I will be the first to say we didn’t need a dog.
We were two young kids – me with at the time a long, erratic-hour job – and my future husband who just took the hardest test of his life and was waiting for results to find out if he would start working his own long, erratic-hour job. We both had little money with small cramped cars, busy travel ideas and plans, living in a small apartment with no yard in a city.
Yeah, totally should not have gotten a dog.
Then came Winston.
This is the part of the story where I blame Nathan. And the part of the story where Nathan reminds me that Winston is HIS dog. (We balance each other out.)
It was a beautiful September weekend and we traveled to Nathan’s hometown for his birthday to see his family and attend Centertown Days in rural Kentucky.The population of Centertown, Kentucky, was recorded at 445 in 2016. This small town festival draws craft and food booths, pageants, and music. It also can attract additional vendors realizing the money-making potential and a new booth will spring up out of the back of someone’s pickup truck or Gator utility vehicle.
Winston was for sale in a pen full of white spotted puppies next to his breeder’s pickup truck parked in the grass off the road. His brothers and sisters each had their own personalities and a pack full of children teamed around the straw pen on the side of the road asking to hold each one. The puppies were only 5 weeks old.
Nathan and I played with fire and wandered on the outside of the children seeing if we could get a better look. We heard someone say they were English Setters. It honestly was my first time hearing the breed’s name. The owner scooped Winston up from a child and plopped him into Nathan’s arms
Really, the story could end there. We were done. I snapped pictures as we fell harder and harder in love.
We didn’t need a dog.
Somehow we mustered the strength to walk away. We mumbled to each other that we would sleep on it as we quizzed each other on the logistics of owning a dog in our small apartment.
We knew absolutely nothing about the breed except his white body looked cute in Nathan’s arms. If you’re judging me, please do. It’s welcomed! What were we thinking?
The next morning, we found ourselves back at the truck on the side of the road and Winston was still there. With birthday cash in hand, Nathan picked Winston out of the pile of wiggly puppy butts and so the journey began.
Winston has brought so much joy to our lives – well, after the first two years of owning an English Setter puppy in an apartment.