Winston: Thoughts on a bad dog

We recently headed north to attend a baby shower for some dear friends along with a quick visit to my in-laws.

We wrapped Clare up a cute little party dress that she immediately puked on. We left with anticipation of a great day.

The baby shower was fun – a super hero theme – and boys were allowed, which made everything more enjoyable.  On a side note: don’t you feel that boys make everything better? I feel like a healthier person when I am surrounded by boys. Maybe that’s because I grew up with 3.  Who knows.

The shower actually ended when they said it would (this never happens…must have been the boys…see what I’m saying?!?!?) and we left with our bellies full of ice cream and brownies and lemonade. Perfectly balanced meal.

When we got to my in-laws I totally forgot about Winston. I actually didn’t even notice he was there.

He is a different dog around my father-in-law.

Just after he moved in with us.

The only reason I really noticed Winston was because he was limping.  They recently found that he has some sort of spur on his shoulder that must have been caused by some strange injury years ago. He would limp occasionally when he was with us but it was nothing to spit at.  Now his limp is more pronounced and constant.

Winston only came up to me once the whole night – usually he speeds around visiting every person in the room. “Hi! Hi! Hi! I love you! I love you too! I love you TOO!”. I wasn’t afraid of him hurting Clare at all because he was…dare I say… calm.

At dinner we were all talking and passing different dishes around the table when I noticed something warm and heavy on my feet. Winston had gently laid down on my toes – he must know something I don’t.  Weird that he chose me.

Anyway, all this got me to thinking about Winston – about how we left him. I know in my heart we made the right choice but I still feel a certain sadness when I realize we haven’t seen him for months, we haven’t walked him or rubbed behind his ears or scolded him or proudly told someone what kind of dog he is.

The other day Andrew and I were trying to figure out what Winston’s role in the family was.

At first we said he was the “Grand-dog”.  You know the type.  It’s the kind of dog who gets presents at Christmas and who everyone gets excited to see when they come to visit.  That’s not really Winston. We stopped giving him presents when we realized he ate them and I think he is probably more excited to see people than they are to see him.

Then we thought maybe he was like…an equivalent to Andrew’s brother only he was like the surprise child that was born like 12 years after the rest of the kids…so he was like an only child but not really but had all the characteristics of someone with no one but adults to play with. We thought this was the most accurate until Saturday…

Then I realized that Winston is more like Andrew’s son – the son he accidentally had when he was 16 and who his parents raised as their own, never telling him that he was their grandchild. And me, I’m the woman who tried it out with Winston and decided my own baby was more important and just gave him up.

Whenever I see Winston I feel bad…like I’ve cast aside someone who needed love and I feel this even more now that he is hurting and limping. When I hear about him doing activities with my mother-in-law’s preschool kids, I realize how I should have worked harder to figure out what things would have made him happy and fulfilled.

Last night when he laid on my feet…I almost burst into tears. Only Winston, that silly and seemingly unaware dog, would know what I had been going through the last few days. Only he would have known how cold my feet were from wearing completely ridiculous shoes for vanity’s sake. Only he would have born laying his sore and aching body down on those pointy, cold and hard shoes to show me love.

Our life is simpler without Winston…but I’m not sure it’s better.

So thank you Winston for laying on my feet all through dinner. I never thought I would say this boy but…I miss you. I’m glad you’re happy now.

In other parts of my world: As I sit here finishing this blog Clare looked up at me from rolling around and realized I was crying…ugh…it’s like I’m surrounded by people who know me better than myself.


2 responses

  1. Oh my gosh, I almost burst into tears here. I am glad he remembers you! I also know what you mean about boys making things better. I SO agree!

  2. Don’t feel badly. It sounds like your in-laws can give him a better life right now than you can, esp. if your mother-in-law takes him to visit school children. The situation is not only better for your family, but better for Winston. He probably gets more attention and exercise with the in-laws than you could ever give him now that you have Clare to take care of.

    BTW, could surgery correct Winston’s limping? Or could a product like Dasuquin, which is often used as a healthier substitute (it doesn’t cause liver/kidney damage) for anti-inflammatory meds, esp. in arthritis cases, be given to him to relieve the pain caused by the spur?

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