You always remember your first, the pundits say. And this is very true for Winnie.
Winnie at age 14. I still have the round bed – she loved it and I cannot bear to part with it.
On this day (March 29) in 1990, 26 years ago, our wonderful Winnie was born. Registered as Lady Winifred of Simpson and earning both her AKC Canine Good Citizenship certificate and AKC Companion Dog title, she is the reason I am so involved in basset hounds to this day.
There was never a kinder basset born. Sweet, gentle, and loving are the best words to describe her. She loved all people and especially loved children. She welcomed all of the other bassets that came into our home during the 14 years of her life. Her best buddy in the world was our first rescue, Mr. Dudley. When he passed away in 1998 she was never quite the same – quieter and withdrawn as you hear can happen to old people when they lose their spouses. Winnie and Dudley were just like an old married couple.
She had many names around our house. Winnie. Weiner. Babbo. Winifred. Weens. She answered to them all cheerfully, especially if calling her was accompanied by the tossing of a dog biscuit. My daily driver has for the last 15 years had the vanity license plate WNNIE.
In 1992 I took Winnie and our new (at that time) rescue Dudley to a beginner obedience class at the Parsons Barn in Boxborough, Massachusetts. At the end of that 8 week class Winnie earned her CGC certificate and Ginnie Parsons said to me, “You know, you could put a CD on that dog”. I answered “What’s a CD” and the rest, my friends, is history.
We have had more famous dogs in our house – a multiple Best in Show winner. Specialty winners. Agility title holders. Multiple obedience and rally title holders. Dogs that have traveled the country and even overseas. We have had crazier, more energetic and probably more intelligent and trainable dogs in our lives. But none will ever take up that special place in my heart.
She was my first, and you never forget or replace your first. Sleep well, big girl. Even though you’ve been gone for almost 12 years I think of you every day.
See you at The Bridge.