in my brain and I immediately thought WWCD? (What would Cesar do?)

I stood with legs firmly planted, pulling my dogs (who were surprisingly calm and still during this) somewhat behind me. I used a visualization technique to see myself as the pack leader protecting my pack from this intruder. The energy I sent out was filled with pure “You will NOT touch my pack!” authority.

I then used a loud, assertive voice to yell sharply, “Hey! NO!!” as I pointed down to the grass for him to drop there, and I—with heretofore never experienced complete confidence in a crisis—stared down this bully breed. With his hackles still raised from the attack, that rottie stopped dead about four feet away from us and dropped to the ground. His owner, still 20 yards away, continued to call to the dog ineffectually. I gave the rottie one last “NO!!” when he looked like he might challenge me, I added a final “Don’t you even think it!” look and calmly walked away with my astoundingly balanced pack of Westies.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the term “Minnesota Nice,” which refers to Minnesotans’ typical tendency to be hyper agreeable/passive so as not to upset anyone else, despite how detrimental such behavior may be in certain situations. In that split second, I said to myself, “Screw Minnesota Nice! I don’t give a ‘bleep’ what this guy thinks of my tone being used on his unruly dog. One of us humans has to show them who’s pack leader, and it obviously isn’t him!”

How empowering!

I’d never been prouder of my dogs or myself—in relation to my dog parenting. Had I not watched a gazillion episodes of “The Dog Whisperer,” I am certain I’d have screamed and tried to flee as the charging dog bore down on us, no doubt redoubling his predatory instinct. I shudder to think what the result would have been of that strategy.

(My certainty arises from past experience. I actually had that very thing happen several years ago when a neighbor’s pit bull broke free and came charging, clearly hoping to make me and my former Westie, Ludwig, her lunch. It didn’t help that the owner hysterically screamed for us to “RUN!!!!” as her pit bull went into attack mode because she knew she’d be unable to stop her dog. I barely got the two of us into our yard and shut the gate when Jasmine, her 10-month-old pit bull puppy, who was normally friendly, at least to humans, crashed into it and kept leaping and snapping at us until her owner came by to subdue her with a broom!)

That was a pretty traumatic experience for me, but thanks to Cesar Millan, I no longer automatically lump all the bully breeds into the “BAD DOG” category. I bawled when I learned of his pit bull Daddy’s death. But, I do harbor a great resentment toward owners of those breeds who either encourage aggressive behaviors in their dogs or simply don’t take seriously their responsibility to properly control and train them—for the sake of other people and their pets, as well as for their own dogs’ sake. To those people, I say,  “BAD OWNERS! BAD OWNERS!!”

Now, I just hope that young man I encountered today starts some kind of training course to get better control of his two clearly potentially dangerous, dog-aggressive canines.

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