This little story is about one of our rescue dogs. He came to us from a shelter where he was left by a puppy miller. Needless to say he was a mess when we picked him up (along with 6 others!) It was just heart breaking to think that anyone could care so little about animals. Ellis has been in foster care for several weeks now and is making progress slowly but surely. His foster mom has the patience of a saint and is doing a great job with him !

She sent this update of Ellis, the name his foster mom gave him. He never had a name before. He never got to ride in a car or visit family during any holiday; never had a toy of his own and never got to run and play, for that matter. You’re getting the picture of what kind of lives these puppy mill dogs have. I thought this was very touching and decided to put it on the education web site. He tore up some of her carpet just before she left to visit relatives on Thanksgiving………

Julie wrote:
“Whenever he gets into mischief I just remember what he has been through, and how I need to be patient with him. He had a horrible life in that puppy mill and carpet is always replaceable. I just keep in mind that he deserves every chance to have a good life.

I tell you what, my six-year-old niece, Rachel, put everything in perspective when she noticed Ellis tilting his head and looking at the Christmas tree and its lights. She asked me why he was looking at it that way. I told her he had never seen a Christmas tree or lights before. Her face told me everything and then she came over and petted him and kissed him on the head. Then she wanted to go out and buy him a dog toy so she could give him his first Christmas gift ever. And….for the first time he played with his toy!!!! He actually played!!!!

It was in that moment that my patience was renewed.”


She also asked me “Aunt Julie, Has Ellis ever seen a girl before?” I guess I no longer qualify as a girl.

Children are truly a blessing……..

Barb Engerer


The AKC is a Dog Registry. They register purebred dogs from many sources. The Registration indicates that the dog is purported to be purebred but in most cases, no proof is required. (The AKC has started a DNA program which should improve this situation.) There is no implication that a registered dog is “well bred”.

Read About Dog Registries and Kennel Clubs …don’t be fooled!


(Story by Grace, A Westie whose life has changed)

I wandered the city streets. I was alone and scared of strange places and loud noises. I cringed and ran. I was pregnant, hungry, and dirty with matted hair. A strange person caught me. I was taken to a rescue group where there were lots of BIG dogs who certainly weren’t Westies. But they were kind people who gave me food, cut my hair, and cleaned me up. When my labor pains started, these people tried to help. The labor went on and off for over 24 hours, and finally I was taken to a vet where I got put to sleep for a c-section. Three of my puppies were stillborn and the fourth one died after six days. In the afternoon of the day my puppy died, a man and a woman came and took me for a ride in a cage in their car. I heard her say, ‘Is this really a Westie?’ The man answered, ‘Yes. Look at her head. She’s a Westie and she needs us.’

When the car stopped, the woman talked to me and put a leash on me. I reluctantly went for a walk since I didn’t know about leashes and walks. While we were walking, we met up with the same man who had been in the car, and he was walking with another Westie on a leash. That’s how I met Gus who already lived with this man and woman. Gus was friendly, and he knew I am a Westie. I started wondering if I could stay with them. They took me right in their house which brought totally new experiences.

My life has changed. I’ve learned how to go for walks and now I even know what he means when the man spells ‘W-A-L-K’. I start barking and run to get my leash hooked on my collar. I know how to go up and down stairs now. I’ve learned not to be afraid of house noises like the ice maker when it dumps ice cubes in the refrigerator. I no longer run and hide in fear when the sweeper starts. Now I just keep napping, with one eye open, when the sweeper goes by me. Often I find a sunny spot to nap on a cozy carpet, or I sleep on a pillow now that I can jump on a sofa. There’s plenty of food, clean water, lots of attention, and treats too. I really like not cringing, or hiding or being afraid someone will hit me or hurt me. I get to squirrel watch with Gus. I pretend that Gus is in charge since he’s a ‘bossy dog’. He is also a fun dog! We play together, but he does not appreciate dog toys like I do. We have a great backyard and there’s grass and even a patio if I don’t want to get my feet wet. My life is totally changed from the way it used to be when I was having puppies.

My hair has grown back, and it is pretty now. I really like to be brushed and groomed. I get to sleep with my family. There’s even steps to help me get on to the bed. I won’t be having any more puppies or living in a dirty caged area. I get to live with the kind man and woman and Gus. I’ve really learned to appreciate the “finer things” in life.

Submitted by the adopter of Grace from the Ohio Westie Rescue and a member of the Michigan Westie Adopters’ Group List

STOP PUPPY MILLS   Click on Vidios and Photos when you get to that site.