Please Daddy; I Love Him; Don't Let Him Die...
I was seven years old at the time. My family was preparing to go a restaurant one evening when something went horribly wrong with my puppy, Woodstock. We rushed to an emergency vet clinic in the Bronx and waited for the doctors and their diagnosis.
It was not good. Apparently "Woody" had some type of worm that affected his nervous system. They said the prognosis was not too promising and that he would never be "quite right." I begged and pleaded with my parents to have him treated so we could just take him home.
Woody was still perfect to me. He was the best dog no matter what was going to happen to him. I loved him; and to a seven year old, that was all that mattered.
Being a Whippet, Woody was a perfect companion for a family with children. He was so very obedient and took to training very well. It was sad to see him get slower as he got a little older.
Near our home was a center for adults with Praider Willie Syndrome, a terrible disease. I liked to run and Woody and I would run together past this facility. There were always people outside, and they loved when Woody and I stopped to visit with them. They spent time playing and talking to Woody and me; it seemed to make them all so very happy. As time went on, they would begin showing up with balls and Frisbees for Woody to play with. This seemed to be the highlight of their day and Woody and I loved the time we spent with them. Woody became an important part of their daily life.
One day Woody ran away from our home. We searched everywhere and finally found him at the center playing with his friends. From that day on, after breakfast, Woody would go and spend part of his day at the center. He went on group walks, shared stories and played ball. But, he would always return home to run with me. It seemed like he had an internal clock and always knew where he had to be! Woody did manage to live many years with me and continued this daily routine. However, when I was nineteen, Woody was diagnosed with cancer.
He passed away very soon after.
The people from the center kept an eye out for him for a few months later.
In addition to being my best friend while I was growing up, he was a "HERO" to the patients at the center. Not only did he provide entertainment and exercise, but he also provided love and attention to those that needed it.
Woody will never be forgotten.