With heavy hearts we say good-bye to our dear Winnifred Buttercup. Otherwise known as Winnie, Miss Pooh, Pooh, and Pun’kin’. In her later years she was often known as Chunky Butt, Stinkie Winkie, and Panty McPanterson. Mostly she responded to her true names: “No” and “Oh, No You Didn’t.”
Winnie’s mother was a Yellow Labrador Retriever; a purebred English one at that. She was a true lady. Winnie’s father, on the other hand, was a randy, social (and fence)-climbing Golden Retriever from next door. Much to a young breeders dismay the randy retriever was able to coax the lovely lady out for a night in the bush. A litter of puppies followed shortly after.
Picking out a puppy is never easy, but all it took was for one very stubborn look at Andrew to know this one was not a dud. She was soft as a puppy and to the end she still had the softest fur we know. Most of it was shed to produce litters of her very own dust puppies. (We suspect fame will come to her when archeologists dig around our various homes because we can assure you dust puppies never leave.)
Her puppy years were typical. She had a fantastic appetite. Mostly for the underside of the sofa which, for a time, she loved to wear as a hat. Her most treasured possessions, however, were her tennis balls. All of them. Costco’s stock took a hit in the mid 2000’s when we stopped buying them by the case. Winnie didn’t just catch and fetch. She ate them. Daily. Sometimes multiples. (They were never ingested . . . only spit out on the floor in many wet, sticky pieces).
At four her running and jumping days were over after her knee gave out and needed to be replaced. Since we opted for the green-light-special surgery she did not get the bionic knee that she deserved. Which saddens us greatly knowing that we took away her opportunity to win prize money in agility games and perhaps pay for her tennis ball addiction.
Winnie came into our lives around the same time that Jo started studying photography. As a puppy she was very keen when the camera came out and was quite the model (much to the dismay of Jo's classmates Winnie became the equivalent of the treasured honeymoon slideshow). The excitement did wane in later years causing Winnie to turn away from the lens whenever she saw the camera. We still aren't sure if she was turning just to show her good side or to hide all together. (We believe, however, she did not have any bad angles).
In these NJ years Winnie was well cared for at Edinburgh Animal Hospital in Hamilton NJ. We are so grateful to all of the technicians, Dr. Weeks, and especially Dr. Danielson who kept Winnie running on most of her cylinders even a year and a half past her expiration date. We are grateful for the kindness and compassion they showed us, both animal and human, through to the end. Mostly we are grateful for their full understanding that Winnie put up with it all for the treat at the end of the appointment, one that was always available and delivered with a smile.
Winnie is preceded in death by her doggy cousins Boo, Cocoa, and Charlie; as well as her beloved toys Puffy, Puffy2, Puffy3, Puffy4, and who could forget Puffy5 . . .
Winnie touched the lives and hearts of many around the world. Mostly ours. We will miss her beyond reason.
In celebration of her life, please toast Miss Pooh with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter (in a Kong if you have one available). In lieu of flowers please hug your pet, tell them how much you love and adore them, and give them an extra treat . . . perhaps two. Life is short. (Or, if better suited, please donate generously to your local shelter or favorite animal rescue).