You always hear that things have a way of changing overnight, but few experience it. It didn’t quite happen like that here but it was close. In my instance, things changed exactly one week to the day that I felt my heart shatter. On June 4, 2013, my companion of 18 years, Winston died. Exactly one week to the day, on June 11, another Winston came into my life, through circumstances so unusual, so connected, that I knew it was meant to be. I have written that story, The Tale of Two Winstons – A Terrier Comes Home, to chart the beginning of our journey together. Before that I had written of my first, indomitable Winston, my love of 18 years in My Winston. But there was one fact I had left out. You see, exactly one week before I found Winston, I had another dog, Snowflake, a rescue American Eskimo.
Snowflake was with me for two years, gorgeous and unfortunately so emotionally scarred by her previous family that only I could handle her. I never got the entire story but from her hatred of children and families in general, apparently she had been used as a target and punching bag by the people who owned her before me (and was rescued from). One day we were out in the pasture, running and checking around for a loose horseshoe, when bikers sped by and Snowflake gave chase down the fence line. Normally, that would have been fine as she couldn’t get through the wire and post fence, but sometime during the night a car had sideswiped the fence and taken down just enough to leave a Snowflake sized hole. I am sure you all can imagine what happened next as Snowflake darted out onto that winding country road. Even as we raced to the vet, I knew my Snowflake was gone.
One week to the day, on that same spot, a shivering, heavily matted, rail thin Winston was found and went home with me carrying him in my arms, the same way Snowflake left that same spot. Now 18 years later, exactly one week apart, my beloved Winston was gone and another Winston had arrived. And each time, I knew it was meant to be. How could it not? I am not sure I believe in Fate but all these connections? All these events strung together in order for one magical moment to happen? How do I not believe in that? Many people have said that Winston sent the other Winston to me, and I think I can agree there. During that week of almost overwhelming grief and loss, I swear I could hear the thunk Winston made as he jumped down off the bed to investigate something in the house during the night. Several times that occurred during that week, but since Winston arrived, not a sound. This Winston likes to bury his food bowl (on tile no less) just like my old Winston did. Perhaps one has taught the other his tricks without me knowing. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
My family now includes two rescued dogs, Winston and Kirby whose face adorns the banner of this blog. They aren’t my first rescues and most certainly won’t be my last. There are so many dogs (and cats) that need homes in shelters around the country. And there are so many shelters in need of support, both monetary and in donations of supplies. I know it is Father’s Day today but perhaps if your Dad is someone who has everything possible and you don’t know what to give him, maybe make a donation to your local animal rescue organization or humane society in his name as a gift. I know it would be welcome. I found my Winston by donating food to the shelter. Who knows if a four pawed love awaits you there as well? The larger groups, ASPCA, and the Humane Society of the United States, rescue animals from devastating events such as hurricanes and earthquakes and more. They need your help too.
So here are some links to get you thinking about rescues and the organizations who need your help to continue their mission to save animals in need:
Humane Society of the United States
Montgomery County Humane Society
Days End Farm Horse Rescue – located locally in MD but travel all over the US to rescue large animals. Truly an amazing organization.
I am sure there are so many local rescue organizations around you that need your assistance. They are only a tapped computer key away. Check them out as well. Here are a few pictures of Winston and Kirby playing, they have turned into the best of friends. Look below the pictures for the week ahead in reviews. Happy Father’s Day!
The week ahead in Reviews:
Monday, June 17: Flawless by Cat Grant
Tuesday, June 18: Fennel and Forgiveness by Ari McKay
Wed., June 19: In Search of a Story by Andrew Grey
Thursday, June 20: Infected: Undertow by Andrea Speed
Friday, June 21: The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels
Saturday, June 22: Stonewall by Martin Duberman