I was searching on Craig’s List and I
found an ad for a Westie that needed to be rehomed ASAP. Apparently the owner’s
2 week old baby was allergic to the dog. I was drawn to the ad because I am a
previous Westie owner (3 Westies, 1 I rescued from Westie Rescue of NE in 1999,
and the other 2 were bought from breeders).
I replied immediately to the ad via email.
The gal called me back and I had the opportunity to ask a few questions. She
told me the dog’s name was Pirscilla, she was 2 years old, 20 pounds, and she
had to find a home for her as soon as possible and asked if I would meet her
that evening. I was a little weary with the urgency but I decided this was my
chance to possibly meet my new Westie. She asked me to meet her in a parking
lot which I found rather odd.
When I arrived the gal got out of the
truck and was holding Cilla (her nickname) and poor Cilla was trembling and her
legs were out straight as if she was afraid this gal was going to drop her. I
tried to make eye contact with Cilla but she would not look at me even when I
cupped my hands around her face. I asked why she was behaving this way and the
girl told me she was scared because she had been confined to the basement. This
made me sick. I asked the gal to put her down to see if she would settle down a
bit. I looked at Cilla and saw how thin and boney she was, I knew at this
moment she was no where near 20 pounds. Right then and there I knew she knew
little about this little Westie. I picked Cilla up and held her close and she
relaxed just a little bit. It was clear that she just needed someone to care
and love her. I think she knew I was not going to hurt her.
I told the gal I would send an email that
evening with a decision. On the way home, I knew something just didn’t seem
right and that I needed to get Cilla out of this situation somehow. As soon as
I got home I sent her an email and told her I would take Cilla. She accepted my
offer and we made arrangements for me to pick her up in the same parking lot.
The morning of the exchange I received an email that someone else was going to
be bringing Cilla to me. I knew at this point, I definitely made the right
decision for this little Westie. She had been passed around so many times just
in 2 days and who only knows how many other times.
Cilla came with nothing but a sandwich bag
of dry dog food a leash tied around her neck even though I asked for her
toys/blanket, etc. I wanted something from her past-not knowing it was a bad
past as I learned by her behavior. She spent the remainder of the morning,
day and night sleeping and hiding in my house. She ate a little at dinner
time and then was up all night violently vomiting.
First thing in the morning I brought her
to my vet and at that point I learned about Cilla’s severe dental problems and I
also received confirmation that she was malnourished, visibly neglected and
possibly abused. My vet stated that Cilla was not 2 years old as I had been
told. She is middle-aged, probably 6 or 7 years old. I also learned how
much it was going to cost to get the badly decayed teeth extracted, the others
cleaned and get rid of the awful infection she has.
The doctor knew that I was a single
mother, and that it was financially impossible for me to get the appropriate
care that Cilla needed. Dr. Gerow suggested I called the Westie Rescue League
and try to find her a home that could afford to take on this sweet Westie with
health problems. I left the vet and was absolutely heart broken for this
little girl that I and my 14 year old son had already started to grow attached
to. I was very familiar with the Westie Rescue League of NE and had a
contact name of Susan Smith from a few months ago when I was looking to rescue
another Westie. I told her Cilla’s story and she could hear it in my voice
that I didn’t want to give this little girl up. She suggested I call
WestieMed organization. I did as she suggested and received a call back almost
immediately. I spoke to a wonderful person named Lucy who directed me to
the application on their website. I completed the application and the rest
WestieMed is going to help get Cilla back
to good health and allow her to stay in a loving home. Cilla is a gentle sweet
girl that deserves anything and everything I can give her. Thank you WestieMed
for giving my Cilla a second chance, and sincerely thank each one of the Board
of Directors for their consideration. I am elated with your fast response, your
organization truly rescued this dog.
Update December 23, 2008:
Cilla spent the day at Methuen Vet and had her procedure today and did very
very well. She is resting comfortably in her own bed at home tonight. Her
diagnosis was incredibly great. The doctor did NOT have to extract any teeth.
She said that Cilla had a very large amount of tartar build up on her teeth
(more than the average) which was causing her discomfort. They literally had to
chip off chunks of tartar while hoping they didn't break any teeth, which they
did not. They also think she was crated longer than she should have been as
some of her front teeth are worn down from chewing metal or some type of very
hard material. It breaks my heart to think that anyone could do anything to
harm a helpless animal.
Cilla weighed in at a whopping 14.3 pounds today up from her 13.2 pounds when
I rescued her. This is partially due to her now eating a prescription canned
dog food for sensitive stomachs and was gentler on her teeth until we could take
care of her dental issues. Her appetite grew slowly but steadily in the past
week and a half. It certainly helped her bulk up, so to speak for her big day
today. She will be weaned off the canned form of this food and put on the solid
kibble form for now and then will graduate to another prescription food which
is specially formulated for dogs like Cilla.
The doctors would like to see Cilla gain another 3 to 4 pounds and I am
absolutely positive she will be able to do this now that she's had her
I want to thank WestieMed and the Board of Directors (especially
Bette, WestieMed's Application Coordinator and Lucy, WestieMed's President,
who I've dealt with personally) for the support and the same heartfelt hope that
I have for Cilla. I also want to give Susan Smith a special thank you for
referring me to your organization. Without Susan I would have never found you.
All of you are very special people to me and deserve so much more than I can
give you right now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this
possible for Cilla and giving her a very hopeful, healthy and happy life ahead.
God Bless all of you and all of your little Westies. I wish you a very Happy
Holiday Season as my family certainly will, now that we were able to give Cilla
the special gift she received from you.
P.S. I have attached a recent picture of
Cilla with her new friend Booda the Hedgehog. She has grown pretty attached to
this guy and sleeps with him every night.
Update October 5, 2009: Cilla is now named Bella
want you to know that Bella has come a long long way. She is a different
dog than the one I rescued. She is so very sweet, well mannered and mild
tempered. She's so much happier now that she's in a loving home and eating
very well (thanks to WestieMed). I don't think she even remembers the
terrible life she had before.
She has grown very attached to me, as well as my son, and
has truly overcome her fear of strangers. She is very playful now, so much
more than she was when I rescued her. Sometimes I catch her playing by
herself with her toys. I can hear her running around the house tossing her
toys and chasing them. It's music to my ears and it's the funniest thing.
I can't tell you how many people I have sent to your
website to just read about all the wonderful things you all have done for
Westies. Your organization has truly helped so many Westies and I thank you for
that and can speak for all the Westies you have helped.
If it wasn't for WestieMed, I don't know what
Bella's future would have held. I thank you once again and always will
for taking care of my precious Bella. We love her so much.
Cilla's care was partially funded by a grant from The