Our Best Renovation Yet – Winston

There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you about for a while now.  HH and I have a new furry friend.  A blessing.

Have you ever had a gift drop out of the sky…something so perfect that you know it’s part of God’s perfect plan?

Meet Winston.  Just look at that face!

Renovation Winston

It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  HH was behind the barn, and the horses were acting strange.   That’s when this bag of bones appeared.  It pains me to see this picture.  I’d forgotten how bad off he really was.  This is Winston three days after he wandered up and we began his renovation care.

Renovation Winston "Before"

He would have died that first Saturday night if we hadn’t taken him into the garage.  At 29 degrees, he wouldn’t have survived with no meat on his bones to keep him warm.

We don’t take in every stray, but there was something about this one – a special friendliness that attracted HH to him.

Our other stray, Suzy-Q, ignored him at first.  It took a few days for her to accept him in the way HH and I welcomed him.  But now, they are big buddies.  Funny how that term seems to fit the whole situation…

but now.

Winston (formally named Renovation Winston) now stays inside.  Even though he’s gained over fifteen pounds, he gets cold outside, even on sunshiny days.   Before bringing him inside, he started hanging out near the mailbox (a half mile from the house) and chasing cars.  Except at meal time.

Renovation Winston

After all that work surviving, he was about to die from a car!  So, that was the last straw.  Winston moved into the house.  Poor Suzy-Q.  She’s alone in the garage at night now (again).

Suzy wandered up to our house about seven years ago, and she has become the perfect farm dog.  We couldn’t ask for a better dog!  She’s very loving and loyal.  That’s something we’ve learned here in The Land of Making Do.

God provides the best dogs.

Winston is the perfect inside dog.  He must have been house trained, wherever he came from, because he has never had an accident inside.  The vet thinks he’s about three years old and is part Catahoula Cur, a bird dog.  Still, a mixture.

I consider this the most important and rewarding renovation we’ve ever done.  Winston, with his quick-study obedience and loving loyalty, has wiggled his way into our hearts completely.  We know God brought him to us…not only because he needed us, but because we needed him.

Have you ever taken in a stray?  Did it take long to get attached – to wrap you completely into…love?


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  1. Penny says

    How wonderful for all of you Kim. He looks like such a sweet boy. We have taken in strays periodically but not for awhile now. I hope you have Winston with you for a long time to come.

  2. Libba says

    We had never owned a cat, nor a dog. However after we built our house, our son, Joey, his wife and daughter were here doing some touch up work before we moved in. Susan, Renee and Joey are true animal lovers. So one day when this stray black and white cat came wandering up looking for food, Susan and Renee were not about to let it go. Renee went to WM and bought some food and a food and water bowl, came home and fed her. She got the name of Patches because of being black with white patches. They were determined that we keep her. I like cats okay but Joe doesn’t care for them and can’t have them in the house because of his dialysis. Patches stayed around and we have become attached to her. Carried her to Vet, got shots and a good check up. He said she was an “All American Cat”. lol. As it would be, she later had five pretty kittens. We kept one of them, named him “Junior”, and had no problem giving the others away. Then had her “fixed” because we didn’t need more cats. I have really become attached to Patches and Junior but do have problems keeping them out from under my feet when outside. Just hope they don’t give me a fall. I couldn’t stand to turn that hungry baby away though. I’m proud you took that poor doggy in. He is pretty now.

    • says

      Yes, I think we saw Patches or Junior one day. I hope you’re careful around them. The smaller the animal, the more likely we are to trip over them. I’m glad y’all now have an animal to love. 🙂

    • says

      Awe, that’s sweet of you to say. I don’t know about that. Winston did look so pitiful. How can people drop off a dog in the country to let them starve to death?

    • says

      Yes! He is such a sweet dog, and it’s wonderful to watch him run and play now that he has more energy. HH and I have been talking about the fact the DOG is GOD spelled backwards and the similarity between their unconditional love, loyalty, our friend no matter how we treat them…all of that.

  3. Robin says

    Oh wow! I am in tears! I am so happy for you and with you….cuz I can totally relate!

    I say YES YES YES!!! GOD brings the perfect dogs!!!!

    Quincy may not be a stray that WE found, but he was a stray. He is a quick study too. He has never had an accident in the house either. He is different. He is not like any dog I have ever met. You know exactly what I mean. He is perfect for us. I fell in love when I saw his picture on the Last Chance Ranch website. I knew he was the one.

    He is becoming more adjusted and more playful despite being sick. He threw up again today a few times when we were walking. Pepcid time (as per the doc). It worked! Ok, so it was like wrestling a 2 year old to get the pill to stay IN him. Or an alligator. Naw, not that bad. hahaha I know all about the pill in the peanut butter…holding his mouth shut, and rubbing his neck. That pill would find its way out again and again.

    The dog had peanut butter all over his furry face when were were done. My trick….use a pill cutter, then smash the pill to powder, THEN put it in peanut butter. He was eating his rice and chicken by dinner! HOOORAY!!!

    So tonight was DADDY’s turn to do pill duty with the antibiotic. (Cali and I went to the chiro, did a few errands, then church for 2 hrs). The story was a good one how he had to wrangle him …..pushing his entire body across the linoleum kitchen floor. hahaha He is a very good dog but when he does not want that pill you know it. He stares you down.LOL

    He also does not like to go to bed in the crate. Tonight it took me at least 10 minutes of “Quincy. Go in your room.”…pointing at the cage, and staring him down. He must be thinking “Fine.” when he goes in…defeated. LOL

    One day he won’t have to do that….when he is more adjusted and Cali goes thru all her STUFF under her loft bed….and puts up anything he might WANT.

    I am in love….PUPPY love!!!

    • says

      Thanks, Robin. It is really sad how some people treat animals. I hope your dog gets better soon. The fact that he’s eating rice is a good sign…if he can keep it down. It’s all worth the effort when everyone gets accustomed to the dog and vice-versa. Have fun with him!

  4. says

    Oh what a great story! I love that you took him in and gave him a new home. The closest I came to taking in a stray was when a dog appeared in our yard and was clearly a house pet. She was scared and definitely looking for someone to help. I was able to locate the owner and she was picked up later that morning. Turned out she was out all night and it was a miracle she didn’t get hit by a car since we live near a busy road. I think Winston was led on a path to your home!
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    • says

      Thank you, Liz. Yes, we believe he was led here, too. I’m sure the dog owner in your situation was very relieved to hear from you!

    • says

      It takes a little work (especially getting rid of the fleas and worms – blagh!), but they clean up real nice with a little time and care. I know your son would agree that’s is so worth it!

  5. Jaybird says

    Oh yes, we have been taken in by a stray several times. The next to the last one cost us a couple thousand dollars in vet bills, and ultimately we had to put him down…so….we found another one to take up the space and breath the air!!! She now rules the house and nobody better cross the line!!!!
    Ya’ just have to love them, and they love you back, overflowing and without measure!
    Blessings to you and your buddies,

    • says

      I laughed at how you said you were taken in rather than you taking in the stray. Ha! It’s odd that since I published this post, Winston has taken a turn to being more of a challenge. But, that’s the way it is until they learn our expectations. How disappointing to put so much into a dog and then to have to put him down. I’m glad you have your new ruler of the house! 🙂