On Saturday my number one garden dog passed.
He had a good run – fifteen and a half years. I am proud to say that he was able to die at home surrounded by his people and his pack.
Our dear friend Marc dug a grave near the creek that Woody loved so well. We planted a seedling of Mississippi’s state champion bur oak beside him – a fitting tribute.
But still I miss him. I found this story that I wrote about him many years ago. I will post it here.
A.K.A Woodrow, Woodrow Culvertson, Booger, Boogie, Woodjananda, Eraser Nose
One cold rainy February day I noticed three young dogs roaming the roadside looking lost. As I stopped, the two brown pups ran in alarm.
When I approached the white pup, he laid down in a rut full of rainwater and quaked in fear. I touched him gingerly, afraid he would bite. Instead he continued to shake. So… I picked him up and took him home. Later that morning, the vet told us that he was probably part airedale and about 3 months old. Since I was on my way to get wood when I found him, we named our road find – Woodrow.
Woody’s brown siblings were later adopted by a friend of ours. She told us that the three pups had been living in a culvert under the interstate.
That first day, Woody was so traumatized that he would not look at us or wag his tail. We expected that it would be days or weeks before he relaxed into his new situation. He was traumatized further when we bathed him. Later that day,however,he began to realize his good fortune. He started wagging his tail and look deeply into the eyes of his newfound humans with gratitude.
Woody immediately found his place in the pack. He offered obeisance to all even to the smaller dogs. He quickly realized that Skipper was his mentor. Skippy, the alpha male was going on 15 years. He was one quarter pit bull, one quarter Australian ridge-back and half free-breeding street dog. He was a force to be reckoned with.
Skippy initiated Woody by putting the fear of dog into him. Every time Woody committed some grevious act, he would cower as Skippy towered over him snarling and snapping the air around Woody’s head. When the lesson was over, Skippy turned his mind to other matters and Woody immediately became giddy and gleeful again.
Woody’s favorite place is the creek behind our house. Every morning, he makes a bee line for the creek. He returns in about a half hour wet, muddy and happy.
In the photo, Richard and Skippy pause on one of our creek bridges to give young Woody a lesson.
After Skippy went on to the Happy Hunting Ground, Woody rose in the pack to a position second in command (behind little 10 pound Malva of course).