Winston is a rescue dog in more ways than one.
Winston is a four-year-old American Bull Dog who was rescued from a drug den by police. He was found inside a crate far too small for him, cooped up with a pregnant Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These two dogs? Frank’s parents.
Frank’s mum, Pebbles, had been used as a breeding machine – likely to make money to buy drugs. The beautiful dog was seen as nothing but a money maker, with Winston as a status dog to create large bull crossbreeds. Both dogs were saved during a house raid, and Pebbles gave birth to ten gorgeous puppies in February 2018.
The puppies and Pebbles were fostered by the incredible Emma Caskie, who has devoted her life to saving poorly and abandoned dogs. A few months later Frank, alongside his siblings Hatty, Jack, Peppa, Zeus, Archer, Poppy, Kaya, Nirvana and Pongo, were all rehomed. And Pebbles even got her happy ending and went home with one of her pups.
Winston resided at Animal Lifeline, and remained unadopted for two and a half years. I would go to visit him at the kennels and feed him treats, promising him that one day, I’d find someone to bring him home. We had even considered adopting him, but our house just wouldn’t be big enough for three. I raised money for the kennels through social media, raffles and donated food, treats and goods over Christmases – and continue to do so.
Last week, Winston finally came home, even closer to home than I could have imagined. My brother was looking for a dog and wanted to visit the kennels, so I popped along bursting with hope that Winston might have a chance of a family. Of course, the big softy won Karl over after offering his paw through the bars of the kennel, and accepting a fuss.
The following day, we were off to the pet store to pick up a dog bed, lead, treats and toys, and picked Winston up from the kennels. He jumped straight in the car – he was brilliant traveling home and sat so good in the car. In the house, Winston is my brother’s shadow – he can’t even go for a wee, or make a brew on his own anymore. The boys are well and truly besotted with each other, with Winston often jumping onto the sofa for a cuddle not quite realising his size.
And it wasn’t long before a family reunion! Winston met back up with his puppies Frank and Archer for a social walk, with Phoebe, too, of course. All four dogs got on like a house on fire, and have formed a pack that play and walk beautifully together. Winston has been accepted into our home, and Frank and Phoebe have also been invited to his for a play date. It might have taken two and a half years of hope, but Winston finally has the family and life he deserves, and is going to be one spoiled bulldog.
He might have only been with us for a week, but Winnie has already firmly made himself at home and is a big, daft bully with a heart of gold. He’s an incredibly loyal, patient dog who may be a little wary at first, but soon comes round for a belly rub. Welcome home, Winston.