Photo of Winnie

Farewell Our Beautiful Winnie-Woo

Monday, 19 December 2011, was one of the saddest days ever as we said farewell to our beautiful, very special little girl, Winnie. She left us to join her beloved Winston.

We had a fabulous 2 years and 10 months of Winnie-wonderfulness and it is truly hard to believe that we had to let her go, that she is no longer with us.

She had a busy and hopefully happy life with us. We made the most of her and enjoyed our time together.

We have some fabulous and fantastic memories of our very own little ‘Benjamin Button’ to look back on, she was a joy to be with, she made us laugh every day. Dear Woo loved being with Marley, Badger and Purdie, she really did, her little pack. She wouldn’t be left behind or left out of anything, always included. We took her most places with us and she only missed a handful of HULA open days, she really liked coming back to see everyone. She enjoyed going out in the car and her long walks at the woods.

As you know, she was famous !

In the early days we would be out walking with her and people would recognize her from HULA and the local paper and liked to say hello.

She appeared 3 times in the local paper; one as ambassador for HULA’s Summer Open Day 2010:

Photo of Winnie in newspaper

She appeared in the August 2010 edition of Dogs Today magazine in their Golden Oldies Section:

Photo of Winnie in Dogs Today magazine

She won a muffin for this, which she generously shared with Marley and Badger.

Kind Courtesy of Beverley Cuddy @ Dogs Today Magazine

Kennelgate in Bletchley had an open day to collect for Oldies Club last year. Winnie and Winston had been featured on their website when they first arrived at HULA. Winnie went along to extol the virtues of adopting older dogs, which she would most definitely recommend by the way!

Photo of Winnie

She had her photograph taken by a professional photographer whilst she was there:

Photo of Winnie in HULA Photo competition

She won a rosette for her picture with Marley at the HULA Summer Open Day.

We hope we gave her a lovely life with us, she was wonderful to be with, every moment with her was an absolute pleasure. It was such a huge privilege being able to foster and then adopt her. In the end she was ours and always will be now.

Never will Winnie and Winston ever be forgotten, they will be forever in our hearts and always in our thoughts.

We may not have had Winnie and Winston very long, but we lived a lifetime with them, their lifetime. They may have been old and sick when we took them home, but they gave us so much back and we have so many wonderful happy memories.

As a tribute to Winnie and Winston we would like to say: don’t pass an old dog by, stop and look at those beautiful bright eyes, there is a world of adventure and a lifetime of memories to be had.

There is life in an old dog, Winnie proved that!

Photo of Winnie out for a walk

So long baby girl, miss you xx

Over the past 3 years Sharon has taken the time to write some very loving updates. Although they may both be gone please enjoy this wonderful story about two special dogs who found their perfect home.

Sharon and Stephen became foster carers to Winnie & Winston at the beginning of 2009, sadly Winston passed away later that year however Winnie became a permanent member of the family. Here are the previous updates about Winnie & Winston.

March 2010

From the pen of Her Royal Highness
The Dowager Queen ~ Winnie

Photo of Winnie
Hello all my loyal fans, friends and followers, Winnie here.

I am here today because the lovely Katrina asked for an up-date “Winnie – One Year On”. I said I would do this one, so that I could tell you the truth about what has really been going on these last months.

It will be one whole year at the end of February (28th) when Stephen and Sharon fostered me and took me into their home with my sweet Winston and, boy, do I have a “tail” to tell !!

It hasn’t been easy for me y’know. I have since the beginning of last August 2009 “Permanent Adoption Day” suffered the degradation and humiliation of name calling, such names as “Age Concern”, “Dowager Queen” and “Elderly One”, to name but three. There are more, many more!

I am constantly laughed at, for no apparent reason other than my slow elderly, absent-minded ways.

Ever since I came here, I have been “forced”, yes “forced”, to eat all manner of foods, all of it VERY fattening. My figure has gone to pot, well, actually, I just don’t have a figure anymore.

Even my coat doesn’t fit …….. !!!!!!

Furthermore, I am made, MADE I say, to sleep on the sofa.

Where in the world is the dignity in all of this I ask you. Well, I will tell you my friends, fans and followers, who gives a toot about dignity. I mean, I might be old and slow and all that, but I know what I like and, oh boy, do I have it all now.

Photo of Winnie

I have lovely walks in the woods too. I run and jump over “huge” logs and fallen “trees” and sometimes, when my proper name is used, people recognise me (still) and say “oh, is that Winnie from HULA” and “that’s not Winnie from the paper is it” – oh the fame of it all !!

I love Marley and Badger; we are all good friends and sometimes we sit and lick each others faces (well, actually, I get them to lick my face mostly). I join in their games and we play and I can bark as loud as I want to now. Oh we have such fun.

Photo of Winnie Photo of Winnie

I have a lovely warm fire to lie in front of or my old bed, if I want that.

Photo of Winnie
I get loads and loads of cuddles and chin scratches and tummy rubs. I am very, very happy.

I like it when I come back to HULA now and am so pleased to see everyone, but it is quite tiring meeting one’s public of course and one does apologise for sometimes missing some of you whilst I am there, it is certainly not intentional, purely due to the demands of being famous. When I get home, though, I am ready for a long nap. Well I am 11 now you know!!

Gosh, a whole year has passed since my boy and I moved away from HULA. How time flies.

I went to see the Vet recently and she said I was in very, very good shape for a lady of my discerning years, then stuck a needle in me, ouch. Oh the things one has to put up with.

So there, in a royal nutshell, you have it, “Winnie – One Year On” and I am in good health, enjoying myself, well fed, well exercised, loved, adored, worshiped.

One looks forward to seeing you all again very soon at HULA and thank you all for coming to say hello.

Her most demanding Royal-ness

Winnie xxxxx

P.S. And especially for those of you who loved the big fella, just to let you know, Winston is thought of every day and will never be forgotten, so here are some more little Winston moments.

Photo of Winnie

"Winnie & Winston bed-buddies"

Photo of Winston

"The big huggable guy getting some much needed sleep – bless (Now who does this remind you of ..... !!!!)"

"Out walking ...and just chillin’"
Photo of Winston Photo of Winston

Summer 2009

Our Special Little Chap – Winston

Photo of Winston

There is such silence and a huge emptiness at home at the moment. Sadly and with great reluctance we had to let Winston go on Saturday, 20 June. We can just hope that Winston was happy with us, we think he was.

He was such a vibrant lad, full of life and he lived every minute he could, his illness permitting.

Photo of Winston
Probably some of our favourite memories of Winston are at the woods. He loved going to the woods for his walks in the evenings. He thoroughly enjoyed being with “his pack” and following his best pal, Marley. Those two had formed such a good friendship. He liked kicking up the dirt and making it fly all over the place; running around in the tall ferns, he was so happy.

He loved his food. He had a fantastic appetite, which never left him. His favourite treats were little party sausage rolls. Winston always had more than anyone else (secret snacks from his foster mum ;)

He loved an evening walk around the village, swinging those hips as he went (yes, you will all remember those hips we are sure !)
Photo of Winston

Oh yes, he also loved to bark. As if we could forget to mention that, but you all probably remember also. Cyclists, horses, pedestrians, anyone, anything, they all got to hear he was around and why not. When he was feeling well, he told the world.

Winston was a fun guy, he made us laugh.

He was a mess maker too, drool everywhere; a constant puddle of water on the kitchen floor; drool everywhere, sorry, have we mentioned that already. We are still wiping it up now!

Some mornings, well most actually, he would come upstairs whinging to go out. He would put those drool covered lips and runny nose in my face and make me get up to let him out for a pee. It’s barely day break.

Three and half months just wasn’t long enough, but I am truly grateful for the time we did have with him. He was a very special little fella (he was my special little fella). He knew he would always be loved now, always have a home, never be alone and that he would never be forgotten. He knew this because I told him every single day.

But thanks must go to everyone at HULA, everyone who had anything to do with Winnie and Winston, for caring so much for them, until we were able to take them home with us.

Photo of Winston

Our precious little Winnie

Photo of Winnie
Firstly, we would like you all to meet Winnie’s new best friend. Her little "buddy belly" YAY (sorry about the pun).

On our visits to HULA, quite a few of Winnie’s friends there (yes, you) have commented on her weight gain and though we say so ourselves, she is looking good. Her coat is shining, her appetite is bigger than the other dogs’ put together (honestly, this is not made up stuff) and she goes for lovely long walks

All in all, Winnie is a pretty healthy girl right now.

Photo of Winnie

Mind you, we have to watch her when she’s out. Winnie started out on her walks head down with a "why are we doing this" attitude. Now, it’s head up, dig a hole here and have a sniff there and "I think we should go this way" at a trot and "by the way, I’ll have a biscuit now" !!

Oh yes, she started making her own decisions and forgets to tell us.

Photo of Winnie
She seems happier and more at ease these days and has decided she likes her tummy scratching and we make a big fuss of her. She does this funny little mouthy thing, like a silent yap but only when she thinks we are not looking, so we tease her and pretend to look away so she can do it again. Winnie has a sense of humour. She likes to make us laugh.

Unlike her big buddy, she has never barked, except in her sleep, so we know she can. It is very strange and we’ve never had a dog that doesn’t bark. Our next quest then.

Photo of Winnie
She never makes a fuss, never gets in the way, she is so quiet, yet there is a stubborn streak and she can be quite forceful if she wants to be. She is lightening up though.

If anyone has heard her bark, please us know how it came about.

Winnie gets lots and lots of special attention, hugs, cuddles and kisses. She is extremely spoilt and is the centre of attention and told every day how important she is to us.

Hang on a mo, she’s a pampered pooch and we are at her beck and call, she has us wrapped around her little paw. Poor Winnie, indeed. Ooops, must go, Winnie needs something !!!!!

We are keeping a close eye on her and so far she seems to be okay.

Previous update...

In case you didn't get a chance to see some of the beautiful pictures taken of Winnie and Winston during their early days with Sharon and Stephen please read on. This was an update sent to us in March 2009 shortly after arriving at their new foster home.


Photo of Winnie
As you all know, Winnie was having a problem with food at HULA, basically, she wasn’t eating, despite everyone’s best efforts with roast dinners and all manner of other tempting delights.

Well, you will be pleased to hear that Winnie’s appetite has returned and she is now enjoying all her meals. This little dog is eating as much as her big pal Winston, honestly !!

We think it was just a case of her needing a home environment.

Photo of Winnie

Winnie likes her comfort and has more than one bed. She sulks if Winston takes her favourite one. This being the big gray plastic bed from HULA, lined with Marley’s duvet (but he doesn’t mind !!). Winnie also has a duvet in one corner of the living room, which she likes very much.

Photo of Winnie

There are also a couple of nice fleecy throws which she snuggles into.

Photo of Winnie and Winston

She wasn’t keen to get up on the sofa and we got the impression she thought this was naughty, as it probably should be, but, as you can see, she is over that now :)

Winnie is settling into her new environment and goes for nice walks every day. We have fields all around us so they get to see the rabbits and sniff all manner of smells. Winnie toddles off now and again on her own and because she appears to be hard of hearing, we have to be careful she doesn’t wander too far away !!

Photo of Winnie
She is lightening up a little and becoming more settled each day, in fact, just this week she seems to have realised she may actually be wanted once more. We give her lots of reassuring hugs and always encourage her to come sit with us. She has been reluctant to look around the house, but has now started to investigate a little; it is almost like she is not supposed to do these things !!

We think now she is settling down, we may see a lot more of her real character and hopefully she can relax and have a little fun. She is getting there bless her.

Winnie has her “mad” moments, usually in the morning.

Photo of Winnie
We weren’t too sure how Winnie was going to react going back to HULA on the open day, but she was fine and was really pleased to meet and greet those people she knew, especially Steve and Debbie, she was very happy to see you again. Her little way of saying thank you, we think.


Photo of Winston
What can we say, Winston settled in more or less straight away. He had a good look around the house, like a whirlwind he was, and just took it as read this was home!! There was no enticing Winston onto the sofa, he was up there in an instant.

Photo of Winston and Marley

He does like to share and has made a friend in Marley (our other rescue dog). These two have become such pals or should I say, partners in crime.

Photo of Winston

The big boy likes the fire. He particularly likes to warm his head.

Photo of Winston

He likes to sleep!

He gets so excited out on his walks, he absolutely loves the fields. He is literally bouncing down the road and goes faster and faster towards the gate. He just cannot wait to get his feet on the grass, sniff the rabbit holes, kick sand at us all and run like the wind.

Photo of Winston

He is a joy to watch, he is such a very happy dog when he is out playing. There are five llamas in the field next to the one we walk Winston in, the first time he saw them he was well taken aback and really didn’t know what to do. So, he barked and barked and barked. Winston likes barking….. !

Photo of Winston

Oh yes, he can still flirt with the girls too, well sort of….

Sunday, 8 March, was a very dismal morning, poor fella was really under the weather and feeling very sorry for himself, we were feeling sorry for him too and not a little worried about him. So a trip to the vets and some antibiotic and painkilling injections that morning helped enormously. By the afternoon he was looking and feeling a lot better. A second lot of injections and a course of antibiotics and last week he was a 100 times better.

Oh yes, this was when the barking started.

Photo of Winston
The first week he would bay at us (just like a bull and sounds the same too), but once he was feeling fitter he took to talking to us, which we thought was funny, now he just barks at us whenever he wants something, which is most of the time!

Winston absolutely loves his food, according to the big guy we don’t feed him enough !!

Boy, does this fella nag. When he thinks he should go out for a walk, he stands there baying, getting louder and louder and when we don’t take him seriously enough, he starts barking at us.

We get the same treatment when HE thinks he should be fed.

When he saw his pal Steve back at HULA, he got really excited and barked and when Steve didn’t come over to see him immediately, Winston went on barking and on and on ……. Seriously though, he was very, very pleased to see you again.

Photo of Winston

....and finally

Photo of Winston and Marley

Marley and Winston have become extremely good friends, Marley is a very gentle soul and will sometimes go over to Winston and lick his face. In the fields they go and check out the rabbit holes together and then in the evening, share the sofa.

Winnie has been keeping herself pretty much to herself this past fortnight. She has occasionally gone looking for Winston and they have spent a few minutes together.

She would lie in her bed sometimes in the dining room all by herself, feeling a little lost, so we would bring the bed into the living room where she could spend the evening with the rest of us. Now, she chooses to be with us.

Photo of Winnie and Winston
This past week she has become far more settled and it has come to light that Winnie has a sense of humour and can be quite funny and cheeky.

Winston sometimes upsets her by pinching her bed and she will pace backwards and forwards until finally accepting he is staying put and look for somewhere else.

Badger sometimes flirts with Winston, flashing her beautiful baby blues at him, but we reckon he “ain’t” the brightest soul and resorts to barking. Badge loses interest very quickly and wanders off.

Photo of Winston

Dinner time we have down to a fine art.

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