Looking Back: Deborah and Winston

Winston the Wonder Dog

Deborah Fabricant and Winston became a Pet Partners team in February 2014 and worked together serving their community for six years. Winston made the trip across the rainbow bridge in January 2020. Deborah shared this beautiful tribute to her partner.

Winston was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles and followed a woman and her two dogs home. She tried to find the owner for four months to no avail. During this time, she took him to the same dog daycare I had taken my previous golden to. Within a week, four people, all six degrees of separation, called me about this wonderful golden retriever who needed a home.

Not sure if I was ready to have another dog, I decided to visit the daycare and take him for a walk. He was a BIG boy—85 lbs.!! The following week I made the decision to take him for a weekend to see if we were a “fit.” He never went back….we were in love!!

Over the next year I came to realize that Winston was a precious “old soul” and had something very special about him: Cool, calm, collected and had a knack of almost reading your mind. I decided to look into Pet Partners and training him to be a therapy dog. Training was easy, he caught on very quickly, and within the year we became a registered therapy animal team.

Our visits were to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Ronald McDonald House events for kids. Winston was the ultimate giver of love, affection, and tenderness to everyone he encountered.

We loved our journey together as a team and spent the better part of his life joined at the hip. During this time, I began to jot down all the visits we made at the Hospital and kept them to write a book. Now that he is gone and my heart is broken, I’m going to write “Being Winston, The Diaries of a Therapy Dog” and hope to get it published.

Winston the Wonder Dog will never leave my heart…he was my “Buddy Man” and the very best friend I have ever had. I loved him to the moon and back, and know that now he has crossed the rainbow bridge he will be a wonderful influence on all his canine companions there. Rest in Peace, my dear, beautiful friend.