Healing Wotan


Wotan’s Statistics:
Breed: Pure-bred Golden Retriever
Date of Birth: October 13, 1998
Place of Birth: Oregon breeding facility of Guide Dogs of the Desert
Origin of name: WOTAN is the Modern German spelling of WODEN. Woden was an important figure in folk religion and folklore throughout the Middle Ages and even into the Modern Period and can be found in English, Swiss, German, and Scandinavian traditions. Some believe he was the precursor of the American Santa Claus.

Wotan was bred to be a seeing eye dog for the blind. He didn’t graduate from Guide Dogs of the Desert after completing his training because he was too friendly. A guide dog must focus only on its master and ignore other people and animals vying for their attention. Personally, I think Wotan just decided it was more fun to be petted, coddled, fed yummy treats, and garner a lot of attention from everyone he met rather than focusing on one person and always being “on call”. One facet of his training that has persisted (which I find wonderful at times and slightly annoying at other times) is his laser-beam focus on me. I’m a busy person who works out of his home and I am back and forth between my home office and the other rooms in the house all day long. He likes to lie at my feet no matter what I’m doing, and every time I would get up from my chair, even if just to fetch a cup of coffee from the kitchen, Wotan would get up and follow me. I felt like he was attached to my hip. This kind of devotion from a beloved pet is contagious and so easy to get used to.

Sadly, the last year brought about a major change in Wotan’s ability to get around and really enjoy life as he has for so many years. He was suffering terribly with hip dysplasia in his right leg and the disease had been progressively getting worse until it reached the point where he could no longer manage to get up onto the back seat of the car and go for the rides he used to enjoy so much. He began to refuse to go on the leisurely walks we used to take around the neighborhood 4 or 5 times a day as he had a difficult time trying to step up onto the curb from the street and frequently he would collapse on his hind legs after a short distance. It was emotionally painful to me to see this deterioration in him, but even worse, I could tell he was suffering from constant pain, especially when he took so long to stand up on all fours or had such a slow, difficult time lying back down. He would find himself stuck in narrow areas in the house where he used to easily turn around in them.

Four months ago after the vet’s examination, I was advised against bringing him in again unless it was an emergency because he was an old dog and it was too hard on him to get in and out of the car just to go through routine checkups. The vet chose not treat him with any type of medicines for his hip dysplasia because she didn’t feel they would help much at his age and the treatments were often painful, and expensive with little positive results.

Living with Wotan every day and watching the quality of his life continue to degrade caused me significant emotional pain. There seemed to be nothing I could do to help relieve his suffering and he was having some very bad days. Friends who came to visit and who had known Wotan for years, said I should consider putting him to sleep because it wasn’t fair to let him suffer so much. Although I certainly didn’t want him to suffer at all, the idea of no longer having him in my life brought tears to my eyes whenever I thought about it. Unless you’ve ever loved a dog the way I love Wotan, you’d never understand that kind of pain.

Four months ago all he wanted to do was lie in a corner alone like this.

He didn’t come galloping to the kitchen anymore when I was preparing his meals and sometimes I had to take his bowl to wherever he was camped out and place it in front of him before he’d eat. Having had a voracious Golden Retriever appetite his entire life, I was saddened to see him lose interest in what had always been a highlight of his day. One day I noticed his beautiful brown eyes had clouded over and I was afraid he was going blind. I called the vet and was told that clouding over of the eyes in older dogs was normal and he would still be able to see fine. I hoped that would be true.

Compare the photo above taken four months ago of him before he developed hip dysplasia to the first photo. Not a happy dog four months ago.

About three months ago I took Wotan for a very short walk because I hoped that a little exercise might help him. It was an ordeal that I never want to put him through again. After about 10 steps he suddenly collapsed on his rear legs and rolled over on his side. He started breathing heavily, taking shallow, labored breaths rather than his normal fast panting when he’s hot or exhausted. His tongue lolled out, his eyes bulged, and I thought for sure he was dying. With the help of a neighbor I got him into the car and sped off to the animal hospital. There two of the nurses helped me carry him inside where the doctor immediately examined him. He had x-rays, blood tests, and an injection for the pain and to help relax him. When I was later shown his x-rays I could see how radically different his right hip looked compared to his normal left one. I was told the blood tests to check him out thoroughly would be complete in a few days and I’d receive a call from the doctor with the results. After being handed the bill, I’d swear he must have had an organ transplant too.

While I was waiting to pay, Wotan was being wooed by a very active little 11 year-old female Golden. She wasn’t getting any attention from Wotan no matter how coy she acted, and when we walked out the door together the Golden’s owner asked me what I was doing to treat his hip dysplasia. I told her the vet said there really wasn’t anything they could do that would be of much help to him. She then told me the story of Lucy, her red-haired Golden and how she too had suffered from severe hip dysplasia. She said two different vets had given her the same response about treating Lucy’s hip dysplasia. Over the course of 14 months she had gone online and tried six different products that were supposed to treat hip dysplasia in dogs but they either caused Lucy more distress or the side effects turned out to be worse than the suffering Lucy already was enduring.

One day her mailman asked why Lucy never came to the window anymore when he delivered the mail. When told the reason, his response was “I’ve got the perfect solution for your dog”. He told her about Winston’s Joint System from DogsHealth.com, a naturopathic medicine developed by an MD to treat his own beloved dog. He said his pet Boxer developed a severe case of hip dysplasia at age three and was so debilitated that he considered having him euthanized to end the dog’s pain. A fellow mail carrier told him about Winston’s formula one day so he ordered it and started his Boxer on the daily regimen. Within one month the dog began to show improvement. After two months the Boxer was getting up and down without a lot of effort, and each month thereafter brought more relief for the dog. Finally the Boxer was back to his old self again, running along the inside of his fenced-in yard, barking fiercely at the regular mailman delivering the mail.

What she told me gave me hope that there could be something out there that would help Wotan recover and lead a normal life again, so as soon as I got home I went online and checked out DogsHealth.com where I found Winston’s Joint System treatment for hip dysplasia. After reading testimonials from other dog owners about how Winston’s Joint System had helped their pet dogs recover from debilitating hip dysplasia, I felt a burst of hope that here at last could be what I needed to save my dearly-loved dog.

Wotan after one month on Winston’s Joint System

Now just one month since Wotan started treatment with Winston’s Joint System formula, he is a different dog altogether. I began giving him Winston’s formula the same day I received it. I am thrilled to report that Wotan is definitely improving. He can get up and down with far more ease than he could before he started taking the supplements. He no longer has to back out of a narrow space to exit but is able to make a U-turn and go back head-first the way he came. He is so much more alert and back to his old ways of acting as if I haven’t fed him in days whenever he finds me in the kitchen. Food has once again become a real big deal in his daily life.

I feel like I have my old friend back again. We take our walks twice a day now and when it’s time for breakfast and dinner (or even when it’s not time) he’s raring to chomp down on whatever I give him and is urging me to get it ready as if I’d been starving him for a week. He seems ravenous enough to eat anything and everything I have in my refrigerator. His eyes have cleared up and they once again have that beautiful brown ring surrounding the dark pupil that gives him that loving, sad look that Golden Retrievers are noted for. He is acting more alert than he has been in more than a year. What’s important to me is that he’s regaining the good health that he enjoyed for so many years before his hip dysplasia changed his life for the worse. He no longer collapses when he stands up or goes for walks. He’s still a little hesitant sometimes about lying down and uses a little caution in settling down for a rest. Sort of like us when we’ve broken a bone or hurt ourselves and try to take it a little easy until we get used to being whole again.

Be sure to come back soon and read about Wotan’s progress and continuing recovery from the pain and suffering he had endured for over a year before I discovered Winston’s Joint System formula.


Last time I wrote about my Golden Retriever Wotan, he was starting to show improvement in his hip dysplasia after only one month on Winston’s Joint System formula. I am so happy to see him get up and walk around with ease again and a few times I’ve seen him get up so fast it looks like he levitated – this happens if I’m tempting him with one of his favorite treats in my hand. He does the resting and sleeping routine that all dogs are lucky enough to be able to enjoy, but when he’s ready to go, he’s really ready! There’s no holding him back from his intended purpose, whether it’s time to eat, time to relief himself, or time to go for an adventurous walk. When he’s ready I’d better be ready, whether I want to be or not. Otherwise if he’s hungry he’s pushing at my leg and giving me that feed-me-right-now look ,or he’s standing at the door, dancing around, looking at me like ‘what are you doing – you know it’s time to go for a walk.

I have been faithfully giving him Winston’s Joint System formula once in the morning and once at dinnertime, just as the instructions indicate. He’s a big dog (85 pounds at the last vet visit) so he takes Winston’s Joint System once with his morning meal and again with his evening meal. I also bought Winston’s Pain Formula at the same time I bought the Joint System and for the last month I have been giving him the Pain Formula twice a day to help relieve the suffering he was going through. I’ve been able to cut back on giving him the Pain Formula and only give it to him if he seems to be having a little more difficulty on some days. His overall health has vastly improved. I know Winston’s Joint System isn’t some “miracle cure” but he sure has gotten better in all areas of his life, not just in his mobility and pain relief.

I feel that if Winston’s Joint System saved my dog, it can bring hope to your life too if your beloved pet dog is suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis.

Here I am writing about Wotan and I look down where he’s sitting patiently at my feet. He wags his tail and lifts his head in that regal way he has, and lifts a paw to me. I can imagine he’s thanking me for helping him get so much better, but then again, he may just be thinking ‘If I’m nice to him he’ll give me a couple of milkbones.”

I hope to have a lot more good news to share with you as Wotan continues to regain his strength and fully recover from the ravages of his hip dysplasia. I’ve decided to buy a new video camera and make a short video of him so you can see for yourself how well he’s doing now that Winston’s Joint System has done so much to help him. Check back soon and you’ll have a chance to see my great big beautiful boy at his best.

Wotan on the Road to Recovery

Wotan continues to get better every week. There are some days that aren’t as good as the others but he is still so much more alert, mobile, and happier than he was before he started on Winston’s Joint System formula for his hip dysplasia. We go on walks every day even though the vet said it wasn’t necessary because he’s an old dog and should just be exercised minimally. She doesn’t know that he’s recently renewed his friendship with several other dogs in the neighborhood. There’s a Miniature Schnauzer, a Pomeranian, a German Shepard, and a King Charles Spaniel that occasionally join us on our neighborhood walks whenever we’re out and about at the same time. What is so encouraging to me is to see Wotan keep up with all of them even though their ages range from 3 years to 8 years old. Wotan is the “granddaddy” of the group but that doesn’t stop him from leading the pack.

A couple of the dog’s owners asked me what I’d done to improve Wotan’s health so much. They’d all seen him laconic and suffering so many times when his hip dysplasia started getting really bad. When I told them he was taking a natural formula developed by a doctor for his own pet dog, they wouldn’t believe me. I even had to show the Winston’s Joint System bottles to one of the guys – a real no-nonsense ‘show-me-the-money’ kind of guy. He read and re-read the ingredients, and kept looking at Wotan, who was obviously convinced that the guy was just dying to give him a treat or bone, or some goody to eat.

I offered the neighbor a beer and we sat down to shoot the (you know what). He began telling me that he had a German Shepard as a pet when he was in his teens and the dog developed arthritis to the point where he couldn’t even stand up to make it outside to go to the bathroom. His father had the dog put down because it was such a problem to the family. He had cried and cried for days he said. At fourteen, he felt he had lost the only thing in the world that really loved him. He admitted he’s been living in fear that his pet German Shepard was going to end up with the same terrible problem. I said, “Take a look at Wotan. You remember how bad he looked during the last year and how we’d stopped going on walks with all of you. If your dog develops arthritis or hip dysplasia, the first thing you should do is log on to DogsHealth.com and order Winston’s Joint System.” Personally, I hope this horrible disease never strikes his pet but if it does I know he’ll be able to restore his dog to good health in a short period of time, and he won’t be wasting money or valuable time trying drugs and procedures that won’t work.

Well, I hope you’ll come back and check out some more pictures of Wotan as he continues to improve in all aspects of his life. Do you have any” before and after” photos of your dog who has been helped by Winston’s Joint System? If so, please email us a copy of your loving pet.

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