Editor’s note: We recently found out that Winston, a local black lab who we used in several BendBroadband ads, passed away earlier this year. Here’s a small piece on Winston, with a gigantic thank you to the Hinkle family for letting us tell his story.
Right from the start, Winston had an immediate effect on the Hinkle family.
“My husband (Mark Hinkle) got him from a farm in Prineville in 2003,” Cynthia Hinkle said about Winston, a black Labrador that appeared in several BendBroadband ad campaigns. He passed away this spring at the age of 12.
“We weren’t married yet,” Cynthia recalled. “And I wasn’t even living here. I was still down in the Bay area. But on a visit, Mark came and picked me up from the airport and he had Winston with him.
“That’s all I needed to get me up here,” she added. “He was the cutest puppy I’d ever seen.”
Winston became a bit of a local celebrity even before his star turn with BendBroadband. He was a constant fixture at Manzama, the downtown Bend search optimization firm Mark co-founded, and could often be seen along – or in – the Deschutes River.
“He loved to run, he loved to swim and he loved the river,” Cynthia said.
Mark’s most loyal fishing buddy, Winston also traveled with the Hinkles in 2006 when they embarked on a cross-country road trip.
“He was like our child before we had children,” Cynthia said.
As Cynthia and Mark’s family grew – they now have two preteen boys – so did Winston’s role with the Hinkles.
“The boys loved him so much,” Cynthia said. “He totally watched out for them and they loved him.
“We miss having a dog,” she added. “We miss having a special dog like Winston.”