Balinbrae westies

Maggie and Ruffian.

Ask Ruffian

Ruffian III

The views and opinions expressed in this column are not those of his owners. Please send your questions to To expedite the reading of your email or letter, certain phrases or keywords in the text would help. These include: "He's a good boy", "Wanna go outside?", "Toy", and the classic "Cookie". Now onto your questions...

Hi Ruffian, I love your handsome face. My dogs are my babies but having one heck of a problem with house breaking them. We take them out about 6 times a day. We have used sprays, rug cleaners and stern correction methods to no avail.
Gloria Wood

Hi Gloria,
Thanks for your email. And for the compliment about my face. I get that a lot. Lol.

Regarding the house breaking situation, I have a few suggestions.

Did you try crate training? Frequent walks and a lot of praise for doing business outside is helpful. We “aim” to please, of course.

Usually, about Five to 30 minutes after a puppy eats, they’ll want to “go”. Make sure the pups have a place to relieve themselves that is familiar, though. The scent acts like a trigger.

First thing every morning, bring your puppy outside to the same general area.
Remember: it is important to reward the good behavior!

Housebreaking is the hardest job for a dog owner. But keep with a consistent plan, and you will succeed!




Hello Ruffian!

I hope that you are enjoying your holidays and that Santa brings you some special toys or cookies in your stocking. I am sure that you have been a very "good boy" this year! But if you happened to get into a little minor mischief well that's totally understandable! It's just part of being a fun loving Westie with a great personality, right? Either way I'm sure Santa would totally understand :) especially if you give him a big kiss and wag of your precious tail.

By way of virtual introduction, my name is Elizabeth and I was wondering if you could assist me? I would really like to speak with your parents about setting up a possible meet and greet and possible play date to get to know one another and also to formally introduce myself.

For many years our family has wanted to add a few beautiful, active and cuddly Westie members into our family. Up until recently it wasn't possible because of living in a high rise (downtown Boston) which did not have ample play room for an active family member like yourself. But guess what? We just moved (back to Haverford, PA - suburb of Philadelphia) into a wonderful home with plenty of fenced-in grass areas, many beautiful gardens and even a pool to sit and relax nearby. It's a perfect place to view the wildlife. We have lots of pretty birds, squirrels, chipmunks and even deer. So now that we have all of this space to run, play and investigate we really want to open our home and welcome one or two new Westie family members! We have so much love to offer and would like to expand our family.

So if you could help us get in touch with your parents we sure would appreciate the opportunity to discuss ideas. And if you have any friends or perhaps brothers and/or sisters that would enjoy moving out to the east coast and also being loved 24/7 then we should talk! My phone number is 610-XXX-XXXX. I sure hope to hear from someone. But if it is easier I am happy to contact/call them directly. Let me know if there is a time or preference for communication? I would really like to ask them ideas about how we could expand our family.

Well thank you for reading my letter and have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Warm regards,

PS. You are a very handsome and photogenic Westie! Who does your hair? It's beautiful ;)

Hello Elizabeth,

Happy New Year!
I am really sorry it has taken me so long to answer you, but I've been busy around here helping Mom clean up after all of the holiday festivities. First, I had to go through all the wrapping paper that was bunched up after Christmas to make sure I didn't miss any toys or cookies. Then the New Year began and I had to really think about my resolution. I couldn't come with anything, so, I just decided this year I resolve to watch my rapidly expanding waistline. Not to lose weight or anything, but just to "watch" it since there is nothing on TV. lol.

Playdates are my favorite thing, so it would be really cool to meet you!

I just checked, and we don’t have any puppies available right now, but maybe I can steer you to a good breeder?

I like the idea that you would like a "few” Westies. We are like yogurt drops - you can’t have just one.

You can give my Mom a call anytime. Her number is 623-465-4303. She normally goes to bed around 9pm.



Ps. Glad you like my hair. As you might have guessed, we have a salon right on the premises, and I know the owner very well. Let me know if I can hook you up with a new 'do for the new year!


Dear Ruffian,
My forever mom found your website and suggested I e-mail you for some assistance. My name is Trevor and I'm a four year young, neutered westie looking for a new forever friend to share my great home and parents. Would prefer a girl since I am your usual westie, that is Alpha, and it will achieve a more harmonious relationship I think.
Have it pretty terrific here, nice large house in Tucson Mountains with some older, but very active senior mom and dad, take me lots of places with them. Even go on these great car vacations, willing to give my new step sister half the back seat. Good food and treats, hardly ever left alone, and you should see the large yard with a high enough stone block wall to keep unfriendly critters out.
My question to you, Ruffian, is would you know of any nice girl westie, up to about age four, just like I am, who would like to share my home? Please e-male me back with her contact information.
Am waiting hopefully,

'sup Trevor!

Hey man, I really appreciate your letter. It was kinda deep and I feel ya, dude. It sounds like you got it made, but you just need a little female companionship. I understand, because I run around with a wild and crazy chick named Timbé who really keeps me on my paws.

A good dog can be surrounded by luxuries, but having a lady companion to run around with in the backyard , keeps it "interesting" and fun.

So, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna keep my eyes and ears open for ya, and the moment some sweety shows up that I think might be a good match, I'll email you or call you.

In the meantime, hang in there. Keep your tail up and your tongue out. Think good, happy thoughts, and enjoy youself. She'll eventually show up. You'll see.



Hi Ruffian

My name is Penny. I am interested in owning a westie after all the research I have completed. Does your mommy allow visitors to see you and your friends? I have only seen pictures on tv and magazines and would like to see one up close. When I am ready, I would like to purchase from your mommy if at all possible. Would love to bring you a cookie if she says it is okay for you to have one. I live in Peoria, AZ.

Dear Penny from Peoria,

I like your name! It's really cool. I totally understand about your wanting to "own" a Westie. But just to be clear, a Westie usually "owns" it's owner, if you catch my drift? Now, you have two options if you want to see a Westie up close.

1. See that pic on the right? Just enlarge it REALLY big.

2. Call me, and we'll set up a meet and greet. 623-465-4303.

Personally, Penny, I would chose option 2. Once you see me in person, you will want a Westie even more.

hugs from,


Ps. Mom said the cookie is fine.

Dear Ruffian,

Hi there we have an 11 year old Westie and we are considering buying a second Westie.

Two questions:

1. At 11 years of age, is it a good time to introduce a puppy into our home?

2. Do you breed Westies and if so...

A. How much do the puppies cost?

B. Do you have pictures of the parent?

Thank you,

Graham King

Hi Graham,

Thanks for the email. To answer your questons in order:

1. Eleven years old or any age is good to introduce a puppy - It can give your 11 year old a renewed interest in life!

2. We do occasionally breed puppies.

A. If they are anything like me (Ruffian), they would be priceless! But I'm sure we can work something out...

B. There would definitely be pictures of the parents - We Balinbrae Westies are very photogenic!

Ruffian and Harvey

Left: Ruffian gets a visit from his friend Harvey. Time for a sleepover. There will be ghost stories and chats about life and stuff, deep into the night. Oh, and cookies, too.

Hi Ruffian

I am back again to ask you some more questions about dog food, etc. My sweet Westie boy is now 6 months old and it is time to change dog foods again as he is itching! I am taking him off Puppy food and moving on to another. Is the protein level important in the Westie dog food. Is 37% protein to high? It seems high to me. Would love to know what that is all about.

My second question is why does my little guy try to bite me all the time and not my husband. It is not a mean bite but it is like I am his littermate bite! He only does this to me. He is a sweet puppy and is coming along with his training very well. He loves to voice his opinion about everything from the birds to squirrels!! Oh my gosh I wish we lived close by. I would hop right over to your house and have your Mom groom Duffy. I hope you are well and have been having a good Winter. Thanks so much for all your advice,

Sincerely ,
Martha Iszard

Hi Martha,

It's so nice to hear from you again! Cool.

Yes, 37% seems a bit high on the protein meter. I've been on AZmira kibble and canned for years and it has been quite good for me.. It is 25% protein. However, I overheard my Mom make some comment about my waistline the other day. And now, all of a sudden, I'm eating Fromm Weight Management. The goal is for me lose 2 pounds. That means lose them and not find them. Ever.

I'd recommend a grain free food for Duffy. We Westies sometimes have allergy problems, and Springtime, with all of that pollen doesn't help.

As to the mouthing, let's refer to that as giving "love bites". I've been into this vampire fad lately, and Mom and Guy don't seem to them at all. You could try some obedience lessons for Duffy if this bothers you.

I wish you lived close by, too - we could hang out together and talk Westie stuff. You know, "chew the fat."

Well, there is a bunny in my yard and it's driving me nuts! Must be left over from Easter.

Oh, and yeah, my Momma is a fantastic Westie groomer.

Thanks again for emailing.




Dear Ruffian,

May I ask you what some of your females names? I am getting one in March and I am having awful time picking a name out. Your babies are beautiful.

Dear 8142828067,

That's quite an interesting name! Hope you don't mind me calling you "814"?

Anyways, Hello 814. Sorry for the delay. Thank you for the nice compliment about the babes.

I've been enjoying a little time off. The holidays tend to overexcite me, so I usually spend the whole month of January calming down. Now, I'm finally ready to address some mail. But, in your case, address some "feee-mail". Lol.

As for some of the names of the chicks that have been around here...

Well, there's Maya and Shanna,
and Donner and Blitzen… (just kidding)

Seriously, here are a few girlie names off the top of my fluffy head:

  • Betsyross
  • Blair
  • Cookie (my number 1 favorite)
  • Dreamer
  • Fiona
  • Happy
  • Kiera
  • Maggie
  • Maya
  • Raine
  • Ruffy-Anne (another favorite... tee hee)
  • Shanna
  • Splash
  • Téa

Usually there's some meaning behind these names. For example, Betsyross was born on July 4. Happy was born on Mom's birthday. Sometimes there's just plain brilliance behind these names. As in the case of "Cookie."

But other times with these chicks, the names just reveal themselves after they grow into their personality a bit. Maybe she's a heavy drinker. Hence, "Splash."

I want to send you early congrats on bringing a Westie babe into your life. You will not be disappointed. These are the hottest chicks around in my book. I bet you will bond quickly and within 30 days you will be thinking "how did I ever live without her?"

Ruffy (the chick magnet)


Hi Ruffian
We just think you are the coolest Westie ever. And the prettiest too!. Our family is getting a Westie puppy in two weeks. He will be almost 9 weeks old. This will be our 4th Westie! My question is what kind of food do you eat!. all my previous Westies have had skin issues. Have you ever heard of the Westie Diet created by the California Westie Rescue people? if so should I use that.. Also how long does a puppy stay on puppy food?

We wish we lived close by so we could use your Mom as a groomer! She is Good! What a wonderful dedicated Westie family you have. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Thank You,
Martha Iszard

Hi Martha,
As Thanksgiving 2013 approaches let me tell you how thankful I am for your email. I'll bet that your new Westie puppy is also going to be thankful to be a part of your life. Congrats!

While on the subject, I'd also like to say thanks for the compliments. You just made my day! It's been a crazy week as my Mom has been preparing for the Thanksgiving feast. It's very distracting to watch food being prepared, if you catch my drift. I just want to sample everything--including Aunt Kay's fruitcake. But, the odds are that ain't gonna happen. But I'm hoping I'll get a few table scraps on Turkey Day!

As for my "typical" daily diet, that's simple. I scarf down Azmira food, both canned and dry. Mom says it seems like I inhale it, I eat so fast sometimes. Occasionally, when watching my waistline, I'll eat a home-cooked low-calorie diet. Mom tells me I stayed on puppy food until I was 6 months old and that I was fed 4 meals a day. Those were fun times, let me tell you. How I wish I was still eating 4 meals a day! But I'm thankful that I get two now.

I have heard of the California Westie Rescue Diet. It's good for Westies with skin issues.

I wish you lived close by, too. You sound pretty cool yourself, Martha. I'll bet we could spend hours discussing food!

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, let me again tell you (and everyone) how much I appreciate the emails. Martha, may you and your new puppy form a bond stronger than the ingredients in Aunt Kay's fruitcake.



Dear Ruffian,
I recently found your website and thought you might be able to help my pup with some skin problem. He is just over a year and for the last 6 months we have been battling itchy feet. It drives him absolutely bonkers and the only way to stop it is for him to wear an Elizabethan collar. His feet are swollen, red, and a little flaky. We tried wearing socks but he will chew right threw them.

We first did a blood allergies test which came back with nothing. We have been on ketoconazole for about 4 weeks to fight a yeast infection, have tried three different diets, are now keeping off all grasses, but nothing seems to help. If he is on temeralp he won't itch but we can't keep him on that forever.

We have been washing his feet with hydrogen peroxide, then eqyss micro tek pet shampoo, then a 2% acetic acid boric acid conditioner a couple times a week.

My local vet doesn't know what else to do but put him on drugs for mental disorders.

If you had any suggestions it would be so wonderful.

Aloha from Maui,
Chris and Winston

Hello Chris & Winston,
I usually have all the answers :) but think I'll turn this one over to my Mom -here she is:

As you probably know, skin issues are a common problem in the breed.
Yo might try Apple Cider Vinegar - a lot of Westie owners have good results with this. Spray or dip his feet in it a couple of times a day. If he has no sores or abrasions you can use it full strength , or dilute it half vinegar & half water.

Also, many vets prescribe Atopica for this condition, and most times it works really well. The generic for this is cyclosporine. If you can get the generic it would be quite a bit less expensive.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Nora (and Ruffian)
Balinbrae Westies


Hi Ruffian,
My name is Macduff and I'm 12 weeks old! I love my new home in Scottsdale and my mom and dad are crazy about me!

My mom has been been bathing me in the sink to keep me white for a while and I actually don't mind it. Our question is, at what age should I experience my first grooming? Nails and face know the works! She thinks that it will be important for me to get used to a monthly visit to the groomer to keep me looking handsome.

Also, I really like you spiffy harnesses. We are going to order one as soon as I get a little bigger or are they adjustable?

Thanks Ruffian for your time and hope to meet you soon.

Macduff (Duffy) Dean

Hi Macduff,

Your name would be perfect for a burger joint for Westies: "MacDuff's. Over One Billion Westies Served."

To answer your questions…

You are ready for a grooming when you feel you are ready. The sooner the better, though, because it can take some getting used to. My momma hooked me up with a groom and nail trim at 8 weeks.

Now, I get a mani and pedi once per month, and it's a very enjoyable experience for everyone concerned. That's why they call me Fluffy Ruffy, Duffy. We get visitors here at the ranch and they always ask to see the famous "Ruffian." So, if you want to keep up appearances like me, I'd say you can do no better than to get your "ears lowered" on a monthly basis. She'll trim those claws, too. A long dew claw can be dangerous if it gets caught on something. Believe me, we've seen it, and it ain't pretty.

Harnesses seem to be pretty popular these days. They look cool, and keep you balanced and comfy when you're out walking and suddenly spot a rabbit. Much easier on your neck, know what I mean?

The harnesses are "Westie" sized, and are adjustable. They are for 6 months and older. You will make the neighbors green with envy.

Thanks for writing, Duffy! Talk soon?



Hi Ruffian,
It's me…..Cooper (and Simon). It was fun seeing you today. We always have a blast at your house. As you know, I was a little nervous about getting my first haircut today, but, you were all great, and, I did look a little like a wild man. Tell your Mom she is an awesome fur stylist. I've gotten massive compliments on my new look. If I do say so myself, I look pretty slick…..looking more like a 'big dog' Westie, than, a pupster, which is very cool. You know what they say…..'If you can't hang with the big dogs, stay on the porch!'…..Well, no more porch for me, I'm ready to hang!! Bring it on!!

See you soon…..

Your pal,

Hey Coop,
Thanks for the scoop. My Mom does stay pretty busy with giving haircuts these days. She just got a new dryer, too. That thing is so powerful, it could dry us all at once. My Mom gets great joy seeing us all cleaned up with proper grooming. She's happy that you are happy. We can't wait to see you again, so eat your veggies and grow that fur, Coop!



Dear Ruffian,
I am wanting to purchase a westie puppy. Do you have any at this time and what is the asking price?


Hi DeeDee,

I understand you want to buy a pup, well, your gonna have to pony up! Hey, I'm a poet and didn't know it. LOL. Okay, here's step number one: We ask that all potential Balinbrae Westie owners fill out one of these Application/Questionnaire's and fax it back to us at: 623.465.9734. Of course, you can also print it, fill it out, scan it, and then email it to my Mom at Geewhizzers, sounds like a lot of work. But we're worth it. : )

You never know when a pup is gonna pop up. (There I go again.)



Ruffy and his Christmas basket

Ruffian is pictured with his beautiful Christmas basket from Irving and Honi Sall.

NEWS FLASH: Ruffian graduated from Obediance School November 15, 2010!

Hi Ruffian,

Congratulations on this auspicious achievement (graduating from Obediance School).

How could there be any doubt that you (and Timbe) would not succeed. After all, you are both stars! Both our two-legged friends and others agree that you are the most handsome devil they have ever seen

We are sending you all our love and best wishes.

Honi and Iriving
Melbourne, Florida

Hey Honi and Irving,

I like the sound of saying "Hey Honi." My Mom sometimes calls me "honey." I appreciate your note of congratulations. I graduated with honors and thank goodness they didn't play "Pomp and Circumstance" as my mortarboard hat with that tassle would have distracted me as I walked proudly to my pen. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my degree, except behave even better. I'm keeping the ribbon they gave me on the outside of my playpen.

Thank you so much for the graduation present, the little talking blue ball is a joy. It is nice to have something to converse with when I'm going night night.


Ruffian Graduates from Obediance School

Hey Ruffian,

When I was a baby last year I was at your house for a few days. Ruffian, you were very nice to me.

My question is that I want my mom to buy me a Couture Harness. I told her I would pout until she got me one. She is a sucker for that. Vixen looks so cute in hers and I think when she and I have a grooming/playdate I could show her I am not just a pretty face but have style! So do you think if I pout long enough that will work or should I do the tried and true kissy kissy bit? Ruffian, have you noticed moms are not as bright as Westies?

My mom might have surgery in Nov so may come and stay with you. She says it is surgery but I think she is going to some fancy spa. Maybe I am pouting too much!

Thanks a lot,
Gilbert, AZ

Hey Lacey,
Thanks for the email. I remember you and really hope you come visit. I saw your pic the other day, and think you are really cute.
As a westie fashion expert, my recommendation would be the Pink "Lace" Harness. You'd have all the dogs barking wearing that.
Plus, this harness has your name on it (Lace="Lacey"). When you get it, be sure to send me a pic, so I can hang it in my pen. I have one available in just your size.

Pouting sometimes works, but sometimes just being a good girl has it's rewards.



Dear Ruffian,
Can you please tell me why some Westies have a beige or wheaton strip along the top of the back and some don't? If I buy one that has the strip along the top of back and I want to show him would this matter? Can champions still have this color on them and still be shown and what causes this and is it a flaw?

Thank you,

Dear Gail,
Thanks for your email. Westie ancestors were Cairns, Scotties, Dandie Dinmonts, & Skyes. Some Westies have inherited a trace of color in the dorsal streak; others have some temporary color due to being heavily stripped or being discolored by the sun. If a dog is otherwise excellent, a trace of color in his coat is a minor flaw, since this coat is invariably hard. I hope this helps. I appreciate your writing to me. It gets a bit slow during the Arizona summer, so letters keep me from getting restless. Keep 'em comin!

Fluffy Ruffy

Hey Ruffian,
I heard you might have some stimulous money coming? What will you do with the money?

Chris in Scottsdale

Dear Chris,

Actual email. Click to enlarge

Can you believe this? So I get this email the other day saying that somebody's been trying to reach me about some "stimulous" check. ( a copy of the email on left. Just click it). Anyways, I don't need any money right now. I'm already stimulated. But, I suppose I could use the dough for a few items. Hmmmm...maybe a new harness, there are some cool one's from Australia that my mom showed me. She's going to have 'em for sale on this site soon. There's not much I need. I travel pretty light. I'd probably splurge on some treats for everybody at Balinbrae Ranch. Maybe take a trip. I dunno. I usually only go to the backyard, so maybe I'll just save it for something special.

Love, Ruffy.


Dear Ruffian

You look a bit different...did you change your furstyle, or get some "work" done? You look, uh...younger! Very cute, though, I might say.

  • Megan Shultz,
  • Detroit, MI

Dear Meg,
Actually, I'm Ruffian III. Ruffian II has decided it was time to go on to a higher position. He got his angel wings and a dream job sorting "wizzers" for the big boss. While he is still overseeing things, he's asked me to take over his column. I am a bit young, having just celebrated my first birthday. So please give me a little time to adjust and mature into this new gig. I still have a bit of a puppy look. I hope to bring a new, fresh perspective to this column. While I await your comments and questions, you can read some of Ruffian II's classic responses below.

Archives begin here...

Ruffian II

Hi Ruffy the Wizzer Winner!
Sammie from California here. How are ya ? Are you expecting any wizzers from your Valentine? I let all the girls doggies know that I prefer a tennis ball over anything should they want to fancy me a gift (or gifts, in my case).

So, getting to my question. Have you watched the 2009 Westminster Dog Show on TV? All those white fluffy Westies with the "teased" look is prompting my human sis to call the groomer for my next appointment. Well, that is disastrous as I'm a wild westie and could care less about grooming and baths. My sis tends to have differences in opinion with me on that issue. Recently she has been complaining about a brown beard that I have developed on the corner of my mouth (just a couple strands, nothing major). She wants to know if there's anything that would get rid of those brown strands. My explanation is that I am now 22 months old and the beard is a just sign of my entry into macho-hood She doesn't seem convinced. Any input from you is appreciated.

My sis is also obsessed in finding out more about my westie ancesters!! Do you happen to know "Cottonwood Desert Acacia" or "Whitejoy O'Playboys Morgan" (wow that's a mouthful!)?

Anyway, I better go now, my jumbo tennis ball is calling. Hope your girls will send you lots of wizzers.

Much love from California,
Sammie MacDuff

PS: Hope you enjoy my glamour shot. It was after a dreaded bath. You have my permission to pass it along to the cute girl doggies only.


Hey Sammie,

'sup? Thanks for the pic. It's always interesting to see what another Westie looks like, you know? Truth is, we don't all look alike, do we? You look Very White in your photo. Not Barry White, VERY white. So whomever it was that had the honor of bathing you, did you white, er, right. As far as the beard thing you mention in your email, here's what we use around the ranch:

The girls around here use it more than me, of course. Nothing worse than a westie chic with a fur manchoo. But for those special occasions, this will work just fine for you. Enjoy your tennis ball. Just don't make too much of a "racquet" with it! LOL.



Ps. I put your pic up on my column:


Dear Ruffian,

Great if you could answer these:

I have heard that Westies have a tenancy to snap if their irritated, is this true? Also I have two dogs each different genders if I add another female will the female that I had before get jealous?

Hi Sharon,


Sorry for the delay. You may have heard about the "bee" incident (swallowed some darn bees). Anyway, I'm feeling much better now, thank you.

Yes. Westies do "snap" if irritated. They also "crackle" and "pop." A little humor for breakfast. LOL. Anyway, you may have heard that it's never good to irritate a dog (or a cat!) , or even a human. Most living creatures all have a breaking point. Even though we try to use good sense, occasionally, our emotions get the best of us. Lesson: Best to not irritate.

As for the question of jealousy.. .If everyone isl spayed or neutered, you shouldn't have a problem. If the new female is a puppy, the first one will usually come to love it in time. Jealousy in the beginning is fairly normal, so it's always best to pet, feed, etc. the older one who might be jealous first. It's kind of like know when mom brings the new baby home and the older kid feels like it's not getting the same amount of attention. In time, it all works out. There's enough love to go around for everybody.


Ruffy ; 0)


Hey Ruffian:

WIZZER WIZZER WIZZER. Now did I get your undivided attention yet?


My human sis stumbled upon your page when she was looking for pictures of my ancestors including my great-grandpa Charlie/Playboy O'Peterpan. What a fine looking Westie just like myself! Did you ever play with Charlie? Was he as playful as I am with other dogs? Well actually, I prefer playing with big breeds. The bigger the better. I generally ignore toy breeds during my walks unless it's a cute looking poodle. And so I digressed.

Anyway, I'm my sis's first dog and she didn't have any expectations of what having a Westie is like. One of the things she noticed from looking at other Westies is that they all seem to have pink ears. I'm a black-eared puppy and my sis is wondering if that has anything to do with where my ancestors were from or is it something that has to do with my age. Will my ears turn pink when I'm older? I personally find myself quite good looking as it is and don't care either way but Sis is vain and would like to know. I'm a 11 months old pup, by the way.

Hope you'll have lots of Wizzer,
Much love coming my way from California,
Sammie (woof woof!)

Wassup Sammie?
Easy on the "Wizzer" words. Unless, of course, you are sending one...

Dark pigment is very desirable in a westie - those black ears, along with a black nose & dark eyes, make for a great expression with that white fur background. You'll notice that I have some beautiful black ears, too - that's why I am considered movie star handsome!

Oh...and Chuck was a great guy. We enjoyed hangin' (Of course, we did have a little sibling rivalry going once or twice...but whaddya gonna do?)

Thanks for the letter. Congrats on being 11 months, and on your approaching "adult" doghood. What do you think about life so far? Pretty wild trip being down here, huh? It's fun.

Later, Sammie!


I am a Westie who came to live with my person last November; Barb Krotts raised me until then. I am 8 months old. I am beautiful, talented & very smart (that's what they tell me in the "finishing school" that I attend), and I have a great body. How to I break into show business (for the big bucks) or at least get a date with you?
Love and Kisses,
Carly Williams

Hi Carly,
Thanks for sending the "hot" picture. I like the way your white fur contrasts with your black nose. It's very unique. The best way to break into show business is to get some more pics taken, get an agent, and get yourself in front of the right people. Do what you love, and the big bucks will follow. That's what I heard a person say once. Having ambition is what separates the dogs from the puppies in this world. As for getting a date with me, send me your cell phone number in a private email and we'll talk. Or put me on your buddy list and I'll instant message you. WOOF!


I have a 4 1/2 month old Westie. Both of her ears were standing up for a couple of weeks, but now only one is. When will both of them stand up for good?
Addie Bjornsen

Hi Addie,
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Addie. This past week was a busy one for me but things are finally settling down a bit. To answer your question about the ear, it will eventually stand up - You could try putting a bit of adhesive tape on it for a week or so. Or try playing the National Anthem. That could make the ear stand up just out of respect. If you have any more questions, I'm all ears! Aarf.


Jay Carlson

First of all, there's no reason to *SHOUT* I can hear ya just fine! When humans type in all capital letters, I assume they are yelling. Which brings me to your question about ears. The answer is "no," Westie ears are never docked. And if it's a well bred Westie, they will grow into their ears and they will not be BIG. Check out my ears. Now those are adorable! I was thinking about getting an earring. Whaddya think? WOOF!!!!


If you could play any part in a movie, what part would you play? In which movie?
Jordan Powell, Phoenix, AZ

Hi JP!
I've been catchin' up on my movie watching. (I had to have my Mom rent several DVDs at Blockbuster so I could give you a good answer. It's called "research" or something. Woof!!)

To answer your question, hmmm...I think I would play Clint Eastwood's role in In The Line of Fire. In this movie, he gets the girl, gets to chase cars, and is the hero who saves the day. (I think this might be rated "R" because of bad language. Because I'm old enough, my Mom let me watch it.) I give this movie 4 paws. Here are my reviews of other movies I watched:

Wag the Dog. This one features one of my favorite actors–Robert Deniro. Very funny movie, but I didn't understand all of it. Plus there were no dogs in it, which I thought was confusing.

One paw

The Shaggy Dog. Anything Disney puts out is fun. This is an oldie but goodie. And I like goodies. (Especially Beggin Strips...or Milk Bones!)

One paw

Cujo. This is one of those Stephen King scary movies. I don't like it when dogs are portrayed as mean. Mom says it's called "exploitation" or something like that. I told her it was only a movie and the dog was just an actor.

One paw

My Dog Skip. This made me sad. Cute dog in it. Don't watch it unless you want to have a good cry.

One paw

Monsters, Inc. I loved this movie. Fun for the whole family.

One pawOne pawOne paw

The Land Before Time. Another good movie. There were really big lizards in this one.

One pawOne pawOne pawOne pawOne paw

Dog Day Afternoon. Pacino is always amazing. One of the best.

One paw One paw One paw One paw One paw

Thank you very much for your question. By the way, what is your favorite movie?


Hey Ruffian, hi! We are two Cavalier KCS (neutered, sigh...) boys who are very nice and easy to get along with. Mom wants a little girl Westie puppy so we can have a sister and she can have another girl in the house. We are a bit concerned that a Westie might try to take over our house and not let us be alphas. Do you think there is a Westie girl that could fit into our house? By the way, one of us also stands in the dishwasher to clean up the plates - mom calls him the pre-wash cycle!

Dear Whomever,

Alf Alfa

Thanks for the question. In the future, please sign your email and let me know what part of the country you are in. As for your fear that a girl will "take over the house" and not let you be "alphas"...what are you a couple of wimps? Having a lady in the house shouldn't be a threat to your masculinity. Most girls want to take over the house. That's their nature. You have to act like it's no big deal. Here's a thought though: Alpha means first in order of importance; "the alpha male in the group of chimpanzees"; "the alpha star in a constellation is the brightest or main star" etc.

There are two of you writing this letter to me, but only one of you can be alpha. Have you discussed this and figured out which of you is the true "alpha?"


I noticed your official name is “Toddcrest Balinbrae Ruffian.” What's up with that?
JK, Houston, TX

Well, JK, although everybody's got a first, middle, and last name, can you imagine if every time my mom called me to come in the house, she said “Here Toddcrest Balinbrae Ruffian!” Woof. My goodness, this would be embarrassing. The only time it is appropriate to use a complete name is if I've been bad or if I'm winning some award. For example: “TODDCREST BALINBRAE RUFFIAN YOU GET IN THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW.” Or, better yet, “Ladies and Gentleman of Westminster, we'd like to present ‘Toddcrest Balinbrae Ruffian.’” Woof Woof.


How did you learn to do the dishes?
Bill S., Marmora, NJ

Pre Washing

You know, it may appear that I'm “doing the dishes,” but in reality I'm just licking the plates. I mean, every dog enjoys table scraps. I'm just making sure that nothing goes to waste. When I was a puppy, my mom would talk about how you should never go to bed hungry or angry. (by the way, those are the only two words in English that end in GRY) By licking plates, I accomplish both--not hungry, and not angry. This prewashing actually helps conserve water, because you don't have to run the dishwasher twice. In the picture, you can see that I'm actually schooling a pup on the finer technique of prewashing.


I understand you have a thing for lizards, which you call "Wizzers". Can you tell me about it?
JB, Key West, FL

A real Wizzer!

Well, when you live in the desert, your choice of playtoys is limited. Mom found these plastic lizards at a store somewhere in Phoenix. They are the closet thing to real lizards that I've seen. It must be something is wired wrong in my brain. None of the other dogs here seem to have an interest in plastic lizards. But they drive me bonkers. I can't get enough of them. If you know of a good source, please email me as soon as possible: the meantimes, I'm off to eat the Wizzer....the wonderful wizzer of AZ.


What's the deal with Movie Dog school?
TC, Los Angeles

In 1999, my mom thought I was so good looking that maybe I could be a star. These huge salaries actors make these days… imagine all the wizzers I could buy. Anyway, I trained for a few weeks. Learned some cool stunts. Then I auditioned for a role. I didn't get the part. But, hey, that's how it goes in the movie biz. There's a lot of rejection. You get used to it. But you stay in the game. That's the secret of life. Because eventually, something wonderful happens, you get the part, a new wizzer arrives, you dig up something interesting. You have fun and don't expect anything and everything eventually falls into place. Every dog has his day. Woof. Top

Please send your questions to Now I'm off to see the Wizzer. The Wonderful Wizzer of AZ....