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Man’s best friend? April 3, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Creatures, Devastating, Dogs, Raaah!.

Just before we moved in together, my housemate Jillian got a wee Jack Russell puppy. He was a tiny little thing that just shivered for the first few days, and at just 3 months, had not quite enough hair and far too much skin for his little frame, with massive ears pricked up on his tiny white and brown head. As he got to know us, his excitable and adorable character started to develop more. Playful, loving, loveable but shy enough in public to be manageable.
But he was also a little Jack Russell puppy – prone to shitting and peeing everywhere (especially outside my bedroom), chewing everything and later humping guests’ feet and using his growing teeth a little too aggressively when playing. I must admit that I developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with him, as he was too cute to not love, but wound me up something rotten with his defecating, destruction and constant demand for attention, when I was already uptight during a busy few weeks at work. But puppies don’t know any better, and it takes a lot of time invested to get them trained properly. We were both out at work all day during the week, which meant when we were in, he just got crazy. But I always stood that he wasn’t my dog, and therefore not my responsibility. Then Jillian went away for a week, leaving me as his guardian, and we bonded. Just this last week, he has mellowed, his toilet training improved and it appeared that the worst bits of his adolescence was over.

Early Saturday afternoon, Matthias, Jillian and I were sat in the garden, chit-chatting lazily in the sun. Matthias had moved in the night before, and we both had only just emerged after a late night partying, whilst Jill had just got back from a more pro-active morning. Winston was jumping about, and playing around the garden. He would often run down to the bottom of the garden and bark at our landlord’s two rottweilers, Che and Queenie, through the low wall and gate which separated our garden from theirs (these are the rottweilers that ruined my swim the other week – see previous entry “Doggy Paddle”). We have often speculated on what would happen if they were allowed to play in the same area. Little did we know that we were about to find out…

Jill and I had just gone back inside when Matthias let out the alarm: Winston had jumped into the landlord’s garden through the fence. We all sprinted down the garden to see Winston being chased by Queenie, whilst Che guarded the only bit of fence low enough for wee Winston to jump back through. As we approached, Winston was scrambling up the wall, trying to crawl back through the gate. He had wedged himself between the wall and gate, when Queenie caught up with him, and plucked him out with her jaws. The rest was a blur, as Jill darted through the gate to retrieve Winston from Queenie’s violently shaking jaws, as I tried holding back Che. Next Jill had Winston in her arms, being chased by Queenie towards the gate. Jill passed Winston over the gate to Matthias, who was then bitten nastily by an agonised Winston, who then fell to the ground. Holding the Rottweilers back, Jill and then I pushed through the gate, and picking up Winston’s crippled and bleeding body, carried him up to the house, face gurning and eyes aimlessly searching.
We frantically phoned our landlord and the vet’s emergency number, and Jill and Matthias arranged to get down to the vet’s, and I would follow once I was dressed. I went to pick up Winston to pass to Jill, and his head rolled round limply, eyes glazed, tongue lolling. Jillian was willing him to come back as she and Matthias ran down to the car, before speeding off to town.
Our landlord arrived just as I was dressed and leaving and we drove in convoy down to the vet’s.
As I pulled up, Jill, Matthias and the vet were standing in the car park. Winston’s body had already been taken away for disposal. We sat down on the wall, shaking and crying, shocked by the events which had just taken place in the last 20 minutes. Matthias went to deal with the payment and to get some antiseptic – his hand was bleeding quite badly and Jill’s was bleeding and swollen from tackling the vicious jaws of Queenie. Jillian was incredibly brave to take on the rottweilers like she did.
There was nothing to be done. Winston had had his back broken by Queenie’s thrashing, and died within minutes, before we had even left the house.
We went back home, and packed up Winston’s bed, food and toys to take to the SPCA. Devastated and shocked, Jill and I went out and spent the evening at a friend’s house. The house is very quiet now. There’s a void where Winston’s bed used to be. I still expect him to come bounding out the door when I get home. But he’s gone. No one is to blame.
Tough little Winston just thought he would take his chances against two of the most territorial and aggressive dogs, and lost.

Rest in Peace, wee Winston. My favourite flip-flops will certainly miss you.



1. Anne Heys - April 5, 2007

Dear Isabelle

Your Winston story reduced me to tears! Rotweillers are such powerful dogs – I think you too were lucky to escape – you were all very brave (particularly after your previous incident in the pool!) to try to save him and were lucky to come out of it relatively unscathed!!

Your blog is so descriptive, I can almost taste the desert sand! Keep up all the good work!

2. Gaz - April 13, 2007

RIP Winston. I am now very sad…..

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