November 6, 2011: We are very happy to report that Winston has grown into a strong, healthy dog. He is now a happy new addition to a forever family. We take in cruelty cases like Winston from Memphis Animal Shelter whenever we possibly can. If you would like to help other dogs like Winston who have been victims of cruelty, please see this page for ways you can help.
♥ DIARY OF WINSTON’S JOURNEY ♥
September 24, 2011: Around 3:00 p.m. I checked my voice mail and was not surprised that most of the messages were about dogs needing help. One message was from Tracy at the Memphis Animal Shelter. There was sadness and desperation in his voice as he described the dog he wanted me to help: a male, red color, red nose, 1 to 1-1/2 years old, emaciated, not eating on his own, having to be hand fed, owner charged with animal cruelty/neglect. Tracy emphasized several times how sweet the dog was. Someone had named the pup Winston and all Winston wanted to do was “sit in someone’s lap.” Winston was being hand fed by the shelter staff and was not eating very well. Winston was being housed in the shelter clinic to protect him, as much as possible, from disease. He spent his time sitting in laps and sleeping under the shelter vet’s desk. How could I say “no”? The starved ones get to me the most; starved dogs always take take me back to the day I rescued Merci, my greatest love. Winston was very friendly..wagging his tail as I signed the paperwork to take him home. Jeanne (shelter volunteer) and I trimmed his nails and Jeanne made a photo of us for facebook. Dr. Coleman determined the sores on Winston were not ringworm but had no clue what caused the bald spots. I called Kathy and asked her if she could take Winston to work with her so that he could be fed during the day (the way she had done with Opie). Of course she said “yes.” She agreed to keep him during the day and I would pick him up after work and he would stay at my house nights and weekends. Driving back home, I envisioned Winston happy, healthy, fat as a pig, and playing with all of the dogs. Soon, very soon!!! (by Donna, foster mom)
September 25, 2011: Last night, and this morning, Winston had little interest in food or water. I am hand feeding him, ground beef mixed with egg. He will eat a bite or two and then turn away. I get an uneasy feeling when he turns away from stinky raw hamburger……dogs just do not turn away from raw meat. He did show some interest in a few pieces of hotdog. I started him on Vitamin C to support his immune system (if he has one), Thuja (homeopathic remedy) to detox him from the shelter vaccines, and antibiotic for his runny nose. He has a fever.
Late 9/25 his appetite picked up, and he started eating with a vengence. I am feeding him small meals every few hours. I have discovered his favorite is raw gizzards. LOVVESSS them! His body is hot but his fever is holding steady. As long as fever does not get too high, it is a good thing. Mother Nature designed us that way; fever burns up the bugs. Winston has been sleeping with me, curled up under my arm. He is a sweet puppy!! Winston has a long way to go before he will be healthy. Please check back for daily updates on Winston’s progress. (by Donna, foster mom)
September 26 & 27: Winston’s appetite has returned. He is eating everything that is placed in front of him. We are taking short walks in the yard; he follows my every step. As we were walking, I reminisced about the other abuse cases that had taken that same walk with me. Lord, I have some beautiful memories!! Winston has gained enough strength to walk up and down the deck steps, which is a big improvement from the day he arrived here. He is sleeping a lot; that light within is working overtime to heal that tired, sick body. He is on supplements and an antibiotic. I wormed him for intestinal parasites. We will visit the vet on Saturday for a complete physical. Dr. W. will take blood and check him for heartworms…fecal to check for intestinal worms…listen to his lung and heart sounds…check his teeth….determine his age, etc. He is gaining weight so fast. He has no drainage from his nose but has a slight, non-productive cough and low grade fever. (note by Donna)
A HUGE THANK YOU for the donations that were made for Winston’s care: Christi Long * Robert Marino * Vanessa Barrett * Bonnie Sweat * Silvia Bryant * Charmaine Day * Rix Valmeo * Suzette Crim * Kelly McNulty * Jessica McCarty * Michele Parks * Tricia Llanes * Taylor Howell * First Step Designs Stained Glass Studio * Imelda Suriato * Lidia Smorodina * Kathryn Edgecomb * June Rodriguez * Susan Burke* Geoffrey Bernard * Donna Holz
September 28, 2011: Winston Goes to Work! Today, Winston went to work for the very first time! Even though we got stuck in traffic for over an hour, he was very, very good on the ride there. He went into the office to “oohs” and “ahhs” and lots of scratches behind the ears. We quickly settled in, and set up his baby gate, bed, and his breakfast. He picked up on “Stay” very fast, and did not try to sneak out the baby gate after only three tries! He is so smart, it only took him that long to realize that I would be back in about 60 seconds or less. He ate very well, checked out my office throughout the course of the day, sat in my lap at my desk, and laid on his bed. I was surprised that he didn’t sleep more, but he did not actually sleep until about 2:30 in the afternoon. And considering how little he slept, I was quite impressed with how well he behaved for the entire day. We tried to take it easy and let him mostly just hang out, and did not have any play time, or running, etc. (Although he got plenty of snuggles!) And people could not resist petting him if he came up to the gate when they walked by, and he looked for them when he heard them. And, of course, he was good on the ride home, although he did not sleep then, either! I did just get an email from Donna that says his cough that he has had for a couple of days is worse, so please keep him in your prayers. (~Kathy’s Notes)
September 29, 2011: Winston’s cough was worsening and his fever was rising. I got a little concerned so I loaded him up and took him to the vet. Dr. Williams gave him a sinus cocktail to break up the congestion in his chest; poor baby sounds like a late stage emphysema patient. He also changed his antibiotic because his body is not responding well to the other antibiotic. Dr. Williams instructed me to make sure Winston gets plenty of sunshine. The sun gives the body Vitamin D and that is what Winston needs to straighten up his legs. The tendons in his legs are broken down from having been starved. I was advised to pick up some selenium (600 mcg) to add to his daily supplements; selenium is for the tendons also. Dr. Williams assured me that Winston is no more than 4 months old. As I carried Winston out to the car, I felt a little less afraid. I was quite worried when we arrived at the clinic but felt better knowing we were going to try a different antibiotic. After I got Winston settled in at home, I went shopping so I could stock up on fresh meat for him. I am hoping the weight gain and good food will prepare him for the battle ahead. I called Kathy to let her know that Winston needs to rest today and that she didn’t need to pick him up. I made the decision to board Winston at my vet’s office during the day and pick him up after work. I work one mile from the vet clinic so I am close should anything go wrong. (note by Donna)
October 1, 2011: Winston is eating everything in sight. He has discovered his first hobby, earthworm hunting. He hunts them and then he eats them. It warmed my heart the first time he grabbed my pants leg in a playful gesture. Those big eyes were speaking to me – ”let’s play and let’s play NOW!” His slow walk has now progressed into a trot . A little pep in his step is a really good sign. I am amazed at the speed with which he is gaining muscle mass. Oh my, he is a really happy puppy!! He enjoys being held as much as he enjoys eating. His hair is starting to get very soft and shiny. Winston is going to be a head turner when he fills out and get some muscle on those bones. His eyes are gorgeous and I love his ears. (note by Donna)
October 4, 2011: Winston had to go back to the vet. He was not responding to the antibiotic he was taking. His chest was more congested and his nasal discharge was increasing. His appetite is still good and his energy level is good. In fact, he is getting mouthy and I am reminding him not to bite. He is just playing but he has never been taught anything, and so he bites too hard. I wish I could let him outside with some of my wonderful pack members so they could teach him some manners and how to be a good boy but he is too ill and I don’t want to expose my other dogs to whatever crud Winston has. He is still young and I know I am going to have him for a while; however, I don’t want to miss the window of opportunity (birth to 4 months of age) for getting Winston some solid basics on how to be with other dogs. The first 4 months are so important in a puppy’s life. This is a VERY important time for his socialization with both humans and other animals. What a bummer he is sick at this critical time in his life. Dr. Williams changed his antibiotic and sent him home with good wishes. (note by Donna)
October 12, 2011: WHERE IS WINSTON? He seems to have disappeared into thin air. One day he was in the house and the next day he wasn’t. I have looked everywhere for Winston. It is equally as strange that I have a dog in my pack that I do not recognize; he favors Winston but doesn’t have the same personality. Sweet Winston was so calm but this new pup is spunky. I know I am under a lot of stress but how did I lose a calm dog and bring this crackerjack into my house? This new dog is small, red and has the cutest erect ears. He has a hearty appetite and actually demands food…and treats. The moment I walk in the door at 5:00 p.m. he starts demanding to be fed. Geez Louise, he is bossy!! He wants to know what every single object is that is in every single room. To putting it mildly, he is a bit nosey. Who gave him permission to come in here and take over? He asks to sleep with me on the sofa, promises to be a good boy, and time after time, I fall for his con game – I pick up this sweet, soft furry little boy who quickly turns into a gnawer of fingers. He cannot seem to comprehend that sleep is supposed to be ‘lay your buns down and be still.’
He worships the sun and spends a fair amount of time with all fours straight in the air, letting the sun warm his little fatty belly. I added sunscreen to my “things to buy” list. This red pup thinks that every dog in the house wants to be his friend. He play bows at each and every crate, dog after dog after dog. Most of the dogs just look at him but Nick lunges at the front of the crate trying to run him away. What does that little goofy pup do after Nick lunges? He turns sideways and flicks his lips at Nick, and ….. comes back again right in Nick’s face, play bowing again, and again, and again. HELP!!!!!!!!
I am going to have to start training this pup right away. Not only does his curious mind need to be stimulated, but I need to get some rest some time in the future and this is a way to wear him out – as they say, a tired pit bull is a happy pit bull. I will admit he is very affectionate. He comes to me and asks to be picked up and low and behold, he sweetly turns in a hugging marshmallow. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, canine style!!!!! Oh, he is very, very smart, and quite handsome. Well, back to looking for Winston while his look-a-like is taking a power nap. Very strange indeed – this new puppy likes to dig for shriveled earthworms. (Donna’s note)