My name is Winnie and I’m from Romania. When I arrived at Holly Hedge, I was very frightened. I’d had a difficult life in Romania and a three-day journey to get here.
One day a family came to see me. They had two other dogs, Bonny and Bessie, both chocolate labs and both at least five times as big as me! We all got on very well, and after a few visits, I went to live in my new home, in the middle of Bristol.
At first I found it all a bit bewildering. My new home was full of unfamiliar smells and places to explore. I had a bed between Bonny and Bessie, and quickly found out that both of them snore very loudly. I needn’t have worried though, both of them seemed to like having me around, and I could snuggle up to either of them when I felt scared. Or needed a comfy pillow.
I soon felt very happy. My new owners often pick me up for a cuddle. They sometimes call me WMD – Winnie of Mass Destruction – as I occasionally chew things. Lots of things. But they never get cross with me, and are always stroking me or reassuring me. They say I am teething, and that both their other dogs did the same thing when they were young.
I love the garden. If I jump on the herbs, they smell amazing. I patrol all the corners of the garden, just in case any nasty cats get any funny ideas. I love to jump onto the wall and look at the harbour. I’ve got very good at decorating the gravel with lots of little poos, which mysteriously disappear very quickly.
When Bonny and Bessie get loves, I pile in too. They don’t mind. Sometimes I clamber up, using their backs to make myself much taller to lick my owners. I’ve also become very talkative. I will make noises like ET when I see my owners, and have even learnt to say ‘harr-o’ (hello) with little barks. For some reason this seems to make my owners smile and laugh. My tail is as waggy as any other dog’s, as I’m so happy.
I like to roll about, skip, jump and flip in the air. I also like to wrestle with Bessie. We nip each others’ ears and legs, but we don’t hurt each other. It’s a lot of fun, but for some reason my owners move tables with cups of tea quite a long way away from us.
With Bonny and Bessie it feels like I’m in a pack. Bonny is very old but doesn’t mind me pouncing on her face or using her as a hot water bottle. Bessie is fun, and feels like my sister.
I absolutely love going for walks. Every day we sprint along a disused railway line. I think I’m faster than Bessie, but I try not to overtake her, as she is a sensitive soul and always wants to be first.
My favourite place of all is the park. It’s so big, and I can run around as if I don’t have a care in the world. As I’m so small, I take big, bounding leaps through the longer grass, like a gazelle. I’ll often go up to other dogs, they always seem friendly. If they are big and a bit scary, I’ll curl up into a ball, look up at them adoringly and flutter my ginger eyelashes. It never fails.
I love my new life. But I wouldn’t be here without Holly Hedge.