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In Memoriam: Winifred

By Marisa Malone, published on July 1st, 2024
"My babygirl was able to pass on peacefully in my arms and for that I am forever grateful."

AKA Winnie, Weeno, Beanofred, Beans.
In September 2018, my husband Jon saw a dog on the Kent County Animal Shelter website and immediately sent me the link. We had been wanting to get our first dog, Charlie (sheltie mix), his own companion. We wanted to get a dog for our dog. Winnie’s picture immediately charmed both of us, and he went down that day and waited for four hours, on a work day, just to be able to meet her and try to adopt her. There was an older man ahead of him that was interested in her too, and as luck would have it he stepped out and did not return, so my husband was able to snag our new babygirl.
She was very shy at first. We didn’t know anything about her back story, only that she was surrendered to the shelter by her original people. She was about 1 years old, and the first time she set foot in our backyard she behaved as though she had never touched grass before. Within days, we saw just how big her smile could get as she zoomed around the yard wrestling with her new big brother. Up until the very end, she liked to run to the far end of the yard, turn around, and hurl herself toward you at top speed. We would warn each other by saying, “Uh oh, Wincoming.”
Even though it was dad that saved her from the shelter, she VERY QUICKLY became mama’s girl. I could write pages upon pages (and maybe someday I will) about how devoted to each other this sweet baby and I were. She was my greatest love. My number one top shelf companion. Anything mama was doing was THE most interesting thing in the world to her. She loved to watch me do the dishes. I’d rinse a plate and turn around and there she’d be, the biggest smile, beaming up at me. Whenever I would post a picture on social media of myself, she would always be somewhere in the picture too. People would comment on it regularly, it became a game of sorts. Jon would regularly walk in on me singing yet another song about Winnie while snuggling her soft belly, both of us with comically big smiles.
In October 2019 she was diagnosed with a portosystemic liver shunt. We learned that dogs with this condition have a shorter lifespan, no matter how well you can manage it. We managed it quite well for nearly 5 more years. She had a full, joyful life and was loved beyond anything I can comprehend. She went on road trips, she got another brother when we adopted Archie (dachshund/chihuahua mix) in March of 2019. She regularly made up her own games and rituals and we followed along willingly. She and I shared a bond so deep I don’t even have the words to describe it. In her last few days, her brothers rarely left her side. She was the most beautiful perfect dog and I am so grateful that we found each other in this life. I don’t purport to know if there is an afterlife, but I genuinely hope there is, so I can be with my babygirl again one day.
Mama and pop-pop love you so much, Weeno. If I could carve it into the side of a mountain, I would. Thank you for being my dog, for loving me as much as I love you. You will always be the sweetest, goofiest, silliest creature I have ever known.