Winnie “Windsor” Maitland left this world on March 8th, 2020 around time 8:00 AM eastern time. She was beloved by many.
My mom called me this morning. I ignored her call. I wanted to sleep more. My sister then called 20 minutes later. I ignored her call too. Following both calls both of which I so selfishly unanswered, my phone buzzed, indicating that I had received a text message from my sister Courtney. It read, Can you talk?
As soon as I read that message I knew. I had been waiting for this call for the past few months. Even though I had been waiting, I was not prepared for the news I would receive.
“Winnie died today. You need to call mom.”
I began to cry. I cried for her pain. I cried for my family. I cried mostly for my dad.
Before I moved to D.C., Winnie was my dog. I had raised her. I taught her how to potty train, slept with her at night (always fearful I’d roll over and squish her, she was so small!!!), and took her for early morning walks when the dew covered the grass.
When I left home, my dad, Randy, assumed the role of Winnie’s caretaker. They were inseparable. Wherever my dad went, Winnie was there. Thick as thieves was they were. When I’d return home for the holidays, Winnie acted like she didn’t know me. Sticking to my father’s side, it left me with a sense of sadness wrapped in relief, for I knew she had found someone who would love and take care of her like I did and would have.
On this day, the 8th of March, Winnie was sent to Whiskers. Whiskers was a dreaded place for Winnie. She hated getting groomed, but on this morning she went without as much as a whimper. My dad dropped her off to only immediately turn back around. They said she was shaking and it looked bad. My dad returned and saw Winnie standing on the table, surrounded by four walls adorned with framed pictures of smiling, agile dogs. It was such a juxtaposition.
My dad grabbed Winnie and ran to his already running car in the parking lot. On the way to the E.R., Winnie’s soft body became lifeless on Randy’s lap. She had waited to die in my dad’s arms, the one who loved her most, and was there with her every step of the way, in life and in death.
Dogs are sure remarkable creatures aren’t they? We will miss you dearly Winnie. You’re an angel now. Rest in peace.