Animal Rescue of the Week: Episode 55 – Westie Rescue USA

Westie Rescue has been in existence for going on 26 years and has helped over 1,200 Westie find just the right home where they get a second chance at a great new life with open arms to hold them and a warm bed to sleep in. Who is Westie Rescue MidAtlantic? Westie Rescue USA/Westie Rescue MidAtlantic is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization incorporated in the Common-wealth of Virginia. The organization is dedicated to assisting West Highland White Terriers needing rescue from neglect or abuse or assistance in finding new homes. We primarily cover the Greater Washington DC area, including Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia, parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They also support or participate in rescue efforts elsewhere in the United States. Our volunteers have been involved in rescue over 30 years and, during that time, have taken in and placed over 1,100 Westies. Westie Rescue MidAtlantic operates totally on donations from the public, which go to pay the expenses [including medical care] of the dogs and few administrative costs of finding potential adoptive homes and record keeping. There is no full-time staff. Volunteers receive no compensation except for receipts of out of pocket expenses directly related to rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of Westies in the program. Each year, they place 40-60 Westies. Some are in excellent health; some are far from it. Although most are around 5 years old, the ages of the dogs range from 8 weeks to 12 years. Westie Rescue is a complex business because there are many steps in transferring a dog from a bad situation to loving care that will last a lifetime. Westie Rescue MidAtlantic helps homeless Westies through Pickup and Transportation Medical Care and Rehabilitation Temporary Fostering Placement and Adoption Public Awareness Participation in national rescue efforts Westie Rescue MidAtlantic’s rescue program includes fostering of each dog in a volunteer’s home and providing it with veterinary care including neutering or spaying and rehabilitation as well as caring interaction with humans. When the Westie is ready for adoption, rescue volunteers interview adoption candidates to determine which home will be best for that particular dog. They are in the business of making a dog’s dream come true rather than fulfilling human desires. Their adoption success rate has been 98% year over year in finding the right match the first time. Through annual events they stay close to our adopted Westies and their families, providing post-adoption assistance and advice to adoptive homes. At Westie Rescue MidAtlantic, they motto is “Truly, second hand dogs do make first rate pets!”

Facebook:“Welcome to the Air P A Animal Rescue of the Week podcast featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals and the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue. Westie Rescue has been in existence for going on 26 years and has helped over 1200 Westies find just the right home where they get a second chance at a great new life with open arms to hold them and a warm bed to sleep in Westie Rescue USA is an all volunteer, nonprofit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This organization is dedicated to assisting West Highland white terriers needing rescue from neglect or abuse or assisting them in finding new homes. Hi, Stephen, Welcome to the show today. Thank you very much for inviting me. It’s been fun and I’m looking forward to our conversation today. Yeah, I’m definitely interested in what you guys were doing over there. And can you kind of just explain to me a little bit about your organization and what your role is over there. Sure. So I run something called Westie. Rescue us A. It’s a national clearinghouse for all things West Highland white carriers. People can get information on their dog. They can get health questions, answers they can get issues such as Ong has skin infections. I have a behavior problem. What events are coming up. So the goal is to give people who would like to have information on how to like. If I have a dog, I need to give up or what they call surrender, I want to adopt a Westie. I want a volunteer to help, et cetera. It’s a one stop shop for everybody that would like information on West Highland white terriers. And the way that site works is you can connect, and everything that you do on that site connects back to the resource is in your area. So, for example, locals state groups are on our site, and when you fell out of that, I want to adopt form. It automatically goes to the state that you live in, or the state that you are residing in, so people who transfer back and forth, up and down the East Coast to Florida, for example, for winter or those in the Midwest to go down to Arizona if they want to get connected while they’re down there. They simply just checked the box and I’m in Arizona and check the box. And I’m in Michigan, for example, and automatically populates those two organizations inboxes with an application or I want a volunteer. So what we try to do is make it like a one stop shop, get small groups the visibility they need and all the enquiries go directly to them in their own state. There’s no charge for it. There’s no rules. We have a process that we follow Yvette, that the organizations that we list the vast majority are small individual groups. So we let them leverage our exposure and processes etcetera so they could get the exposure and help the dogs that are in need of a kind of simple program. I also run Westie Rescue Mid Atlantic, which I cover the middle antiquarians just by the name, and we cover. For example, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Eastern P, a, Southern Jersey and the city of Washington, D. C. Was a small group with a few volunteers. We help about 45 70 Westies each year. Find those open arms and hearts and that new home that offers something that we want for ourselves. So we see ourselves in the dog dream business as opposed to the human desire business. So what we’re trying to do is get find great homes. So dog’s gonna have a second chance at a new life. And that’s really our motto, which is secondhand dogs make first rate pets. So one of the questions everybody always ask is, How the heck did you get started in this program? And 26 years ago, I went to a Christmas parade in the city of Alexandria, Virginia. They do a Scottish theme Christmas Walking every first Saturday of December, and I went down there with my own West because they said they have Scottish dogs there, and I went and sat on the sidelines with my guy, and when the Westie Group came by, they had about 35 dogs and they say, Hey, come on in, join in and I was in that parade and every time the parade was stopped There was a woman there that had five dogs on the splitter leads and she would say, the command sitting all five. Her dogs would sit. No barking, no twisting their leads. And I was so impressed with my guy was like a lunatic on a lead saying Hello. Hello, How you doing? To your left? Hello. How you doing? To the right. Oh, my goodness, I haven’t seen you in 30 years. You look just like me, etcetera, etcetera. So when the parade ended, I went over and talked to her and she said that these are all rescue dogs and I due west the rescue. I thought to myself who the heck would give up a West Highland white terrier? And she said, People do it all the time. So I gave her my business card. I said, Hey, if you ever need any help, I would be glad to help. A couple weeks later, I got a phone call from her saying, Hey, there’s a Westie in a shelter nearby. Culprits George’s County. And would you go by and pick him up? And I drove over there and I picked up a little guy who was totally bald, yet little tougher on his head, a little tougher first tale and nothing else. He was a classic example of a dog that was malnourished, and they found him according to shelter. They found him drag and 15 feet of rope and chain down the street when they picked him up. And so because nobody would adopt him because he was so bad looking. Donkeys got typical yeast and bacteria infection that they called us to say, Hey, can you guys give him a chance at life and answers? Of course. So I picked him up, took him to the vet, brought him back to my house of that, gave me shampoos. I bathe him every single day with a bacteria and yeast products, put him on pills, put him on antibiotics because he had a bunch infections. The guy was a bag of bones when he breathed, you could see his lungs span because he was so thin. So I carried him around my house for two weeks. I work out of my house and I carried him around, and at the third week he wanted to get down, take him out of the yard and set him down. He looked over and saw the neighbors, German Shepherd walking around, and he crawled across my back yard on his belly until he got to the fence, popped up, barked at him, and the shepherd was totally non plus. It’s not wish everyone watching these before, and it peed on defense and came padding back with little pale up in the air. So I knew at that point the guy was gonna make exam was really concerned with. So Joey went on to that very interesting life. That was his name. He went to live with a woman who’s a clinical psychologist, and he goes to work with her every single day. As her crying tell, people tail their tale of woe. They cry on him At lunchtime, the owner and the dog go home and play the piano for an hour, and then they go back for the second sessions in the afternoon. And he’s been living with her for the past 15 years as her best buddy and her friend. So you’re part of the West, the rescue Mid Atlantic so that use like a rescue where you do take in the dogs. But you also have the Westie Rescue USA, which is more from to me what it sounds like. It’s almost like a software that helps out people with questions about Rusty’s in their area. Basically, we try to do is with that Westie rescue us A. Site is It’s just a tool I tried. Explain the people that in the software world on the Internet world, what you really need is a fast way to come in, get some information and get out, because that’s the way people operate on the Internet. They have a very short time line, very specific task they’re trying to accomplish. So I created this site purely for a away that our group could use it to get, you know, people you know, an application to adopt for someone who’s trying to surrender the dog to get comfortable with what the process is and what the program might be because the vast majority dogs that come into our program are happy, friendly dogs just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ve rarely get in dogs that are abused, and I rarely get in. Dogs have been mistreated. I get lots of dogs in that have never been trained properly, and I get a lot of dogs that haven’t been socialized properly. But we don’t get the abused ones because, you know, the good news is ideal with small white dog with black noses that everybody wants to hold. I don’t deal with large dogs, so not everybody is right for a terrier. And not every Terriers right for everybody. But they’re cute and friendly and they like people. So I have that benefit. And because I had that benefit, our groups of the middle and a group. I’ve got 163 people on a waiting list. They’ve all been vetted. They’ve all had their references checked. We do a credit check on the people. We do a background check on the people to make sure they can take care of a dog financially, emotionally and physically into the dog senior years. Because, as we all know, dogs as they get older, 80% their medical expenses are going to current last 10% of their life. It’s just the way it is. So we look for people who can take care of not only the young ones, but we get lots older ones, and so I got that last year. We did about 55 to 60 dogs. This year, we’re on track to do about 80. I used to 150 year. We’re doing much smaller now because of the Internet access. The shelters now place them on the Internet and therefore people be the path to their door. The good news is Westies haven’t been in the movie that’s been popular, so people aren’t breeding them for profit. So we get less of him so that you know, the ones that come in, I can look at my list and say, Have they adopted from us in the past? Do they have a terrier experience? Well, those are the people that moved to the top of the list because I don’t get terriers in that want to live in a house with three ferrets and six cats. They view those things as an infestation, and their job is to eradicate infestations. But I get him in once in a while. It like small animals, and we try to match up. I tried to play people. You were in the round peg in a round hole program, so we have a very simple process very simple, repeatable program that we try to make sure we find the right home at the right time. So in the 26 years and 1200 dogs that I’ve done, we bad about 99% accurate every time find the right home, that dog stays in that home for his entire life. It definitely seems like you are very experienced with these terriers, and you have a lot of knowledge about just their overall demeanor. And, you know, you seem to have that right perspective on how you view, you know, people who are wanting to adopt them. You want to make sure that they’re going to good homes, and they’re getting that care, whether it’s the veterinary care or just about loving little TLC. But I mean, it seems to me and correct me if I’m wrong, that you became involved with the Westie Rescue Mid Atlantic, and then you kind of screwed kind of created out of whole cloth. When I got involved with 26 years ago, the Internet was new. There was no coordination. There was no organization. In fact, we started this program. There’s one woman did it by herself and When I found her, I started visiting other shelters to say You have dogs that come in and it’s so Here’s our business card. Here’s a brochure. Here’s our backgrounds are 501 See if you get a West Highland white terrier and and I realize it may not be a pure bred that doesn’t bother me will be glad to take him and find him a good home. And so, as I travel for business, the different states in different areas, I stop in every county shelter, give him a business card, talk to them and say, You know, Hey, we can help. And as I did that, I ran across other people who were doing Westie rescue all by themselves in their geographical area. And so all I did was get him all together one day for Italian dinner. Being Italian, she always get people together for dinner to knock around challenges and problems. And people like that you break bread nearby, sits around talks and everybody has a good time. And by doing it I discovered that what they were doing at that time was they were picking him up and because they returned the thumbscrews their friends, neighbors and relatives. They were ended up filling up their own house. So they’re running out of room to store all these dogs because they didn’t have a way to find people who wanted to adopt. And since I’m in sales, you always want to have more people wanting something than you have supply. So I put together this website to get people and get in front of people who are interested in adopting. So we get hundreds of applications commit to that site and they spin off everybody in the country. The goal is to get dogs that are in trouble into a program where they could be vetted and taking care of and then placed in a loving, caring home. And that’s really what that programs designed about. It’s definitely cool, and it’s unique to kind of hear that you’re definitely going over and beyond step for these dogs, and that’s truly amazing. This is something that you know, you can tell your very into an interest to you what you’re gonna make a difference. And so I’m literally just like, okay, I’m listening because it’s really cool. The way our program operates is people go we’re a non profit and people donate money when they adopt the dog. We explain. It is we don’t have an adoption fee. We asked for a donation to our program between somewhere between 306 $100 because the dog that you’re getting has already been vetted. He’s already had all his shots updated. He’s at a blood tasking had, ah, health check. We’ve done everything that determined he’s got problems. We start him on the treatment and the new owner is gonna finish that treatment, and then we’ll follow up with them to make sure things going smoothly. And so your donation goes to help the next dog that’s coming in during the first quarter of the year. Advanced majority of dogs that we get in over the years have always come from seniors that are passing away right after the holidays. So by doing it the way we do, I tell people I have two versions of Westie Rescue. I can tell you the dog version and the human version. The dog versions Very simple. The dog gets picked up. It goes to our vet. It gets a bath, gets the shots updated, it gets neutered and spayed. Whatever the case may be, it gets their nails trimmed to get a health check, its blood tested temperament evaluation. And then the question is, Do we know the background? The dog doesn’t come in with a known background, and if not, then he goes on to me because I do the rehabilitation program. But the vast majority are happy friendly West. He’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And so we take that dog in Rome through our program, and we select the best kind of home that can fulfill their dreams of that dog. And we’re trying to reassure people that our program is really repeatable. That guy’s not gonna find himself on the street. We’ll find just the right home where his best friend will be there waiting for him. In other words, find me home of my dreams and to reassure those people after that dog goes to that home. We follow up with both the new owner and the previous owner, and we keep the original owner and the new owner anonymous to each other. We become the conduit to say, Here’s his new home. Here’s a picture from him sitting on the couch looking out the window. He’s happy. He’s well taken care of. And you don’t have to worry that I have people who followed up with me over a year. Wanted to know is he’s still okay or she’s still okay. And the answer is, Of course, I’ll be glad to reach out to the new owners and get a picture of them sitting by the pool or at the beach. Whatever the case may be. In some trust me, I play some dogs where I always asked the question, Do you wanna adopt a kid? I’ll give you one more story. So full of these stories, my studies, too many stories. Just hang up the phone on me and we’re in this conversation. So I had a elderly woman. She adopted a Westie from he was her third Westie. Her others had passed away. She was looking for another one, and she’s doing my list for a while, So I really special. Young guy came in. That was Mr Personality. So I called her up and drove down there and gave her the dog. And so she called me back. Let me know what his life is like in the morning. The doorman at six o’clock comes up to the apartment, picks him up, takes him outside for 1/2 mile walk, brings him back into the place, feed him and then take him downstairs to the gym and hooked him up on a treadmill. The owner comes down that time, and the two of them walked two miles together on treadmills. They then go back upstairs for breakfast, and they have property in Florida for the winter in Maine. For the summers and in between, they stay in Washington, D. C. For the social season, for the county Center of Arts, et cetera, et cetera. And for the election cycles and all that stuff. And so after I met her a couple times, I said, You know, if you ever want a son that you didn’t have, I’m open for adoption because I would love to have my private jet pick me up at National Airport and fly me down to Florida for the winter and then pick us both up to come back up here for the social season and then to go on to our main cabin. As she refers to it. You know to hang out for the summer months. So, you know, having that kind of life is just wonderful. It definitely is. It seems like a lot of traveling. So how do you get the dog? So I know that you said you communicate with some of the organizations and you let them know kind of what you’re doing and what your goal is in your mission. So how do you get those Westies in? Do you just pick them up from organizations? Or hasn’t two things have happened since the Internet started? You know, one of the evils of having before iPhones came out before the Internet, there was a very convoluted process. So pre Internet the way we did it was I mailed a letter with a business card to every single vet within a 700 mile radius of our office. So every single vet and went off and found a list of vets, went to the vet association, went and got asked for and got a complete your list. In those days, you got a eight and 11 sheet of paper with a bunch of phone numbers and names like I keep that all into a computer and create a mailing list. And so we mailed to every single vet. Here’s who we are. This is what our program is. If you ever get one in a one of your clients calls so they can’t take care of the dog. Give me a call and we’ll take care of him. When the Internet came out, I’m on every single search engine you type in Westies. We pop right up. You typed in west on a white terrier. We popped right up. You typed in west the rescue. We popped right up. And so 90% of dogs I get in are from the owner. I get calls from shelters on Lee for two reasons. One, The dog’s got so many behavior problems. They can’t place it to so many health problems. They can’t place because you can’t remember. Now I do with small white dogs and everybody wants a small white dog. So the shelters, when they come in, the shelters post him up on their website to pet finder and other websites and people be the path to their door. And I try to clean people if they can place the dog with somebody who’s reasonable who understands the terrier personality. I am happy they run that program. I feel no compulsion that every dog who’s in trouble needs to come through my program. The goal is I send people to those shelters when they post saying, Hey, there’s a Westie in your area that’s in trouble Here’s his picture. Here’s a link to him. Connect and I use the people on my mailing list and on our wait list that they get those email bulletins from me. Every time I see one, I simply does create a spreadsheet of all the names that I simply do a quick mail merge and off it goes. It sounds complicated, but it’s really simple. And so, you know, question people ask, is what happens to a dog that has large medical problems or behavior problems? Well, the answer is a first stop. They always go is they go to our event like I mentioned, we have a process. They go and get their health check that get their shots. They get evaluated. If they got real complications, they come to me or one of my couple of my volunteer. So I’m also the dog trainer for our group. So if they come to me, try to evaluate, figure out what’s going on, How do we manage it? If it’s medical, we start the treatment. See how they fine we take to go back for a blood test once a week, and the vets work with US events I work with. I worked with one veterinary hospital that I’ve been using for 20 plus years. We have run over 1000 Westies through there. It’s a large practice has nine doctors, 45 staff members. I’ve given them as many as 25 Westies at one time for a puppy mill. So the story like telling is We’re involved in a puppy mill like it was out of state out of our area. I couldn’t get anybody in that area to step up to the plate, because soon as they found out there’s going to be 20 dogs. They all jumped out. The window is passed out because it’s too many dogs. So one of my volunteers and I rented a big monster van, shoved it full of crates and paper and packaging material, and drove the 9.5 hours one way to that location. We picked up the dogs, put each one of the crates. We had all crater, all 25 of them. We made two stops on the way. And that two o’clock in the morning. We made it back to my house. We put everybody out. Everybody out for a while. Exercise being a poop and some food. Put everybody back in their crates with new papers on these, um, put some heaters in the vehicle. When inside Got two hours of sleep, jumped in and went to the vet. We took all 25. I’m into our vets. The vet can handle up to 150 animals at one time. The large practice they neutered paid every single dog, and we place everybody in 24 days. On the 24th day, it was Christmas Eve. I said it at the veterinary hospital from eight o’clock in the morning and the last one left on Christmas Eve went to his home in southern Maryland with a couple that thought they had died and gone to heaven. He was friendly. He was lovable. He was so happy that he was clean and in a place where he wasn’t stressed out. So It was a wonderful story. I’ve learned a long time ago in life that if you step up to the plate, you can figure out most problems. I’m a firm believer that if you take a problem apart and look at it by the individual pieces necessary to get you to a successful outcome, you’ll come up with a couple of ways to go through each step. One of those steps is gonna be right for your program, right for your dog, right? For wherever you’re at and along the way. If you ask for help from those who are knowledgeable, the problems aren’t that big. And so one of the things I try do on our program is I help small individuals that are looking to set up their own program. They reach out to me and say, I want a rescue dogs great. And I try to explain to them Here’s the rule of rescue. If you fill up your own house with animals that you get in, you cannot help the ones that are going to come. So the first thing you have to get over is you can’t keep them all. Yeah, So your goal is to vet, stabilize, test and place. Real simple, real easy steps. From the time that you started with you, Westie, rescue mid Atlantic. How long after that did you actually come up with the Westie? Rescue us A dot com website, Probably year, fifth generation. It was very clue. Jean, clunky for the age of 20 some years ago, found some people who did development work that created a website for us. First it was we did it on our own. And then I got some people who have really smart people who did this and build a database underneath it. So the way that site works is not a bunch of static pages. That’s all interactive. The whole thing is built so I can manage it as a civilian. That’s a techie. And anybody can. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, someone could just step up and take over. So how did you find the organizations to do that? So how? You said you have three in Texas. So is that something that you kind of look at the work they’re doing a reach out to them and Yes, exactly what? So, you know, back in the beginning of time. There was only one guy, Marv operate as Marv from Dallas. Marvel is a guy who did Westie rescue in Dallas by himself, and I met him one time, people a phone. Those days it was printed. I looked him up on a pretty piece of paper and one of the free club publications and reached out to him and said, Hey, would you like to be Get things from the website that automatically sends people who are looking from Greater Texas to come to you? He’s hot, certainly would like to have that. For 25 years, Marvin’s been getting information. He’s now retired. His other guys and girls have taken over that. But what we do is every time I see someone says I’m doing rescue in my area, I reach out to him in vet him on the phone. I have to get a copy of their five a one C three if they’re, you know, incorporated and we add him to our list if they’re an individual. Unfortunately, that’s the problem with some of the groups that are out there. The individuals are well meaning, but just in over their heads and so What I try to do is give the individuals a really easy process to follow because our stuff is not copyrighted. It’s easy we have All our documents are vetted by lawyers. But please use them. It’s just a resource. Our resource is open. Anybody want some? If you want to do it to save poodles, please, I’ll send you everything we got by help. Spring individuals have lots of people on their waiting list. They don’t feel the need of the worry that they’ll never be able to place the dog so long as you let him properly vet the humans that are gonna adopt him properly. You can find good homes for every dog comes in. Not every dog is good for every home. And not every human is good for every terrier. So you pick the right one. That’s a really good, you know, seeing the doing kind of educate other people and be informative and kind of just share with them your experiences, as opposed to just Hey, here you go. We’re just gonna throw you out there and let you figure it out. You know, that’s one of the biggest things about animal welfare in this industry as a whole is you’re still willing to do what you know is best, because that’s what you learned but also shared those experiences with others. And we need more of that in this industry. Thio succeed right proven track record is a very smart thing to do. You don’t have to recreate the wheel to do something. So you know the advantage we have is a group is we deal with small white dogs that everybody wants. I’m not dealing with every breed, because if you open the organization up tomorrow out of your own pocket to do all breed, you would run out of money. And resource is, no matter how much money you have at your fingertips, you can’t help him all you can on Lee do your own little space in the world. And so when I explain to people who are volunteers that are looking to help, you’ll have to do an entire state. You could just do your town or your area or your county, and you may get one dog a year or you may get one dog every other year. It’s okay being a resource to help in your area is a good thing. You know, Stephen, I really have enjoyed our conversation and I’ve learned so much. And when I jumped on the call with you and you cram it started explaining the difference between the West to rescue us A. In the mid Atlantic. I was definitely shocked because I was not expecting to get such unique information. And the fact that you’re going that extra mile and you’ve got your website going and you’re helping these dogs to the fullest. Really, you’re not just working from the Mid Atlantic Organization, you’ve made it right. The way I try to approach this program is it’s a resource to help others and multiple people have contribute to. That site is not the only one who’s contributed to it. You know, one thing I did was make sure we had the funds to run the thing. Our program itself refund. It’s so fun to us because we’re not profit. People donate money to it. As long as we break even, we’re gonna run this program till doomsday, and every year we break even try to explain to people that there’s a cost of running a program. You can’t you know, save every dog. You can’t fix every dog, but you certainly can fix most of them, and you certainly can help. 99% of um, there’s some dogs that have medical problems beyond your capability beyond science, that you can’t help or have behavior problems because they’ve got bad breeding and they’re crazy. But the vast majority we help and our vet Bill runs about 75,000 year. And the donations Hey it off every year, every year we’ve been in the black. And so as long as we’re in the black room, this program’s gonna run. And so when I set up a new group, I tried to explain to them that you have to raise money from donations or adoption donations. And that fund that you have is what you have to work within. Because if you try to spend $10,000 helping a dog that’s got huge medical complications, someone’s gotta pay that bill and most programs in when the vet calls and they don’t have the money, and our agreement with our vet is we pay monthly our bill. We pay it in full every month, and we give him enough money that we actually pay for one of their staff members. So the answer is, yeah, do as much as you can in the area that you feel comfortable in. It’s not rocket science and you’re not alone because everybody’s gone down that process. Before you get dogs in, you don’t know what to do. You know what the next step is? I’m a phone call away. I work out of my home office. I’m in sales. I tryto have, you know, a normal life. I work about eight, 10 hours a day for business, and I work a couple hours for Westie Rescue and I play with cars on the side. Everybody needs a hobby. I tell people I do dogs because picking him up is really hard. But placing him is so happy. People always ask the dogs make an impact on your life and the answer’s yes, I’ll give you two stories. I had a military guy called me on the phone, said he wanted to adopt a dog. He said he’s having lots of complications. He’s been deployed six times. He’s got some concerns. He lives by himself and I said, You know, it’s funny you called I looked at your application and a reason why I reached out to you is because I have a dog who wants a guy to be in charge of him. He doesn’t want the female. He wants to be a one guy dog. So you’re not married. You don’t have any kids. You’re young and you want to get out life. But you know, you’re concerned. I think what I got. I got a guy who’s gonna be your best friend and be your watchdog for life. So we came by. I drove all the way out of that in my house. We spent an hour with the dog. The dog looked at him and went, Daddy, you and I are gonna be buddies to him instantly bonded. It’s really hilarious gifts. I’ve come conclusion that dog’s picked their owners. That dog looked at him. And when you came for me, I like riding and pickup trucks. I got the front seat. So two of them jumped in the car. I gave him some instructions. Here’s what you need to do. Blah, blah, blah. And here’s a set of written instructions. Here’s his medical background. Here’s what we know about him. He’s been with me a couple weeks and I’ve discovered he needs a guy. So they left our leader. The guy called me. He’s got like, a 6.5 hour drive home. He called me up after an hour. He said, This is the perfect dog for May. I said, Why do you say that? You’re driving on the highway? What makes you say that? He said he got off the passenger seat, crawled across the console, put his head on my lap, and we’re going down the highway and I’m scratching his head. He said. This dog thinks I’m wonderful. Every couple days, I call him and say, You know what’s going on? How’s it work? And you know what? The things that you need to work on, what kinds of challenges have you faced that he called me after about a week and he said, You know, it’s really been interesting, he said. I set up a camera in my house, so I knew what was going on when I was away because he works in a factory situation. He said that I was concerned that the dog was not doing well or you might be concerned or worried bark and whatever, he said. And what I discovered was when I leave, the dog sits right by the front door, he said. He curls up on the mat by the front door, and he goes over and takes a sip of water every couple hours and comes back and lays back down. Here’s a sandy stands up and looks around, goes over the windows to make sure in the yard, in the backyard or wherever it is, then comes back and sits by the door because when I come home, he jumps up on Danny’s, all excited. He runs back to his water bowl, gets a drink of water and we go out for a power walk, he said. At night, he sleeps on the door side of my bed and guards me all night. Every time he hears a sound, he gets alert stands up because I wake up. I never worried that something’s gonna get to us when I’m sleeping, because that was my biggest concern because I can’t win from an environment where I had 30 guys on guard duty 24 hours a day. If I was sleeping, all I had There was people outside my door taking care of me, he said. And so when I was on guard duty, I’m taking care of them. He said that dog is on guard duty 24 hours a day. He’s I no longer have dreams where I’m in an anxiety situations, he said. He reduced my stress 90%. That changed my life. Look, if you want more, I’ll give you a happier story. So a happier story is I had a girl adopt my first Westie from me a zillion years ago. I drove by our area. About 30 days later, I said, You know, I called on the phone. Hey, I’m in your area So I stopped by and I said, How’s it going? She jumped off the couch, grab the seat of our pants and said, Look, I’ve lost two, but sizes because every day we have to walk everywhere. We get up in the morning, we go for a walk. Instead of driving to the post office, we walk to the post office. If I got to go to 7 11 get a cup of coffee. We walked the 7 11 He stands outside, tied to a post. I’m going to get my cup of coffee. We sit on the curb and drinking, and then we walked the one mile back home because I flog more miles and I lost two. But sizes It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Well, it definitely seems like you matched these dogs with the perfect owners. Or, as you said, the pick their owners. So you know that they do. They dio one of my volunteers from many years. She’s passed away now, but she insisted that God put dogs in our lives, no matter what the situation they were in before they’ll find the person they were meant to be with in their life. And so her story is, we had a call one day from a truck stop down on 81 down the backbone of Virginia. She jumped in the car, drove to the truck stop to get that west get It was running around the parking lot because the owners of the truck stop had gotten the dogs and brought him inside. She drove all the way down there, picked him up and drove home. On the way home, she realized that she sat there calling names that dog risk bonded to a name of a dog that she had 20 plus years earlier. And that dog, the minute she said the name the dog park right up, she said. I got a cold chill in my spine that this dog had come back to find. Oh my gosh, that’s insane. And she said that don’t paint your house within two days. Acted like he’d been there for six years, he said. He followed the routine. He knew exactly where to go. He knew what time we got up. You know what time we went to bed? He knew where the treats were. Hidden, he knew is global Waas, she said. It was scariest thing she’s ever been involved in. You know, he lived with her for many, many years where she passed on and she’s constantly She said it was wonderful to find my friend again. Yes, I mean, it definitely sounds like he came back, Jack. So you shared so much and I love hearing these stories and they’re happy. And I even thought the one about the military guy was a happy ending as well, you know, he found his perfect match. It was a wonderful story, Tonio. I venture here enough. Thank you very much for your interest in our program. I appreciate the opportunity to tell more people about it. And you know, those who want to help animals want to reach out. I’d be glad to help him. Well, we appreciate that. I hope that our listeners definitely learned a little bit about you and about your program. And I really want to thank you for joining me today and sharing those wonderful stories with me and sharing more about why you do what you do. And it’s awesome. And I’m so happy that you were able to join me today. And I love to connect with you in the future and check in and see how things were going great. We always appreciate more of input, and more exposure is always great. My own Westie Fergus sitting right here to our right, he’s passed out. He got bored with the stories that I’ve heard him before. He went well, you know what? He’s got a good owner that loves and cares about him and knows I appreciate your time and thank you very much for reaching out to us. West. He rescues all about finding helping dogs, getting him, taking care of medically and socially and getting him into a new home. That’s our program. Well, that’s awesome. And, you know, like I said, I appreciate you coming on the show today and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your evening. I will take care. Thank you. You too. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, join the Air P A. To take advantage of all the resource is we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. 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