Winnie Inspires a Win-Win

By Judy Layne

It’s said that pets come into our lives to teach us about love. We open our homes and hearts to them and they become cherished members of our families. They show us the wonder that comes from making a loving connection with another living being. For a brief time on this earth, we have a loyal friend who never doubts or judges us….. a caring devoted spirit who delights in pleasing us…… a faithful soul who never wants to leave us.

But leave us they must.  And when they do, it’s devastating.  Even though we know in our minds that their passing is inevitable. And while the daily joy they brought has vanished, the love they gave us never dies; it becomes a part of us forever.  And they continue to inspire us long after they’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  No one knows this better than Heather Compton.  Here’s the inspiring story of her sweet girl Winnie.

“I heard about Winnie in May 2008 and her sad story moved me,” relates Heather. “Only five months old, Winnie had been mostly kept in the basement of her owners’ home; she didn’t get the love and care that every animal deserves.  She was such a beautiful girl – a cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix.  One look at her loving sad eyes and that was it for me.”

“Winnie came to me at a crucial time in my life,” Heather explains.  “I became a widow shortly after adopting Winnie and because of her, I never felt lonely.  As well, I had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Winnie was always willing to adapt to whatever I could do each day.  Winnie made an incredible difference in my life. It seemed that we really needed each other and in return, both our lives were made so much richer.”

Heather says “Winnie was my constant sidekick.  Going for car rides definitely topped her list of favorite things, along with getting treats and believe it or not, going to the groomers!  One year, we visited all the Provincial Parks which was incredible.  Winnie was so friendly with people; they were immediately drawn to her.”

Then in May last year, after 12 amazing years together, Winnie passed away.  “One day, I noticed that Winnie was very weak and couldn’t get up.  Within a few minutes, she was gone,” Heather shares. “Winnie was my baby.  I was devastated and depressed from losing her. I miss her every day, but she’ll be in my heart forever and I’ll carry the wonderful memories we made together with me always.”

Heather explains “I wanted to find a way to honour Winnie’s memory and let the gift of her love help other homeless animals. The SPCA’s weekly 50/50 draw was the perfect way for me to do that. I knew that if everybody bought a ticket, it could help greatly and make dreams come true.  And buying online is very easy and safe in this Covid-19 environment.”

Heather never thought that she would win, but she ended up being the lucky winner during week 27 of the draw!  The jackpot that week hit $10,850 so she took home half and the other half went straight to helping homeless pets in need.  “Winnie inspired me to be positive and to show kindness; I feel like her spirit was watching over me,” says Heather.

In this Covid-19 world, many people are struggling.  The SPCA started the 50/50 initiative because they wanted to find a way to help animal lovers AND raise crucial funds for homeless pets – a definite win-win.  You can make a difference from the comfort and safety of your home.  If Winnie’s story has inspired you, please show your support by buying a ticket.  Who knows – you could be one click away from being the next lucky winner! Click here.


Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Gracie. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.