Darby came to us in January.  She was 16 years old.  Her mom and dad had moved a year prior.  She was left behind and was being cared for by their daughter for the last year.  As with many older Westies, Darby had a bit of an incontinence issue.   She also had a very large fatty tumor on her tummy which she had had for many years.  Fatty tumors are often left alone because they are not a health threat.  She also had a lot of tearing which may have been dry eye which isn’t uncommon and requires eye drops.  And she had a large wart above one eye which was bleeding.

When she came in, she was badly in need of grooming.  She was fine with the resident dog and did not seem to have any “accidents” but was taken outside many times.  She was given a vegie dental stick but she licked it rather than eating it. She went to the vet in the morning.  Unfortunately the vet found some very serious issues.    An ultrasound revealed a mass on her liver.  The vet felt she could live with that for 6 months to a year.  But the larger issue was an enlarged heart that was beating very irregularly.  When they put her on her back for the ultrasound, she immediately began to cough because the heart was so large it was compressing her windpipe.  The beat was rapid, slow, and then missed several beats, and then faster, etc.  We were advised that she would not live much longer with it.  Overall she wasn’t going to be very adoptable.  Her dental disease was severe and she had a shot of antibiotic to help with that.

We took her home to give her a good last night.  She had a special dinner with meat included with her kibble.  She was happy to eat all of her dinner.  During the evening, she chose to wander and roam the house for a couple of hours and then put herself to bed.    While she walked around we noticed she always had her mouth open and her tongue out.  The vet felt that was her attempting to breath due to the heart condition.  The dental issues are probably why she wouldn’t chew anything hard.   She slept 14 hours until we finally woke her for breakfast.

We believe she was quietly suffering.  And it wasn’t likely that she would live long enough to adapt to a new home even if we were able to find one for her.  In her best interest, we took her to the vet the next day and held her while she went to be with her mom who had recently pre-deceased her.

We were glad to be able to meet Darby and give her this last gift of release.  Rescue isn’t always easy.


Let me tell you a story about a little Westie mix named Peter. His owner called and wanted to surrender her dog because they had gotten a new puppy and the puppy terrorized her Westie mix. Peter lived under her bed and wouldn’t come out for the last four months since the puppy had arrived. Peter was seven years old and had lived with his owner all his life.

He was afraid of these new foster people but went with us quietly. Once we got to his new foster home, we tried to get him out, but he got loose from his collar and hid under a car. He went from under one car to another and then he ran into the garage. We worked for hours to bribe him with food and water and toys, but he would not come to us. We left him with food and water and blankets to cuddle in. He was so very upset and growled, showed his teeth, and tried to bite us.

We did manage to get him into a crate the next day and we went off to his new foster home. Foster mom (FM) attached an x-pen to the crate and opened it so he could come out and get accustomed to his new family. Several times a day FM would climb into the x-pen and try feeding him and getting him to come to her. It took thirteen days before he would finally climb into her lap and let her touch him. She changed his name so he could make a clean start. His new name was Doobie. “Doobie, Doobie Do, where are you?” is what she sang to him again and again.

He loved her talking to him and singing to him but still he would have nothing to do with grooming or cleaning him in anyway. She worked with our Behaviorist every other day and keep inching him into a secure environment where he would go outside by himself and not be afraid. Everyone was so happy and excited when we would make some progress with him and then he would growl, show his teeth, and try to bite. He would bite his foster brother who would then try to show him it wasn’t appropriate behavior, but he never seemed to understand.

He was on melatonin and Gabapentin and Trazodone on a regular basis. We finally were able to get Doobie into the Vet (delayed due to COVID) and had his teeth cleaned and his shots. He did have a broken tooth which we were hoping was the reason for his biting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and FM was bitten badly when taking him in for a grooming.  It was agreed by the Board that we would not be able to place him because he would end up hurting someone else. We loved him and loved on him but eventually we had to do the humane thing and end his turbulent and unhappy life.

We do hope he will remember his last three months of life and how hard his foster mom tried to help him. “Doobie, I, your foster mom, hope you will be there at the Bridge. I will be looking for you. Rest in Peace my dear, dear boy.”


Patty is nine years old and has recently been diagnosed with diabetes.  Her owners were not able to care for her with this condition as it requires medication on a very rigid schedule and their work schedules didn’t allow for this.  She requires two insulin shots a day.   Patty is very cute and has a wonderful personality.  She is doing well with the resident dog in her foster home.  We will post more as we learn more about there.  (She will be in foster care for at least a month.)



Snowflake, age about five, was given away at a garage sale.  The people who took her could not keep her so they surrendered her to us.  She is doing well in foster care and has had a good initial vet check.  She will soon be groomed and spayed.   SNOWFLAKE HAS BEEN ADOPTED.

Kelly is 13 years old and came to us because her owners moved due to health reasons and all the activity at the condo has made Kelly anxious and she acts aggressive toward children and other dogs. She is up to date on her medical. We will have her checked by the vet to make sure she has a clean bill of health. We will be exposing her to lots of things to teach her not to be anxious around other dogs.

As of 10/16/21.  Kelly has been seen by the vet and has a clean bill of health.  She is scheduled for a dental and a groom.  She has been living quite well with a younger Westie boy.  Her foster mom has been exposing her to other dogs, people and places.  She has done very well.  For the most part, she ignores other dogs entirely.  She is a bit “insecure” and would probably like a forever home where she is an only dog and where her owners will keep her “socialized” by taking her places.  She needs to know that she is not responsible for taking care of her owners; that they will take care of her.  She should not be forced to play with other dogs and allowed to ignore them.  Hopefully she will be placed in early December; if not, then we will hold her until January rather than put her in a home during the Christmas holidays.  KELLY HAS BEEN ADOPTED.

Whelan 5 yrs old came into rescue due to behavior issues that may be due to owners time restraints. He is being evaluated in foster care but otherwise appears to be a healthy normal boy. After his vet appointment we will have a more confident feeling about him physically. His foster parents are exposing him to potential triggers and evaluating his understanding of basic commands. He is a happy playful boy!   1/16/22  Whelan has been adopted!