In early 2005 my wife Gayle submitted an adoption request to STRNW. In late June Dale Lawrence called looking for a home for an eleven year old female "Wheaten Terrier." Dale said that her original owners had moved into assisted living and that she had been passed from one well meaning neighbor to another about six times. She finally ended up with a woman who didn't have the means to meet the dogs feeding and health care needs so she turned to STRNW for help.
Dale said that when they received the dog she had severe flea infections, ear infections that had cost her most of her hearing and a large, benign growth on the top of her head. Dale said that the dog had been treated for the infections, the growth had been removed and her teeth had been cleaned and all she needed now was a new home.
We had recently lost our Briard/Terrier mix after fifteen years of unconditional love. We also lost a large male mixed breed that Gayle brought home from the Tacoma Humane Society. He was with us for five weeks before he succumbed to advanced liver and brain cancer. When Dale called I told him that I was reluctant to take an older dog with health issues because it had been so painful to lose two wonderful animals in such a short period. I told Dale that I would talk it over with Gayle and get back to him.
When Gayle got home I told her about Dale's call and our discussion went like this: "Call him back and say yes." So I did. We made an appointment with Dale and Jan for an interview and home inspection.
Dale and Jan arrived on June 30th and we spent a pleasant hour getting acquainted and finding out about the mission of STRNW. Up to that point we had been laboring under the misconception that the dog was a "Wheaten Terrier" of the Irish variety but to our delight we found out that she was actually a "Wheaten Scottish Terrier." We apparently passed muster because Dale and Jan asked us how soon we wanted to meet the dog. Our response was "as soon as possible" to which Dale replied "well, we just happen to have her out in the car."
Out in our driveway something totally unexpected happened. We were expecting a somewhat worse for wear senior dog who would need gentle and tender handling. What came out of the car was a beautiful, energetic blonde. She just radiated confidence, approached us without hesitation, gave us each a small kiss and then went over to a shrub, hiked her hind leg and marked just like one of the boys. She then headed right for the front door as if she knew the way. Right there on the front porch Katie owned us.
Inside the house Katie introduced herself to our Scottie/mix, Tyson and our Cocker, Riley. The boys were pretty excited and after a while Katie explained to them individually that she only allows so much butt sniffing. Her explanation was so clear and concise that she's never had to repeat it. Katie decided that she liked the house and yard so she moved in.
Katie's first visit to our Vet was pretty encouraging. Her infections and incision were healing nicely and her hair was coming back and covering most of it up. Our Vet said that if she had not known Katie's actual age she would have estimated her to be about 5 years old. Her hearing came back to about 25% but it certainly doesn't bother her. Even if she had perfect hearing I think she'd only hear you when she wants to (she is a Scottie after all).
Katie's not a cuddler but she wants to be near us. She'll move from room to room with us and if she doesn't hear us leave she'll come looking as soon as she realizes we're not there. She loves tummy rubs and car rides and going for walks. She likes to play with a tennis ball but when she's done don't even think about throwing it again.
Katie fit into our pack so smoothly that it seems like she's always been here. Gayle tells people I'm smitten but who wouldn't be?
We took Katie to the Kelso Celtic Games and she was oohed and aahed over by a passel of folks and needless to say we were pretty proud to be seen with her. While there, Dale asked us to consider becoming members of STRNW. The following weekend we attended the STRNW picnic at Dale and Jan's home and after meeting a whole bunch of great Scotties and their people we decided to join the effort to find these pups the best homes available. They deserve nothing less.