360 pugs rescued since October, 2005
Winnie Has Gone to the Bridge - 2003-2013

Winnie was a Pugalug rescue that was adopted in August 2009 after spending the first 5 years or so of her life as a breeding bitch (her vet said one more litter would probably have killed her). For the last couple of months, she had been under increasingly frequent vet care. Yesterday when she awoke, she couldn't stand and was taken to the vet and then home again. Throughout the morning, she became weaker and less responsive until it was obvious that her time was near. Her loving parents took her back to the vet to ease her passing. She crossed in their arms as they gently stroked her head. Below is a sweet collage of pictures that they put together to commemorate her life.




Winnie - 6 Year Old Female

Donations to help Winnie

Deb Folkes and the Belleville Pugalug Group
Hugh Radley and the Cambridge Pugalug Group
Sherry Johnston and the Elging Pugnic Group
Lori McLachlin
Andrea Ferguson
Ross Lancaster


Well my little girl has flown the nest this afternoon. Health restored, Winnie is off to live in the lovely city of Kingston with Brian and Carolyn. She was happily chewing a nice tartar bone in her brand new travel crate when they left.

Winns is a lucky girl, she will be an only puggie, & so will be the centre of attention - something she will enjoy a great deal. Brian and Carolyn have experience with rescued animals either from when they were at home or through their friends who work with other rescue groups or through Carolyn's father's veterinary practice in Manitoba. Their last pet was a diabetic cat so they are experienced with animals having some issues. Unfortunately their cat passed away last year, but this left room to take Winnie into their hearts and home. Both Brian and Carolyn work from home a fair bit so Winnie will have company a good part of the time, with minimal alone time.

It's kind of hard to think of being without her after so long but I know they will love Winnie as much as I do and although I miss her already I know she will be safe and loved at Brian and Carolyn's. Here are some photos of Winnie with Brian and Carolyn and with her going away present - a stuffed squirrel toy which she was very taken with at the store on Friday.


Winnie is a happy, playful and loving pug. She likes kids and most other dogs but would be best with no females. She loves to sleep in the big bed and snuggles contentedly. Winnie loves to cuddle next to you but is not comfortable being picked-up and carried.

Wins is house-broken but needs to go out frequently especially after meals - she cries and jumps at the door to let you know.

She is tough, gentle, feisty, kind, stubborn, loving, excitable and very funny. Winnie spins in happy circles when excited, chirps away - talking to you, she is a great companion. She needs some extra care but this is not necessarily expensive on a day to day basis, primarily she needs to be watched that she does not over do things so hip surgery can hopefully be avoided down the road.

She would love to be an only dog or with an older male, she likes to play for short periods of time. She would also like to have someone home a fair bit as she loves your company.

Update - May 10

Winnie came through with the surgery with no complictions

This time it was an uncomplicated ACL is my understanding there was not as much other damage as with the first. The indication is both were long term injuries not recent based on the overall condition of the knee joints. She simply learned to live with the pain

She needs to be carried up & down the outside stairs for a week or two then she will be able to go up and down the couple of steps from level to level on the deck by herself... although she will try to get by you & do them herself - tough old bird - so independent.

The orthopedic surgeon does think that now that the two ACLs have been repaired that Winnie will likely not need to have her hips done as well. He has seen a number of dogs do very well and never require the FMO by re-enforcing the knees.

Winnie is experiencing some problems with dry eye and will need to be on drops for a bit - perhaps long term but its early stages. She was microchipped while at the vets as well.

8 more weeks of healing and restrictions but her long term prognosis is very good. They love her at the vets and are going to miss her - everyone says what a nice girl she is.

Update - May 1

Winnie will be going in on Tuesday, May 5 to have the surgery done on her second knee. Everyone send good thoughts to her on that day.

Foster Update, April 29

Winnie continues to do well. She is a happy, loving pug. Winnie loves to rub her face into you and will sometimes get so excited she will give little nips as if you were another pug - a habit we are trying to break admittedly. Winnie has developed some better manners over the last number of months. She can now sit and wait for a treat and will take it gently as long as you remind her to be gentle. She loves to give kisses out of the side of her mouth as her tongue does not come straight out - just another of her sweet and slightly crooked features.

You can't help but admire her spirit. She has been spayed, had bladder stones removed, a dental and 6 teeth pulled, one ACL replaced and likely one more to go. She is crooked & poorly formed but happy and sweet with lots of love to give and otherwise pretty healthy. Like many of the other pugs in the group Winnie had a short bout of diarrhea last month but some pumpkin and withholding kibble for a day was all that was needed to correct the problem.

As I am writing this she and Sophie have been chasing each other around the chair a bit, tails wagging... a long way for a little pug who still suffers from some fear aggression with other females but is definitely improving.

Winnie loves to be with you cuddled close, she does resource guard people a bit - however, she is very good to let you take things from her, she is a bit territorial over some treats with the other dogs(very common) but people can take anything from her. Noises can startle her into a stress reaction but this is vastly improved from the beginning when she simply could not self-soothe after being startled. Winnie will still react but in a less over the top way, and can settle back down with minimal input from us most of the time. She is learning she has nothing to fear especially from the other dogs.

She loves to "talk" and makes many funny noises when excited, waiting for her food dish to hit the floor, awaiting a treat or just pleased to greet you & to be giving kisses she is a lovely girl. Winnie loves to push the cushions about on the couch to get it into just the right position for sleeping on stretching out with her head resting on her paws. She wags her tail readily in greeting and squeaks in excitement.

Editor's Note:A big applause and pug slurp goes out to Kathy and Dave - Winnie's foster parents. They have gone beyond the call of duty. Normally a pug is with a foster volunteer for 6 - 8 weeks. Winnie has been with them for 7 months - with Kathy providing the loving, nurturing care that Winnie assuredly needed as the medical attention.
So a big thank you from the pug community for the work you have done with our little Winnie.


Foster Update, Feb 21

In Winnie's usual way she is pressing hard to get back to normal. She wants out of the kitchen badly... and back on the couch. However, we can't take a chance that she would fall or jump off the couch so in the kitchen she stays sleeping on dog beds in the sun and chewing marrow bones.

This is a description of the surgery Winnie had done from the orthopedic surgeon's notes.:

Under anesthesia the knee joint was opened and the remnants of the torn ligament removed. A string of synthetic nylon was then placed to extend from the outside lower portion of the femur ( thigh bone) to the inside upper portion of the tibia (shin bone). This implant restored the normal position & stability of the knee, acting to replace the torn ligament. With time, the implant may give a little and the soft tissue around the knee will thicken and help stabilize the joint.

Keeping Winnie still and quiet is a bit like keeping a kid the same way.... she wants lots of attention and cries for me to come and sit with her while she chews a bone ignoring me... I picked her up Thursday pm and took Friday and Monday off to be home for her. She is doing well, the incision is slightly swollen as is common after surgery.

Foster Update, Feb 7

I think this dog is held together with spit and pure grit.... because certainly her bone structure has sold her short....

Saw Nancy today for Winnie's post dental and to recheck the knees vs hips. Teeth/gums have healed nicely. Winnie weighs a nice 21.3 lbs. she is slim and trim which helps those knees and hips.

simply can't tell if the left side cruciate has torn completely or not. Winnie never does the 3-legged hop, never overtly favours that knee ( except to pee when she lifts that hind leg slightly and balances in a 3 point squat... ) however she is not the first dog i have ever seen do that so....

Her knees are "loose" enough that one might expect more sensitivity and to be indicative of a problem in the making. Winnie does not particularly like the vet bending her knee but does not object, except to try to pull away and can balance on either hind leg when the other is bent....

The only time you could really see the weakness of the knees was post-op when she did not have all her sheer will & guts holding things up. Then you saw how weak the ligaments were but how strong her muscles are as they were weakened by the sedation and her ligaments just could not do it on their own allowing the knees to shift.

I walked her up and down the hallway today so Nancy could watch her walk. We can't tell which side is worse, with the loose hips & knees everything flexes and is loose at the same time so she kinda makes it work for her. Her knees are quite visibly loose when manipulated, but she trots along like nothing is bothering her... favouring nothing.

Nancy is going to call the orthopedic vet and book to have the left knee done first as we think it is the worst by manipulation if nothing else. The prevaling opinion is that even if the cruciate has not torn yet, the knees are simply too weakened after years of the bad hips and pregnancies wearing her knees down, to support her post-op if we do her hips first ven if she is not showing the blatant signs of cruciate tears. They fear fixing the hips first would put so much pressure on the worn knees that they would give out unable to support the reinforced hips.

Winnie really is a tough old bird...... one has to admire her will.

Foster Update, January 29

Winnie is a sweet girl. She loves to snuggle up on the big bed with her favourite spots snuggled into my neck or curled around my head on the pillow - with her head on top of mine.

Poor Wins in terms of her "construction". Winnie was supposed to have her hip FHO last week along with a dental. The dental was done - she is now shy 6 teeth and has better breath but her hip was not done. The orthorpedic vet thinks she has bad knees that need to be done first. It was felt that if the knees are done and can better support the hips - the hips may not require work right away if ever but that remains to be seen. The FHO would not be properly supported if the knees are as bad as they showed signs of being last week.

The issue with the knees is one of bad hips, bad knees.... due to the hip problems her knees take a real beating. This has resulted in a suspected complete tear in the cruciate ligament or ACL on the left and a tearing ACL on the right ( not as bad but moving in the same direction). The vet had thought the knees were "loose" early on, but that the hips were worse. Last week they felt that had changed.

She was showing what we felt were signs of the hips getting worse, but she has never obviously favoured the knees - by limping, holding a leg up etc so we were surprised things were so much worse with the knees last week. May have slipped in the snow in the yard.... but most likely this has been a long time coming and with all the snow this winter they have worsened.

When Winnie is placed it will eventually be in a home with no small kids - she is fine with kids but can't take the demands of small kids and also no other female dogs. She and Sophie have some issues as both like to be top diva.

Winnie is a complex girl. On one hand seeking our two pugs out for play, yet is not one to cuddle with them. She is sweet and gentle but can become a bit unglued at unexpected noises. We are working to reduce these over reactions by calming her and reassuring her that nothing bad is coming her way. Her reactions do not carry over into a bite reaction toward people but if our female catches Winnie's eye she will redirect that over-reaction to Sophie (who is happy to meet that eye staring back at Winnie so not blameless in the end either). I think they enjoy the spats to be honest. She is getting better and we can hold and soothe Winnie into letting the reaction go but its still a work in progress. Winnie is better able to control this stress reaction as time goes on and she is less fearful. She would also like to keep me to herself and really does not like to share me with the other two.

Winnie loves to get a bone or ball and chase them around pushing them with her nose and sending them flying. She is fine at these times and not at all agressive about the bone.

Winnie is completely housebroken - 2 accidents since she came 1. the first day, 2nd the day she came home from the bladder surgery. Other than that she loudly lets you know she has to go crying and batting the patio door.

Winnie loves grain-free food & treats, fruit, veggies - food of any kind. She likes to play tug and slide those bones about.

Foster Update, November 28

Winnie had her staples removed today and she looks great. The analysis of her bladder stones showed they were entirely calcium oxalate - both monohydrate and dihydrate versions. Winnie will need to have her food flooded with water and the addition of B6 which is to prevent reformation of the stones.

She continues to do well and since the surgery has been much more active and playful. Everyone has seen a change in her once she was on the mend post-surgery. We will check her urine again sometime in the next month to ensure the stones are not reforming. This will need to happen off and on in the future as well. Its hoped we can have the first hip surgery & her dental done in mid-December.

Foster Update, November 18

Winnie had her first of three surgeries today. Her spay and bladder stone removal was this morning. The stones were a mass of small stones all in a clump. Her bladder was flushed out and everything is clean now. Unfortunately she had some bleeding and is recovering slowly so she has to remain at the vet's overnight. Hopefully she can come home early on Wednesday. This is phase one and once she has fully recovered likely 6 to 8 weeks she will have the first of her two hips worked on along with a dental.

Foster Update, October 15

Winnie continues to do very well. She is housebroken, crying & hitting the patio door to let you know she needs to go outside. This is admittedly frequent with the SO food and lots of water....

She is a very snuggly girl, loving to snuggle over your head on the pillow at night or next to you cuddled in your arms. Winnie has some minor jealousy issues and is a bit grabby with treats but she is improving. Its really only been a couple of weeks and she is still adjusting to her new life.

Vet Update, October 5

We have started Winnie on her Cartrophen injections. Winnie has a severe case of Legge-Calve-Perthes. So the plan is likely to wait 6 weeks and see if the S/O diet helps with the stones--at that point, we will re-X-ray. If the stones are improving she will get spayed, if the stones are not improving we will spay and do bladder surgery. Then down the road we will do a dental and one hip.

An Orthopod will be brought in to do the hip surgery. Her sockets are abnormal in addition to the femoral heads being bad. The spinal disc misalignment, the vet feels, is a result of the hip issues and her having to compensate for the bad hips. She is on Clavamox prophylactically and to reduce any infection from her bad teeth. Her urinary pH is unremarkable--neither acidic nor alkaline. However she is Heartworm negative.

The other hip will done much later. She will be in foster care for several months at this rate.

Vet Update, October 1

Winnie went for her x-rays and blood test. Nancy, the vet, was overcome with the conditon of Winnie, so many problems in a dog this young: Bladder stones, bad hips, fused lower back discs, calcification, possible parasites, badly needed dental and then the litters she had to carry to term.

To treat the bladder stones through diet, Winnie will be going on Royal Canin SO. I will transition her to that over next few days.

Winnie's hips are extremely bad - but again I think once she got over her shock at how bad - FMO with a bit of extra work would likely be her plan. The femural head is barely touching the socket in both hips, you see all but the very tip of head outside the socket. The dimensions will be wrong but I am trying to put it in relative terms - in a normal xray you see lets say 1- 2 inches of the femural head extension at the top of the femur - in Winnie's case almost 2-3 times that....you can literally see the rounding top of the head. You would hardly know there even was a socket ...

In the left hip the head is also chipped and ragged. This is the hip that needs work first. They showed me normal & other abnormal xrays and the tech said - Nancy had never ever seen hips that bad.

The spine: Most of the vertebre look pretty good but then you get along to one about lower shoulder level on her back. This one it appears she may have compressed (possibly herniated ) discs on either side. The worst part is the lower (bottom of the vertebre) disc where between that vertebre and the next one the disc that has herniated is also calcifying - into a point. She is worried about injury to Winnie's spine - from jumping etc. I will be using Sasha's blend for a long term treatment.

The geriatic blood scan came back. The vast amt of Win's blood was good. Almost all was in normal range. Except for an EU..... something... it is a white blood cell triggered often by parasites - so Nancy added a heartworm test just in case.

Nancy wants to use the Cartrophen(sp) for Winnie to start with - and we will start there and see if it makes a difference before trying Metacam or one of the others. I will take her up for the first injection tomorrow night.

She will complete the set of the injections then it will be a couple of weeks wait and then she will be re-xrayed for stones.

In the vets opinion - inspite of how happy and sweet she is - Winnie is in considerable discomfort - between stones, bad hips, bad discs and calcification

Foster Update, September 28

Winnie's vet visit: no outright infection showed up but the vet suspects crystals and that that is what is causing the bleeding. Also she does have infections in both ears and we will start medication for that today. I will call my regular vet on Monday and set up the x-ray.

Foster Update, September 26

Winnie came to us along with Bruce from a rescue volunteer. Winnie and Bruce were were going to be sold to a puppymill. The volunteer intervened and now they are in our foster care.

Winnie is settling nicely. Still a bit stressed and pants alot but has had a couple of short naps finally. She struggled to be relaxed enough first laying at the far end of the couch from me then coming closer, moving away and back again and then finally settled next to me while I lightly scratched her side.

She was not thrilled with the kibble but did eat some. I had held back my guys to feed them all at once so Winnie got a small amount. Loved some pieces of pear i gave her as a treat.

I think she is missing Bruce a bit.

We have her going to a vet at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon to see about what almost certainly is a UTI. She is definitely passing blood off and on. She also has quite a respiratory "rasp". I am not sure if its normal, stress reaction or an infection.....

Winnie is a lovely girl, no muscle tone through her undercarriage. She is sweet, affectionate and alert. She is quick to give kisses. Her tongue hangs out from time to time but she can bring it into her mouth as well. Winnie is laying at my feet as I type touching me. She barks when she sees people walk by outside.