Thinking of Winston

Love at first sight!

Love at first sight!

I’ve been putting off writing this piece for some time now because frankly my heart is still broken. I have experienced pain and loss in unimaginable ways before but the tragic event that happened over the holidays takes the cake when it comes to heartache in my life. I travelled home for the holidays with a friend and our two dogs. Winston is my dog – a sharpie beagle with a huge heart, a goofy smile, and a personality like no other.  He could light up a room with his wrinkly face and innocent eyes.  He was my best friend. Although he was huge scaredy cat, he had a bark that could fend off even the the toughest of tough. He was my baby, my child, and the love of my life. I remember going to pick Winston up. We travelled 2 hours outside of Toronto to a place called Monkton, ON. I was originally slated to pick up his brother but the small runt nestled his head into my shoulder and it was game over. After three ruined leather couches, a pair of expensive designer shoes, and a some clothes he thought he would take a chew at, he would become the man of my life. I wouldn’t change any of it.

I think you can assume by my heart full banter what would happen next. Two days after I arrived home in New Brunswick, my father had Winston in an area called the Kingston Peninsula. It is an area where many come to cottage during the summer. It calls the Kennebecasis River home and is heavily covered in baron forest.  My dad thought it would be the perfect spot for Win to take a run and stretch his legs after a 16-hour drive home. Win followed my dad up to my uncle’s house and then bolted never to be seen again. He called me after frantically looking for him and told me to get to the Peninsula as soon as I could. My poor father has been devastated over this whole situation and I in no way blame him for what has happened. It was a freak accident and there is no other way to put it.

That phone call would change my life forever. I searched for Winston for 10 days straight. I dredged through back woods, knocked on doors, contacted pet mediums, put together mass search parties, left urine scent trails, walked on thin ice, and screamed until I could scream no more. If I could give my sweet baby anything it would be a fair chance at him being found.  The weather was not on our side. New Brunswick received one of the worst ice storms the province had ever had knocking out power to virtually every house in the area. Some people were without power for 8-9 days. Nonetheless, I still found myself driving through the icy back roads calling out Winston’s name. There are some hypothesis that maybe he ran towards the lights which would send him into the freezing river waters. At least this death would be instantaneous. Others predict someone has him and have ignored my plea on his collar to have him back. Nonetheless, my still windburn face is atrue testament to how much I loved that dog and would do virtually anything to have him back.

Everyone knows about the famous Winston. Overnight the story became viral with thousands of online shares and word of mouth. His picture appears on so many random Facebook walls with my plea to have my baby boy back.

Winston took off on Dec 19th – a date that will forever be burned in the back of my mind. I fear the worst since it has been so long but everyday I find a tiny bit of hope that he is still out there…somewhere. Just maybe he found a barn to hold up in and is getting food from some old lady in the back woods with no phone. It is a long shot but if that is what gets me through the day then so be it.


One of the many happy days

One of the many happy days

Through tragedy comes clarity

If Win is in fact gone, he did not go in vain. He completely renewed my faith in humanity. I had so many people help me during my time of need. People who I didn’t know and have never met took a chance and battled the icy back roads to look for my dog. An old friend of my late mother took to the internet in a fight to get him back. I ended up running into her in a secluded back road – we were both yelling for Winston. A touching moment indeed when I sobbed on her shoulder for a good minute. She is an angel and I believe my mom sent her to help me during this tough time. A very good friend and my father headed out on thin ice on their snowmobiles to search a secluded island – putting their lives at risk. This would be the same island that 8 individuals from the volunteer Kingston Fire Department would venture to – again on thin ice.  A man called and offered us his plane to do an aerial search. We were unable to go due to weather conditions.

A friend of mine called me everyday and still remains on the search for Win. She picked me up and took me for one last good look. This must’ve been heartbreaking for her as well seeing she has her own fur baby at home. She is the one who still gives me hope. Another friend of mine has offered and continues to offer support everyday whether it was a long drive to talk about the situation or a shoulder to cry on. People care and that is an amazing thing to realize at the end of the day. So many friends and family came out to help me find Winston. If he were to be found, he would’ve been found. My aunt even fell though the ice looking for him.

NB Ice Storm

NB Ice Storm

The Clarity Part
I found myself in zombie mode for much of the holidays. I would stop and stare at the wall for hours. I wouldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and there was actually a time where I would sob and no tears were left to release. My heart was/ is broken. If you could ask me what my worst nightmare would be, it would be losing my 3 year old pup.

You’re probably thinking how could any good come out of such a tragedy. This whole traumatic experience opened up my eyes. I started to think of the important things are in life. I started to think about the people who matter to me the most and question the path I’m currently on living in Toronto. Winston gave me clarity through losing him and that is a gift no one can ever take away.

Coming Home
The drive home back to Toronto without him was tough. Many tears were shed and it really continues to come in waves. Every time I think about him I feel happy which is immediately followed by extreme sadness. I know the heart takes time to heal and the day that I can remember him and not feel sad or mad that this happened afterwards will be a good day. Winston was with me for the entire 3 years I have lived in Toronto. He has been the one who has been with me through thick and thin. To not have that in my life anymore kills me everyday.

I will forever remember Winston as the happy puppy who made my life significantly better even if for only 3 short years. He would turn heads with his sweet wrinkles and cute jowls. He will always be my baby and wherever he is I think he knows that. It’s hard to believe the attachment one can form with a pet. The bond between Win and I was special and when he left, a small piece of my heart left with him. I love you Winston. I will always love you. Everyday that goes by, I still think of you and I miss you. Thank you for being my best friend, my companion, and for being so damn cute. You changed my life in so many ways through living and your absence. Momma loves her bubba forever and always.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me and continues to help me throughout this tough time. You are all wonderful people and your support  means more to me than you will ever know. If karma truly exists than there are a lot of good things in store for you. You have have changed my life for the better.

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93 Responses to “Thinking of Winston”

  1. Im so sorry erin and I completely understand the love you have for a pet. Sorry for your loss. Hope you feel better in time. Sally

    Posted by sally | January 8, 2014, 3:54 pm
    • Reading your story brought to mind many instances/ miracles that involve lost pets. One in particular is The movie “8 below” that was based on a true story of dogs that were left for months in the arctic without food or shelter and surviving!!!. I hope someone has found him, not everyone has access to social media, and yes maybe its an elderly person who is loving him right now. I live across the river from the Kingston Peninsula, and will be keeping an eye out for him. My thoughts are with you. I’ll keep sharing on facebook too! take care! Nancy

      Posted by Nancy | January 8, 2014, 8:20 pm
    • I have been sharing your story since it has came out. I am so sorry this has happened to you and Winston. 🙁 I live in Moncton NB with lots of friends and family in Saint John. You were a great Mommy to Winston, I can tell <3

      Posted by Tammy | January 11, 2014, 5:25 am
  2. I hope your pup is still hanging on and will be found! I have two dogs, and could not imagine the pain you are feeling! You and Winston are in my prayers!

    Posted by Michelle Cole | January 8, 2014, 4:25 pm
  3. I so hope that Winston can still be found. I have heard of miracles before for finding animals. If you don’t mind me saying, I pray to St. Francis and St. Anne for the return of lost pets and Winston is right up there at the top. It broke my heart to read what you wrote and I only hope that time, if Winston were to never return, would ease your pain. Susan Wall

    Posted by Susan Wall | January 8, 2014, 4:26 pm
  4. Erin, I have no words. I’m so incredibly sorry. I’m a doggie owner too and right now I’m crying. I wish I could have helped in some way.
    I, have no words.
    I’m sorry.

    Posted by ChristinePantazisDotCom | January 8, 2014, 4:47 pm
  5. so sorry for your loss.Your story has touched my heart and hearts of many here in New Brunswick..i have 3 fur babies and don’t know what I would do if anything happened to any of them…they are my children. I hope Wintson is found. God Bless….Thea (Saint John NB)

    Posted by Thea | January 8, 2014, 4:50 pm
  6. My heart is broken for you as I read this…my fur baby is curled up beside lovers know losing one of our babies is the most heart wrenching thing that could happen to us , I still keep praying Winston will be found..God bless you Erin, you and Winston are in many thoughts and prayers here in NB .

    Posted by marlene wirtanen | January 8, 2014, 4:55 pm
  7. Erin, my heart breaks for you! Our family has been following your story and we have looked and called for Winston every time we were out over the past few weeks. We live in Summerville and are still hoping and praying he’s found and you two are reunited. I know the heartache of losing a beloved dog and having pets go missing. It’s a terrible place to be and I’m so very sorry you’re going through this. Sending you lots of love during this time.

    Posted by Amy | January 8, 2014, 4:59 pm
  8. Hi,

    I know this is a long shot, but this story kills me. I’m so sorry to hear! I live on Model Farm road, which is directly across from the Kinston Penninsula. Last night I went to let my dog out and heard something outside. It was a dog, but we spooked it, and it ran away. To me it looked darker than Winston, but it was dark out at the time. If I were to guess, it looked more like a Rottweiler, but I only got a quick glance. The reason I assume it was a dog was because of the quick glance I got and the chains I heard jingling. I will be sure to keep my eyes peeled. Please email me with your contact info. in the event he comes up again.

    Posted by Mark McColgan | January 8, 2014, 5:05 pm
  9. I hope beyond words that Winston comes home to you very soon! I know I’ll be keeping my eyes open here in NB!

    Posted by Karlene | January 8, 2014, 5:08 pm
  10. Wow, that was a great tribute to your “Best Friend Winston”! So Very Sorry you have not found him YET! Keep the faith for his return, but also, keep your heart open to be able to love another Winston if you have to. I know this is very hard to hear, at this time, but Time Does Heal and you will remember and treasure all the Happy Times.

    Posted by Sandra McCann | January 8, 2014, 5:14 pm
  11. Oh dear God, I am crying reading this. I am so very sorry for you and for Winston. Hopefully he is in a nice, warm home with someone who doesn’t have facebook or electronic messaging of any sort. Maybe he’s sitting by their wood stove nice and warm and missing his momma too. I pray you are reunited. I see you love your dog as much as I love my Evie. I will hope and pray to run across Winston or bump into someone who has newly acquired this beauty and has no idea the huge search effort put on for him. I have to have hope that you two will be together again. So sorry, Patty Borthwick, Lake Utopia, NB

    Posted by Patty Borthwick | January 8, 2014, 5:39 pm
  12. That was very nice to read. Hope your heart heals soon xx

    Posted by Kirsten | January 8, 2014, 5:43 pm
  13. After reading this, I’m a mess. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I wanted so badly for you to find him. I also have a dog that is not just a dog, but a member of my family. I live in Saint John and have been following this story. I will continue to pray for a miracle. 🙁

    Posted by Vanessa Taylor | January 8, 2014, 5:45 pm
  14. It was a very emotional read; But worth it. Winston has now touched a part of many people’s hearts. Every dog should experience this much love 🙂

    Posted by Theboathousestudio Jewelry-Art | January 8, 2014, 6:10 pm
  15. Beautiful piece about a beautiful relationship. I’ve had a similar bond and was in tears reading your words. Thanks so much for sharing, and I love what you have been able to gain in this chaotic time.

    I actually live on the Kingston Peninsula and look for Winston every time I head out. Please know that I will continue to do that. Take care and keep faith for his return!

    Posted by Jenn | January 8, 2014, 6:24 pm
  16. This breaks my heart. I have a Beagle whom I adore, and I cannot imagine going through this. Reading this brought tears to my eyes, and I immediately hugged my pooch. You mentioned Winston was your baby. I have a 7-week old baby, and my dog is no less important to me than he is. They are true life companions, and losing a pet is as devastating as losing a child. I hope someone has him, and by some miracle has yet to see the search ads for him- don’t lose hope- you just never know!

    Posted by Colleen | January 8, 2014, 6:28 pm
  17. I know of a case of a small pug being lost a couple of years ago, for over 2 months during the winter, and he was found along the side of a road, in the Westfield area, never found out where he was during this time, so miracles do exist.

    Posted by Heather | January 8, 2014, 6:40 pm
  18. I know how you feel, I had a cat (Zackary) who was my baby. He met me at he door when I came home from work everyday and went to bed with me every night. This one summer night I came home and he was no were to be found, which was really weird. I search the neighbourhood for weeks and went to the SPCA weekly. I never did find him. my heart was broken, and I have never had a cat like him since. Have faith and be strong. Sending many prayers to you and Winston.

    Posted by Christina Marr | January 8, 2014, 6:44 pm
  19. Erin..your story has touched many here in Saint John and surrounding areas. I don’t think people will ever stop ‘looking’ for handsome Winston! I still see his face daily on my newsfeed from locals who are still praying he’s found and returned to you. To quote Kristen ‘Hope your heart heals soon’ but, never lose hope. We had a story in the fall about a missing cat who went on an 8 month long adventure (most being through the winter) and walked from her new home in Red Head to her old home in Lorneville. Beautiful mysteries happen. Love, pet lovers in SJ ♥

    Posted by Tina | January 8, 2014, 6:49 pm
  20. Heartbroken for you. I can’t imagine your pain. Will send positive thoughts out into the world that he’s on a grand adventure and that he will make it back to you. My dog is my life – he’s our best friend in the world. There’s no love like it really. Hoping that you get your Winston back.

    Posted by Kate | January 8, 2014, 6:53 pm
  21. My heart breaks for you dear. Prayers for you and Winston.

    Posted by Barbara Ivey | January 8, 2014, 6:58 pm
  22. This completely breaks my heart. I hope that Winston will someday return home safely. Until then we will continuously keep our events open for him.

    Posted by Shannon Martin | January 8, 2014, 7:31 pm
  23. Awww, Erin, since you posted Winston was missing everyone in Saint John and beyond has been looking and hoping he would be found. His story has been shared on every site where he might have been seen by someone. I know the horrible weather hampered the search but as you heard, that didn’t stop some people. It’s the way it is here, we have a very strong animal community and pull together so well. We will never stop looking for Winston and perhaps a miracle will happen….it has before! So hoping we can give you one

    Posted by Ellen | January 8, 2014, 7:34 pm
  24. This story breaks my heart. I am from Saint John was coming back to visit over the holidays too, and was supposed to be going to a family reunion on the Kingston Penisula on Boxing day, due to the power outage it was moved to the city at another family members house. I was going to go out looking for your precious baby, as I too have a dog that I rescued from Georgia who looks so much like your Winston. He brings me such joy and everytime I look at him I think of your Winston. I hope you can find closure.

    Posted by susan | January 8, 2014, 7:54 pm
  25. I’m soooo sorry for your lost!! My heart is broken for you,I have lost a pet too and I will tell you it is not easy and will take a long time to heal well no it really never heals but you become at piece with it. I really hope Winston is found. Miracles happen everyday, you hear about unbelieveable stories of survial with animals and people all the time. I hope you miracle happens for you soon!!

    Posted by melissa Isfeld | January 8, 2014, 8:08 pm
  26. So sorry that Winston has not been found.
    I do know how you feel as my pet Hallie Cats went missing in late August but I too hold out hope that someone has taken him in and maybe someday we may be reunited.
    Like all the other missing pets I see posted, I will keep my eye open for yours.
    Hope for the best.

    Posted by Robert Bosworth | January 8, 2014, 8:40 pm
  27. My Heart goes out to you, I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. I truly hope someone has him and maybe they don’t have social media…They are our children and I pray yours is returned to you safe and sound. Rest knowing how much he adored you, and you gave all your love a mother could give 😉 I will do my part and watch for your Winston!~Stay Strong

    Posted by | January 8, 2014, 8:42 pm
  28. OMG, Im literaly balling my eyes out at work after reading your letter. I have shared your pic many times in hopes you find your best friend. I will always keep my eyes and ears open and pray for his safe return. I can only imagine how you must feel right now as I love my Chelsea like no other. I know how it feels to have such a strong bond with your pet. My prayers are with you and Winston. You know sometimes Miracles do happen, lets hope one comes your way…Winston you are always in my prayers sweet baby…Vicki from N.B

    Posted by vicki Beechin | January 8, 2014, 8:43 pm
  29. I am sooo sorry about Winston. I shared the post about him missing, but keep the faith, pls. I work at UP 93.1 in Fredericton and tomorrow we will have the story of Sophie, a dog from Minto who went missing on Boxing Day–she was found Wednesday, after missing for 12 days and she is fine. Just wanted you to know, Winston may still be safe

    Posted by Leesa Steeves | January 8, 2014, 8:48 pm

    Posted by MJ HAstings | January 8, 2014, 8:49 pm
  31. I’ve seen this come up many, many times on my facebook feed (I’m from NB but also live in Toronto)… my heart aches for you. I hope you and Winston find eachother, don’t lose hope- and in the meantime keep those precious 3 years worth of memories alive. Beautiful dog. xo

    Posted by Natalie A. | January 8, 2014, 9:12 pm
  32. So sorry this happened to you and Winston. Over the holidays all I could think about were him and that little boxer puppy Otis….both missing. About 20 years ago I too drove home from Toronto with my beloved dog Tanner. Who also went missing. It is terrible not knowing or wondering if they are suffering somewhere. There were tire tracks at the end of my parents driveway so I fully believe he was taken. All I could hope is that they treated him well. I pray that someone has Winston and he will be returned to you. To give you a little hope I have a lost kitty story. My very small cat Lucy climbed out the window and went missing. I searched everywhere. Put signs everywhere. Weeks went by and we assumed coyotes or something got her(we lived in the country). Six weeks later my husband called me at work. Said he heard a commotion. Went to check it out and found that our barn cat had chased another cat up a tree. He thought it was Lucy. He wasn’t sure…she had lost so much weight. So he drove her the 20 minutes to my work…and sure enough it was her! A small little kitty that had never been outside survived 6 weeks in the wilderness. Not only survived but somehow found her way home. Praying for Winston’s safe return.

    Posted by Cheryl Geldart Greer | January 8, 2014, 9:35 pm
  33. Do you sometimes call him Win or Winnie? Just hoping that I will see him and know how to call him to get him to come to me…

    Posted by Patty | January 8, 2014, 9:38 pm
  34. Erin, I am so sorry. Your story is so touching. We have a family dog and i can not imagine life with out her. I totally feel for you. I will send this link to my uncle who lives in Belisle. He is a huge dog lover and will definitely keep an eye out for Winston.

    Sending positive vibes your way. Stay strong

    Posted by Meaghan Wood | January 8, 2014, 9:59 pm
  35. I am so sorry you didn’t find your dog 🙁 What a shame and so heartbreaking 🙁 Don’t lose hope ♥ My friends furkitty was missing for a month ;she searched high and low all night all day everyday; and it had been found on the other side of town ♥ So we here in Saint John New Brunswick will share Winstons picture everyday ( I will) and keep you in Our Prayers ♥

    Posted by Debbie | January 8, 2014, 10:02 pm
  36. I have watched your nightmare unfold on Facebook, our household has had many sad discussions of your heartbreaking loss, please know that all of Saint John and surrounding areas will still have a watchful eye out for your beloved pup. Hope & Faith are powerful emotions please let them guide you through this rollercoaster of an experience. Keep your memories close to your heart a pet is a family member and your memories are special and forever!! Best of luck, here’s praying he is safe and will be found. The Short’s

    Posted by The Short's | January 8, 2014, 10:17 pm
  37. I know it is a repeated sentiment, but I am so sorry for your loss. I know how bad it feels to lose a pet and not have closure on their fate. I would not wish that on anyone. I pray that there is that miracle ending, and Winston is found, and returned to you.

    Posted by Darren S. Drew | January 8, 2014, 10:18 pm
  38. I know your aunt Lori and Katelyn very well. Maybe someone who doesn’t use the internet has taken him in. The not knowing must be killing you. I will say a prayer for you and hopes that he will still be found. My step daughter and boyfriend had seen him on Christmas eve and called to let you know. Huge hu

    Posted by Michelle Carroll | January 8, 2014, 10:24 pm
  39. Don’t give up on him, I think he’s with someone who probably doesn’t even know you’re looking for him, could be an elderly couple without Facebook. I’m praying for him and his safe return.

    Posted by Jean Bolduc | January 8, 2014, 10:57 pm
  40. Erin, thank you for taking the time to write about your story. I am heartbroken for your loss; my eyes teared up reading about the message of how this has impacted your life – both in its sorrow and hope. Thank you for sharing. I thought of Winston many times and shared his picture on facebook. You will both be in my thoughts – I know if I am in that area, it is him I will be looking for.

    Posted by Christina | January 8, 2014, 11:00 pm
  41. Praying you find Winston. My pup was very sick once and needed $800 surgery and we weren’t sure she would live but she did and my sweet Bella is now 3. I never let mine out not on a leash. There are lots of stories of dogs who travelled thousands of miles and found their way home, so maybe someone with find him.

    Posted by Paula Byler | January 8, 2014, 11:11 pm
  42. I live in Summerville, on the Kingston Peninsula, and as soon as the dog’s picture was posted the locals set their sights on finding him. Winston was the talk of the Peninsula and many of us took drives in the storms to bring your baby home. I am very sorry he wasn’t found. Please take care.

    Posted by Annie Reinhart | January 8, 2014, 11:25 pm
  43. Erin, my heart goes out to you. Anyone that has a fur baby knows how much we love them. I lost 3 of my fur babies and my heart was and still is broken. They bring you so much joy to us. Their love is unconditional. I pray Winston finds his way back to you.

    Posted by Janette | January 8, 2014, 11:38 pm
  44. Erin, wi feel so very sad for you!! I often found myself yelling Winston’
    name numerous times, I also am a dog owner/lover. The night
    I heard of this sad news I couldn’t sleep, just seeing how little
    Of a fur he has, I to live in the Kingston area, I will be on the
    lookout for him always & at the beaches this summer. I also think
    & hope that someone has taken the handsome little guy, but
    So help me god, if I find him, I will kidnap him back for you.
    I’ll keep your phone# handy, hopefully I will find him for you.
    God bless, you & Winston we constantly in my thoughts, xox

    Posted by Colette | January 8, 2014, 11:41 pm
  45. Keep trying Erin. That’s a strange piece of land, with very honest and nice people, but a little disconnected, despite the storm. Someone likely has him but doesn’t know whom to return your boy too. I hope you get that call. Regards -Ray Alder, Perry McCullum, Saint john.

    Posted by Ray Alder | January 8, 2014, 11:47 pm
  46. We feel so sorry !! Have posted it several times on our page . Don’t give up hope , you never know maybe somewhere someone has taken him in ., We will all keep our eyes out for him !

    Posted by glenys pearson | January 8, 2014, 11:53 pm
  47. I too, as many others have done, “shared” Winston’s story….hoping and praying he would be found and back in your arms! I too am a dog owner and I too have experienced the overwhelming loss of a pet (old age). This situation of course is even that more difficult and my heart goes out to you. Miracles due happen and I will continue to pray that you get yours

    Posted by Wendy | January 8, 2014, 11:59 pm
  48. Never give up…he’s out there somewhere. We will find him 🙂

    Posted by Carrie Handrahan - Tracy, NB | January 9, 2014, 12:10 am
  49. so very sorry.miracles do happen though. keep the faith and your heart open.

    Posted by clare | January 9, 2014, 12:10 am
  50. I truly feel heart broken after reading this. Tears have rolled down my face for you. I can only hope that someday Winston will find his way back to you and if that miracle does not occur I’m grateful you got the 3 beautiful years you had with him. I understand when you say he was your child , I feel the same way about my baby boy. I only hope you find peace some day Erin.. He is a beautiful boy! I’m sure he loved you just as much as you loved him. . Xo

    Posted by Michelle | January 9, 2014, 12:17 am
  51. I am truely saddened for you and feel your pain. Sharpies are special and loyal… I’m actually in hampton nb and promise I’ll never forget that face and if he ever shows up my way I will make sure he makes it home!! Xoxo

    Posted by Stacy | January 9, 2014, 12:22 am
  52. I pray and hope that the dog that was seen is your baby boy. I lost my best friend in september due to illness and my heart still aches for my Riley jojo! I found him as a baby someone tossed in the trash and was told he would not make it threw the first night then now 11 years later I feel as if I lost my child. I will pray for you everyday that your baby boy is found! Reading what you have written make cry because I see and read you feel like I do. There is a video about rainbow bridge on you tube called Think of me and smile although it made me cry it helped! All my love to you and this week on my 4 days off I will go out to look for him some more. I cannot get my baby back but if I can help someone else get their baby back and not feel this way I will do anything in my power.

    Posted by Mj | January 9, 2014, 12:30 am
  53. I heart ached for both you and winston as I shared your posting each day for over a week.I still pray that he just crossed the ice and is in westfeild or further, in some home, and the people just have not seen the adds. I truly hope a miracle comes out of this, My girl has been with me for 8yrs now and she has been my life so I know what you are going through. I cred just thinking the day will soon come that I have to let her go. Still hopeful from Kingston nb.

    Posted by Tabatha | January 9, 2014, 12:42 am
  54. This was heartbreaking to read. I saw you the day your dad was on k island calling for Winston and my heart broke for you. Every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night I checked for updates praying he had been found. Xmas eve day I distributed flyers in people’s mailboxes in case there was someone unaware that he had people looking for him. This dog was obviously the world to you and I hope you have some comfort knowing you did everything humanly possible to bring him home. I know the pain of loosing a dog tragically and I wouldn’t wish the pain on anyone. I still pray for a different ending to this tragic story. I hope you find peace and some day a new furry little face to love. Time with our fur babies is always too short, but the love they provide is forever.

    Posted by Tiffany Mutch | January 9, 2014, 1:02 am
  55. I had a hard time reading this with the lump in my throat and the tears flowing. Erin I would feel the same and you put it into words beautifully! Winston’s one lucky dog to have such a loving and caring owner! I’m still hoping for his safe return! God bless you!xoxo

    Posted by Gina Kramer | January 9, 2014, 1:14 am
  56. Erin, I do not have a dog, but your Winston was beautiful. Maybe some kind soul does have him and will bring him back, but if he is an angel, he looking out for you. I lost my cat this year. We had him for 12 years and we were devestated. He was the king of the household. He will be forever in our hearts just as Winston will be in yours. Remember the good times you had with Winston.

    Posted by Greta Richard | January 9, 2014, 1:40 am
  57. Losing one of my dogs is truly my worst nightmare. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Please know that I’m sending out positive vibes for you and Winston, and pray someday soon you’ll be reunited.

    Posted by Megan in Calgary | January 9, 2014, 1:55 am
  58. My heart goes out to you, your family and Winston! My 8 year old daughter is an extreme animal lover and she cries harder and gets more emotional when something happens to our pup then anything else. Our pup has always been a flight risk and she tells everyone when they come into our house so they don’t let him out, her love is so strong for him. Your love for Winston is truly a blessing and I can only send my hope a blessing will bring him back to you. xoxo

    Posted by Trish | January 9, 2014, 1:56 am
  59. Hello Erin, I too share in heartbreak over the loss of my dog Sparky, a jack Russell who went out to pee and never returned back home all of this one week before Christmas. I still hold hope that you find your baby Winston. I still hold hope that we both may find the truth about what has happened to our babies. It was a most difficult Christmas and I too tried everything possible to find him. I just want you to know you are not alone in enduring a very personal pain and loss and it led me to reply to your article. So sorry and let us hope for one another that we are reunited with our BFF.

    Posted by Roxanne | January 9, 2014, 1:58 am
  60. Erin….my heart breaks alongside yours. My dog Cooper went missing 16Dec2012. A gorgeous five year old Boston terrier. I am so in love with him. He has been missing for over a year. I still hope to find him somehow. I too experienced the kindness of perfect strangers in my search. Don’t give up hope. Its a strange balance of hope and grief. …. I hope your Winston is found. If the worst has happened…..I hope our babies meet up and share stories of you and I and how much we miss them. ♥♥ from one broken heart to another… Jenn

    Posted by Jennifer | January 9, 2014, 1:59 am
  61. Well said sweetheart! You have so many family and friends that love you and are all here for you in this very difficult time. I know how much Winston meant to you hun and I feel so sad for your loss. Lots of hugs and love huney! xoxoxo

    Posted by Cheryl | January 9, 2014, 2:26 am
  62. I wasn’t certain I wanted to read this article as I knew it would be sad. I’m so sorry that you lost your Win. I hope and pray that he was found by someone and that the only reason they have not responded is because they are not on social media. Pets are like our children and I know this is a very difficult time for you. God Bless you.

    Posted by Wanda Ball | January 9, 2014, 2:38 am
  63. Did you try putting up posters in the local stores in the area?

    Posted by Wanda Ball | January 9, 2014, 2:39 am
  64. Losing a dog is just like losing a member of your family and it is a heartbreaking experience. I also know what it is like to lose a dog…. not just one, but two. My dogs were lost in the middle of the woods in New Brunswick for almost 5 days before we somehow managed to find them. Those days without them were some of the hardest days I ever had. I just want you to know that everyone is praying for a safe return !! Take care of yourself and never forget Winston xoxo

    Posted by Kayla | January 9, 2014, 3:06 am
  65. My heart aches for you and Winston. Please DO NOT give up hope. I too live on the river across from Kingston Peninsula………….I will be watching for him to cross…………

    Posted by Dee | January 9, 2014, 3:30 am
  66. We will keep watching out for him. Hopefully he will show.

    Posted by Shelly | January 9, 2014, 3:45 am
  67. Your story has touched many lives throughout the holiday season. My sister does not have a computer and I was telling her about your baby, Winston. She called me every day asking if he was located and returned home to the arms of his waiting mama. I lost sleep over this tragic event and prayed that a miracle would happen and Winston would be found. You have many angels that will continue to look for your baby in hopes of reuniting the two of you again. From one animal loved to another, I hope you find strength to move forward and that god brings your baby back to the arms of the people that love him.

    Posted by Kelly Vautour | January 9, 2014, 4:04 am
  68. I have followed your search since I first seen the post that he has been missing for 3 days, every time I see a new on I am praying that its the one to say you have found him. I live in Shediac so I am to far from him to look but I will send my thoughts and prayers that he comes home happy and healthy.

    Posted by Cecilia | January 9, 2014, 10:40 am
  69. Seen this post of Erin McKay’s facebook
    URGENT: A dog matching Winston’s description has been seen on the West Side of Saint John on The Morris Rd. If you happen to be in that area or know someone who lives over that way, please let them know to keep their eyes open. PLEASE SHARE.

    It’s a long shot but this could be him. Thanks in advance!

    Posted by Paulette Smith | January 9, 2014, 11:03 am
  70. I cant stop crying for you and Win. Keep the faith…someone is caring for him and he will find his way home to you. Gos bless you and give you strength while you wait

    Posted by audrey kennedy | January 9, 2014, 11:38 am
  71. I have followed your story since seeing it on Facebook and like many others I shared and shared. I thought of you all through Christmas and reading this now my heart breaks all over again. Thinking of you and Win.

    Posted by Lori | January 9, 2014, 11:56 am
  72. Your story breaks my heart I feel for you and sweet WInston, I continue to share your story and your hope that he is found soon, they are tough and will find a way to survive, may he be found soon and be reunited. I am sure he misses you as well. I Love my fur baby and can empathize you

    Posted by Tanya | January 9, 2014, 12:34 pm
  73. See if you can find a local tracking dog team –

    Posted by Marianne | January 9, 2014, 1:07 pm
  74. I will pray for your sweet Winston. Just know wherever he is God is watching him. I always say Doggies are angels in furry suits! I will be thinking of you and Winston and sending you love and strength. xo

    Posted by Keri | January 9, 2014, 1:36 pm
  75. Having lost my great dane in the woods with porcupine quills for 11 days I know how you feel! My dog was found hanging out by a logging camp by some hunters, long after I believed a 9 year old Great dane could have survived, having been seen day one with porcupine quills in her mouth! The day my husband emailed me at work, and said Sarah is home, can you come home, has been emblazened in my mind forever! I have never seen a dog so thin in my life, but my Sarah lived 3 years after coming back to us on day 11. The hunters say my signs and even though one said, she is so far gone, lets shoot her, one spoke up and said I know the owners, we are letting them make that decision. We were blessed with our girl for 3 more years! So even though I had given up hope, she was brought back to us (on the back of a truck which she had never travelled like that before, she always had a seat in the vehicle) but I am very thankful that she made it. I will pray for Winston.

    Posted by Denise | January 9, 2014, 3:03 pm
  76. My eyes are filled with tears after reading this. I live in Saint John NB and have shared on my Facebook page the link to help find Winston many times. I have been praying that he would be found and be safe. I have a dog myself and can understand that unconditional love. I pray that you will have strength through this very difficult time.

    Posted by April | January 9, 2014, 7:41 pm
  77. This was so heart warming (and heart breaking) to read. Thanks for sharing your story with us. The love you have for Winston was felt very strongly. Your positive outlook on your many blessings during your darkest time is an inspiration to all of us. You should consider writing a book or submitting your article to a magazine. The world needs more stories that inspire us to live better lives. What a tribute to your boy Winston! Love and prayers….

    Posted by Lee Ann | January 9, 2014, 11:20 pm
  78. There was a dog found wandering around Cambridge Narrows that looks a lot like Winston. My fingers are crossed for you. Good luck:)

    Posted by Sharon | January 10, 2014, 1:02 am
  79. Any updates on Winston?

    Posted by Tara Smith | January 10, 2014, 2:01 am
  80. My heart goes out to you.. My heart goes out to Winston.. and a big Hug goes out to your DAD! I’m sure he must feel horrible. When all he was doing is thinking of Winston and You.

    Posted by sb | January 10, 2014, 2:14 am
  81. I am heartbroken for you. My brother’s dog bolted at Christmastime about 5 years ago. It was devastating. I hope you find him. I have been reposting every few days because I know how awful it is not knowing. My brother eventually had closure which I pray comes for you at some point. Thinking of you.

    Posted by Marilee | January 10, 2014, 10:14 pm
  82. I see there is a $500 reward for him. Someone has to know something. This is a small community. I don’t know these folks but I am from Saint John. I will match the reward by $500 to find Winston. This takes the award to $1000 from what I have seen from other websites! Join in maritimers with you pledges and let’s get this dog home!!!!!

    Posted by Tara Smith | January 14, 2014, 8:07 am
  83. we r so sorry that you have not found your dear doggie Winston yet. We live on Pickett Lake, Kingston and whenever we hear a dog bark we call Winston, hoping it was him. Even though our power was out for 6 days we still thought of Winston. We call our neighbours if we hear a dog bark, day or night , for them to check as to what dog is barking. We have a black lab Wheeler n know how u love your dog as we do also. He is certainly your family n we feel so sad for u . Hoping Winston will be found soon. We will keep a watch out for Winston. Take care Di n Phonse Walton

    Posted by Di n Phonse walton | January 18, 2014, 1:10 am
  84. Thank you for sharing. I believe in miracles. Praying for you and Winston.

    Posted by Debbie Harris | January 18, 2014, 8:16 pm
  85. Many people do not have computers so will not see things on line and would not know where he came from. Hope there are signs up especially at post offices. Will be praying for his return safely.I know what it feels like to loose your dog.
    posted by y. tobin

    Posted by Yvette Tobin | January 21, 2014, 3:58 pm
  86. Still nothing? You left a message on our FB page, and I was wondering if you ever heard anything?


    Ridgeback Lodge

    Posted by Robert and Christel | January 25, 2014, 8:33 pm
  87. I have been trying to get a hold of someone concerning Winston. A person posted a picture of a dog that looks like Winston that was found in Marysville yesterday wandering the streets. It is definitely the same breed and since these are few and far between I thought it was worth mentioning. You can go to my facebook page to see the posting that I saved. The dog in their picture is a little lighter but I thought it would be worth checking out. All leads are good leads right? Miracles do happen. I pray for the right results. Marysville is on the way through Fredericton, NB. On the way back to Ontario. Keeping my fingers crossed! You can friend me on my facebook page to see the picture and get the info.

    Posted by Wendy Wright | March 3, 2014, 7:13 pm
    • Sorry to tell you but this dog turned out to be a girl. She didn’t post that until now. I am so sorry for getting your hopes up if you read this and this dog is just a pup. I will keep looking.

      Posted by Wendy Wright | March 3, 2014, 8:57 pm


  1. […] Thinking of Winston- As someone who is owned by two glorious dogs, I know and fully admit that I’m attached to my little fur wizards. This post haunted me. […]

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