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"The more I see of men, the more I like dogs"
~Mme. De Stael

My trio of Westies!
L-R: Summer (age 6 in photo), Angel (age 7) & Oliver (age 5)
Photo 2001

elcome to the home of my West Highland White Terriers; Angel, Summer and Oliver.
On this site you will not only find information regarding my Westies, but also the breed in general.

On our site, you can browse each dog's bio page; check out our collection of Westie links from personal Westie pages to Westie gifts online; and shop Amazon.com for books on Westies and other dogs. On our Odds & Ends page, you can make one of our delicious recipes, view our photo album, and read about what each season means for our Westies.

11.17.08 Angel passed away at home, surrounded by her family on Monday, November 17th at 9:30 a.m.

We miss her so much.
5.20.08 Angel recently celebrated her 14th Birthday

With all of the chaos going on, there hasn't been time for website updates, but be on the lookout for updates and new features coming soon! Email us your Westie photos and stories and stop by the message board to speak to other Westie owners while you're here!

A Brief History

"Histories are more full of the examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends."
~Alexander Pope

West Highland Terriers originated in the northern, mountainous area of Scotland in the nineteenth century. The climate is harsh and rainy covered by moors, heath, mountain lakes and woodlands; and it is inhabited by rabbits, deer, foxes and rodents. The Westie, as they are known, were bred to hunt these prey and were prized for their white coats which made the hunter's job of discerning them from their prey easier.

Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch is widely credited as the first breeder of these little terriers after a hunting accident in which he shot his dark coated Cairn Terrier--mistaking it for the game. Afterwards he decided to breed only the the white puppies of the litter. The Duke of Argyll also bred a similar white terrier which he referred to as, "white Skye Terriers". Named for his estate, his strain became known as Roseneath Terriers.

The Westie was officially recognized by the Scottish Kennel Club in October 1904 and the English Kennel Club in 1907. They were the twelfth Terrier breed to be admitted to the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club in 1908.

Breed Overview

"Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of it's tail."
~Josh Billings

The Westie is described as a happy and robust little dog, alert, tenacious, couragous and agile...not to mention extremely intelligent! They make a wonderful companion animal, good with children and people who have plenty of time to devote to this sometimes demanding breed.

Some common diseases and problems associated with Westies are allergic itching and skin inflammations. A more serious breed disease is Craniomandibular Osteopathy or CMO, fortuantely it is very rare. It begins when puppies bone cells in the skull &/or the jaw multiply at an unnaturally fast rate leaving a thickening of the bone. It usually appears at the age of 2 to 8 months when the puppies teeth are developing. After the teeth fully come in, the disease stops. Another disease the breed can become afflicted with is Westie Lung Disease. It is also referred to as pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is a scaring in the lungs. There is no cure for it. Symptoms of this disease are excessive panting, coughing, crackling sounds when breathing and shortness of breath. Westies also are prone to a condition known as "dry eye" in which the eyes do not produce enough tears to sufficiently cleanse the eye. We learned this first hand with Angel recently who was diagnosed with this condition.

The Breed Standard, or ideal of what the breed should be, is 11 inches at the withers and between 17-22 lbs. Eyes should be widely set apart, medium in size and dark brown in color. Ears should be small and erect (unlike my Oliver whose ears still droop). The chest is broad and deep. The neck is muscular and broader at the base. The Head should be shaped to appear rounded in the front. The body should be strongly built and compact with muscular legs and a level back. The tail should never be docked, but rather should be 5-6inches in length and shaped to appear as a inverted carrot with the fullest part at the dog's base.

The coat should be hard, and straight about 2 inches in length. The hard coat is attained but "stripping" the coat either with your fingers or a trimming knife. Westies have a "double coat" of a soft under coat and a more harsh, wirey upper coat. Westies should be hand stripped, not clipped. While hand stripping the dead hair in the coat will encourage new growth of the wirey upper coat, clipping your westie will give it a super thick under coat of softer, wavier hair. If done properly, hand stripping will not hurt the dog and can help the coat stay whiter, brighter, and cleaner longer. You can learn how to strip your Westie's coat from a reputable breeder.

Personal History

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
~Louis Sabin

I'm not a Westie breeder; I don't even show my dogs competitively. I just find them to be truly delightful companions and I wanted to share my experinces and insights. The first time I saw a Westie was when I was quite young. I was in a store and on a painting was a small, white dog with a red bandana tied around it's neck. I thought that was the prettiest dog I'd ever seen.

My father gave me my first Westie when I was a sophmore in college. He had rescued her from a local animal shelter at the age of 9 months. The only information they gave us was her name...Sugarbaby. Unfortunately, Sugar was diagnosed with a congenital condition that took her life after she had just turned three. The vets and specialists believe she was born with an intestinal problem that was not caught until too late. She died the night before she was due to have an endoscopic evaluation.

I adopted Angel a year later; she was born a year and one week after Sugar's death. She was named Angel after Sugarbaby...as she was Heaven-sent after the heartbreak I went through. Now I also have Summer and Oliver, too, making me triple-blessed. This site is our scrapbook of photos and memories; I hope you enjoy it, and find it both entertaining and informative. Visit again soon!

In Loving Memory:

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us"
~Robert Louis Stevenson

My first dog,

My Yorkshire Terrier,

My first Westie,

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Images    2004 | p u r e b l i s s p r o d u c t i o n s
Tom & Judy Palkovic   authors and creators of this Westie website.

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