As many of you may remember, Izzy was brought to the attention of WRNT as a home-2-home adoption. Izzy's owners could no longer provide her the medical care she needed because of her Stage 1 diabetes. As a result of the diabetes Izzy wasn't able to control her bodily functions as well as necessary and was required to live outdoors, in the back yard.
Westie Rescue spent several months searching for the right home for Izzy, a place where her medical needs would be top priority and where she could be loved and fussed-over - befitting any Westie. In March, 2007 we were contacted by a wonderful lady in Florida who was interested in Izzy. Now, as we've stated over and over, long-distance adoptions are exceptionally difficult to manage and we really prefer to keep our placements local. In Izzy's case, however, we were willing to do whatever it took to find her that special home.
Our volunteers and Izzy's soon-to-be Forever Mom worked diligently to make this adoption happen. One of our volunteers was slated to drive to Lubbock to pick up Izzy for transport to Dallas. Another volunteer, a flight attendant, was online to transport Izzy on a flight from Dallas to Tampa, where she would meet Izzy's new Forever Mom. We also had backup volunteers who would purchase a red-eye ticket in case our flight attendant volunteer couldn't make the journey. As a last resort, we were working with other Rescue agencies to arrange a car caravan to transport Izzy if necessary.
Literally hundreds of emails and phone calls flew back and forth as we hammered out the details, worked on getting the prospective adopter "approved" and the host of logistical issues that come with transporting a dog with health issues. Needless to say, there were an awful lot of people working extremely hard to make Izzy's life a better one.
Unfortunately, two weeks before Izzy was to be whisked across the Friendly Skies to her new home, she was taken to the emergency clinic with some serious problems. Every possible treatment and diagnostic was performed to figure out why Izzy was so ill. Ultimately, Izzy's adoption was not meant to be. We at Westie Rescue were contacted with the terrible news that Izzy had passed away during the night.
For the most part, the people who work in Rescue are a very pragmatic group. We realize that we can't save every dog, but we also don't give up easily. There were tears aplenty at Izzy's passing: her current Family, her future Forever Family and our volunteers. It hit everyone quite hard that, right on the cusp of starting a new life, Izzy would pass from this world.
After the fact we found that Izzy had apparently been poisoned. Having spent months in the back yard it's difficult to fathom what she could have been exposed to, and speculation seems fruitless.
Westie Rescue extends our heartfelt thanks to Izzy's first Family for seeking to find her a new home, her future Family for extending their love and compassion to such a sweet little girl and to the many volunteers who came together to form the safety net that was leading Izzy to a new life.
Frankie Frankie came to WRNT in December 2004. He was very old, in declining health, but still had that precious Westie spirit. My veterinarian estimated that Frankie was anywhere from 12 - 15 years of age. The older guys seem to be so appreciative of a nice, warm, loving place to stay. He just looked into my eyes and I knew this is where he would spend the rest of his days. No matter how old a dog gets, they still amazingly give love unconditionally. Frankie assimilated into our lives with ease even though he was joining a pack of much younger dogs, Queenie, Twinkie, and a recent rescue Badger. Badger was just a pup, but Frankie tolerated his silliness like the wise old soul that he was. Frankie took to Queenie, who was 11 years young, quite well and frequently was caught cuddling up with her for an afternoon nap.
Due to his age, Frankie was allowed to just kind of hang out and do his own thing. He got around very well and really enjoyed his new freedom. He loved to lay out in the sun in the back yard. He used the doggie door with ease and would spend most of the winter afternoons enjoying the outdoors. He would come in only to eat, get a drink of water, and get some much needed attention. Oh and how he loved to eat! He was very thin when he came to us so he got a little extra sampling here and there. He loved treats and was ever so gentle taking them out of your hand. Everyone snuck him a little something. He wasn't about to let on.
Frankie was not with us very long, but the time we had with him was priceless. Each and every dog brings such a wonderful, sweet spirit to our home. Frankie acted like he had lived here his entire life. I am so grateful for the time, ever so short as it was, that I got to know this precious, precious dog. He was so gentle and loving even after being abandoned at the animal shelter. He touched our lives immensely with his gentleness and sweet kisses. What a precious little guy you were Frankie. We love you and miss you. I am glad you are now free to finally get after those silly squirrels, play with all of the other dogs, and eat treats all day.
"The Alpha Queen"
My husband and I adopted both of our Westies through the Westie Rescue of North Texas and I wanted to share Crystal's story with everyone so that they know how their lives can be enriched by providing a warm and loving home to these wonderful dogs. Crystal and Cujo were 5 years old when the family they were living with decided to split up. Neither side wanted to keep the dogs after the divorce and fortunately they called WRNT to see if someone could adopt. I remember the day that we went to their home to meet Crystal and Cujo and I will never forget the look on my husband's face as both those dogs came running around the corner and jumped up on both of us to lick our faces. We had talked about only being able to adopt 1 dog but after seeing both we decided that we just had to have both these wonderful dogs.
Crystal happily lived with us for 6 years until she got sick in February of 2006. We tried everything to save her and she even spent a week in the animal hospital undergoing numerous tests to try and figure out what was wrong. They could not pinpoint the problem and she became very anemic and could not keep down food and then even water. She passed away at home on March 7, 2006 and we miss her terribly.
Crystal was our "alpha" dog and she ran the household like the queen that she was - her food was eaten first, her toys were kept in her corner and she slept on the big dog pillow right in the middle so Cujo had to find another spot. She was a beautiful Westie with big brown eyes and the softest, most beautiful coat of fur. She was always very healthy and hardly ever sick until the end. She loved to ride in the car and the backseat was her domain. She would run from side to side to see if she was missing anything important. One of her favorite outings was to go to Sonic Drive In for a vanilla ice cream dish or those dog cookies that they have in little tiny plastic bags. Last year, she even made a fall foliage road trip up to Oklahoma and had a wonderful time running through parks and seeing all the different scenery.
She brought so much joy to our lives as she was very loving and playful. She would do the "Crystal Crawl", as we called it, where she would pull herself across the carpet on her belly to get your attention. She also loved to play what we called "Where's Mike" as my husband would hide under the covers of the bed and she would search frantically for him and then try to dig a hole to get through the blankets and sheets to uncover him.
Thank you WRNT for all of the wonderful work that you do and for saving so many lives. I urge everyone to consider adoption, you will not be disappointed.
Scrappy 04/03/11 Scrappy passed over the bridge. He had been our friend and companion for 17 years. He was also a friend to many many foster dogs and welcomed them into his home.
A Senior Who Left Pawprints on Our Hearts
"Dear Westie Rescue,
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you this morning. Saturday, September 1st, sweet, precious Orra crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The vet in Wills Point, Dr. Wingo, was extremely sensitive to this difficult time for all of us. The room we were in had a toddler bed, nightstand, and two rocking chairs. We sat with her for a while and then both Mark and I were able to hold her while she passed. I wrapped her in a blanket and I carried my angel back to the farm.
She is now able to run, play, and just be the dog she once was with Scrappy, Frankie, Shortstop, Finn, and Bear becoming her new pack. I told her to look for them and as you can see in the picture that they are anxiously awaiting her arrival.
As you know, Orra was older and had been neglected. Thank God for Merikay who rescued her from being left alone and forgotten! In these last couple of weeks, we have noticed more of a decline in Orra. Physically Orra was pretty healthy, but mentally there was something else going on. The consensus from three different vets is that she had a tumor and that is what caused the circling, hearing loss, and vision loss. Poor Orra spent most of her time full of anxiety because she did not know where she was or what was going on. I gave her selegiline for over a month, but it did not have the dramatic effect we were hoping for. She did seem slightly calmer. She definitely was most calm when I held her - which I tried to do as much as possible. I compare her alot to Queenie who is a year older and their is just such a huge difference in awareness, activity, etc. Just know that Orra spent these last three months completely spoiled and pampered. She was doted on constantly. My entire day was filled with meeting her needs. She loved to eat and so she got lots of treats during the day - much to everyone else's dismay. The others in the pack are not exactly hurting for food - so I would sneak her treats. But, despite this, she was losing weight and had gotten down to 16 pounds. That is another reason I became more concerned.
When Orra got to our home she was welcomed with open arms and paws. She was definitely given the respect she deserved as one of the elder dogs in the pack. Twinkie was her best friend and woke her up every morning by touching noses. Twinkie also escorted her around the backyard until Orra got her bearings. Queenie welcomed her into the Ol' Ladies Club immediately. They would walk together and Queenie who has better vision and hearing (although hers is in decline too, at almost 15) would help her friend out. Winston was also super protective too. He would get between her and any other "outsider" who might not know of Orra's special needs. Badger was best at distracting the puppy from bugging her. It was very touching to see how they all took care of each other.
When we were out at the lake is when Orra was at her best. It was peaceful, serene, and open. She loved our daily walks to the upper pasture. The dirt road is easier to negotiate for us old folks. Everyone would surround her as we walked and help herd her back on the path when she got confused and started circling. The best thing about the farm was that we have over five fenced-in acres split into the upper pasture and then another fence closer to the house. We can let everyone just run and play without worries. Of course they need constant supervision - if for nothing else to prevent rolling in cow patties and driving the horses and cows crazy. Orra was very calm and happy out there. She spent almost every weekend out there roaming and sniffing. When we buried her Mark picked a nice, quiet place under a beautiful tree right near the house so we could say good morning and good night to her.
The neatest thing happened Sunday morning. When I got up, and just before we went on our walk, I went over to say good morning to our little angel Orra. Two of the dogs went to my left, and two dogs went to my right forming a semi-circle around the grave. I got chills, was breathless, and teared up. It was so amazing. My friend Marsha, who was the only other person up this early, was shocked and speechless too. It was the their way of saying goodbye to a special member of our pack. I wish I had a picture of this wonderful event, but it will be in my heart forever.
Just know that Orra was extremely loved and well cared for. I changed her name so that she will be easily remembered. She was special and deserves to be remembered for her uniqueness. This is absolutely the hardest decision to make - Mark and I are just beside ourselves with grief. Everything was handled with extremely care and dignity. We took her into our home and our hearts. She wanted for nothing. Now Orra is finally at peace. We know that she is finally free of all the things that held her back here on earth and that gives us comfort. Thank you for the opportunity to walk Orra home. She is such a sweet, precious angel and has left pawprints on our hearts forever."
"The Family Dog"
Several years ago I adopted a Westie with awful skin problems from a local dog rescue group. He had been found at the animal shelter, tied to the door knob - his collar was grown into his neck, he had an awful skin infection, ear infection and a chicken bone stuck in his throat. They weren't going to let me adopt him but I persuaded them to as I had had a Westie many years before and was familiar with the skin problems, etc.
That was Boomer.
I had Boomer a while but he started getting lonely, so I contacted North Texas Westie Rescue, looking for a play mate for Boomer. I spoke with Marvin Katz and he came out to the house to do an interview and inspection. Some period of time went by and I didn't hear anything from him. Then one afternoon he called me and said there was a Westie located in Tyler, Texas, and his human dad had been put in the hospital with kidney failure and was not expected to live. The next door neighbor had been given permission to try to find his dog a new home. They contacted Marvin and he contacted me. Was I interested? You bet!
That was Toby.
I put Boomer in the truck and we drove to Tyler in the rain the next Saturday morning. We met the neighbor in a parking lot just off of I-20. The neighbor had piled his car chock full of blankets, dog toys, food, crate, etc. As soon as I pulled into the lot, he dumped everything into the back of my truck and thrust Toby into my arms and left. As Toby was not neutered, he and Boomer got very "bristly" with each and I had to tie Toby to the door handle of the truck to keep him from going into the back seat after Boomer. All I could think was "What have I gotten myself into?" Monday morning we went to the vet and Toby got fixed!! Well after that, he and Boomer were inseparable. We went along like that for 2 years when Boomer went into congestive heart failure and had to Rainbow Bridge. Toby and I were lost. We called my friend who lives just outside of Atlanta and works with the Morgan County Humane Society and she found a new addition for us in just 3 days - a Westie/Maltese mix. Then she put herself on a plane, put the dog in a carrier, and flew to Texas. Trebby (short for Truvioso which is Portuguese for trouble and boy how that fit) arrived at DFW airport in one piece and just full of himself. I pulled him out of the carrier and he growled at me. Great start!
Trebby and Toby got along great - Toby just growled and "harrumphed" at him and Trebby jumped and played and tore things up and licked Toby's face and ran and ran. So I thought …. Hmmm…. I should probably get a play mate for Trebby because by then Toby was 12 and a little grumpy. So…….I called Marvin again. Did he know of any rescues in need of a home? Why yes! Enter Heidi, who later became Maggie or "Maggie the Magic Muffin, Queen of America." Maggie was surrendered by a breeder - who knows how many babies she had delivered. She was scared of everything - plastic bags are the worst. She didn't know about cookies and sleeping on the bed and grass ….. so much to learn and see.
So while we were all adjusting, Toby's health began to decline ever so slowly. Over the period of a couple of years he lost most of his hearing, began having difficulty getting up on to the bed (so we added stairs) and had dental problems. About a month ago, I lost Toby to just plain old age - he was almost 15. I still miss him every day. In the meanwhile, I am busy with Trebby and Maggie and always thankful to North Texas Westie Rescue for finding Toby and Maggie - I am so lucky they found me - they make my life so much richer.
It's always gratifying to see an older Westie placed in a good home, but this story shows how the placement can be equally satisfying to the new Adopter! This was the case with Nan and Calvin.
A Westie was in a shelter. He was 14 yrs. old, probably deaf, had cataracts, and needed rescue/adoption now. We named him Calvin. Nan stepped forward and said, "Yes, I would be willing to meet him and to see if we're a match…. I hope we can help each other!"
"Walking him home,"………what a beautiful and meaningful phrase.
Nan stayed in contact. She traveled taking Calvin with her. He given medicated baths and loving care. At night he loves to snuggle under the covers and really prefers to "sleep in" under this little afghan he has adopted as his. He also enjoys taking walks, even when it's raining and cold. We are now up to 6 blocks! He sees pretty well, and hears (he is hard of hearing, but he can hear). He is a deep sleeper, and sometimes I have to awaken him. I can tell his life was not safe, because he has had nightmares, and if he's awakened abruptly, he does so with a start and then automatically cringes. This has been very rewarding for me. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help such a dear little gentlemen." A month later Nan wrote, "…..He and I are doing extremely well. I know that I'm really happy with him, and now that he wags his tail quite a bit, I know he feels happy and secure with me. What's amazing is that he has totally bloomed as a dog. He is alert, his ears pricked, and he's even bouncy! Can you believe it? We now routinely take 20 minute walks in the morning and evening.
She wrote again in December, 2005, saying: "I wanted to let you know that Calvin has been my wonderful little companion now for almost 3 years. As you may recall, I adopted him when he was 14, and he's been a wonderful gift to me as I have made many transitions in my life.
All good things must come to an end, and I received this E-mail in May, 2006. " I had to put Calvin to sleep the day before yesterday. I had him for over three years, and he would have been 17 on June 1. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last May and he had been taking enalapril and other medications, but he had started to wheeze and the vet told me there was nothing more we could do to help him. He was a wonderful little guy and I'm so grateful to have had him for as long as I did. One interesting thing is that he absolutely loved the winter here in Pennsylvania and would frolic in the snow -- even when he wasn't feeling well.
We thank Nan for the loving care she gave to Calvin, and for her letters which brought her experience to life for us. She did, indeed, do a wonderful job of "Walking Him Home".
Submitted by Marv Katz
"Walking Him Home"
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Our little buddy, Shortstop, is finally free from pain, free from suffering and is young, healthy and happy again. Our dedicated and devoted Foster Family says it best:
"Shortstop crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning, with Mark, myself, and Cheryl present.
Shortstop was a sweet, precious, little dog. Unfortunately, due to age and health reasons we had to let him go. He was given all the love, care, and attention he could possible get these last couple of weeks.
He loved to sit and look out the window, take walks, and sniff the entire backyard. He really got to do all the things he loved every day. He liked to take naps too. He had his favorite spot on a big pillow in the bedroom where it was quiet and dark.
We will miss him very much, but know that he is finally free of the burdens of this life and is now running and playing carefree with all the other dogs who have been patiently waiting for him.
Thank you Cheryl for your support during this difficult time. Thank you each member of the WRNT for everything you do for each and every dog that comes to us. They are all precious and wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to walk this little guy home.
We can't thank our Foster Families enough for what they do. This sweet boy spent his final days in a home filled with love and was given a gentle, caring sendoff. This is one of the heartbreaking parts of Rescue, but one that's so often overlooked. For every lucky Westie like Shortstop there are others we can't help. That's the part that really hurts.
Riley Roo Who
Riley went to Rainbow Bridge on Sunday, January 3, 2009. He passed at home with family and under the Christmas tree. He will be cremated and his ashes will remain at home as a testament to his foster family's love and devotion to the old gentleman who stole their hearts and to all Westies who are abandoned because of people who see them as a burden.
I met Riley on December 6, 2008 in Dr. Wild's office. Riley had been abandoned and was picked up by a local animal control office. We learned during Dr. Wild's exam that Riley had bradycardia, a heart disease which caused his heart to beat at about half the pace it should. Additionally, Riley was heartworm positive but couldn't have treatments because of the bradycardia. Riley had been neutered at the animal control office, and it was a wonder he hadn't slipped away while under anesthesia then. It didn't take long to realize that Riley was unique and had a strong will to live.
He adopted me straight off and I knew that we couldn't part. I gave Riley medicine three times a day and learned more about the treatment of bradycardia than I ever wanted to know. My wife Melanie dubbed him Riley Roo Who and gave him his medicine and dressed him in warm coats and loved him unconditionally. Roo Who had chronic ear infections and we cleaned ears regularly, sometimes on a daily basis. I'm not sure how long he'd had the infections, but he had lost most of his hearing. He had cataracts which limited his sight. Even for all of this, he was always quick to hand out kisses and he could smell a hot dog a mile away. I think he knew I was hiding his medicine in the wieners, but oh boy did he love his hot dogs. We tried Pill Pockets because I thought they were healthier, but they just didn't have the same allure. Coming in a close second was Nutter Butters. I know, I know, but hey, everybody needs an occasional treat. We would sometimes play ball and even though he didn't see well, he loved to pounce on his racquetball until he got tired.
Roo Who was a world traveler. He made several trips to Arkansas to visit family and one trip to Possum Kingdom. He seemed to enjoy riding and usually slept. Dr. Wild was one of his favorite people and he always gave her kisses. I think she was sweet on him also since she never charged for his office visits even though we saw her once a week at the office and a couple of times at her home after hours.
Christmas was an especially fond time for Roo Who. He enjoyed scratching his back on the lower limbs of the tree and would take naps under it as if dreaming of sugarplums and waiting for Santa. It was fitting then that he passed under the tree this morning. There is a big hole in my heart, but I know he was happy for the past year. And I'll never have a better Christmas present than the love he brought.
Roo Who, I will see you soon at The Bridge and I'll bring hot dogs.