This is by far the most upsetting thing I will have to
Winston was not a planned purchase.
I never thought I could love a pet so much.
Winston was born on June 1, 2000 to
Pugsley and Wednesday. Pugsley and Wednesday were
owned by friends of mine (the same people I bought Peanut my
miniature horse from - also an unplanned purchase).
Of course I went to see the puppies!
They were so cute. Another friend of mine was
purchasing a female puppy. I kept thinking it over in
my mind . . . . do I want a dog? I love dogs . . . but
I have an active lifestyle. I was quite involved with
my horses and not home alot. Would I be able to give a
dog the attention the need? Cats are different.
Then one day I called up my friend and
told her to pick me out a puppy. I wanted a quiet
male. She picked Winston because he was laid back.
Next decision . . . what to name this
puppy. Keeping in line with Pugsley and Wednesday, I
thought of Gomez. But he did not look like a Gomez.
Then my friend's sister said, "He looks like Winston
Churchill". So Winston was his name!
Of course he quickly fit into my life.
I crate trained him - called it his kennel. My
neighbor's granddaughter was home during the day in the
summer and she assisted by letting Winston out while I was
I was able to take him with me just about
everywhere I went. He went to the barns and quickly
learned about horses, other BIG dogs, cats, bunnies and
pigs! He was very social.
He went to 'Grandma's', "Aunty Lori's" and
"Uncle Danny's". He went to "the big guy's house" (my
neighbor Jim) alot. Jim keeps Beggin Strips in his
cupboard and Winston quickly learned this!
Winston even went to work with me at the
Flower Shop and the RLB Saddlery store. He went to the
Finleyville Post Office and the National City bank quite
often. He quickly fit in anywhere he went. I
often commented that I could take him shopping to the mall -
he was that well behaved. He loved going to the pet
store or for a car ride anywhere. He was content to
wait in the car if he had to. He loved walks anywhere.
I was so glad that I was able to leave him off his leash and
he listened, well, most of the time.
People all over Finleyville loved this
dog. Everyone knew his name. They don't know my
name, but they knew Winston.
Many strangers visited him and immediately
He was hard to house break. But
eventually learned. I was able to give him the run of
the house when I was at work. He would watch me out
the window when I left and greet me at the window when I
came home. Only a few times did he get into the
garbage and make a mess. I feel he did this to show
his anger at being left home alone. Sometimes I just
could not take him with me.
He slept on the bed with me an SNORED
alot. Took me over a month to get used to sleeping
with him. He often took naps during the day and did
not make a peep. Then at night he was so loud!
Sometimes he would get a burst of energy
and run around like a wild man. I would sit back an
watch thinking 'I got the laid back dog'? But, I
enjoyed every moment with him.
I did not have to yell at him too often.
He did became known as 'Winston Anthony' when I was mad.
You know people only give middle names to their kids so they
can use it when they are mad.
On December 21, 2004 my sister had an
aneurism burst in her head. About the same time
Winston was vomiting and had diarrhea. I took him to
the vet and they kept him - thinking he was dehydrated.
They planned on settling him down and refeeding him.
His vomiting continued and long story short we were referred
to a Veterinary Specialist. They quickly diagnosed him
with Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).
I received this diagnosis on December 27,
2004. I was quite upset and shocked. My little
puggy was very sick and I did not have a job and could not
afford his treatment. My mom spoke up and volunteered
her Visa card to help out.
While lymphoma is not curable, I did
decide to give Winston oral chemotherapy in hopes of getting
him into remission. So much was happening at the same
time and I was overwhelmed. I was not ready to lose my
dog plus my sister was very critical at the same time.
Over the next 5 weeks Winston was in and
out of the hospital. Seems the chemo and prednisone
would help him for a week to ten days and then he would
Cancer is very
After his last hospitalization and very
aggressive chemo treatment he was doing very well. He
got a good vet report. His blood work was 'normal'.
His lymph node swelling was gone! I was hopeful for
long term remission. It lasted less than 24 hours.
He got a good vet report on a Wednesday
and the swelling was gone. On Thursday I noticed the
swelling starting again. Then Friday it was worse.
Saturday morning it was HUGE. His neck was so big . .
. like tennis balls! I knew it was time to make the
big, hard decision. I just could not put him through
any more hospitalization. He was not happy with it and
the bill was approaching $5000.
It was not really about the money - but
the fact that there was nothing more his cancer doctor could
do for him.
I made the awful decision to put him to
I don't think I will ever forget that
awful day. I called the local vet at 9am and made the
appointment for 11am that same day. Then I took
Winston to his grandmother's so she and his Aunt Lori and
Uncle Danny could say goodbye. I then took him for a
I think he understood what I was about to
I chose to go to the vet alone. I
knew I would be hysterical but I did not want anyone else
with me. I can still remember seeing him on the table.
I was crying and apologizing to him. I was so sorry to
be putting him to sleep. I was so sorry he was sick. I
told him he did not deserve to be sick. I told him
repeatedly how much I loved him, how much he was loved and
how much I would miss him!!
He died peacefully in my arms at 11:20 am
on February 5, 2005. He was only 4 1/2 years
old. Much too young.
No more suffering. No more
hospitals. No more Winnie.
I see his face everywhere. I miss
him terribly. It is now almost a month later. I
still cry at unplanned moments over him. I think of
him often. I talk to him.
When I found my cat Freebie dead the next
week, I looked up to heaven and said "Winnie, you better not
be chasing Freebie"!
He did not deserve to be sick. Why
Winston? Where did he get this? Was it my
fault? Had I taken him somewhere bad? What
happened and why? WHY?
Winston made such a great impression on so
many people. He was only 4 1/2 years old! Too
young to die! Why??
No more watching me leave from the window.
No more greeting me when I came home. No more snoring.
No more running about like a mad man. No more
shoveling the snow from the back yard for him. No more
"dinner for the Winner". No more puggy in my life.
He had many pet names: Winston,
Winnie, Win, Winner, Puggy, Puggleston, Puggy Puggleston,
Bear, Pooh Pear, Poohey, Winnie the Pooh, Winston Anthony,
Baby Bear and many more.
He had awesome facial expressions.
He reacted to many words and phrases:
who wants to eat?, treat?, the big guy's house, go to the
barn?, go for a ride?, are you cute?, who wants to eat?, who
did this?, and many more.
I can still see his little face all over
my house. He would lay next to my desk at home when I
was working. He would lay by the bathroom door.
He loved the recliner. He treated the back yard as his
kingdom. He watched TV with me and jumped at the TV
when an animal was on the screen. It was impossible to
watch Animal Planet or a dog show!
He even had a favorite TV commercial - the
one where the squirrel causes a car to crash and then the
two squirrels high-five each other. It is for an
insurance company. Somehow Winston knew the commercial
was coming on before it was on the screen. Perhaps he
could hear something. He jumped at the screen barking
Yes, it is hard losing a pet. I miss
him more than some relatives. At the time you say NO
MORE pets. It hurts too much to lose them. BUT
they bring so much to your life.
Unfortunately death is part of life.
Winston was cremated and now sits in my
curio cabinet. I will have him buried with me when I
Coincidently Winston's mother was bred the
same day I put him to sleep. I am making plans to get
one of the puppies. I told my friend to pick out a
'quiet' male just like Winston. I asked her sister to
assist in naming the new pup. I would not have it any
other way just minus the cancer.
Oh, puggy, I miss you!!
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