It’s time for our second “Good Dog” post! This month, we’re talking to Marina Dargitz about her brand-new rescue pup, Winri. Marina found Winri at Blackhat Humane Society, a non-profit devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating the 200,000 abandoned and stray animals on the Navajo Nation. Their goals as an organization include fostering abandoned and surrendered animals, acclimating them to family life, and providing the animals with restorative medical care, including spay/neuter and vaccinations.
Hi Marina, and thanks for taking the time to tell us about your new pup! Where did you two meet?
When we found out about a medium-sized adult dog currently with a Blackhat foster parent, my boyfriend, my friend (and foster coordinator with the rescue), her pup Ruby, and I all took a road trip in a little Honda Fit down to Cortez, Colorado (it was already pretty squishy even without the second dog). Luckily, we didn't have to trek all the way down to New Mexico, because about a week earlier, Winri came up with her foster mom and got to stay with another amazing Blackhat foster for a week. Originally, since we'd never met this dog before, we were going to do a sort of extended foster to see how she'd fit in with our lifestyle. After the first night we were completely wrapped around her toe bean, and adopted her the next day!
What an amazing story! How did you learn about this rescue?
One of my best friends and previous roommate is the foster coordinator for Blackhat Humane Society down in Chinle, Arizona. They operate mostly in the Navajo Reservation, but volunteers help transport the dogs they rescue and they end up all over the West. I've wanted to adopt a canine buddy from them basically since I first learned about Blackhat, but only this summer did the stars align and give us the opportunity!
What drew you towards Winri?
At first, all we knew about her were some general details and a couple pictures of like half her body. She's one of those dogs that would much rather get pets than photographs! She fit all of the requirements of our lifestyle and living situation, so we thought we'd take a small risk and do that extended adoption thing. Like I said before, that failed miserably because she stole our hearts so fast. Our first impression was watching her shoot through her foster mom's front door and romp around with the other dog until she noticed us and came to romp with us as well. She has a very distinctive patch over her eye and at the time she also had a fractured patella, so she had a peg leg and we couldn't get over what a perfect little puppy pirate she was (her knee has since been fixed and the leg is fully functional, but she's still our little pirate queen!).
Tell us about her name, why Winri?
We deliberated for basically the whole 7 hours back from Cortez looking for a good name. Like I said, she was such a pirate princess, we tried to find a good pirate name for her, but none really stuck. The best we could find was a 15th century Viking queen named 'Wigbiorg.' That became Winri's other name haha. We really liked the "w" sound though, and just started looking for other similar sounding names. Winri is a character from an animated show we were both obsessed with in middle school and we liked how it sounded, so we went with that! Her full name is 'Winri Wigbiorg Wigglesalot" because we are definitely those kind of dog parents...
How was the adjustment bringing Winri home?
The biggest adjustment has definitely been waking up early to take Winri on her morning walk. Neither of us are morning people and took a while to feel less like a zombie at 6:30am (though I'll be honest, I'm only a slightly more human now). Fortunately for us, Winri lets us sleep in a bit later on the weekends. Other than that she really fit into our routine seamlessly!
What are your favorite things to do together?
I'd say cuddling on any halfway soft surface is our favorite activity, but followed immediately by snow romps in the dog park. We don't know much about her past, but we suspect she didn't get to play in a whole lot of snow. When it first snowed this year she lost her entire dog mind! So it's really fun to take her somewhere she can be off-leash and just watch her frolic.
Does she know any tricks?
She more or less knows the basic four (sit, stay, come, down), but I'd say by far her most impressive trick is slowly breaking down all of her human's rules. She used to not be allowed in a good half of the apartment—no longer. Scraps at the dinner table? All hers. Sleeping on the bed? Obviously. Her puppy eyes are pretty irresistible!
What makes Winri so special to you?
Even though it's a worn-out cliche by now, Winri is 100% a family member. I think it's that unconditional dog love that endears them so much to us humans, and Winri is no exception. It's pretty incredible to have this little intelligent creature whose happiest times are any time she can spend with you—definitely humbling for us! They’re always worth it.
Any advice for someone looking to add a dog to their family?
As much as I hate to admit it, it really is important to make sure it's the right time. As a dog lover, I want all the dogs, all the time! However, I'm glad that we waited until we were in a stable situation with solid dog-sitting plan. Both of us work full time out of the house, and we wouldn't want to put a dog through all those hours alone!
Last question, if Winri had a superpower, what would it be?
Haha, if she could choose it, I think she'd definitely want to be able to teleport, so she could always be around her humans (or their food more than likely).