Winston our Granddog



Winston belonged to my daughter and son-in-law. Winston feared no man or other animal. If memory serves, we had two of our own dogs at the time, Sunny, a Schnauzer, and Shadow, a Tibetan terrier. But when Winston came for an all-day visit, he deemed himself the protector of everyone.

That would be Winston, as In Sir Winston Churchill, or if you were referring to him by nickname, it would be Winnie, a West Highland White Terrier.

Winston never got to visit Queen Elizabeth with her 10 or 12 Corgis. He would have assumed command, although that was Queen Liz’s position. She would have needed to adjust.

If Ally the Alligator had somehow washed down from some lake into our rainwater drainage ditch behind our house, I’m certain Winston would have gone out there, and bitten Ally’s tail, and sent poor Ally waddling down the street as fast as she possibly could, in search of another lake where Winston was not the lifeguard.

Had a burglar broken into the house, Sunny would have confronted him only for the purpose of seeing if he brought any treats. Shadow on seeing he didn’t bring any treats, would have grabbed his pants leg and began to pull as hard as she could. Winston, disdaining any thought of treats, would have grabbed him in the most private of areas, and the burglar could not help but have charged out of the house, down the street, passing Ally the Alligator in the process, with a civil liberties lawyer trying to keep up, and suggesting a lawsuit for violation of the burglar’s rights.

Of course Winston, not realizing this second person was a lawyer who was about to sue him, would have let go of the first private parts (the burglar’s), and latched onto the second private parts (the lawyer’s) and the lawyer experiencing this would have sped past Ally the alligator and the burglar with no problem except for the excruciating pain he was exhibiting by his unholy scream.

The only thing that Winston had dread of was thunder. He could be roaming around the house on safety patrol, and if thunder sounded unexpectedly, he would leap into his chair in the living room. When I say leap, that’s exactly what I meant. The leap could have been one foot or fifteen feet. Don’t ask me how he could leap fifteen feet, but they say if you’re terrified, the adrenalin starts flowing, and you do things you couldn’t do normally.

Winston hid his eyes in the back of the chair. I assume that took care of the front-half of his body, because I was expected to nudge against his rear end to protect the last half of his body. There he stayed in that one position until all was clear, and that would include the thunderstorms moving off, and thunder that could still be heard from ten or twelve miles away.

Sunny naturally thought Winston had lost his mind, and came by to put her paws on the chair from time to time to see if Winston noticed her, but Winston was not giving up protective cover for anybody, even a friend.

Shadow evaluated the situation before she decided what to do. If the thunder were mild, she’d check on Winston, much as Sunny did. If the thunder really started rolling in, she thought the best place to be was my lap, although she didn’t hide her eyes, just kinda shook nervously while I held her with both hands until the main thunderstorms drifted away. She didn’t have to wait for a ten or twelve mile clearance before she considered everything was normal, a couple of miles was sufficient.

Winston and Sunny and Shadow are all gone now. But when some thunder rolls in, I sit in that chair, and feel a nudge against my back, and something on my lap and some paws on my knee.

My wife and I miss them terribly, painfully, but given the opportunity, we’d live it again, even with the agony at the end.

No person should ever leave this earth without loving a dog or dogs, and having a dog or dogs love them.

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