Actually, they look just like us, don't they?
Artoo and Threepio were Kevin's first Westies, but not the first Westies of the Freels Family. The first were Max and Leia.
Max was great dog, a true Westie. He was loyal and lovable and was always into something. He barked at birds and squirrels, and chased deer (until they realized they were bigger and could chase back). Max would come up to you and just roll and wait for you to scratch his tummy. More often than not, Max would come home with giant streaks of oil up and down his back from scratching himself on automobile oil pans. Picture a photo-negative of a skunk, and that was Max.
Then came Leia (after Princess Leia, of course). Leia was brought into the family to keep Max company. She also acquired his affinity for oil pans. Since the area that they lived in was full of trees and creeks, and since they were allowed to roam freely, they seldom were in "show" condition, and they almost certainly carried enough dirt around with them to start their own mountain range. Leia was a little chubbier than most Westies, and not quite as energetic as Max, but she was energetic enough to produce two baby Westies. One became Babs, which Kevin's sister Sarah took, and still has. The other was Artoo.
Sadly, Max was hit by a car. It was sad to see him go, but Kevin's father said he didn't keep Max locked up so he could roam free and have fun. Leia passed away one day, possibly due to a snake bite or such.
Artoo Deetoo Skywalker Freels (yes, it's on the AKC Registry, so there!) was born in February 1982. As with most baby Westies, she was pink and round and had legs that would not quite reach the ground below her belly. It was easy to roll her over and watch her struggle to upright herself.
Artoo was just like her father, Max. She was affectionate, and if a burgalar ever breaks into our home, she would most likely lick him to death. Her tongue was the heart and soul of her being. There was no spot of skin on your face, no nostril or ear that she wouldn't explore given half the chance. She was the original "White Tornado", running full steam ahead all the time when she was in her younger days. She could dodge and dart with the best of them.
She loved her tummy rubbed, and would roll over just as her father did (is this inherited?) when she came up to you. She was Kevin's girl, and when he was single, she would scrutinize any woman cutting in on "her territory". When Kevin was previously engaged to someone before Lynne, Artoo would crawl behind his waterbed and growl all night. She chewed up and destroyed many personal objects of past girlfriends, such as clothes, birth control pills (!), and anything that smelled of "other women". It was only when Lynne moved down from Canada that Artoo accepted his choice, and showed her acceptance by crawling into Lynne's suitcase the first night of Lynne's arrival and sleeping on her clothes instead of shredding them. And you thought Jewish mothers were bad....
In the last few years, she was not quite as active and hyper as she was in her younger days, but the tongue remained. Two years ago, she got a blood-blister of sorts in the middle of her right ear, which caused it to flop over. Rather than subject her to surgey at such an advanced age (12 x 7 = 84-doggie-years!), Kevin and Lynne decided to leave it be. It was actually very distinctive. She became the definitive crotchety old lady, growling and barking at things she didn't like. But deep inside, she was still the lovable sweet dog that would do anything for a tummy rub.
Artoo passed away in November of 1996, and Threepio passed away in June of 2003 . We miss both of them a lot, for the both has distinct personalities.
See Threepio Skywalker Freels, or "Threepio" is a dogs' dog. He loved to rough-house and wrestle, and you could squirt him in the face with a garden hose and he didn't care (as opposed to Artoo, who hated water so much, she wouldn't even drink it if she didn't have to). He was a sturdy dog, weighing in at twenty pounds to Artoo's twelve, which is big for a Westie. His coat was wiry, which Westies usually lose as they mature. He was born in July of 1985
Threepio was even more affectionate than Artoo. He would come over to where you're sitting and just look at you. If you were sitting on the couch, he would sit in front of it and rest his nose on the couch against your leg. Then he would "shrug" occasionally, as if he was just making sure you know he's there in case you want to scratch him or something.
Kevin got Threepio for two reasons. The first was to keep Artoo company. Kevin grabbed Artoo when she was born to keep him company when he was going to school in Reno. There is nothing like having a friendly face greet you at the door when you come home, even one with fur on it. You may have had the worst day in the world, but dogs never care, they're just glad to see you. So, for two years, Artoo was Kevin's only roommate. After a while, Kevin saw that Artoo needed a friend. The second reason was to breed Artoo. Westies go for $300 to $700 dollars, so it might be a neat way to make a little extra money. In retrospect, Kevin would have probably kept all the puppies because they're too damned cute! But he went ahead and got Threepio.
Artoo thought Threepio was great... for the first twenty-four hours. She licked him and rolled him over (revenge, no doubt). She though he was great, until she realized that he wasn't leaving and was getting all the attention. So she glared. For six years. Anytime Kevin paid attention to Threepio, she would go over to the corner and sulk. And glare.
The dream of breeding Westies never came true (at least with Artoo and Threepio), mostly because Artoo had a cyst on her ovaries and could not produce babies. Maybe that's why she was so crotchety. In any event, Threepio was still a virgin when he passed away because she never let him do what doggies do. She barked and growled at him, and the poor guy went nuts.
Artoo and Threepio appear as though they tolerated each other, but they were inseparable. This was a good thing, as when they escaped to the real world on many of their unauthorized excursions from the backyard, they always stuck together. This made it easier to collect both of them. And it seems that they were always found by little old ladies. Little old ladies love two little white, albeit dirty, dogs, and the Westies have more often found themselves in a new home for the afternoon until Kevin and Lynne return from work and pick up their phone messages. In fact, Threepio would get totally panic-stricken when Artoo was not around. He chewed through many an obstacle to locate her when she was on a trip to the vet or such. Later, after Atroo's passing, Threepio and Snootles were the inseperable twins, falling into the same "partners in crime" roll as before.
The two of them were definitely partners in crime, and chewed up many things together. The list of destroyed items is overwheming: shoes, clothes, wallpaper (on the wall), a camera, birth control pills, computer floppy disks (that one REALLY hurt), a seven-foot sleeper couch, yards of carpet, a passport, pillows, plants (indoor and outdoor), records (Artoo was particularly fond of Chuck Mangione), and books too numerous to mention. Fortunately, their chewing days seem to have faded out, and they have not eaten anything that didn't come from Purina over the last few years.
They loved to go for walks, or rides in the car. He loved baths, but she hated them. Neither of them chewed their food; it is inhaled and they lick the plates so clean, we never have to wash our dishes (just kidding). Threepio was the only dog that we've ever seen who eats sitting down; most dogs stand, but he ploped his rear end down while he ate. They know about four tricks each, although Threepio seems to forget how to "shake hands" unless you tap his foot, and Artoo "shook hands" whenever you asked her to do any trick. They loved children, but little kids get overwhelmed by their energy and eagerness, and usually wind up crying and begging to be taken away from the dogs. Too bad, the dogs love them. The dogs knew when they've been good, and when they've been bad. If one of us ever go to the door to see them, we know right away if they've done something bad because they won't be at the door immediately.
The newest Westie From Hell! is Sy Snootles Skywalker Freels, or "Snootles". The name comes from "Star Wars" (duh!), where Sy Snootles was the name of the long-lipped singer in Jabba the Hutt's Palace Band in "Return of the Jedi".
Snootles came home on June 21st, 1997. She is a total bundle of uncontrollable energy, sort of like a nuclear fusion reactor on overload. She is all tail, tongue and ears. We hope she grows into her ears because she looks like a furry white bat right now.
As opposed to Artoo's reaction to Threepio, his reaction was that it only took about thirty seconds to decide he didn't like her, whereas Artoo took a whole day. She wants to play with him in the worst way, but he seldom wants much to do with her. So we are giving him a lot of attention (like he didn't have a lot before?) to show he's still the "King" around the house. However, he seems to be warming up to her, but he still can figure out why Snootles does all the bad stuff and doesn't get spanked (she does, tho).
Since we nicknamed Threepio "Prince Alarming", Snootles has been givin the moniker of "Princess Pee-a". This one should be obvious, as most little puppies are not really capable of controlling all their bodily functions yet. We're buying stock in Pine-Sol.
Other Westies in the Freels family were Artoo's sister, Babs, who was owned by Kevin's sister, Sarah. They lived in Hawaii. How a long-haired dog survived in Hawaii is anybody's guess. Babs has passed away, but Sarah now has a new Westie, Lola ("Whatever Lola wants...."). Kevin's brother, Justin, also had a Westie named Buddy. Buddy was a replacement when Max died, but seemed more like a furry white wart-hog than a dog. However, he was a great dog (as all Westies are) and was a team mascot for the Orange Coast College Crew of which Justin was the Coxswain.
If you would like to see more pictures of Westies, we recommend the Westies Home Page. There is a lot of neat stuff about Westies, and links to other dog-related stuff.
The Westies thank you for listening to their story.