Here’s my guy, Winnie, also known as Winnie the Wonderdog and Winnie the Pooh and my sixth child..

He really is kind of a Winston.

We adopted Winnie four years ago when my oldest son was thirteen.  He begged and begged for a dog. I had never had a dog, so I wasn’t completely opposed to the idea.  My husband had grown up with a few very special family dogs. He loves dogs but he was well aware of the commitment that we’d be making. I really didn’t get it.  One day when Will asked me for the 557th time if he could put an ad on Craigslist I was in the middle of something and said “okay”…

The ad read:

“Family looking for a hypoallergenic dog who wouldn’t mind living with five kids, two cats, a bunny, two parakeets, and a flock of chickens”.

In my mind, this seemed very safe. What was the chance of someone answering this ad?  Of course, I was proven wrong. A very nice lady answered almost immediately. Her family had a four year old cock-a-poo that needed a home. Her sons were away at college, she worked all day, and her husband had some health concerns, making daytime walks very difficult. Would we want to meet Winnie?  We researched the breed and talked with Michael. Of course the kids were thrilled, especially after they saw his photo. Michael and I agreed to go by ourselves to meet Winnie on a Saturday. I remember that first meeting well. We rang the doorbell and immediately heard a very deep, loud bark. I looked at Michael with a raised eyebrow and said “I don’t know about this”… but we went in and had a visit. The visit turned into a walk around the block, the walk around the block turned into a weekend visit at our house and the weekend visit never ended. He stayed, and we’ve never looked back. Winnie became the center of our family.

The mix of poodle and cocker spaniel really works. He is cute and cuddly and very, very  intelligent. He’s eight now so he’s a little more relaxed than when he first arrived. One of the things that amazes me the most is that he never lived with children and had very limited exposure to them yet he has adapted remarkably well.  He’s great with kids and extremely tolerant of anything that comes his way.

Things like this

and this

oh wait, that’s Maddie, the cat. She’s his nemisis.  She eats his food and he just deals with it. He hadn’t had experience with cats either. Maddie is in charge. She jumps out at him when he walks by. Poor Winnie, I don’t know how he does it sometimes.

But, he does. He loves us all unconditionally.  He guards the front door with his life.. it’s his job!

Winnie needs lots of love, care and exercise. He gets that with us!

He brings us together, helps us to work together and entertains us daily.

Everyone should fall in love with a dog at least once. I’m so glad we did!