After seeing those initial photos of Jacques (then called “Lil’ Dude), I decided I needed to do some research on Westies. My head was trying to talk my heart out of wanting him… I had heard stories about terriers. I think my head’s strategy was to prove to my heart that these were impossible dogs and that he just wouldn’t fit into our family.
My head had the right idea. Unfortunately, the internet lied. I looked on the AKC website as well as numerous other sites, blogs, and forums. I saw words like “independent” and “trainable.” The sites stated that Westies aren’t usually lap dogs but that they like to be close to their family members. They said they were “clowns” and “feisty” and that they didn’t like to share toys.
My thoughts were…
-“Independent.” Niko was independent. He liked to do his own thing. I can handle that.
-And “trainable…” I can handle that! I had both my Shepherds doing all sorts of great tricks and while they were crazy at times, they were both pretty obedient.
-“Not a lap dog and likes to be close to the family.” Okay, I’ve have a big dog who thinks he’s a lap dog. I’m cool with not having another furry creature in my lap, and I like the idea of having everyone nearby.
-“Clowns and feisty.” My Shepherds were both. I’ve got that under control.
-“Don’t like to share toys.” Well, other posts said that they’re trainable. I’ll just teach him to share his toys. It can’t be that hard. Piece of cake.
So based on that information, I went full steam ahead and let my heart talk my head into wanting this little guy.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! What a fool I was!!!
Here’s what these people/posts/websites really meant:
-“Independent.” Stubborn, stubborn, STUBBORN. It’s been over a year and Jacques STILL refuses to shake when asked.
-And “trainable…” Okay, this was the biggest lie. Oh sure, they’re trainable – when they want to be. And only if you can a)1) figure out what motivates them at that very moment in time, b)2) break their OCD/laser like focus on whatever they’re obsessing about at the moment, and c)3) can break through their ADD to get them to pay attention to you for longer than 0.3 seconds.
-“Not a lap dog and likes to be close to the family.” This was a false generalization followed by an understatement. The MOMENT I sit down, Jacques catapults himself into my lap, usually when I’m not looking and/or am unprepared. I’ve gotten better at catching him before he does, but when I say no, he sits and stares at me as if telepathically trying to change my mind. And when they said like to be close to the family… they really meant “under your feet at all times.” Literally. When getting up from a seat, we have to look under our feet because there is always a little white fur ball there.
-“Clowns and feisty.” I now understand this to mean “special” and STUBBORN.
-“Don’t like to share toys.” OCD, ADD, OCD, ADD, OCD!!! You cannot TOUCH a toy in the house without him going crazy. And you literally can’t keep toys in the toy box for longer than 2 minutes without him dragging them back out. If you want to mess with him (not that we would ever do that!), play with 2 or 3 toys at a time… You can see him start to have a mental meltdown because he doesn’t know what to do or which toy to go after.
The internet lied. And I believed it. So… here we are.
Those of you with terriers and/or Westies… Is this typical behavior or did the universe play a colossal joke on me??