Happy post: Winston

Image shows a small silver and blond Yorkshire Terrier with its two front legs up on a railing in an outdoor setting, its red leash off to the right side. It is photographed from a high angle

[Image description: image shows a small silver and blond Yorkshire Terrier with its two front legs up on a railing in an outdoor setting, its red leash off to the right side. It is photographed from a high angle.]

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and have never quite known how to start it. I’ll start with this: like a lot of PWDs, I have a pet. I’m sure that posting something about one’s beloved dog on what is a strongly political site seems unusual, but as of late I have been reading many dog-related blogs (mostly on Tumblr) and am consistently moved by posts where the submitter talks about their pet and some of the many varied aspects of the human/animal bond.

I have a pretty old (for the breed) Yorkshire Terrier named Winston. While he is not a service dog (he is too ill-behaved to ever serve in that capacity, and I suspect that fibromyalgia is not a condition that qualifies for a service animal!), he makes my life immeasurably better. Oh, he’s kind of a brat, but his general attitude is so completely, bizarrely happy most of the time that I can’t help but smile whenever he’s around. Yorkshire Terriers are supposed to be one of the smarter (albeit louder) small breeds, but Winston is not the brightest bulb around. This is not a bad thing, however — his other personality traits make up for the fact that he can’t do very many tricks (outside of sitting, particularly if food is involved).

Small dogs, in general, may seem like they’re a pain in the ass to take care of, at least to outsiders. Certainly, there are some small dogs with very high energy (I’ve met a few) who need to be walked multiple times per day so that their owners can get some relief from the dogs’ barking or constant need for attention. Fortunately for me, Winston is not one of these. He has a lot of energy, but this is mostly because he sleeps upwards of 10 hours per day. On days when I’m not feeling well and need to lie down or take a nap, Winston is more than happy to hang out. If I am in too much pain to take him on a long walk, he seems perfectly happy with a shorter walk. All things considered, he’s a pretty mellow, fairly agreeable little dog — except for when he sees other dogs, which is very often an occasion for over-excitement, and possibly a lot of barking and/or straining on the leash.

Somewhat hilariously, he also snores. Loudly.

8 Comments

  1. I do know someone who has fibro and uses a service dog! The question is not so much “What is your disability?” but “what tasks would it be helpful for a dog to do for you?”

    When I was in a car accident 5 years ago and dealing with the acute pain from whiplash afterward, I trained my male Doberman to help me get in and out of chairs, and to lie still on demand and be a ginormous hot water bottle.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I love looking at his little smile.

  3. What a lovely little dog. I have recently been adopted by a cat, and she definitely helps me with the depression. Pets are great.

  4. Aaw, he’s so cute!

    I miss my cat. 🙁

  5. Winston is adorable. I didn’t know any others smiled like that! Mikey does it, sometimes in the middle of a belly rub, sometimes when he’s ready for bed, sometimes before an attack… (12 lb “it” poodle/terrier mix)

    My chow mix is currently chilling beneath my feet, looking all gorgeous and majestic. (She’s generous enough to let the smaller dogs take “adorable.”)

    I’m allergic to dogs, something I discovered a couple months after I got her. But we’d always had them, and I can’t imagine life without them. The emotional benefits far outweigh any negative physical issues, for me at least.

  6. yes, anna, exactly what andrea said. in fact, there is a SD listserv (i’m not on it, but i’ve heard of it) for people with fibro and related disabilities.

  7. I scrolled back up to look at his cute picture again and ended up with a giggle fit. His little smile is so adorable. I’ve always had pets, I really can’t imagine life without them. There is always a cat around that is willing to snuggle if I’ve had a bad day.

  8. Thanks for your comments, everyone! 🙂