Special K, as grieving therapy, was looking through the petfinders and craigslist sites, looking at all the available pups out there. She knew I didn't want another - she was of the same mind. Then we found this one. This is Gizmo. A 5-year old Westie Special K found on craigslist. On the Wednesday after Sparks left us. It was if he sent this one to us, saying "here's the boy you thought you were getting when you took me." I answered the ad; agreed to a meet and greet at a park close by on the following Saturday. In my heart, I thought, no dice - there isn't any replacement for Sparks.
So we go to the park on Saturday. And we meet "Yayo" and his little family. They have a 2 1/2 year terror, she was going back to school as well as working full time and they decided they could "no longer care" for "Yayo." I asked what Yayo meant (they're Asian - I figured it was a word for something), but she said she just made it up. Long story short (I know; too late); we loved him and he seemed to like us.
So we took him home. His birthday is February 9, 2006. His pedigree papers say so. They also say his birth name was Gizmo yada yada yada something Westie. Gizmo isn't much of an improvement over Yayo, but it kinda sounds the same and that's what we've been calling him. The name has grown me, much as Sparky had (he came with that name; didn't like it either. I always wanted a Westie named Sebastian or Basil; something a little more sophisticated, as that's how I picture the breed - not Three Stooges kinda names lol But I have to admit; they fit better than the ones I wanted).
He came with issues - like drinking copious amounts of water and peeing everywhere. And pooping. Everywhere. Inside. Should have had a clue when she handed me his leash, his medical and birth/purchase records, a toy and two pee pads. I thought it odd; no bed, no crate, no food bowl, no left-over dog food. Pee pads. Uh, huh. Found out why. But then she also shared that they kept him crated during the day while they were at work and at night while they slept. That's two-thirds of the day.
Because of these issues, we decided to crate him too, while we were at work. Monday, I came home on my lunch to let him out and to romp with him, give him some water and some lovin'. Tuesday, same thing. But when I went to put him back into the crate, I noticed the fluffy towel I had in there was shoved to the back, so I reached in to pull it forward and, ewwwwww, it was soaked.
I've always read and heard that dogs won't mess where they're confined. Not true. That towel was soaked in urine. No wonder the bottom half of this dog is yellow. He was made to sit in his own urine every day. Poor guy. We were so worried with the amount of water he was drinking and the amount he was peeing that we took him to the vet to have him checked out. Had blood work done. Urine and stool analysis; we figured if he had diabetes or some other disease, we couldn't afford to keep him. We wouldn't give him back to the family as we had agreed if we decided we weren't going to keep him, though - I'm thinking how they "cared" for him was border-line abuse. We would have surrendered him up to the NW Westie Rescue folks.
Never came to that, though - he got a clean bill of health. It's all in his head. Because it appeared they limited his access to water. And after a week, we noticed the drinking slowed down. So of course, the peeing did, too. He figured out that water was plentiful and always available, so he doesn't need to drink it like it's going out of style. Plus, he's so smart and we've been working hard to get him outside every chance we could. Here we are, almost 3 weeks later, and he's pretty much house trained. We leave two pee pads out for him, just in case, but he hasn't pooped in the house in over a week. He does get up in the night to go pee, but now he pees on the pad. Such a good, smart boy.
And he is the total opposite of Sparks - very affectionate (almost too much - always wants your lap if you're sitting), very alert, very active. Such a joy. Not that Sparks wasn't - just in a very different way. And he seems very happy with us - probably very grateful we have no rugrats in the house (while at the park that first day, we saw the toddler yank at his ears, kick him in the ribs and the mother told us that he kept trying to ride the dog like a pony, so yeah, I'd say he's real happy there are no little ones in our house.) He's a keeper. One thing that tells me that Sparks sent Gizmo to us - when I went to the craigslist ad to respond to it a second time (they didn't answer the first one); I noted that their ad was posted on March 7th.
That's the day Sparks left us.