Dog of the Month January: Winnie

This husky was rescued while pregnant. Now she and her bevy of adorable pups up for adoption.
Dog of the Month Winnie
All photos by Kathleen Harrison.

Winnie came into Sandra Hamilton’s life through the Milo Foundation. Sandra became Winnie’s foster dog mom after the foundation rescued the husky from a kill shelter in Merced, when she was two days away from being euthanized.

“Winnie is such a sweet, good natured dog, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would give her up,” Sandra says. “Clearly, she has not been abused or mistreated, but was somebody’s cherished pet. A week or so later, they discovered she was pregnant! Milo volunteer Marielle Franco posted on Facebook about Winnie needing a quiet place to give birth, and in the photo she looked so sad and lost. I turned to my son Gabe and went “Should we do it?” and he concurred.”

The family used to have two large German Shorthaired Pointers who died of a ripe old age. “I didn’t feel ready to take on a new full-time dog, so fostering for a while seemed like a great opportunity for some quality dog time,” Sandra says.

She agreed to take on the pregnant dog, even though she had never been through a puppy birth before. “It was a wonderful but terrifying event,” says Sandra. “Winnie is a great mom and knew just what to do, which included eating all the afterbirth, gah! Although sometimes she would sit on a puppy and not notice, and we had to whisk them out of the way, so every little whimper would wake us up. My partner Andrew and I were pretty sleep deprived for the first week.”

There were some health issues to deal with from the beginning. “When Winnie arrived, she had a bad choking cough which also kept us up at night, but after a round of antibiotics and multiple servings of honey water, she is much better,” Sandra says. “The smallest of the pups had something wrong with it and was not breathing right from the start. She was unable to latch on and feed, and even though we tried to manually feed her with an eye dropper, she died at two days old. It was super sad. But the other eight pups are thriving and have easily doubled in size. They are just starting to learn to walk, and Winnie is already pretty much recovered and enjoying long walks in the neighborhood.”

“She is a total love, and the puppies are beyond adorable with a nice variety of looks. We think the dad might be a Rottweiler,” Sandra says. She has named the puppies after ski resorts: Whistler, Jackson, Donner, Chamonix, Aspen, Shasta, Northstar and Sochi.

How old is Winnie and her babies?

Winnie is about three years old, and her babies are a month old.

Does she have a favorite snack?

Winnie’s favorite snack is roast chicken, and she also loves any kind of broth.

Where does she sleep in your house – does she sleep in you bed?

She sleeps with her babies in the puppy bed, but she would love to sleep in the bed with her next owner.

Is there anything unique about her personality you could tell us?

I would say the most distinctive thing about her is her extreme openness and friendliness to every human she meets.

Where does she like to walk?

We have been staying pretty close to home on our walks because the puppies are so young, but I can tell she is much more happy on dirt than pavement. She would love her next owner to be a trail runner.

Anything more you’d like to say?

Since dog years are so short, and puppies grow so fast, all the dogs including the wonderful, amazing Winnie, will be ready for new homes at the end of January. Is your home one of them?

If you’re interested in adopting Winnie or her pups please contact the Milo Foundation at:

A few other places to look to adopt a dog:

Marin Humane

The Dog Shack

Jessica’s Haven

If you’d like to enter your dog into Marin’s dog-of-the-month, please contact


Jessica GliddonJessica Gliddon is an international writer and editor who has lived and worked in London, Dubai and Cape Town. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Jessica is the former editor of Abu Dhabi’s airline magazine, Etihad Inflight. She also worked for six years in a creative agency in South Africa, heading up publications for wineries, jewelry companies, and even an orchestra. She then moved back to California and decided to get serious about digital, brushing up with a course at General Assembly and launching into the role of Digital Editor for both Marin Magazine and the SF Bay section of When she’s not checking out the latest exhibit at SFMOMA or searching out the best places to eat and drink near her home in San Francisco, she volunteers at the Marin Mammal Center in Sausalito.



Categories: Marin Matters, Pets