Friday, 9 December 2022

Winnie Remembered


Two years ago today my Winnie died

This was her obituary which, in retrospect is something I’m really proud of writing

I’m not sad, just reflective…the old girl is worth remembering 

Winifred Sâlote Tupou lV was a diva of rare proportions.
She was a blog writer’s dream as her adventures over her seven years at Bwthyn Y Llan never ever needed embellishing.
She was truly larger than life
Larger than I ever expected from our first, rather lacklustre meeting.
The meeting was September 1st 2013
I was in the middle of organising my last open Allotment Day when she arrived with her previous owner for an introduction, so our meeting was brief and , for me somewhat disappointing.
All I remember thinking was that she was overly large, had no neck to speak of and looked frightened of everything but I agreed she could come a few days later for a trial run.
And after that, stay she did.
I think Winnie was a fully cooked five year old bulldog when she arrived and it wasn’t long before I worked out the she had her own quirky set of obsessions which proved to be somewhat of a challenge when she finally got her confidence.
She masturbated incessantly, goaded on by the Professor who thought this behaviour hilarious rather than embarrassing and the object of her desires centred upon his tastefully buffed brogues and the infamous “ Slippers of sex” which were strange hand knitted slippers designed and made by Kit, an old lady who still lives in Bron Haul......Her habit of self pollution continued until her late onset emergency hysterectomy a couple of years ago, but even then , very occasionally she would back her toilet parts seductively onto her trusty fanny flannel when having a periodic summer bath
She adored visiting Workmen of any description , though it was fairly obvious that a generic friendly masculine type with overalls was her man of choice, and I must say that she would sulk for hours if she was not allowed to watch what household job needed to be completed. I also remember, her going missing when the British Telicom men were here putting in the broadband extra line. .........I eventually found her sitting in the telicom van’s passenger seat sharing a packet of cheese and onion crisps....
Winifred was also totally obsessed with food. All food. Any food.....and I once famously brought her around after a particularly robust attack of heatstroke after dipping her nipples into a cold bath and dropping a Tesco cocktail sausage on her gums.
Her food obsession lead to a life of stealing if left unchecked and I remember the toe curling embarrassment when she raided an elderly woman’s handbag for her polo mints and the time she helped herself to a baby’s Farley’s Rusk , which she found wrapped on the lower shelf of a baby buggy parked in the Church Yard.
She adored very small children too, and given her great size remained totally in control and gentle when around them. I remember one very emotional moment, observed a couple of times on Going Gently when she suddenly found herself surrounded by a large gaggle of pre school children out for a crocodile linked walk on the Dyserth walkway one summer. I warned the supervisor that she was indeed safe and as I walked up I saw a plethora of stubby little hands rub every inch of her in wonder.....her gentleness and obvious pure pleasure of the toddlers’ attention moved me to tears as I glimpsed just for a moment her natural ability of being a mother
Of all of her fellow animals in and out of the cottage, only one became a true friend, and that friend was Albert. I have often blogged that only she, out of all of my dogs had the capacity for thought and the understanding of simple concepts.
She understood Albert, and was never fazed by cat behaviour, idiosyncrasies that were always lost by the other dogs and last night , as she lay silent and still on the kitchen floor, only Albert came to her, carefully and wide eyed, to sit between her paws , his black head rubbing hers.
Now Winnie, was also a serial sulker. I often referred to her as being a gay man in a bulldog suit as when thwarted or god forbid told off in any way she would stare carefully into the middle distance for the longest of times before flinging herself with gay abandon onto a rug or an unoccupied sofa.
The longest sulk I ever timed, lasted almost six hours....a lifetime in the dog world.
Her last half hour on earth was typically Winnie. She ate a full bowl of dog food ( garnished with several Aldi cocktail sausages) then was allowed a ten minute hysterical rubber chicken gum before settling down on the mat by the door ( instead of her usual place in the reading armchair next to the radiator )
And that was where I found her only an hour later.
Quiet and peaceful
And all on her own terms
I’m sad but not heartbroken was her time to go
And like the ideal cocktail party guest
She didn’t outstay her welcome
But I shall miss my old girl


  1. That's so beautiful and funny.

  2. And you made me fucking cry, again!

  3. Such a sad, yet beautiful, remembrance of a very special girl!

  4. Beautifully said. Winnie will always be remembered; she was a one-of-a-kind, kinda girl.

  5. Lovely, wonderful and beautiful remembrance of Winnie. Was always very happy when I saw that the mornings post was about Winnie, filled with your stories of her adventures.
    Adored her given name Winnie ( I am sure her Gud Dug name was Wondrous Happiness Princess of Shinning Star) and she was the most fun for me to draw.
    Thank You for the memories.

  6. You understand each of your animals to the last blood cell. Winnie was the gem of the lot, and didn't let her size get her down, or at least didn't believe it had when it happened.

  7. My mother-in-law was also called Winnie but as far as I know she did not require a fanny flannel and was not obsessed with Aldi cocktail sausages. My nephew's daughter is also called Winnie in memory of her great grandmother.

  8. Damselfly12:53 am

    You "paint" the loveliest scenes with words. The scene with the preschoolers and Winnie's delight with their attention made me smile. The scene with Albert brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this remembrance!

  9. Barbara Anne1:05 am

    Ah, sweet Winnie. I cannot believe it's been two y years sine she left you and us. It was nice to walk down Memory Lane with you today, John.


  10. That's a lovely eulogy to Winnie (self-pollution - haven't heard that phrase in a while lol).

  11. Aww Winnie God bless her little cotton socks...what a fabulous Eulogy. I remember it at the time. Made me tear up and chuckle at the same time. Reading about the preschoolers patting her and she being docile and loving proves what a lovely mother she would have made. Bless. Time certainly flies doesn't it!

    Jo in Auckland

  12. Two years already? It doesn't seem that long since the world was deprived of Winnie. And truly, one of the best pet obits I've ever read!

  13. My last Cat (Freddie) decided when to go. He settled down in his favourite spot, gave me a 'knowing look', and went to sleep. In the morning I found him sleeping forever peacefully. I now rather wish I'd stayed with him through the night, although I think he probably preferred to be alone.

  14. A beautiful remembrance. Animals may leave our lives but they never leave our hearts. xx

  15. She brought you such joy and fun and was a real character!

  16. Some of us - many, I don't doubt - haven't left off grieving for your (and our) loss. Such a personality she was. Sail on, you 'beautiful' lady!

  17. Winnie was certainly a character, and your Eulogy did her justice. I remember her helping the plumber as he tried to get a job done - your blog report was hilarious. You must miss her - she was unique.

  18. You were good for one another,

  19. Anonymous9:43 am

    Love memories of Winfred IV I wonder if there was a I-II or III? Like the royal family?
    Did not know the professor had a self pollution fetish! May be not too surprising he looked like the sort!
    A little rude but her fanny did make me laugh!
    Anyway you must now get on to writing your end of term paper

    xxx Vi

  20. I miss the old girl and remember laughing out loud when I read this the first time through.

  21. She certainly was one of a kind and a beauty to remember.

  22. I don't think I ever told you Winnie paid me a visit.
    I had a dream I was out walking in cold, damp, thick fog and met Winnie being walked on a leash. I have no idea if it was you walking her, it was too foggy to see that far. When we met, we stopped, and I was going to bend over to pet Winnie. Suddenly she stood up, magically big enough to put her paws on my shoulders. She stared me in the eyes and telepathically told me "tell him to Get. Me. Out. Of. This. Weather!" only not in such polite language. Then I woke up.

    And if I didn't say so back then, you wrote a lovely tribute to her.

  23. It may be nice to have a Winnie plaque installed on The Cottage xx

  24. Cathy Tully5:52 pm

    A beautiful eulogy for an amazing dog x

  25. She was adorable.


  26. What a fine tribute to a much loved and much missed dog. How I wish all our pets could go with the dignity Winnie displayed.

  27. Anonymous11:05 am

    I always loved hearing about her antics.

  28. Flipping awesome.

  29. She was a grandest of grand old ladys. xx

  30. Beautiful job on the obituary. When my cat Howard died about 20 years ago (!) I remember how healing it felt to write an obit for her. (Yes, Howard was a girl.)

    "Self pollution" is such a great phrase. LOL

  31. Anonymous5:54 pm

    I can’t believe it’s been 2 years. She was a true grand dame and I always thought she would have looked like Margaret Rutherford.

  32. What a character! Very sweet account, thank you John. I'll remember some of these things about her I'm sure.


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