Blog / Random thoughts and musings.


  • on April 5, 2003 -
  • dogs
  • |
  • Comments Off on Winston


winston2.jpgWinston ended up being quite a unique foster dog for us. Not only did we get him twice, but he almost ended up becoming part of our pack.

Winston was part of a military family who also owned an older Dalmatian mix and when they had to pack up and move, they had no room in the car for the dogs, so they were taken to the shelter and the shelter called us to pick him up. When Winston first came into LRR, he was so overweight that the director said he looked like a walking coffee table: “large, brown, and square”. Due to his extra weight, lack of activity, and probability that he spent a lot of time laying on very hard surfaces; he had calluses on his elbows and any other part of the body that would regularly rest on the ground. Unfortunately they became infected, so he was on antibiotics for a while.

We received Winston just after his time at the “fat farm” (one of the foster homes specializes in weight loss for new chubby fosters) and had lost almost 40 lbs. While Winston loved to play fetch, he still didn’t have much energy and was clumsy on his feet because of the lack of exercise at his previous home. Winston has a rather endearing/disgusting habit of spitting tennis balls at you. What made it disgusting was that he would chew, chew, chew on that ball until it became slippery enough to spit straight at you, often with bulls-eye accuracy! So we started taking a small towel out with us when we would play with him. During his first stay, he was still building up his energy, so when he chased balls, he would sometimes overshoot the ball, or else slip and fall when trying to turn, but that wouldn’t stop him from playing until he was panting as loud as a train. Then we’d go inside, and he’d flop down on the couch right on top of us. He loved to be on couches, beds, pillows, anything soft and he loved cuddling right next to us. Unfortunately Winston loved being on the bed with us, and while three dogs and two humans on a bed is a tight fit, we squeezed him in – until he started to snore. Not dog snores, but real, live, shake-the-wall snores! It was so bad the first night for me (since I’m a light sleeper), that I picked up my pillow and went into the guest room to catch some sleep. After that, we tried to make Winston sleep on the dog bed next to the floor. Unfortunately Winston knew I was such a weak-willed dog lover, that he started whining at 3am regularly to be let up on the bed. Since I didn’t want Winston to wake up Mike, I would often let him right up on the bed and the snoring would start.

We found Winston to be so endearing that we asked the director to move him to a different home since we had become so attached to him. The day before the move, we noticed his hind leg had swollen up, and there was a large red area. So he was taken to the vet where they found he had bruised himself (probably slipping in the snow fetching) and the blood had begun pooling into his leg. The vet went in surgically and cleaned the area out, and also found a mass of cellulitis which she removed (apparently happens to overweight dogs sometimes). He spent the time recovering and worming his way into the affections of another foster home during this time.

After a month, Mike and I seriously discussed adopting Winston since he was such an amazing dog, so we got to get Winston back for a two week “try and buy” period. When we got Winston back, he gained more energy and would play outside without stopping. When inside, he continued to play as long as he could find anything that could be thrown (kongs, stuffed animals, balls) until we would put everything into the dog bin; then he learned how to open the bin, so we would have to start putting the bin into the closet. Winston’s favorite toy inside ended up being a huge novelty tennis ball we had received as a housewarming gift. Winston would get his jaws into the ball and would bring it to us to throw. Sometimes he would have to open his jaws so wide to carry the toy that it would get stuck and we’d have to pull it out for him! He was just as cute as we remembered from before, but he wouldn’t cuddle quite as much as he used to, because he always wanted to play; up until bedtime where he would get on the bed and sleep right next to us (often snoring right into our ears). After our two weeks were up, Mike and I discussed the pros and cons of getting a third dog and decided that although Winston is a great dog, he wasn’t the perfect dog for the family (didn’t interact with Sheba and Quinn at all), and we’d miss fostering other great dogs that would come through LRR. So Winston then became available for adoption to the public, but the good thing was that we were allowed to keep fostering him until the perfect home was found for him. It was tough to give him up when Winston found his perfect family, but we knew he was going to a great home, so it made it easier.


Comments are closed.