We adopted our Westie in 2010, right after our Westie, Dakota, passed away. We thought we may be done with dog partnership, but the calling was too strong!
We first learned about Wilson, aka Rusty, aka Bob from a friend of our daughter's, whose grandmother was Rusty's owner. She couldn't care for him any longer and he was on his way to the pound for adoption. We called just in time and the owners rerouted themselves to our home. As we were chatting about Rusty, we were told he didn't respond well to Rusty or to Bob, as he was called before. We were given his favorite toys and then she left, saying goodbye to Rusty.
Rusty had no problems looking around the house. He checked out the sofa, the bedrooms and the kitchen. He seemed fine, but then he sat down and H O W L E D. Like the dead were after him. Nothing I could do or say helped. I went and sat on the sofa. Eventually he calmed down and came into the living room. I kept calling him over to me, but he completely ignored me. Then I said, you are acting just like my mom says Grandpa Wilson used to do. Yep, he looked up when I said Wilson, and so I said, Wilson? Rusty popped up and trotted to stand by me. So I've called him Wilson ever since and he responds to his name!
Over time we have become very aware of his quirks. If he wants to go somewhere, he grabs you gently by the hand and pulls you toward where he wants to go. If it is time to "do" something, he jumps up and down over and over until you get up and do something. He barks incessantly at the doorbell, including the doorbell ON THE T V.
And big, tough Wilson is also afraid of storms. Shaking in his boots afraid. Straight jacket afraid. So we bought him a thundershirt that he wears during storms. It has helped some. It probably helps a lot but if we don't act afraid, then we don't get to sleep next to dad. Uh huh.
Wilson loves snacks. LOVES THEM. Will even go to the carrier willingly for them. Otherwise he plops his bottom about 3 feet from the door of the carrier and refuses to budge. I usually have to prod him over and over to get him in the carrier. So, I keep a bag of treats close by! My absolute favorite place to get snacks is from chewy.com. They have a wide variety of snacks, including this one with cranberry in it. Cranberries are good for urinary track systems and since both of our dogs have had issues, we try to give them snacks with cranberry. They LOVE these!
Wilson sounds ferocious and dangerous when he barks, but the sissy is afraid of so many things. Deep down he thinks he's protecting his family. So when he barks at something, we assure him that all is well and ask him to stop barking and give his sweet head a pat. That usually calms him down and that's all we want.