by: Sherri Goodall
I have two Westies, one around 14 (MacTwo) and the other around 5 (Jolene.) They follow a line of about six to eight Westies that we’ve rescued.
Anyone with a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) usually ends up with two. Terriers are feisty, full of energy and attitude. I know from experience that having two far lessens the destruction of your house and shoes. They keep each other occupied rather than attacking your stuff.
When my husband passed away a year and a half ago, I found they were the solution to my broken heart. If it weren’t for my Westies, I don’t think I could have entered my house again. But there they were at the door, barking—two white fur babies with big brown eyes, little black noses and wagging tails. It didn’t matter if I was gone 10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days, the hysterical reaction was always the same. The weird thing was, they somehow sensed the moment I turned into my neighborhood because there they were, ready and waiting at the back door. How did they know? It’s a mystery to me.
So, now with the COVID-19 crisis and the “shelter in place” requirements, we are bonded as never before. MacTwo is content to nap constantly and follows me around, seemingly grumbling, “Is she ever gonna stop so I can just collapse somewhere and nap?” Jolene, on the other hand, has interpreted this entire experience to mean “more attention for me!”
Jolene’s favorite toy is a soft, chewy Louis Vuitton purse, complete with the famous pattern and a handle. She’s adopted this new desire to constantly play, and I mean constantly (I throw it, she fetches it—inside or outside, doesn’t matter). She carries it around, pushing it into my leg, my face, whatever. She’s even figured out a way to push open the bedroom door and find me if I’m in the bathroom. No problem, she’ll jump up and deposit her chewy Vuitton in my lap(Honestly, Jolene, no sense of privacy!).
I’m sure she’s thinking, “Well, what else do you have to do?” MacTwo is a little smarter. He’ll go to the treat bin and look at me as if to say, “Are you ever gonna leave? I want my treat!”
I think we’re all three getting a bit tired of each other. We live in a small gated community, so lots of walks are possible without exposing ourselves, nor going too far. I only have to eye their leashes for them to go insane with jumping and barking. Unfortunately, I keep other things in that closet, so I have to sneak in to get what I want without them knowing. There are a couple of other little dogs in our neighborhood, so sometimes we all walk, trying to keep our distance, while the dogs get tangled up in each other’s leashes. We decided play dates in each neighbor’s yard is a much better idea.
As I’m sure other pets are becoming more and more spoiled, mine definitely are. Jolene is a master at hanging around the kitchen. MacTwo couldn’t care less; he’s a fussy eater. Not Jolene—if it isn’t nailed down, she’ll eat it. Yes, we’re all spending more time in the kitchen, and we’re all getting a bit chubby.
Jolene has discovered she can lick the dishes as I put them in the dishwasher—a trick one of my other female Westies learned. I also had a little “staircase” built for her after my husband died so she can sit in his chair at the kitchen table. I used to have to lift her up all the time, and she’s a solid little gal, around 15 pounds. It was a bit like lifting a bowling ball. So now, she sits and eyes every bite I take, hoping I’ll spit one up so she can grab it.
I’m immensely grateful for my little buddies. We keep each other entertained, even though Mac and I find a finite amount of time to be best, while Jolene is sticking her chewy Vuitton in our faces.
When this is all over—and it will be over—hundreds of thousands of us pet owners are gonna have some pretty cranky pets on hand, who’ve known the exceptional joys of having their humans around 24/7.
Speaking for myself, I can’t wait to go to the treat closet, hand out the treats and leave!