Special day for Winston the dog as he turns 98
REACHING the age of 98 is quite the achievement, so when Winston the dog hit the milestone, his owners made sure it was a special day.
It is said that one human year equals seven dog years, so at 14 years old, Winston is almost a centenarian in dog terms.
To mark the occasion, his owners Amanda Refoy and John Norris took the black Newfoundland and Lurcher cross to his favourite pub where he was honoured with a birthday cake.
They also placed a birthday notice in the Echo for their beloved pet, who is a local legend in Winchcombe.
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Amanda, 47, said: "Winston came to live with us when he was three months old, from a rescue centre, and he just has so much character.
"He has quite a fan club around Winchcombe. He is a bit of a local celebrity. I do Christmas cards and birthday cards with him on the front.
"He has always been a real pub-loving dog. He loves going to the Corner Cupboard here, and the Royal George in Solva, Pembrokeshire, and he's very popular with the regulars. When he was younger he used to stand up at the bar with his paws on the counter.
"We took him to the Corner Cupboard for his birthday, and he had two Pepperamis, which he loves, and a cheesecake, and then he went home to sleep it off."
Winston is with Amanda or John all day, as they run their own electronics engineering firm, and is very affectionate with John's sons Jake and David.
Amanda said: "Winston has always been very loving.
"He is a very special part of our lives. He understands what people are saying and he is just such a lovely boy."
This is not the first time Winston has appeared in the Echo, as in 2007 we told the story of how Amanda had to jump into floodwater to rescue him.
When Winston got swept away by the current in the River Isbourne, Amanda did not hesitate to dive in fully clothed and still clutching her handbag to save the dog, who weighed 42 kilos at the time.
Amanda and John are not the only local animal lovers who make a special fuss for their pet's birthday.
Anne Wright, from Leckhampton, fries sausages and bacon for her six-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Doug every year on his birthday.
The 67-year-old said: "It's a special treat for him because it's his birthday, and he absolutely loves it. I don't give it to him every day because he has to watch his weight, but he does enjoy it."