I've got a West Highland Terrier, or a Westie as they're commonly known. I've gotta say he's probably the best dog I've ever had. I've had a few dogs - A yellow lab (great dog), a cockapoo (cocker poodle mix) decent dog, shih-tzu - ok, fun, but too small for kids IMO, and a couple of mutts.
Anyhow, here is a link to some pics of my little pooch when he was about 6 months old - <a href="http://homepage.mac.com/fuzzmuzzle/PhotoAlbum2.html
" target="_blank">link</a>. He's not a 'perfect' Westie. His ears don't stick up and his tail is a bit too long. Not to mention he's a bit bigger than standard. I don't care though. He's just a pet - I'd never show him. And I kind of like him for his 'flaws'.
He's a little over a year old now. Always ready to go on a walk or play a game of fetch, or catch, he's great at catching things mid air. Easily trained. Although I'm a big fan of at least one semester of obedience school - for the dog's sake believe it or not. I think they're happier knowing how to behave.
If they do get a Westie, they don't have to get it one of those froo froo hairdos like you'll see on the net while you research.
Beagles are good with kids too though, can't go wrong with a beagle hardly. I had an uncle who raised Beagles as hunting dogs in Missouri. He said the best way to tell a good Beagle was to hold a nickel up to its, uh, poopchute. If it was the same size it was eating the perfect amount. Probably just Missouri lore, but hey, it worked for him. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
Whatever they do, don't get a dog at a pet store. You probably already know that breeding dogs at puppy mills (aside from being treated inhumanely most of the time) get worn out reproductively and often times the puppies are more prone to disease and genetic defects. Not to mention harder to housebreak. Imagine spending the first few months of your life in a cage smelling dog crap all the time. You'd get used to it and wouldn't know the scent of the 'good' place to go for a while. Sort of like being in a freshly painted room. You get used to the smell after a while. You can look up info on the net about it. A lot of vets have done research, and have tried to put a stop to most of them. Puppy mills suck. That's why you won't find many GOOD pet stores that sell dogs anymore.
Here are a couple of Westie sites I found doing a quick google search. I'm sure you could find more if you wanted.
Oh, and a lot of people think that Westies are Scottish dogs. Which is partially true. They were originally from Spain. The crews of Spanish ships would keep them on board to route out rats. As they sailed north they sort of migrated to Scotland. However, Scots didn't care for white dogs. Preferring Cairn terriers many Scots killed off Westies as they saw them as poor stock - due to their color. However a king somewhere decided he like them, so they got a second chance. There's also a legend about a Westie that was out hunting with its master in the highland, but while chasing its prey got stuck between some rocks. Considering it lost, the owner went home dismayed. About a week later, the loyal Westie came home, very thin as he'd actually starved enough that he could squeeze out of the rocks and get home. After a couple of weeks of rest and good meals he was right back out hunting. Loyal and sturdy little dogs. Eh, enough dog history. Here are the links.
(oh, and saving a mutt from the shelter is always cool too. Mutts are great.)
[ 03-27-2002: Message edited by: seb ]</p>