Dogs in Need of Rescuing? (or vineyard hopping with the dogs)

This weekend we were in Virginia wine country and decided to do a little winery-hopping. We stopped in Chrysalis Vineyards where OPH will be hosting their big fundraiser Bark, Wag, and Wine this September. It’s a gorgeous place with excellent wines, so we very much hope to attend. (You should, too!)

The day after we visited Chrysalis, we stopped into Barrel Oak Winery whose very name invites dogs (BOW – get it?) BOW was a bit over-the-top-dog-friendly. IMG_1209In fact, on this day they were overrun with Westies. For those of you unfamiliar, these are small wiry-haired white dogs that yap.images

There were Westies everywhere you looked and it made for very intentional foot travel as I didn’t want to step on one.

There were a few dog-sized dogs visiting the winery as well and compared to the somewhat frenetic Westies they seemed like large, lumbering behemoths. I don’t sound like a dog person, do I?  I’m probably exaggerating and maybe it was just that I missed my BIG foster dog of the moment.

Nick and I kept whispering, “We should have brought Carla – she would shut these little guys up with a single booming bark.” Bringing Carla would have been like showing up the mini-bike rally with a tricked out Harley.

Upon further investigation I discovered that it was Westie Rescue day at the winery.


Now, let’s be clear. I am all about dog rescues, am I not? I am a complete sacrifice-your-carpet-and-your-sanity committed dog rescuer. But what, pray tell, are Westies being rescued from? I’m fairly certain there are no underground Westie-racing or fighting networks where Westies are being starved and/or mentally trained to be killers.

Purebred Westies cost between $500-$1500 (I looked it up). So I’m guessing anyone with a Westie on their hands paid dearly for it and isn’t going to leave it running loose for the dog catcher.

Maybe I’m being snotty. Maybe there is a GREAT need for a Westie Rescue. Maybe people get tired of brushing their hair or that yap gives them a headache.

I went to the official Westie (West Highland White Terrier) club website. Not only did it say you had to wait 6 months to a year to procure a Westie, but the website listed them as ideal companions – energetic but not hyper, not too yappy, not prone to digging (ahem, this is a terrier we’re talking about here, I’m just sayin’.), easy to housebreak, sturdy, great with children,images (1)

smart, nearly hypoallergenic, wonderful travelersimages (2)(just be sure to get a “backpack and life preserver made especially for dogs”), and they shed so little you can easily pick up the excess hair with a lint brush!

So who’s tossing out their Westies for this rescue to rescue?

Again, apologies to the Westie lovers out there. I can see there is much to love about a Westie. I’m just trying to understand why you’d need an entire organization dedicated to rescuing only Westies. I did visit the Westie Rescue USA website and I was simply dumbstruck. I had no idea. I knew about greyhound rescues, pit-bull rescues – these make complete sense – these breeds have been abused and misunderstood for years and need dedicated SPECIAL people to help them. The way I see it, the Westies already have it pretty good. And yet they have an entire national network of rescuers dedicated solely to Westies. I’m thinking I could foster a Westie and move it faster than I moved my perfect foster Stitch.

Alright, I’m ready to be schooled on this. I’m sure some nut (aka passionate dog lover) out there will set me straight on the urgency of Westie rescue. And beyond that, really, who am I to be talking since I’m only a few months into this dog fostering gig.

I just think, why would you want something so small and yappy, when you could have a dog of stature with a real bark – a dog like my beautiful Carla….DSC_8640

Who is still patiently waiting and wishing for her forever mommy or daddy to turn up….DSC_8715Then they can take her to the OPH gala in September at Chrysalis Vineyards and wow everyone with a dog who will clearly surpass all the others in sheer barkability.

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