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Keeping our precious Westies safe takes prior planning. Below is a list of thing that you can do now to prepare for any type of natural or man-made disaster.


First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must for your pups. Medicines should also be included. Check with your vet for proper usage. In a toolbox, tackle box or other container with a handle, gather the following:

emergency checklist


Evacuation Plan

In the event you are evacuated, it is recommended that you take a three-day supply of food and other items for your pet. Include the following when packing to leave:

emergency checklist2


Additional Considerations

The time to make arrangements for an emergency is now. In addition to the First Aid Kit and the evacuation plan, prepare for other possible situations by doing the following:

Update your emergency contact information with your vet and kennel.

Arrange for someone to enter your home in an emergency to take care of your pets if you are unable to get home for a period of time. Make certain they have a key to your house, and your Vet’s name and phone number. If this is not the same person as your emergency contact, let your vet know about this arrangement in case one of your pets needs to be taken for treatment in your absence.

Crate train your pets if you haven’t already. This will allow for safe transport if evacuated. Crating may be required in certain circumstances. Practice packing your vehicle to make sure that you can accommodate all of your pets.

Keep a reservoir type water container. Leave one outside for any time when you can’t get home. Consider leaving a toilet lid up in the home for the same reason. Your pets can only go three days without water.

Become familiar with medicinal herbs that can be used for many different ailments. Keep a supply in your First Aid Kit. Remember to check expiration dates and replace periodically.

Keep three months supply of food on hand. This is especially crucial if you are using a food not generally available at a grocery store.

by Jane Fink

With summer in full swing and the heat not likely to let up for another few weeks, we must continue to carefully supervise and limit any outdoor exposure our dogs receive. This is common sense really but bears repeating, especially if you are accustomed to taking your dog with you everywhere you go. Don’t do it. A few minutes in a parked car, even with the windows opened for ventilation, can quickly become a sweltering tomb for your dog as the temperature inside the vehicle climbs to over 110 degrees. While you think you will only be a minute inside a store, think again. Your quick dash inside may end up turning into 15 or 20 minutes, or longer, especially if you find yourself detained by a longer wait at checkout or run into an old friend who wants to chat. Or, what if you suffered a sudden illness or injury while shopping and were unable to tell anyone that your dog was waiting in the car? It could happen.

Dogs regulate their body temperature by expelling heat through panting; this is how they cool themselves. In case of overheating, the dog’s cooking mechanism cannot keep up with the rise in internal temperature. In a desperate attempt to cool itself, the dog will open its mouth as wide as possible to pant harder and harder, putting a severe strain on the heart and lungs. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101 but in a heat crisis, the temperature can quickly rise to 105 or above. A dog that has a medical condition, including Addison’s disease, a tick borne disease, seizures, heart disease, obesity, or other condition, should not be exposed to elevated temperatures. What feels comfortable to us may be too war for the dog.

Over heating and heat stroke can be just as prevalent in the spring and fall months as in the summer because people are fooled into thinking the temperatures are cooler and end up leaving the dog outside or unattended in a car for longer periods of time. But did you know that heat stroke could also happen right inside the home? Many homes these days have enormous windows, sunrooms and conservatories. During the day, as the sun shifts and temperatures rise, a dog confined to one of these rooms may not be able to escape the afternoon sun and heat. I know that in my own home my den receives direct exposure to the afternoon sun; combine the added heat with the design of the room which has floor to ceiling windows and two sides and two skylights, and the temperature rises at least 15 degrees higher than in any other room in the house even though the windows are shaded.

Prevention is the best course of action - keep dogs (and all pets) out of direct sunlight and heat, provide plenty of water (hydration cools the body) even if that means cleaning up a few accidents when you get home. If you travel with your dog, provide a cool mat, cool vest, or frozen two liter bottle of water wrapped in a towel for the dog to lie on or against to keep cool.

Cool mats and vests are available over the internet or you can make one yourself. Keep wire cages covered with shade type material but nothing too heavy so as to prevent airflow. If the dog is confined to a more enclosed crate, such as a plastic crate, it will need to be checked on frequently since airflow is a bit more restricted in plastic crates.

Learn how to to take your dog’s rectal temperature. If in doubt, as your vet to show you. Even though you may think your dog is fin, his internal temperature may be rising to dangerous and deadly levels.

The Drs. Foster and Smith website lists the signs to look for: rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick, sticky saliva, depression, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, shock, coma.

If you find your dog in this type of emergency situation, act quickly and be prepared to rush your dog to the vet. Submerge the dog in cool water or spray the dog down with cool water. Do not use cold water - cooling the dog too quickly is just as life threatening because the blood vessels will constrict preventing the heat from escaping. Get your dog to the vet or emergency clinic immediately. Any delay in treatment may cause permanent damage to vital organs: kidney, heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract and brain. In many cases, organs will begin to shut down thus leading to death.

If you travel with your dogs, take along a couple of gallons of water and a bottle or two of Pedialyte for rehydration. Do not cover your dog with a wet towel, which will only prevent the heat from rising off the dog’s body. Open ventilation is best.

Hairdryers or drying cages can be very dangerous if used improperly or if used on an already heat exhausted dog. Make sure that if you are grooming your dog at the show on a warm day that you keep the dryer on low and provide your dog with plenty of water. If you are worried about getting the finely groomed muzzle damp, offer water via a spray bottle or cage bottle. If you take your dogs to be groomed, make sure the groomer does not leave dogs in cage dryers unattended.

Dr. Henry DeBoer’s Working Dog website offers this list of predisposing factors for heat stroke: heat, humidity, muscular activity, high body mass, anxiety, poor ventilation, dehydration, obesity, antihistamines, phenothiazines (medication for vomiting), increased age, brachycephalic breeds (pushed in faces).

Use common sense. Think of your animal first and be careful!

As stated in our Constitution the West Highland White Terrier Club (WHWTC) of Greater Atlanta's objectives are:
A To encourage and promote quality in the breeding, care, training and exhibition of West Highland White Terriers;
B To promote the dissemination of information concerning West Highland White Terriers;
C To encourage and hold dog shows, exhibitions and matches;
In pursuing these objectives the WHWTC of Greater Atlanta acknowledges its responsibility to preserve and protect the West Highland White Terrier. It further recognizes that the quality, health, safety and reputation of the breed rests squarely in the hands of its breeders and owners. Therefore, to elucidate these responsibilities and ensure their understanding by the Members, as well as guidance to the public, the WHWTC of Greater Atlanta sets forth below certain code of conduct to be honored and followed by its Members.
Membership in the WHWTC of Greater Atlanta requires the acknowledgement of the Member's acceptance of and adherence to this code.
• Members shall at all times act in the best interest of the breed and in the best interest of the well being of individual dogs and in a manner in keeping with the aims and interest of the Club.

• Members shall dedicate themselves to the appropriate care, training and continuing welfare of any dog which they own or co-own. Further Members shall make diligent efforts to secure a proper future of any dog which they have bred and sold.

• Members shall to the best of their abilities dedicate time, talents or support to the rescue of West Highland White Terriers whom have been abandoned or relinquished by their owners in order to and with the hope to provide them with a chance to live out the remaining years of their lives in a healthy and caring environment.

• Members shall keep their dogs in an environment and under a regime that as far as is possible ensures the well being of the dog.

• No member will knowingly sell a West Highland White Terrier of any age to any pet shop, catalogue house, laboratory, or any wholesale dealer in dogs, or to any person who sells to pet shops, catalogue houses, laboratories, or wholesale dealers (a dealer being a person who regularly buys stock for sale at profit).

• Members will not knowingly offer or knowingly agree to offer stud service to wholesale dealers or to any person involved with pet shops, catalogue houses, or laboratories.

• All breeding Members will be familiar with the American Kennel Club rules governing record keeping, registration and sale and transfer of dogs and will abide by these rules. Any warranties or other agreements pertaining to the sale of a Westie will be put in writing, with a copy to the buyer.

• A member selling an adult dog or puppy which he/she knows to be an inferior specimen of the breed not suitable for competition in conformation classes, or to have a physical condition which indicates that the breeding of the animal would be detrimental to the breed, shall so inform the buyer in writing and shall neuter or spay said animal prior to sale or under the condition that the sale shall be made with agreements in writing, signed by both buyer and seller, that the dog is not to be bred, is to be spayed or neutered and that AKC registration papers will be delivered to buyer upon receipt by seller of proof of spaying or neutering.

• All breedings shall be planned with the aim of improving the breed, with consideration given to type, temperament, health, breed standard, as prescribed by the AKC standard, and soundness. All Members shall be familiar with the Standard of the breed and will discourage matings between clearly inferior specimens of the breed; stud service will be refused to clearly inferior specimens of the breed. No dog exhibiting a hereditary health defect, unsound temperament or poor health will be bred.

• If a dog or bitch produces offspring with a serious defect or genetically transmitted disease, the owner must disclose the information to the prospective breeder or stud owner when negotiating a breeding with another owner. Further the owner must inform the owners of any other offspring of said dog or bitch that were not neutered upon sale.

• No member-breeder will breed a bitch unless he/she has the time and facilities to devote proper care and attention to the physical and emotional development of the puppies and to the well being of the dam. No puppy will be placed in a new home before the pup is weaned, tested clear of internal parasites, and had its first necessary vaccinations. No member should provide stud service unless he/she is satisfied that the owner of the bitch has such time and facilities necessary for proper development of the pups.

• A bitch should be mated no more than two out of three successive seasons (assuming that litters result) and never without due regard for the health and well being of the bitch.

• No bitch shall be bred past an age where the resulting pregnancy might cause a serious health risk to the Dam or puppies.

• Members shall conduct themselves at all times in a sportsmanlike manner consistent with the goals of AKC, the West Highland White Terrier Club of America and this Club as set forth in it's constitution and by-laws

• Advertising by members will be as factual as possible. Misleading exaggerations or unfounded implications of superiority will not be used.

• Members will refrain from knowingly making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.

I have read the above CODE OF ETHICS. I understand that breach of this code may be cause for dismissal from the club.

Males and females compete separately within their respective breeds, in six regular classes. During the competition a Judge will traditionally begin by asking the class to gate around the ring to watch the movement of the entries and get an overall comparison of the entries. Then each dog will be placed on the table where the judge can see and feel the structure, coat and bite of each dog. Following the table a judge will watch the dog as it gates away from the judge and returns towards the judge again watching reach, gate, top-line or length and levelness of the dog’s back, carriage of the head and attitude. Some judges have the dogs face each other to judge attitude and feistiness of the dog. This is called sparring.

The following classes are offered, and are divided by sex:

Puppy: dogs between six and twelve months of age, which are not yet champions.

Twelve-to-Eighteen Months: dogs twelve to eighteen months of age, that are not yet champions.

Novice: dogs that have never won a blue ribbon in any other other classes, or have won fewer than three first place ribbons in the Novice class.

Bred by Exhibitor: the dog is not yet a champion, and the exhibitor is the breeder and the owner.

American-Bred: a dog whose parents were mated in America, and the dog was born in America. The dog is not yet a champion.

Open: any dog of the breed, at least six months of age.

After these classes are judged, all the dogs that won first place (blue ribbon) in a class, Class winners, re-enter and compete again to see who is the best of the Class Winners. Males and females are judged separately. Only the best male (Winners Dog) and the best female (Winners Bitch) receive championship points. The Winners Dog and Winners Bitch then re-enter and compete with dogs that have attained their championship and compete for the Best of Breed award. The following awards are given during this portion of the competition:

Best of Breed: the dog (male or female) judged as the best in its breed category.

Best of Winners: the dog judged as the better of the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.

Best of Opposite Sex: the best dog that is the opposite sex to the Best of Breed winner.

At Specialty shows there is usually a Sweepstakes competition prior to the above judging. In this competition only puppies from the ages of six to eighteen months compete. No professional handlers are allowed to show in the Sweeps competition, unless they are owners or co-owners of the dog. The same procedure as above is followed. The Class Winners return to the ring to compete for Best of Sweeps and Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Sweeps.

Additional classes:

Veterans: female and male dogs of seven years or older, are offered. Winners of each will compete with the Best of Breed competition.

Brood Bitch and Stud Dog: are also offered. The mother and at least two of her offspring (called progeny) are shown together to determine consistency and quality in the breeding. The same occurs with the males, the fathers and their progeny compete as well. The judging is based on the quality of the progeny and not the parent. The winners of these classes do not compete for Best of Breed. But for the winners it is a prestigious award the displays the breeder’s selective breeding process.

We want to hear from you!

Our leadership is all volunteer and usually have full-time jobs as well as taking care of their family and Westies, so be patient, we will get back to you!

If you're interested in learning more about the West Highland White Terrier Club of Greater Atlanta, joining or working on a committee, here are the folks that can help. Just click on their names to contact them.

President: Donna Cannon

VicePresident: Jane Fink

Secretary: Kristine Tarrer

Treasurer: Brenda Hemphill

West Highland White Terrier Club of Greater Atlanta, Inc.

Post Office Box 844
Roswell, GA 30077-0844

Images and content on this site are the property of, or used with permission by the WHWTCGA. The use of the content of this site by others is prohibited.

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