It's been a while again, I know. It's just so stinking busy. David is really busy this time of year (everybody wants you to "just squeeze me in before the end of the year because of deductibles") which has left me with almost no free time to myself.
Plus, I've been trying to come up with what I wanted to say about Winston, but just couldn't put it into words. Winston was our first baby. We adopted him when we were in Chapel Hill. The dog that was supposed to be a mere 40 pounds eventually maxed out at 100, but became the best pet we could have ever asked for. He has always been so sweet with the boys and is the gentlest dog. The boys adored him.
He was what we dubbed "a close talker," always right up close to you. You could pet him for hours and he would never get enough.
He absolutely loved going on hikes, swimming, and going to the farm. He was always by our side, taking care of and watching out for the boys. A true protector, he was the one who alerted us to the bear and eventually stood his ground while the bear charged him to protect me.
This past July we noticed a mass on his face. We watched it for a bit thinking it was a bony mass and then took him in to get it removed. The vet called me the day of his surgery and said he couldn't remove it because his his facial nerve was knotted in it, but he sent a biopsy. The next week the biopsy came back as poorly differentiated carcinoma. A diagnosis that meant removal of his entire jaw on that side and chemotherapy. David and I decided we didn't want to go that route as it seemed cruel to us. After we decided, the vet agreed and said if it was his dog, he would have made the same choice. So, we watched him and when the pain seemed to arrive, we added meds to keep him comfortable, but eventually he got worse. Not going out, rarely eating or peeing, and unable to swallow his own saliva. 2 weeks ago we made the difficult decision to put him down. It was not easy to explain to the boys, but eventually they understood. David took him in while I kept the boys and it was awful. We have all decided that it just isn't right to pull in the driveway and not be greeted by him. We miss him terribly.
RIP Winston, we love you.