A year ago today, my boyfriend and I headed off on the loooong drive to Wales. We were going to visit a lady who was rehoming one of her dachshunds, and I was filled with a mix of nerves and excitement. Everything seemed pretty normal! Moving older dogs on to pet homes is a common part of breeding, apparently. I had a new collar and lead in my bag, "just in case" there was an opportunity to take her there and then. When we got there however, things weren't as I'd expected. I detailed the whole story in this post, and I also wrote 3 month and 6 month updates on Winnie. Now that she's been with us for a year though, I wanted to get a few things off my chest...
I rarely think of you, but when I do my emotions are often so mixed. Some days I find myself making excuses for you, because I just can't comprehend the state Winnie was in when I met her... maybe you were a well-meaning woman; perhaps you suddenly found yourself with too many dogs and not enough money? Perhaps you loved your dogs so much but couldn't provide for them as well as you might have wanted? Other days, I'm filled with rage and I can't believe you ever let Winnie suffer the way she must have been suffering. After speaking to others who have bought puppies from you, I'm inclined to believe that you're actually just greedy. You didn't want to waste money on vet bills for an older dog you couldn't breed from anymore, anyway.
After just a year, I can't imagine my life without Winnie. I can't even imagine Archie without Winnie. In fact, after just a few short months, despite the money we'd spent on her and the tears I'd shed over her, I couldn't imagine our home without Winnie in it. I simply cannot believe that you owned Winnie for nearly 7 years, and thought so little of her that you wouldn't get her help when she was hurting. I can't believe you looked into her eyes, knowing all of her teeth were rotting and falling out, knowing the pain she must have been in... and you ignored it. That was just the surface, too. She had so many other health issues plaguing her. Perhaps, actually, you didn't ever look into her eyes. Perhaps you never saw her as a little soul at all.
I see her. I love her. I am so sad that you didn't, and that she had to live that way for 7 years. She will always, always have a home with me.
However, I'm also thankful. I'm thankful as your neglect means that I can have Winnie in my life. She has taught me patience, unconditional love and the joy of owning a "dog with a past". Every little success with Winnie is a milestone; she is a completely different dog to the one we took away from you a year ago. She's currently snoring away as I write this, tucked up next to me on the sofa. Warm, loved and part of a family.
So thank you... you didn't deserve her anyway.
Chloé, Archie and Winnie
Winnie's beautiful gotcha day cake was very kindly donated by Doggy Desserts bakery, who coincidentally are based in Winnie's hometown; thank you so much!