Thank You, Sweet Winston

One of the saddest things about Winston was that he suffered, mostly likely for years, from severe Spondylosis (degeneration of the spinal column). Most of the discs, from his neck down to the top of his tail, had ruptured at some point in this life, and he even endured a break in the spine. Judging by Winston’s physical condition when he arrived at the shelter in Chicago, he likely never received proper medical care. Not only did Winston have structural issues, he had other serious health concerns as well, but the spinal pain caused him the most distress.

In the few weeks that Winston was in my life he saw 3 wonderful veterinarians, including an internal medicine specialist. They all worked hard to make sure Winston was comfortable. His pain was being managed by regular injections of Adaquan, plus he was given Gabapentin twice daily, among other things. He was feeling good, devouring his food, wagging his tail and he enjoyed exploring outdoors. Winston felt safe and loved.

In was in the last 24 hours of his life that Winston declined rapidly; a stoke, two seizures and then the spinal pain worsened.

When Winston was euthanized, he lay in my arms while my husband rubbed his soft ears. As terribly sad as it was, it was also very peaceful and I could feel Winston’s relief spread throughout my body. He truly went to a better place – I knew it instantly.

I’ve been told that Winston was meant to make his way to me before he passed away. I didn’t understand that at first, but now I do. He came to help me, and I’m very grateful I was able to help him.

“Thank you sweet boy. You were so very brave and you taught me so much.” -Mom (Rudi)

This was Winston's typical body position when he walked.

Winston’s story:

Introducing Winston 9/18/16

Winston’s Freedom Flight 9/20/16

Welcome Winston 9/27/16

We’ll Miss You Forever, Winston 10/13/16













  1. Im crying tears for him for all those years he was left to suffer and tears of joy for the weeks he felt love and compassion from you and Dan. God speed little Winston😇

  2. Bless your hearts, Rudi and Dan, for giving all your love to these precious dogs. I’m so glad little Winston found his way to you. Rest In Peace, Angel Winston, for you have surely earned your wings.

  3. I was heartbroken to hear Winston passed. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for him. I never met him but he was in my heart. I’m glad he knew love and tenderness in his last few weeks. 💗

  4. Although Winston had many health issues, he hung on so he could make a temporary home with the Taylor’s. It was meant to be!! To be part of a loving family, if for it to be only a few weeks. Winston knew he had the best parents a dog could wish for. He’s at peace now. Thank you for loving him. 😢❤❤❤

  5. It breaks my heart that little Winston did not have a loving home until you got him. Thanks for the love and care. He deserved a wonderful life.
    So wish it could have been for a longer time.
    Why is life so hard for these precious little ones?

  6. Thank you for taking care of Winston. He looks like such a sweet dog. My heart aches when i read these stories.

    It’s hard for most people to understand that all animals have emotions and feelings and hurt and pain. The meat industry is so very cruel as to how they raise the animals for human consumption. Studies show that pigs are more intelligent than cats and dogs. We need to be the voice for animals. I constantly sign petitions to close down puppy mills and pray that one day they will only be something from the past. The meat industry kill and do things to these animals that is horrific.

  7. I was so happy that Winston found a loving and caring home after many years of suffering. I am saddened that his life before you and Dan was obviously horrendous and yet so happy he knew what true love was before his passing. Thank you both for all you do and God bless.

  8. It makes me so sad what Winston went through, but we know he is with Harley and able to run and play now with no pain. And you made the last of his life much better. Thank you for what you did. Thank you for sharing the lives of these special angels with us all.

  9. Yet again you have affected me with your enduring love and what you do for these puppy mill dogs:)))) your an angel and Harley knew it and now Winston knows it!
    Shed many tears over this post xoxo

  10. My heart breaks reading Winston’s story. Thank you for making his last days happy ones. You are a truly special lady.❤️🐾
    Winston and Harley live forever in my heart.

  11. Our hearts broke when we learned Winston had gone to the bridge. RIP no more pain.

  12. it was very sad when Winston passed – we hardly had time to know him – but he had a loving home and someone to care when he left

  13. I’m so sorry.  You give these sweet pups a life where they finally feel loved, safe, compassion, family, a home. God Bless you, Rudi and Dan. God Speed, sweet Winston.  He’s running free and seeing everything clearly with Harley.

  14. So glad Winston found you and had at least a little time feeling love and safe without pain… Thank you for all you do!!! I know Harley was there to comfort all of you as Winston crossed that Rainbow Bridge!! Xoxoxo….

  15. Run along, Winston <3 <3 <3 Harley and Gwinnie are waiting for you <3 <3 <3 Thank you, Rudi and Dan, for all the love <3 <3 <3

  16. So sad this sweet face is gone forever. So thankful this baby got a taste of love and home before he passed.

  17. Thank you for your love and care for Winston.So glad you had each other in his final days… He knew he was loved. Lorrie

  18. Winston knew two weeks of love and safety…when it was time you held him and helped him cross the bridge..he wasn’t afraid or alone. Those are the things he took with him…… Bless you for giving him that.

  19. My heart just breaks that he didn’t have more time in a happy life. Thank you for what you gave him.

  20. Love was shown to you and you where able to leave this world behind you in peace.

  21. Not only does my heart break but it suffers so much pain! Winston can’t thank you enough for all the love you and Dan have given him. RIP little guy……..Harley is waiting for you. 🙁

  22. Rudi and Dan , I knew from following you on FB and meeting you last year that you two were awesome. I just didn’t realize how incredibly awesome until now. I’m so so sorry about poor little Winston , but I am sure that Harley met him and has been showing all the most fun places in the bridge. God bless you two. And I am still wearing my Harley shirts and have been able to educate many people and steer them toward your page for more info .

  23. Thank you for loving Winston and bringing him to Freedom and letting him smell and feel the fresh air!! It’s amazing how much he resembled Harley, as does Fernando. I Love them all and loved Winston from the moment He was being delivered via the plane trips!! My love to you Rudi and Dan for all you do for your rescue dogs!! You are two very special people… <3 <3

  24. Bless u and sweet Winston ❤️🐾RIP sweet sweet baby … u were loved❌🙏🏻⭕️

  25. Your efforts are everything that is right and good in a selfish and careless world. Thank you for being such good stewards to these precious dogs.

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