The "VA 19"|
On July 17, 1998, a group nineteen Scotties became the “VA 19” when they were surrendered to Wee Beasties Scottie Rescue in Newport News VA.
It seems like yesterday Marty Straw, Pauline Woods and Roxanne Huckstep were piling into a purple Chevy Blazer and heading out to get 12 Scotties just outside of Richmond. That number turned out to be three adults, 11 nine month old puppies and five new born babies. The “just outside” of Richmond turned out to be two hours outside of Richmond.
One of the adult females had given birth to five puppies underneath the house in the hour before their arrival. Pauline was the only one who could get under the house to retrieve them.
Driving home, they looked like a puppy mill on the run. They managed to get six crates in the car to house them. They ended up with the adults in the crates, puppies in crates and on all laps. There was not a sound from any of the Scotties the entire trip home. The group had set out early that morning for Richmond and it was 10pm before they got home.
Back home, they let the group loose in Marty’s yard. What a black thundering herd of Scotties! The group was divided among Marty, Pauline, Roxanne and Kelly Callahan. They were blessed with support from friends who brought dog food, money and moral support. Their vet gave them a discount and floated the bill until they could pay him back. The group’s groomer donated her services and got them all Scottiefied.
To find homes, WBSR had an open house at Pauline’s. They met so many wonderful Scottie lovers that day. Such a diverse group came to see the Scots. One lady was in her 80’s. Another was an eight year old boy who came with his mother. There was a gay couple that came in one at a time to check WBSR out and see if they were “prejudiced”. (This was southeastern VA in 1998, a very different time.) People came from DC to North Carolina. The VA 19 were blessed to find forever homes in that group.
Some of these forever homes have lasted over 15 years. Jill is now a regal graying Scottie Queen. Jill was originally adopted by the lady in her 80’s. At her death a few years ago, Jill became part of her daughter’s family, who also adopted one of the VA 19.
Her official birthdate is not known because the record keeping of the original owners was not the best. They officially didn’t know who was the “baby’s daddy” and which of the puppies were born in which litter. They could tell us they were all nine months old, born in October 1997.
WBSR is honors and remembers the “VA 19”:
Pixie(Trixie), Christy, Hailey (Meg), Cassie (Jill), Bonnie Jean, Gordon, Shamus, Winston, Emma (Jeannie), Lily, Hershey, Dylan (Dammit Dylan), Zoe, Ashley, Sara, Chase, Maggie, Piper, and Molly.Marty, Pauline (RB) Kelly and Roxanne
The Story of the “VA 19” was chronicled in the STCA Bagpiper, 1999 #1:
This was the posting seen by Daphne Branzell, STCA Rescue Coordinator on the DOG-RESCUE list July 14, 1998. She contacted Martha Straw of the Wee Beastie Scottie Rescue in Virginia to see if they could convince the owner to turn the Scotties over to rescue for placement.
Pauline Woods and Martha started the Wee Beastie Scottie Rescue in 1987. Other members of the group are Kelly Callahan and Roxanne Huckstep. WBSR was placed on the STCA webpages in 1998.
Martha contacted the owners and found that they exceeded the number of dogs allowed by local ordinance. The owners desired the Scotties be placed in loving homes and not a puppy mill or dog lab. They requested letters of reference from Daphne Branzell on behalf of the STCA and letters from the group’s veterinarians. An agreement was made for the WBSR to accept three adults and nine four-month-old puppies.
Upon arrival July 17, Martha, Pauline and Roxanne introduced themselves to the owners who examined the credentials before allowing the WBSR to see the Scotties. Entering the yard, the group found a black sea of Scotties rushing to greet them. The nine four month old Scotties were found to be eleven five-month-old puppies. There were two pregnant females and one was missing. She was located under the house with a new litter of five puppies still wet from birth.
The owners decided to surrender one adult male, two adult females, the newborn litter of five, and the eleven puppies. When the group arrived at Martha’s, the rescues were divided and taken to their foster homes. Pauline (who works for a vet) was in charge of the female with the newborns. Kelly took the adult male and two puppies. Martha (who was expecting a litter of puppies in August) fostered four puppies. Roxanne took the adult female and five puppies.
The Scotties were taken the next morning for an exam, vaccinations and heartworm medication. Names were chosen for the puppies. Kelly’s puppies became Zoe and Dylan. Martha named her Scotties Shamus, Sawyer, Lily and Emma. Roxanne’s puppies became Hailey, Cassie, Christy, Bonnie Jean and Gordon. Pauline’s Ashley, Kelly’s Hershey and Roxanne’s Pixie retained their names. Different colored collars were assigned to keep the identities straight.
All of the Scotties needed bathing and grooming. On July 21, Pixie was taken to Linda Reece’s "Village Groomer" as a shaggy tangled dog and returned as a beautiful brindle Scottie. Linda offered to groom the rest of the rescues to make them presentable for adoption. That evening Hershey and the eleven puppies were taken for their turn with Linda and her assistant Gissie Hayes. Pauline, Martha, Kelly and Roxanne bathed and swept and admired their rescues.
Notices were posted in the Internet Scottie lists and the DOG-RESCUE list to help supplement the WBSR list of potential adopters. The group elected for the first time to ask for an adoption donation to help defray the cost of the food, medical exams, vaccinations, heartworm medication, and spaying/neutering.
An adoption open house was held at Pauline’s on August 1. The Scotties were placed in x-pens for the visitors to see and play with. More than 30 visitors from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC attended. Applications were received for the puppies. Home checks were scheduled for local applicants. Those living outside of the area provided letters of reference from their veterinarian and a friend. The older puppies were spayed/neutered before going to their new families.
Hershey had decided where he wanted to live when he arrived at Kelly’s. When he was not spoken for at the open house, Kelly (who was Scottie-less) decided to adopt him. The newborns were placed with their new families when they were eight weeks old with contracts requiring spaying/neutering. The family that took a newborn also adopted the mother Ashley. Pixie, the last to be placed, left for her new home on September 16.
***The WBSR wishes to thank the Brockett, Callahan, Cheely, Daily, Grinnalds/Wills, Farrand, Heinemeier, Hubert, Marr, Moore, Pearson, Ployd, J. Smith, M. Smith, Williams, and Williamson families for adopting and loving these special Wee Beasties.
The WBSR also wishes to thank Dr. Huddleston, Dr. Weidinger, and Dr. Cook of Denbigh Animal Hospital, Dr. Howard, Dr. Piske, and Dr. Fink of Colony Animal Hospital, Linda Reece and Gissie Hayes of Village Groomers, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, The Lollipop Garden, Julie Jordan, Darlene Simpson, Jeff and Valerie Underwood, Vicki Ellinger, Cathy Barefoot, Billy Woods, Chuck Straw, and Jim Todt.***
On July 14, 1998, I received a call at 10:14 p.m. from Daphne Branzell asking if we could help with a rescue in Petersburg VA. I called the other ladies in our group and we agreed to do this rescue. There were supposed to be nine four-month-old puppies and three adults. I contacted the person giving up the Scotties and set up a date to pick up our rescues.
On Friday, July 17 we carefully and loving placed seven kennels in the back of a Blazer to bring back our special little Scots. Our thinking at the time was we could double up on a couple of the puppies. They were only four months old and not so very big. We set off on the trip with a hope that the Scotties would be in good condition. The trip took two hours and it seemed like we would never get there.
We arrived and had a chat with the couple and learned there were eleven five month olds and three adults. I will never forget the scene before my eyes: a wave of black Scotties coming toward us. A surprise was in store for us. One of the females we were going to rescue had a litter of five puppies an hour before we arrived.
The loading began. All of our plans were out. We had to start over with where to put them. Mother and babies in one kennel. The other adults were placed in a kennel each. We didn’t have room for all the puppies so we held five in our laps for the trip home. There wasn’t a sound from the Scotties for two hours. We arrived at my house about 10:00 p.m. and let them out. The noise was like thunder. We picked out our puppies and said good night.
My four were the best little Scotties. Emma was a singer and full of fun. Shamus was a very dour little man with a gleam in his eye and tilt of head that went to your heart. Sawyer was the cuddler and would sit on my lap for lots of love. Lily was the small one with a deep need for a place of her own. She was a bit shy until trust came into her life.
I tried very hard not to fall in love with each of them but I lost my heart. I think my Scots were the greatest. It was hard to let them go to other homes. The families that came were all so nice. All of my babies got wonderful homes. In the rescue world that is what counts. I love doing rescue and working with the best group of ladies you could ever ask for. I will always remember the 19 Scotties, all the new friends we made, and all the love that passed through my life because of these rescue Scotties.Martha Straw
After the WBSR got the call about a large rescue, we jumped into action. Of course, anything for a Scot. I was the last to receive my lot of Scotties. I went from none to three in the blink of an eye. I had two spitfire pups and a bonnie lad.
With the loss of my Rob Roy (a Scottie rescue) a year earlier, I was not going to fall in love with these rascals. Zoe, the female puppy, ruled the roost. Dylan had his mischievous ways. Then there was Hershey. As hard as I fought against it, he melted away any barriers. On the second day after his arrival, Hershey jumped in my lap and looked at me as if to say "Hi Mom! What is for dinner?"
I stayed strong until "Adoption Day". With pups galore and hopeful new parents, it was hard seeing them all be chosen one by one. Hershey wasn’t so lucky that day. He was one of the last to be considered. I knew then that I really wanted him with me. I asked if I could adopt him. I filled out the adoption application. The group made me wait three days before they said I could keep him. My furson is home for good.Kelly Callahan
This was my first time to really take part in the rescue and fostering of Scotties. Marty and Pauline had been teaching me how to work with owners and potential adopters, and about fostering a Scottie with my Scottie Katie. I had been the "wheels" of the group until this rescue. Nothing could prepare me for this rescue.
Nothing could prepare me for the happiness of being swallowed by a sea of Scotties. The delight of having eleven puppies and four adults giving kisses and wanting to be petted and played with is unbelievable. But the heartbreak of watching children say goodbye to their pets was sobering.
Nothing could prepare me for the happiness and work in fostering one adult and five puppies. Life for several weeks consisted of rising at 3 a.m. to walk, feed and play with them. Returning from work the cycle was repeated. It was repeated again at 10 p.m.
Nothing could prepare me for the heartbreak of losing Christy. While being anesthetized for spaying on August 7, she died of cardiac arrest. Christy was to be adopted by a boy and his mother. Nothing will ever take away the pain of hearing the news, having to tell them, and burying her in my garden.
Nothing could prepare me for the happiness at seeing one of the other rescues going to their new home. That lasted until I felt the heartbreak and emptiness when one of "mine" left.
Nothing could prepare me for the happiness of Hailey and Cassie finding new homes with a mother and daughter or Bonnie Jean and Gordon going to one home. My rescues would still be linked with their Scottie family.
Nothing could prepare me for the heartbreak of thinking we would never find a home for Pixie. She could not be placed where there were small children, cats or chickens. She had many potential adopters who had at least one these. We enlisted the help of Daphne and Pam Wilson who posted her picture and biography on the STCA Rescue Web Pages.
Nothing could prepare me for the happiness when Pixie met her new "dad" and bonded immediately. The love and trust she had given to me were transferred to him. She is smiling in her picture with her new Scottie "brother". She is loved.
Nothing could prepare me for Scottie rescue like the happiness and heartbreak of this group of Scotties.
Ashley came into our lives and our hearts July 17th, 1998 as part our rescue from a small town in Virginia. We had organized all the other dogs, but one was missing. We quickly discovered Ashley under the house. She had dug a hole in the ground and had given birth to 5 wee Scots. The two children of the owners were the only ones who could fit under the house to retrieve the pups. It was a wondrous sight to see these beautiful, healthy (and wet) puppies and Ashley come from under the house. Roxanne, Martha, and myself just stared in disbelief. The owner put Ashley and pups (4 girls and 1 boy) in a crate, saying she would bite if we touched her babies, who concerned us a little. After a silent trip back to Newport News, the rest of the dogs were let out to run in Martha’s yard. I took Ashley and babies home where my husband had set up accommodations in our guestroom. We were apprehensive opening the crate door, but what came walking out was the nicest, friendliest little Scot I have ever met. She seemed to know we were there to help her, and after a hot meal, she settled down to care for her babies. For the next eight weeks, we watched, played, and fell in love with Ashley. Ashley and her puppies are all in very special, loving homes. I will always love Ashley for her courage under extreme circumstances. Although she was only 18 months old, this was not her first litter. Today she is a happy, healthy Scot who lives with a wonderful family, along with one of her daughters, Sara. Her three other girls and one boy are also happy and well loved. We are very proud of ourselves for finding caring homes for all these animals. Roxanne, Martha, Kelly and myself all agree that it was truly a rewarding experience.