Winston’s Story

by Barbara Marshall

One of the most moving stories among the bookshelf of my rescued Beardies involved Winston. I received a call about a Beardie in bad condition being kept in a basement. Linda Aronson and I were horrified when we saw poor Winston.

He had no hair from mid-tail to his shoulders. Raw, weeping sores covered his thin body. His ears were also badly infected. He had the misfortune of being designated the “worst example of a neglected and abused animal that has ever come into the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.” No one wanted to touch him (imagine that… a Beardie who lives only to be loved); the veterinarian put on gloves to examine him. To make matters worse, he had worms and a heartworm infestation.

The initial prognosis was discouraging. Amputating his ears and removing the inner ear were considered. Winston would need constant monitoring and daily baths with a special shampoo to heal the infections. Treatment could cost $2,000. His quality of life — his very life — was in jeopardy.

Donations immediately poured in. A decision was made to try topical mediction on his ears before surgery. My vet agreed to board and care for the dog. Winston was there for three weeks.

Despite his pain and neglect, Winston retained his typical sweet Beardie personality. He was a trooper, only ducking his head when someone worked on his ears. He never let anyone down, even though his owners and breeder had failed him miserably.

He has since been placed in a new home, a 38th floor apartment. He has truly gone from the depths of despair to the heights of happiness.