Down South Westies
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West Highland White Terriers

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October 2007

What to Expect in Your Pup's First Year!

Even though we no longer breed Westies, we continue to get daily calls and emails related to "puppy care" and are asked often to recommend a breeder. When we bred Westies, our moms received tremendous care every day, but especially during the days before and after whelping a litter of pups. We were with them every step of the way.  For the first few weeks the pup's whole world consists of his mom's quite, nurturing warmth and the close comfort of littermates.  Eyes normally open around two weeks and hearing begins shortly thereafter.  His world begins to broaden, he begins wobbly walking, and he begins to wrestle with his littermates.  He learns some very important lessons during this time. <<More>>

What About Your Own Doggie Collection of Postage Stamps?

Design your own stamps in seven different denominations, from 26 cent postcards to a $4.60 Priority Mail rate. Sheets of first-class 41 cent stamps are $18.99. With the holidays coming, your doggie will be a star! Other collections are available:

NASCAR Collection
Collegiate Collection
NFL Collection

Click on the PhotoStamps banner above to order your stamps.

Sleeping With Westies

Research indicates that around 50% of dogs sleep with their owners. If you had told me 15 years ago that we would be sharing our king size bed with Miss Chloe, Darby, and Paris, I would have laughed at you. I mean, after all, three dogs? My upbringing tells me I should be embarrassed to admit it, but I learned a long time ago that our dogs are ours and if you don't want white hair (they say that Westies do not shed!) on your black pants, visit someone else! Our experience has been that it strengthens the bond we feel together and we just love their affection. Now, I must say there are times I have to battle it out with Miss Chloe. She is a notorious bed hog. I try to be as persistent as she is and sometimes I win, especially if I can get Linda to slide her over toward her. I try to be firm, making it absolutely clear what part of the bed they are allowed to sleep, but it doesn't usually work! They intrude on my space, they don't give any ground. They push slowly and steadily against me until I give up. Linda has over half the bed for herself and I spend the night surrounded with love, affection, and an occasional lick. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's embarrassing isn't it?

Soft Puppia Mesh Harness


Great Shopping Sources

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Gifts For Westie Lovers

Westie Books





Who's Top Dog in Your House?

I'm sure you don't need statistics to tell you that your dog probably runs your life, but it's a fact backed by the recently published AKC 21st Century Dog Owners Study, focusing on the behaviors, attitudes, and purchasing habits of dog owners. Of the 750 owners of AKC - registered dogs surveyed:

-88% regard their dog as a beloved family member
-51% stated that their dogs affect how they spend their leisure time
-47% consider their dogs' comfort when shopping for a car
-72% said they look for the best and highest-quality brands of pet products for their dogs
-2 out of 3 owners purchased an average of 9.3 balls for their dogs to play with in the past 12 months
-around 89% of owners who compete in AKC events with their dogs say they are most proud of their dogs' accomplishments
Don't miss the new collection of 2008 calendars and other items. Calendars make great holiday gifts.


Do You "Really" Know Your Groomer?
Let me state upfront that I am biased in the area of grooming. If a groomer gets upset about my feelings, the problem is "theirs", not mine! We have preferred to do our own grooming for several reasons and get a lot of calls or emails about grooming. Whether it is to recommend a groomer in the Metro area or questions about age of first grooming, or whether they should groom themselves, it is a topic of interest among Westie owners. According to American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, in 2006 Americans spent a whopping $2.7 billion on grooming and boarding services for their pets, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. You might think that taking your pup to the groomer is like having 'your' hair done. What's the worst that can happen besides a bad "hair-do"? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. While the number of grooming related pet injuries and deaths is small, there is evidence it is a growing problem among groomers. The Better Business Bureau says that complaints against groomers have jumped more than 50 percent in the last five years. Part of the reason is that the pet related industry is big bucks for some people. Increasing demand for pet services has resulted in more inexperienced groomers hanging out a shingle. And it puts established facilities under pressure to get animals in and out faster. One evening, not long ago, we were visiting one of the major pet retail stores in our area and a young man was grooming a very unhappy dog. He was fighting with the dog, while two other young workers laughed and taunted the dog. To them it was reckless and fun, but to Fido, it was a bad experience.
What to look for at an experienced grooming facility:
- no dryer cages. Insist your pup is hand dried. To be certain, stay and watch.
-may deserve a second chance if you feel the groomer is honest and explains what happened, and acknowledges a cut, scrape, or burn, cares for it properly and is genuinely apologetic, especially if you have had a good experience in the past
-trained or has completed an apprenticeship. Seek out someone who has been in business in the same place for a long time
-clean and well maintained facility
-love what they do and have a rapport with pups
-will let you watch. If a groomer won't allow it, go elsewhere
You might want to consider a Mobile Groomer who will come to your house. Most Westie owners feel that their dog is worth "whatever the cost" to be sure they get the best. Don't shop for price, shop for experience and quality service. With all that said, why not do your own grooming? <<More>>

Lyme Disease

I read an article recently about Lyme disease that I wanted to pass along to you. Vets are finding that canine Lyme disease is more common than thought. New testing techniques have discovered many infected dogs, yet what to do with them is uncertain. Lyme disease is spread by ticks. Your dog's risk for contracting it depends on tick exposure. A dog who lives in an apartment and walks only on concrete probably will never pick up a tick. But a dog who goes for walks in any wooded area could be exposed. Lyme disease has been found in all 48 contiguous states, but the Northeast and the upper Midwest are considered hot spots for the organism. Testing and treatment of Lyme disease among vets varies. Frequent tick removal is the best way to prevent Lyme disease. If you check your dog for ticks daily, you will almost certainly prevent Lyme disease. Some vets question whether canine Lyme disease is a severe enough condition to warrant vaccination. For us, we will continue to check our dogs for ticks and would consider vaccination only if we lived in a really bad, really bad endemic area.

Are You a "Picker Upper"?

You know what makes me mad? You know what really makes me have a bad day? Stepping in dog poop in the dark, just before daylight, on my daily walk with Linda and our three Westies. We always carry pick up bags for our dogs and pick up their poop. All dogs poop! The other morning, I really got ticked! We were walking down the street on our "before daylight" walk, enjoying the cool morning air, and having our morning conversation. All of a sudden I go to dancing because I realize I am in the middle of poop. Too late! In the dim street light, I discovered my suspicions were right. Have you ever been ticked off? Wanted to yell, but your knew the neighbors were probably still asleep. We had just met a neighbor walking her Doberman and little poodle and we suspected her dog (the BIG one) was the culprit. Now I don't normally talk about dog poop, but I did want to remind you to be considerate and when you take your dog in public, always be prepared to be a "poop picker upper"!

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The Dog Owner's Veterinary Handbook  by James M Griffin, MD & Lisa D. Carlson, DVM
Easy-to-follow directions and an alphabetized emergency section explains how and when to treat a dog and when to call a vet. Hardback, 558 pages, photos and illustrations. 3rd ed.



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