We’re Still Here!

Sorry for not updating Winston’s blog in the past several months.  Winston has been, well, Winston!  Nothing crazy to report.  Wake up, eat, go outside, sniff, sniff, sniff, eat some dirt, eat some grass, go to the bathroom, grab the paper, go inside, take a nap, go back outside to pee, go inside, watch the squirrels & birds, take a nap, go outside & play fetch, eat dinner, be lazy & go to bed.  Rinse, repeat.

Add in chewing some rawhides, going for car rides, running on the beach and that’s pretty much it!  He had a hotspot on his neck, but that healed, but for the most part, it’s been an uneventful few months.

The lack of snow this past winter was depressing, but he was able to play in the snow for a couple of days.  Nothing like last year unfortunately.  Hopefully next winter is better or else I’ll have to inquire about buying him a snowmaker. (Seriously!)

I will try to make sure I share more stories and pictures here.  His birthday will be here soon, so that should inspire me.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture from our lone snowstorm this past winter.

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Sad News – RIP Jack

Well, I was hoping to have a post about Winston’s love of snow, but that has been superseded by some terrible news.

The subject of my last post, Jack, sadly passed away this weekend.

He was only two years old, well short of the prime of his life.

This blog was inspired by the death of a dog, but at least Marley was able to live a full, happy life.

This is just a reminder to cherish every moment that our wonderful pets have with us.  They are only around for a short time & we are 100% responsible for their happiness and well-being.  Make sure you do everything you can to ensure happy times for all.

Rest in peace Jack…

Meet Jack

In addition to telling stories about Winston, occasionally I’ll share stories of other dogs, with a focus on black labs.

Jack

Jack, decked out in pink for BHA month

This is Jack, who is a few months older than Winston.  He works in security at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT.  One of these days, I’m hoping to meet him.

In the meantime, please enjoy this story on Jack from The Day from last December.

We’re Back!

I'm back baby!!

Many apologies for the delay in updating Winston’s blog.

Since the last update, he’s visited Fishers Island, experienced his first tropical storm & has had his usual adventures, all of which we’ll cover here soon.

First though, I need to keep a promise to my angel/daughter Payton, who requested a post talking about Winston’s canine friends.

Payton & Winston

Winston has met, played and sniffed many dogs in his young life.  He’s played with many at obedience classes, at the beach & other random encounters.  However, the dogs he interacts with the most are Payton’s other dogs, Ruby & Baxter.

Ruby is a three year-old Golden Retriever.  She’s fairly docile and plays well (lots of running) with Winston.

Ruby

Baxter is just over a year old and joined Payton last December.  He is a Golden/Corgi mix, or Gorgi.  He is a handful and likes to stir the pot with Ruby and also with Winston.

Baby Baxter

On Winston’s recent visit to Fishers Island, he met his cousin Gus, an older Black Lab and they hit it off immediately.  They had a fun day filled with chasing each other, playing fetch and swimming.

Which one is Winston??

Next week, Winston will make another new friend when we travel to Martha’s Vineyard for our annual vacation.  Our wonderful friends who rent us their home have a new lab, Tiger, who apparently is anxious to run on the beach with Winston.  I’ll be sure to share lots of pictures!

Fun At The Vet

I know, I recently had a post about the vet.  However, Winston has had his fair share of non-routine visits that I wanted to cover before moving on.

There was that first visit on his second day with us.

A few months later, there was an incident.  After leaving his crate, he chased one of his feline brothers (or sisters, he has two of each) into Payton’s bedroom.  After cornering one of the cats, there was a brief scuffle, a yelp & that was it.  He rubbed his snout with his paws & seemed no worse for wear.  A couple days later, we noticed that one of his eyes looked a little cloudy.  So we brought him to the vet.  It turns out he had a corneal abrasion thanks to messing with a cat.

Not only did he have a corneal abrasion, we found out he had a second corneal abrasion in the other eye.  After a few weeks of eye drops & follow-up visits, his eyes were fine.  (You would think that he would have learned his lesson and stopped chasing the cats after that incident, but he didn’t.)

The next major injury came after an obedience training session with The Problem Pooch. During a leash-walking exercise, it was apparent that Winston was limping.  It was tough to tell which leg/shoulder was the problem and it wasn’t too severe.  It would come & go, but when we realized that it was persistent, we brought him to the vet again.  Dr. Minor couldn’t figure out which leg it was either, so Winston was scheduled for x-rays.

This is not a simple procedure for our Winston.  Because he is so rambunctious and excited about visiting all of his friends at the vet, he needed to be anesthetized before having an x-ray.  He would never sit still long enough.

He had his x-rays (the poor guy was so out of it afterwards) and the results showed a gap in one of his front shoulders that wasn’t growing at the proper rate as the other.  The options were an aggressive steroid prescription with limited exercise and if that didn’t work, an operation.

After a couple of months of the steroids, Winston went back for another x-ray to see how his leg was growing.  Thankfully this time he didn’t have to be fully knocked out.  The results were extremely positive and he has been fine ever since.

Aside from routine check-ups, booster shots and his “alteration”, Winston has been a regular visitor at the Groton Ledyard Veterinary Hospital on several occasions for diarrhea, lack of appetite and itchy paws.  None of these trips has resulted in anything more than some antibiotics and brief change in diet.  Sometimes I wonder if we’re being overly cautious with his health, but I would never forgive myself if I ignored something seemingly minor that evolved into a major problem.

We’re also very lucky to have found a fantastic vet with the aforementioned GLVH.  Dr. Minor and his staff are all wonderful people who care about  our pets as much as we do and understand how much they mean to us.  The fact that they still let Winston be a patient after all of his visits and how REALLY excited he is one he shows up is a testament to their patience and understanding.

(Since I don’t have any pictures of a recuperating Winston, this random shot of him as a puppy will have to do.)

Up Next: Winston’s Friends (a special request from Winston’s favorite girl, Payton)