Saving Winston

It’s been years since I owned a dog. Fritz was a miniature schnauzer with long legs, one ear down and one ear up, and a cowardly disposition. He was a loyal friend to Court and me. I miss him, and miss having a dog. Unfortunately, several of our grandkids are allergic to dogs, so dog ownership will have to wait until they outgrow their allergies (or I stock up on allergy medicine and invest in Zyrtec).

I don’t know if being a coward is a trait of miniature schnauzers. I suspect it isn’t, because they have to be brave enough to chase small animals back into their holes as their ancestry dictates. Fritz never chased a squirrel in his life, and if you mentioned that he was a ratter by nature, he sniffed at you and went back to his safe kennel.

I paid to have Fritz stay in a pet hotel one time while on a business trip. When I went to pick him up from the kennel, the staff came out with a dog they said was Fritz. It was a miniature schnauzer all right, but not Fritz. I quickly said just that. “Are you sure?” they asked me. I was definitely sure, because both ears were down. In the meantime, the miniature-schnauzer-who-wasn’t-Fritz was jumping up and down, acting as though I was his best friend. Apparently he wasn’t as loyal to his humans as Fritz.

I never took Fritz back to a kennel. Instead, my sister Jen would dog sit for me. She always had dogs herself, so what was one more to add to the mix. Unfortunately for Jen, her dogs were always the alpha, resulting in Fritz spending his entire visit on her lap, shaking like a leaf.

Jen and her pooch Winston are back here in AZ because Jen will be joining me on the healing path as she is having her second knee replaced. (She still has two hips and a remaining shoulder before she becomes a total robot.) But this week, Jen is accompanying her daughter Maggie and the family to Disneyland for Lilly’s 8th birthday. I am finally returning Jen’s favor, and have been placed in charge of her dog Winston.

Winston likes me. I know he does. (Do I sound a bit like Sally Field accepting her Academy Award in 1985?) But you wouldn’t know it by his actions the past couple of days. The minute Jen left, he hightailed it to her bedroom, and only comes out to use the backyard facilities, with a quick stop for a bite to eat. Then it’s back to the bedroom where he buries himself in the blanket that smells like Jen.

It’s not me, I’m happy to say. It’s my knee scooter. In Winston’s eyes, it’s a death machine, and he isn’t having it. Bec came to visit yesterday, and he came out of the bedroom to beg her to save him from what will certainly be his demise. If dogs could talk, he would say, “Save me Obiwan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

By the way, it looks like his human might have made a new friend…..

In the meantime, Thursday can’t come fast enough for Winston.

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