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Westie owners have fun with the dogs, paraphernalia

Karen Bachnofner and Lori Swanson bonded over Westies


by: BARBARA SHERMAN - FAST FRIENDS - McDuff (left) is owned by Lori Swanson, and Candi is owned by Karen and Herb Bachnofner - all of whom are Summerfield residents.The first clue that there is a Westie in residence at Herb and Karen Bachnofner's Summerfield home is the flag bearing two Westies hanging at the entrance, and inside, there are even more clues.

There is lots of Westie paraphernalia available, and Karen and her friend Lori Swanson, who also has a Westie, have scooped up much of it between them.

Karen wears a Westie necklace - a gift from Lori - and her house is filled with Westie pillows, mantle pieces, a canister set, clock and more. At Christmas, Karen has a Westie Christmas tree with photo ornaments featuring all the neighborhood Westies.

You could say Karen and Lori are gaga over Westies - Lori only moved into Summerfield last September and quickly found friends and kinship among other owners of Westies - short for West Highland white terriers.

Karen owns Candi, 4, and Lori owns McDuff, 11. McDuff was diagnosed with lymphoma last year and just finished chemotherapy, which his vet thinks was successful.

Lori added, "They save your life. You have to walk them and get out with them. A whole new world opens up. This is such a great neighborhood. I've had people I didn't know ask me about McDuff's cancer. I was so touched."

Karen got permission to add a railing to her deck overlooking the golf course, and the dogs love to spend time out there.

"Candi hates squirrels," Karen said. "She goes ballistic. I got my first Westie at 5 years old, and Candi is my first puppy.

"We have a coyote problem. We email each other if there is a sighting to warn each other to watch our dogs."

The ladies also aren't averse to going beyond the bounds of Summerfield with their dogs, which are hypoallergenic because they have hair instead of fur. "We took them to Al's Garden Center at Christmas to see Santa," said Karen, who is always ready to go shopping Westie-style.

"I have my Westie checks in my Westie checkbook in my Westie purse."