Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outside Looking In

As the weather gets colder, the nippy air should be good for our dogs. Westies are 'hardy' creatures whose coat should provide sufficient warmth so that they can stay out for hours (or days?).

When the Westies get bored inside, they need some fresh air. Our deck is where they "hang out" to be nosy and to stalk the local squirrels. But the recent cool temperatures seem to disagree with the conventional wisdom that our Westies can stand the cold. They seem to be impatient in getting back to more comfortable environs.

We took these shots of our dogs in the outside looking in... You may be wondering why they have dirt on their muzzle. Let's just say they are just being Westies and have been digging.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

We found a new exercise regimen for the Westies. This involves a tennis ball and a tennis court. Hopefully it has the same energy draining effect as the treadmill. So far, the dogs are taking to it well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Ming at 5 Months

OK - so we'll go one month back - we have a very inquisitive Ming outdoors figuring out her environs or perhaps looking for a squirrel?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flashback - Ming in Younger Days at 6 Months

Audrey and her siblings are about 6 months. We were rummaging the hard drive when we found some good and cute shots of mother Ming when she was the same age! As Audrey grows, we try to compare her to some of these old Ming shots. We also compare temperament. While Ming was a mellow dog with a bird's appetite, Audrey is lively (sometimes too lively) with a voracious appetite. Wow we wonder - what different personalities!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Looking Ahead to Winter?

As the weather gets colder in the northern environs, people think of snow. A Westie and snow is an interesting combination. Our old Westie has many years in the Northeast and as we indexed through some YouTube videos, one captured our imagination and reminiscent of our life prior to moving to a more temperate climate. So, here it is- a Westie + snow + sledding. Does a Westie camouflage well in the white background - sure - better than a black lab.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Julep's Fall Wardrobe+

In keeping with getting updated pictures from the puppies, we have new ones of Julep.

So, Fall is here in the east coast and Julep has a sweater to complement her fur.

Oh she also has a nice huge bone toy.

Yet more nice crisp fall day shots.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nosy Westies

Do you ever wonder what your dog does everyday to avoid getting bored? Our Ming loves to be observing everything. Whether it's on the lookout for the deer, squirrels and rabbits running in our backyard or the neighborhood power walkers, mailman or skateboaders, we know that these small distractions makes her day.

Do you remember the 60's television show Bewitched? There is a certain character, yes - Mrs. Gladys Kravitz, that Ming is on the path to becoming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Time Flies

Wow - it's been some time since the blog has been updated. Honestly, we've been busy. But time has passed and our puppy Audrey is getting older and bigger! When we pick her up these days, she definitely has some heft to her relative to those earlier days. Anyway, here are two quick shots against a familiar wall.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Before Turning In

Audrey is as lively and playful as ever before bed. We wish we had her energy. A quick video....

Friday, October 3, 2008

To Spay (or Neuter) or Not To Spay (or Neuter)...or Wait Until Maturity

Okay, here is a hot topic...Now that the puppies are approaching six months of age, the question arises as to when to spay and neuter the puppies who went to pet homes. It isn't as clear as some vets might say...that is, spay/neuter at 6 months and reduce the chances of female/male cancers. An article, "Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete, One Veterinarian's Opinion", by Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP, was given to the new caregivers on this topic (the link to is article is listed below). Another good article is by Laura J. Sanborn, "Long Time Health Effects of Spay and Neuter In Dogs", see link below. Ms. Marks, the owner of the puppies' sire and a member of the West Highland Whiter Terrier Club of America, Health Committee, strongly believes that spaying and neutering should wait until after age one when the dog has matured. We advocate that spaying and neutering pet Westies should only be done after age one when the Westie has matured.

Here are links to two articles on this topic:

On The Topic of Grooming

When stripping a Westie, we have found wearing surgical gloves and/or chalking the Westie's coat helpful. Terrier chalk can be purchased at the following sites (prices and shipping and handling varies) -

Although we are not endorsing any one site, we use the one that says "Terrier Chalk" just because we were able to buy it at a dog show.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grooming a Westie

From time to time, we have been asked how we groom our Westies. The immediate response would be to find a groomer who does show grooming and let him or her strip the coat! That's the easiest way to go. However, if you are like us, you may want to learn to groom your Westie right at home. We have learned, and have in no way perfected our technique, that it is an art to do it right. We are also learning that like art, different people have different styles. The final appearance of the Westie, at a basic level is the same, but the different styles will be exhibited in the different emphasis on certain features - spikey, blended, short short jacket, etc.

Although stripping the coat sounds harsh, it is ultimately better for the Westie. Generally, Westies do not shed and if you want a healthy coat and skin, the old fur has to be pulled so the new fur has room to grown (out of the same follicle). A long time breeder once told us to remember that Westies came from an area in Scotland where the terrain was rough and wild and the dogs were used for hunting. As they ran across the land, their coat would get caught in the bushes and the fur would come off- nature's own way of stripping these dogs!

Here is a grooming chart to help guide those who want to try their hand at it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Hippo Revisited - Trying to Relive the Past

You know when one has a camera and great subjects, they just shoot away. Frequent and long time readers of this blog will remember the many photos we took when the entire bunch was growing up. During Julep's (formerly known to us as Sprite) stay with us, we got to reminisce when she was a puppy and exchanged stories among each other. One favorite picture came to mind in which she was sleeping on a purple hippo toy. She was zonked out while her siblings were active. It was a great moment. We had close-in shots (seemingly serene) and as we zoomed out, the observer can see the impending fracas. In the fracas are Duncan (left), unknown puppy(right), and Riley (about to jump into the fracas).

Step back with us and read this post (click here) to get a better appreciation. The puppies were about a month old then.

For those who want instant gratification, here are some selected pictures from that post.

Fast forward to the present time as we try to stage a similar shot. Well as you can see, it's the closest we can come as it's hard to get an energetic puppy to cooperate. By the way, she did remember the hippo and played with it for some time.

And of course here are the obligatory on the back shots.