Gunner's mom, Jackie, answers all my questions. Meet Gunner, a 7 month old Westie.
Q- What are Gunner's best qualities?
Gunner is super friendly. If we walk into Petsmart he will randomly walk up to strangers and sit down in front of them waiting for them to pet him or give him a treat just for being him. He's bold, curious and smart.
Luckily Gunner is not a yapper but he does let us know when someone is at the door or when something in not right outside.
Q- What are the challenges?
Westies get bored easily, so you always need to have challenging toys on hand, making sure to change them out every few days.
Gunner knows how to get what he wants. Even though he knows his tricks on command, sometimes he looks at us like, "Do I get a treat if I do this?" He requires a lot of attention and if I'm not careful, my little sweet westie can turn into a little bossy pants! If I'm on the phone or not paying attention to Gunner he will start walking in front of me to stop me in my tracks, as if to say, "Hey, pay attention to me!"
Gunner is also a digger. He even finds places inside the house to dig, like the couch. My husband and I try to discourage digging between the couch cushions by setting up piles of towels or blankets with treats underneath, so he can still dig but not ruin the couch!
Q- What is his personality like?
Where do I begin to describe this furry little creature's personality? It makes me laugh just thinking about him. His top personality characteristics are:
He always surprises me. Though he can be very obedient if we have a treat in hand, he can also be very "I do what I want." He can be a selective listener. :) He is a fast learner, super curious, energetic, happy little puppy. Every morning he acts like he hasn't seen us in ages, full of excitement and energy. When we go out for walks he likes to find branches 2-3 times his size and pick them up and run back to the apartment like he's found hidden treasure. It's hilarious to watch a little 13 lb white dog full of determination running up a stairwell with a huge branch that bangs against the metal railings.
Q- How has Gunner changed your life?
I have an autoimmune condition called systemic lupus erythemastosus. An easy way to describe it is that my body is allergic to itself and makes antibodies against my own healthy tissues causing chronic inflammation. Currently there is no cure but it is managed by suppressing my immune system with medications in order to prevent organ damage. I work as a scientist, but had to take a work break for my health.
Gunner arrived just after I stopped working and he has been my white furry ball of sunshine and joy. Although he is an active puppy, he seems to know when I'm not feeling well and will just lay in bed with me until I sum up the energy to start getting ready. Chasing him around our small apt and our daily walks is just what I needed to help keep my muscles and joints moving. The joy and laughter he fills my heart with is priceless. He is such a wonderful blessing.
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