Tag: westie

The Great Alabama Blizzard of 2018

The Great Alabama Blizzard of 2018

Two days ago, we woke up to probably like 3 to 4 inches of snow. I live in central Alabama, so snow comes very rarely and always leaves us in a panic, but it was nice to look at! I had the day off work, as the streets were frozen over and the government closed all the bridges going into the city due to ice, so I just stayed home with the puppies!

Disclaimer: the reason we panic when snow comes is because we don’t have all the resources available to us here that most of you in the north have. No one has ever salted the roads before a snowstorm. I don’t even know that we have people who could do that this far south. They put lots of dirt down on the roads AFTER the ice showed up, but we had no way to treat the roads beforehand. If you go into bigger places like Atlanta and Birmingham, you’ll see big tents on the side of the road every fifteen miles or so, and those tents are filled with salt. The cities DO have those kinds of resources, and have been pretty good about using them in recent years, but I don’t live in a big city. We don’t have big tents full of salt. So the roads ice over, and no matter what anyone says you just can’t drive on ice! Schools, businesses, and entire city governments shut down. Roads are closed. In my county, every road and bridge was deemed UNPASSABLE by the county government for two days. I learned this week that if you drive on closed roads or roads deemed unpassable and you get in a wreck, your insurance WILL NOT cover it! I know right? So we all stay home and play in the snow instead.

Anyway. Here’s some photos of my dogs playing in the snow. It took some time, but eventually they all learned to love it. Gidget, especially, loved the snow.

She would stick her whole head into the snow and then come inside with it stuck all over her face
Gidget and Abel. Abel was the snow’s worst fan. He does not handle the cold well so he spent most of the day inside.

She would also pounce on the snow, and it would puff up in her face, and so she’d pounce again, and it would puff up some more, and she’d keep pouncing. It was super cute.

Gidget and Dennis
Dennis is my brother’s dog. He didn’t really understand what was going on but he still had a good time.

Gidget and Dennis chasing Lou. Lou was also not a fan of the snow. My poor short-haired puppies.
She just had the best time of her life. She’s from Oklahoma so she probably remembers snow from her puppyhood.

Winter Wonderland! It’s been many, many years since the snow actually stuck to the roads!


Dog Days

Dog Days

So here’s the thing about having dogs, if you’re anything like me. You kind of get obsessed with them. You follow them around the house trying to snap adorable photos. You want them to snuggle you and you want to hug them (even though dogs don’t like hugs) because you just love them so much. 

Gidget playing fox in the woods.

Thanks to my school schedule, my dogs are on a “school schedule,” too. They get up around the same time every day (usually between 4:30 and 5:30 AM), because that’s what time I get up when classes are in session (I do the bulk of my schoolwork and studying in the wee hours of the morning, when the house is quiet and I can think).

Sweet Louby Lou. He is the main perpetrator of the early wake up calls.

Lou is the main one who will get up. He sleeps in a dog bed right next to my side of the bed (I know *heart melting*), and his thing is to wake up early AF and shake his big head so that his ears flop around very loudly. It’s better than any alarm, but still irritating when it’s a Sunday and all you want is to sleep for just like two more hours.

Charlie, who will wake up and go pee on things in the house if I don’t let him outside quick enough

Lou’s head-shaking, ear-flapping, lip-smacking early morning stretching will wake up Charlie, who sleeps in bed with us. He has no qualms whatsoever about getting out of bed and going to pee on things in the living room if I don’t get up and let him out. I mean, he has no qualms whatsoever about peeing on things in the living room on a regular day, too, but he’s much more likely to do it in the wee hours of the morning because he’s been sleeping all night and now he’s awake and he’s got to go right now.

Gidget, who will also wake up and pee on the rug in the living room. In her defense, she’s still a puppy.

Once Charlie is awake, six times out of ten Gidget will also wake up (the other four times I’ve got to literally push her out of bed – she also sleeps in bed with us on my side, between me and the edge of the bed, and she is sometimes not a morning dog at all).

Aww, so sleepy.

So if Gidget wakes up and gets out of bed, that is 100% a wake-up call, because there is a 100% chance if she is out of bed and I don’t let her out that she’s going to pee on the rug by the back door. In her defense, she is still a puppy and doesn’t have quite as much bladder control as the other dogs. So, I know at that point that I have to get up no matter what. And once I’m up, I’m up.

Abel, as we say, is “just happy to be here.”

Abel is always, 100% of the time, the last one awake. He prefers to sleep on the couch in the living room (he likes to sprawl and also he doesn’t like dog beds), and it will sometimes be hours after the rest of the dogs and I get up before Abel will finally come moseying into my office. He is totally unbothered by the sound of us all being awake, by the other dogs coming in and out the back door, by lights being turned on…

He makes a terrible guard dog.

Abel doesn’t wake up for anything except for Abel things. If we have people come in the door, Abel will barely raise his head to acknowledge the change in capacity in the house. Gidget and Charlie are going nuts, barking and racing to the door and thoroughly investigating the new people. Abel, however, will always be totally unconcerned. Someone could break into our house in the middle of the night and rob us blind, and Abel would be sleeping on the couch and wouldn’t even utter a single bork.

Abel getting ready to nap in his favorite spot

But, Lou is the same way. Aside from his early-morning potty wake ups, he’s not going to be bothered with intruders, either. Some people get pitbull-type dogs as guard dogs or watch dogs, but let me be the first to tell you, they make terrible guard dogs.

Louby is not a guard dog. Don’t be fooled by his big block head and 80+ lbs of muscle. He is only a threat to bumblebees.

Gidget and Charlie make much more appropriate guard-and-watch dogs than do the pibbles. As small dogs with a complex, they feel like they’ve got a lot to prove to the world, so they’re not afraid to back down. They are the first ones at the door anytime someone is coming in.

This is a guard dog. She will attack with a tiny-dog rage that burns with the fire of a thousand suns.

Of course, they won’t actually attack (Charlie does bite hands but that’s because he’s excited to see you and not because he wants to eat you). But they (especially Gidget) are the only ones that will bork at little noises and alert us to the presence of possible intruders, ghosts, or suspicious-looking pillows.

This is also a guard dog. He will have an attitude about it but he’ll still kick some intruder ass.

It is so good to know we are protected-ish in the event of a break-in. Unless the thief has food. Then all bets are off.


Charlie the West Highland Terrier

Charlie the West Highland Terrier

Charlie is our six year old West Highland White Terrier. He was our first dog, and we got him as a teeny pupper in May 2011. He is affectionately known as King Charles, because he thinks we exist to serve and satisfy his every need (and he’s technically not wrong). Other nicknames include Sir Charles and, our particular favorite, Charlie Moo Bear, aka Charlie Moo aka Moo Moo aka Moo Bear aka Charlie Bear.

Charlie is the only pup who came from a breeder, but she had us jumping through hoops to be able to call him ours! It took almost two months of proving to her that we were fit to be pet parents before she finally approved our application – at the time, I was a student and my husband was active-duty military, so she wasn’t sure that we would be able to devote the proper amount of time and care to a puppy. Finally, though, we were able to bring him the tiny little fluff ball of joy that has grown to be the number one pup in our home.

Charlie dominates our home and has the biggest personality of all our pets. He’s filled with that breed-specific trait called “westietude”, and he’s not afraid to let you know that he’s the one that really runs the show around here. Even though he’s not the oldest of our pups, he’s definitely the wisest, and he’s a master manipulator. He knows exactly how to get what he wants when he wants it, and we wouldn’t have him any other way!