This is Winnie.

Isn’t she cute? She is only 6 years old. This was taken on Memorial Day.


I always hated dogs. I’m pretty sure I had some terrible experiences with gigantic, 400-pound black German Shepherds when I was younger with sharp teeth and snarling growls. I can also be completely, utterly, ridiculously unrealistic so please ignore me. Anyway, when my brother Will was 13, my parents surprised him with a puppy. He had wanted one for as long as we all could remember. He was so happy that he cried. I cried too. Mainly because I was so horrified that I would have to share a certain amount of square footage with something that has fur and lots of drool. I was not happy.

But when Abby came she was just so cute and I loved her adorable chubby rolls of doggy skin and fur. When Abby turned 5, my dad and Will surprised my mom with a new puppy, Winnie, on Valentine’s day. I think my mom was ready to lose her mind: twice the fur + twice the craziness. But Winnie was super cute and fit right in – she rejuvenated Abby too! Well really… Winnie never got out of her puppy stage. She has eaten entire pans of 7-layer bars, rocks, and garbage without blinking an eye. I always say she has led the “hard” life. Also, for the first 5 years, anytime she would see a man walking she’d run up to him, lay down on her back, and spread all fours. Yeah. Take that as you will.

Abby passed away 2 years ago, only a week before Mother Lovett died. That wasn’t the best week. But Abby was older and we somewhat expected it as she had slowed down a lot. She actually passed away at home; we believe her stomach flipped just like in Marley and Me. Winnie seemed a little lost at first, but she had always been an attention hog so it wasn’t a big deal.

Now… Winnie started having seizures on Tuesday night. Big ones. She spent the night in the vet hospital and continued to have seizures yesterday. She is on anti-seizure meds but still is not herself. At times it is kind of funny because she looks like she is drunk. But it is also really sad. Apparently, seizures are very common in dogs – BUT they are not common once dogs mature. Considering Winnie never had anything wrong with her, these seizures most likely mean that something is not right – something in the brain is not right. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic, but feel so bad for Winnie. She is still such a young pup (ok, 42 in dog years or whatever) and she still seems generally happy. I also can’t imagine ever having to put a dog down since we didn’t need to do so with Abby. Plus, this is a jillion times more complicated than it normally would be as we supposed to leave for the beach on Sunday. Growing up stinks.

Anywho… that’s my story. I don’t really love dogs and if you ever brought your dog near me, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t want to pet it. But I really loved Abby and I really love Winnie! So can you say a puppy prayer for Winnie? She’d totally lick you face right now if she could.

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151 Responses to “Puppy Prayers.”

  1. #
    Silvia @ orono west — June 9, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    Dear Jessica, I wish you all the best for Winnie. She is still relatively young so you might get it under control with meds as long as it is epilepsy and not something else, but they can do a lot of checks to rule things out. It’s better to know (and do test) than to expect the worst.


  2. #
    Ashley — June 9, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    Sending love, hugs + good wishes your way. As much as our dogs drive me nuts, I hate when they’re in any type of pain. They’re such a big part of our lives. Thinking of you, lovely… xo


  3. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — June 9, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    Poor Winnie. I’ll definitely say a prayer for her. I <3 puppies.


  4. #
    Vivianne — June 9, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

    Sending puppy prayers and love your way<3 My dog passed away last summer and they truly become part of the family.


  5. #
    Rachel — June 9, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    We got our first dog when I was 15, and I’m now a few months shy of 25. Kermit (the dog) is getting up there in ages, and I can’t bear the thought of when something will happen (either death or being out down). My thoughts are with you and Winnie! (and I totally relate to loving your own dogs and not so much other people’s!)


  6. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 9, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you ans Winnie for a speedy recovery.


  7. #
    Joy — June 9, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    I agree with you on dogs! But there are just one or two that are so special that you’ll give anything to hang onto them for a little longer. I wish the best for Winnie!


  8. #
    Anne — June 9, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    My heart goes out to you.

    We had an Alaskan Malamute named Lady. She started having seizures during the night (a Saturday night). We took to the Animal Emergency Hospital. They kept her till Monday when we contacted our Vet. Well he got us in touch with specialist in our area. As it turned out she had a brain tumor. There was nothing we could do for her but let her go. :-( It broke our heart.


  9. #
    Stacy — June 9, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

    I have tears in my eyes! I hope Winnie feels better! I understand what it’s like for your dog to feel like a member of the family. Rusty, my family’s 13 year old Corgi is getting up there in age, and while I know that dogs don’t live forever, I cry every time I think about loosing him. Winnie’s too young for this! I hope she’s ok! :(


  10. #
    mrshobbes — June 9, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    Burying a doggie is no fun, I’ll tell you that! :( Praying hard for your Winnie! Just a thought, but would you consider feeding her some fresh wheatgrass juice? There’s been research about it being good for strokes and other diseases and some people have tried it on aging pets and it’s worked (you can also Google it).


  11. #
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — June 9, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    Oh girl what a sweet pup Winnie is, and she is exactly Lucy Dog’s age, I’ll being saying lots of prayers for her and her to recovery XOXO


  12. #
    Alyssa — June 9, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    Aww, poor Winnie! I have tears in my eyes from reading this post. I went through the same thing in 2009 with a German Shepherd I had, so I can imagine what you’re experiencing right now. I’ll definitely be saying a lot of prayers for Winnie and her speedy recovery!!♥ Xoxo


  13. #
    Amanda — June 9, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    Jess, I will say 100 puppy prayers for Winnie! I am an absolute dog lover and have 2 Scottish Terriers who haven’t been feeling so great either – I am so sorry she isn’t feeling well! I’ll even have my puppies say puppy prayers =)


  14. #
    Annie — June 9, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    Oh her face is precious. We are saying puppy prayers for her.


  15. #
    Melissa — June 9, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Saying so many prayers for you and Winnie right now! She reminds me of my old golden, Dakota. He was the sweetest thing with his little white face. Not a fun time to be a grown up or a kid at heart, that’s for sure. Positive positive thoughts for Miss Winnie!!!


  16. #
    Cecilia — June 9, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

    Lots of puppy prayers for Winnie, and hugs for you! I agree, growing up stinks!


  17. #
    Clare — June 9, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    Oh what a sweet face! Lots of prayers tonight in hope for a speedy recovery!


  18. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — June 9, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    I will totally pray for Winnie (((hugs)))


  19. #
    shannon — June 9, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    Much love to Winnie and your family. I am a dog lover and have had, by some strange twist of fate, two dogs that had seizure disorders. My first dog started having them around age 2, and that was probably epilepsy (which is not uncommon, especially in pure-bred dogs that might not have been bred so well). Her seizures were controlled with meds for 5 years until something else took her (likely cancer, and unrelated to seizures).

    My other dog started having seizures at age 7 or 8, only a couple years after the first had died. It scared me to death. Although I had learned a lot about dog seizures, I didn’t know what could be causing them at his more mature age–like you said. The vet said it was likely a brain tumor or something of the sort. However, his seizures have been controlled for over 3 years on medication, and he’s growing to be an “old man.” His seizures now are very sporadic, and although he’s upset for a couple hours afterward (this varies with each dog), overall he is fine and very healthy for his age of 11.

    It can be a very scary thing, but hold out hope. Hopefully you have a good vet who is accustomed to these things and will carefully monitor the situation with your family. They commonly put dogs on phenobarbital for seizures (people, too) and although this is effective it can also cause liver damage in the long term. Your vet will likely monitor this with blood tests a couple times a year. I would recommend feeding the dog a prescription food by Science Diet called l/d–it helps support the liver. My dog has been on it for years and has no signs of liver problems.

    I also recommend an alternative drug that many vets won’t prescribe right away–potassium bromide. It has fewer side effects, and can be used alone or in combination with phenobarb. (My dog is on both, but a low dose of pheno.) Both drugs will give them a sort of “drunkenness,” but this usually passes once their bodies get used to the drug. They also commonly get ataxia–hind leg weakness–but often this passes or gets much better.

    It never hurts to have valium on hand (I have liquid syringes given rectally, sorry, gross I know). This can stop a seizure within a minute or so if the dog has one. It’s very important when a dog has cluster seizures (many in a row), which can be very dangerous. My dog had clusters but if he has one seizure he never has more at one time if he has valium.

    Sorry for giving more than my two cents (I could easily say more, even!), but this is an issue VERY close to my heart, and I just wanted to give you and your family some hope that dogs can live normal happy lives even with seizure disorders. My babies are proof! Educate yourselves and be conscientious about what happens with the dog. The best of luck to you all–I hope the best for you! :)


    • Meighan at Cooking With Abandon — June 9th, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

      There are other medications now available for seizure control…not just phenobarb and potassium bromide. Many veterinary neurologists now recommend levetiracetam and zonisamide as alternatives as they are less toxic and often result in better control (without affecting the liver!).


      • shannon — June 9th, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

        Good to know! We’ve been on this regimen for a long time but I always like to hear about the other options. There is another my vet and I have talked about but I can’t remember if it’s one of those you mention.

  20. #
    Corbett — June 9, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Jessica, My dog started having seizures when she was 8. Everyone said brain tumor, but she didn’t have one. Once she got on the anti-seizure meds it took month or two for her to act “normal”again. She passed away April 5th (11 years old), she had a massive seizure and died in the night. I pray your Winnie gets over this spell and you have some ore good years with her.


  21. #
    Holly — June 9, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    She is in my prayers tonight! & your family is on my mind! xoxo


  22. #
    Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) — June 9, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    Sending lots of good thoughts, prayers, and love to Winnie and your family. I hope she makes a speedy recovery!


  23. #
    Kristel T.M. — June 9, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Winnie and your family are in my thoughts. I hope all goes well.


  24. #
    Gigi Cuccaro — June 9, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    Lots of love and prayers headed your way! I lost Snuggles 6 years ago. I stopped by Petsmart and looked at the kittens up for adoption. Wasn’t sure if I was ready for a new pet. Went back and the adoption rep had pulled a kitten aside for me. He knew I would be back. Bella has been my pride and joy for 6 years. Our pets will always be a part if our lives.ī’īī€¢


  25. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — June 9, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    Praying for Winnie! She looks so sweet.


  26. #
    Stephanie — June 9, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    Funny how those little pups will steal your heart, even if you aren’t a ‘dog person’… you just can’t help but fall for them!
    My prayers are with Winnie and your family!


  27. #
    Elaine — June 9, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    I had a golden growing up, too. My thoughts and prayers are with Winnie and your family.


  28. #
    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet — June 9, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    I’ll definitely be keeping Winnie in my thoughts. I can’t imagine if my cat was ever sick and I couldn’t do anything about it. I hope Winnie hangs in there and that the seizures are not a serious problem. Stay strong Winnie!


  29. #
    Erika C — June 9, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    Tears fell as I read this. I love heart hurts a little for you. Prayers for Winnie and strength for you.


  30. #
    Tabitha — June 9, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    I’m so sorry about Winnie. We had a pug who started doing that. Turned out he had a brain infection. I wish Winnie a speedy recovery.


  31. #
    Jess — June 9, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    Prayers for Winnie and *hugs* for you and your family! I had a shepherd mix when I was younger (my parents swear he taught me how to walk, not them), but he got really sick right before we moved. Our neighbor had put lime or something down in his yard and a bunch of it went through the fence, which of course Buster decided looked tasty. Losing him was so hard. Then, after my brother was born, we got a golden. Patches was meant to be the family dog, but he was my baby. He had horrible arthritis and towards the end, he would only let my dad and I near him. We had to put both of our babies down because of their illnesses, eventually, and it was hardest thing to do.


  32. #
    Michelle — June 10, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    Oh Jessica, Winnie is in my thoughts! I have an adorable, waggy, chubby, fluffy Golden named Abby who is 7 and she is my whole world, and I would die if anything happened to her. Keep us posted!


  33. #
    Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} — June 10, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    I’m sorry about Winnie, my thoughts and prayer are with you and your adorable Winnie. Hoping everything will return to normal soon with Winnie’s health. Hang in their, have a great day! :)


  34. #
    Nancy — June 10, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    Koki, Shannon, Brewster, Monty and now Murphy…….our animals friends, confidants and face lickers!! I too have always had a dog, from the crazy beagle we had growing up, to the 3rd Golden I own now. Pets are a wonderful addition to our lives, I can’t imagine my life without them. My youngest child comes home from school to an empty house, but Murphy is always there jumping around, glad to see him. It comforts me that the house is not quite so empty……Prayers for Winnie and your family, this part of life is not the easiest, hang in there.


  35. #
    Paulette — June 10, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    Keep the faith sweet girl. My girlfriends little dog had siezures and lived to be seventeen. It did take a while for the meds to adjust. But I will say prayers for your lovely Winnie that the angels wrap their wings around her lovely soul and keep her safe. Hugs Paulette


  36. #
    Jennifer Drummond — June 10, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    I am so sorry. Your the first e-mail that I read this morning and I cried. I am such an animal lover, and I had to put down my beloved Sydney a couple years ago and it still hurts. Animals, especially dogs bring so much love and joy to your life, even if you didn’t want one, I know because I didn’t want Sydney and then she became my best friend. I still cry time to time because I miss her so. I have two labs now and I do love them, but there not the same as my precious Sydney. I will, and right now am going to say prayers for Winnie.

    Good bless!

    P.S. I really enjoy ready your blogs, normally they make make laugh, but now todays.


  37. #
    Linda LH — June 10, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    Dear Jessica,
    I know how you feel. I have 7 dogs, all little ones, when one of them get sick I really go to pieces. I have said some prayers for Winnie. She is your best friend, next to your mom and hubby (?). Maybe her dosage is too high and that is why she seems to be off kilter. Or she is being overly medicated to keep her from seizing. My prayers are with you and Winnie. Stay strong.


  38. #
    Lauren — June 10, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    Please ask the vet to run bloodwork to check her thyroid!! My family has had many Goldens and two have had seizures caused by thyroid issues. Once they started on thyroid meds – no more seizures! Meds are inexpensive and can just be thrown in with their food. Praying this is the case with Winnie!


  39. #
    Kathleen — June 10, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    Sending up a Puppy Prayer for Winnie! This story just made me tear up because dogs are so sweet and loving and you never want anything bad to happen to them. I hope the Vet can figure out what’s wrong with Winnie and get her back to her usual ‘hard’ life self!


  40. #
    Becca — June 10, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    I am definitely saying get well prayers for Winnie, and I’m also praying that you find some inner strength to deal with whatever the outcome is.

    I don’t know if anyone else has suggested this (I normally don’t get nosey and read other people’s comments), but Goldens are notorious for having thyroid related seizures. The problem IS treatable in some instances, so you might want to have the vet check for that if it hasn’t been done already.

    BIG HUGS to you, my friend!


  41. #
    Cindy Coniglio — June 10, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    She is going to be ok, I know it and feel it. Let me know if your family needs any help.


  42. #
    Sara P — June 10, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    Poor Winnie!!! She will be in my prayers!! My dog Max has had two or three seizures before and it is sooo hard to sit there and watch them go through that because they are so scared, but the power of prayer is strong….so stay strong Winnie!


  43. #
    Kim in MD — June 10, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    Oh…that is very sad. Poor Winnie! I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers, Jessica.


  44. #
    Amy — June 10, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    …Sending hugs to you & prayers for Winnie. I’ve never had a dog before, but I have a huge lump in my throat after reading this post. She has a beautiful face & it sounds like she has a beautiful spirit as well <3


  45. #
    Debby — June 10, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    Sending up prayers for sweet Winnie and hugs to you. We are definitely dog people, having 3 Yorkies – 2 males, 1 female and one Lab mix, male. All of the males are rescues. Several years ago we had a sweet Heinz 57 that looked like Benji. She suffered from seizures, but not too often,. and she lived a very long, happy life.


  46. #
    Shannon — June 10, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    Lots of puppy prayers to Winnie and thoughts of comfort to you and your family!! All fur-babies have a special place in my heart!!!


  47. #
    Lynda — June 10, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    My thoughts and prayers are out for Winnie. I AM a dog lover and I know how hard it is when they get sick. I hope she gets better and pulls through. Love to you, your family and Winnie!


  48. #
    Jess — June 10, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    oh noes! sending you & Winnie happy thoughts & prayers. Hope she makes a speedy recovery.

    I’m with ya btw.. I had a bad experience with dogs as a child and always stayed away from them if possible. Then we got Zeus, the mini daschund when he was 5 weeks old. He was so sweet & a pain in the rear as well. Zeus started having seizures and developed degenerative disc disease. We were able to control his medical issues by trying to not get him too over stimulated (which seemed to be a trigger for him) Eventually he passed away in his sleep at 13. Nothing is quite the same as the love of a good dog.


  49. #
    Whitney — June 10, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Miss Winnie and your fam are in my prayers. All pups have a special place in my heart and I wish her a quick recovery!


  50. #
    Julie — June 10, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Oh my goodness, that post made me cry! I’m praying for Winnie!



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