Last week we buried Woody, our beloved Vizsla. He was almost 15½ years old. I know we were lucky to have such a wonderful dog, and for so long, still it aches terribly.
Woody was my gardening companion, never far away from where I was working, so close by that he was often in my way. When it was very hot, he was lying in the next shady spot, underneath a tree, shrub, or grass, or on the cool soil that I had just turned over. Sometimes our peaceful side-by-side would be interrupted by my frantic screams, me dropping my gardening tools and running away when Woody had discovered a nest of mice, or swiftly killed a groundhog.
Our yard was his kingdom, and when he majestically sat on top of a hill, he looked like a king indeed.
Every square foot of our yard has a memory of Woody. Every step along the driveway down to the compost near my garden. Even when he was already very weakened from arthritis and frail, he managed to get up every time when he saw me take the compost bucket out of the kitchen, and we walked down together, ever so slowly. I was often in a rush but I made the time to walk with him because I knew the times we would do this together were counted.
It took me almost three years until I gave in to the gentle insisting of my husband and children to bring a young dog into our life. Once Laszlo had appeared in the summer of last year, I realized it was the right thing to do. Woody perked up, not wanting to show his age. And although I am sure Woody thought at times the puppy nipping at his feet a nuisance, Laszlo helped prolong his life.
When the new gardening season begins next spring, there will be no Woody to trot along with me. But I am happy there will be Laszlo, also a wonderfully affectionate and sweet dog, who learned so quickly and so much from his old mate, and not just hunting in the fields, also character.
We truly all owe our Woody so much.
Photos by Ted Rosen