Aug 31, 2009

Passion for Paws

Whether you have a passion for diabetes prevention or protecting our four-legged friends, we celebrate whatever it is that inspires you to get out and live life.

We are proud to support one of our Skinny Gene members, Michelle, as she runs the Chicago Marathon in memory of Winston, her 2 1/2 year old Weimaraner that passed away due to heart failure last year on October 12, 2008.

Winston's Story- By Michelle C (Skinny Gene Project, Chicago)

Winston was a blue Weimaraner that I purchased from a breeder in May of 2006. I had been living in Chicago, IL for approximately 6 years before I even thought about taking on the responsibility of such a large and energetic dog. I also was an avid runner with multiple running partners that helped motivate me to run on not so nice days and for safety reasons while living in such a big city. As my life, career, and responsibilities started changing so did my running partners and my desire to run. That is when I decided it was time to get a dog that was able to run with me to keep me safe and to get me out running regularly again.

I had done my research, found a breeder in Iowa, and put down a deposit to secure the pick of the litter.

When the puppies were six weeks old I went to Iowa to pick out which puppy would be mine and I instantly fell in love with the little pudgy, laid back Weimaraner with the blue collar.

When I picked him up at 8 weeks old the breeder had told me that at his last vet appointment they had found that he had a heart murmur and that there was a 95% chance he would grow out of it. At that point I had an opportunity to take a different puppy, but I refused and went with my first instinct and in fear that he may not have a chance at a good home if I didn’t take him.

Over the next 2 years, Winston’s heart disease progressed which made it difficult for him to be in the heat or to express his puppy spirit. At any chance he pushed the limits and loved every minute of it. Needless to say he didn’t have the chance to be my running partner, but he was my best friend. I lost Winston to heart failure on the evening of October 11, 2008 at 2 ½ years old.

The 2009 Chicago Marathon is on October 11, 2009 which is the year anniversary of Winston’s death.

Therefore, I thought it was fitting to run in his name for PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving), which is the city's largest No Kill humane organization, focused on alleviating Chicago's tragic pet homelessness problem. Since PAWS Chicago's founding, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by more than half ―from 42,561 pets killed in 1997 to 19,288 in 2008.

I believe all dogs and cats deserve a second chance at life and love!

Please support my efforts at or at a shelter near you!