R.I.P. Good Buddy

Our buddy got tired. This isn’t a really great picture, but I took it last Friday night when we were having our regular Friday pizza/movie night.  I thought Winston looked so cute, but so worn out.  He would have turned 14 on November 6.

Yesterday while we were sleeping, he kept on coming into our room, trying to get my attention. I finally got up to let him outside and realized he had gotten sick pretty much all over the house. By morning, he was not responding to me and just wanted to be left alone. I took him to the vet and they said, “It’s time”.  I’ve known for awhile that he was in the end of his days, and didn’t want him to linger in pain every day from sore knees and other dog old age problems.  But it was hard, very hard.

Winston was our first kid. Rob and I got him a year before we had Maddie, so he lived long enough as our only kid for a long time, fully boding with us, learning to trust us and love us. He was just a little white fur ball when we got him. He rode under the front seat of the car when we brought him home, quivering in fright.  I remember the first day we had him home, he layed on Rob’s chest and fell asleep for a long, long time.

He was very docile and compliant….until we had Maddie.  He was afraid of her little baby cries at first, but a switch flipped in him once he realized this was a “Puppy” the three of us were supposed to protect with our ferocious barks. From that day on, any time anyone would come to our door or walk into our yard, he would bark and bark, terrifying the on-commer with his less than one foot tall ferocity.

As soon as the stranger walked through our door, knowing they must be one of the good guys,  he would nuzzle against them waiting to be petted and loved.  One of the things we will always laugh about when we remember Winston is how he would love to take care of the girls when they were babies. If I laid them on the carpet for just a minute and left the room, I would come back to the room to find Winston hurridley licking their faces and hands to get that icky soap smell off them so they would smell “clean” like his dog breath.

He did have the worst breath of any dog ever in the history of the world.

When Maddie was about 18 months old, we used to take her, Winston and baby Whitney over to a field by our house we nicknamed “The Running Field”. He’d run and run in circles, getting his puppy energy out. Maddie would yell at the top of her lungs, “WEESAAWW!” because she couldn’t say Winston. I still refered to him as Weesaw till the day he died.

He was such a good buddy to our girls.

In one year, he got mauled by a neighbors dog, had two surgeries, got hit by a truck, but miraculously he survived it all.  When we brought Ellie our Golden Retriever with a cleft pallet that drools, coughs, hacks and sputters, Winston thought we were the most evil dog parents ever. He hated her. She would nip at his tail playfully. He would growl at her. She’d nip playfully again, bowing her head down in front of him. He’d growl, she’d nip, until he finally gave in and they became best friends.

When I came home from the vet yesterday, Ellie sniffed me and gave me the saddest eyes ever. She looked at the van, hoping her little buddy would hop right out and give her her daily “dog lick bath” from Winston, but he didn’t come out. She’s been walking to the laundry room, looking for him, circling around the house, then laying on the floor pouting. It. Breaks. My Heart. She knew her buddy was sick yesterday. I could tell she was very worried about him.  She’s never been an only dog child, so it will be interesting to see how she responds in the next few days.  The girls are already clamoring for another puppy, but I won’t be ready for that for a long, long time.

The girls are all handling their grief in different ways. Belle went right to her room when she found out, wrote and illustrated an entire book dedicated to her best buddy. She took it pretty well.  Maddie and Whit took it very hard. He’s been their one connection to their early childhood days that bring them so many fun memories. They have each other, but Winston was their other best buddy.

I could not watch the movie Marly and Me because I knew Winston’s day was coming.  I finally got tricked into watching it a few months back and sobbed through the whole thing. I’ll never watch it again because it will just make me too sad. I’ll miss our little buddy.

2 thoughts on “R.I.P. Good Buddy

  • October 13, 2011 at 10:53 am
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    Great post Michelle.
    I’ll be praying for your girls – and of course, you and Rob – during the days ahead. It’s hard to lose a dog. It’s sad. It changes your routines, your responsibilities and your children’s experience of personal loss and grief. Winston fulfilled his God-appointed duties as your family dog. He couldn’t have done his part better…and I’m confident his memory will bring smiles to your future.
    We love you guys.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm
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    Sorry to hear about the loss, I know it is hard. I remember when we lost our good buddy. She was our first ‘kid’ too, our daughter grew up with her. It was very hard when it was ‘time’, but we knew it was the right thing to do. Our prayers are with you & your family.

    Reply

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