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posted Jan 22, 2016, 1:08 PM by Christa McElroy
Bob and Pam Green’s “Woody”

We lost our 11 year-old collie, Fred, to cancer in 2000. In the spring of 2001, we met 1 1/2 year-old Woody at a Tri-County Collie Rescue event at Pet-Smart in Northville. He came over, stood on my feet and leaned against me, and I knew he was ours. We met a few of the other dogs that were up for adoption, but kept coming back to Woody. We adopted him on May 28, 2001.

Woody was a rowdy boy when we got him. He would bark and lunge at people when we walked him, scaring them half out of their wits because he was such a big dog. As he became more certain that he had a family for life, he became less fearful that other people would take us away from him and more curious about whether they would pet him, or maybe even pull a treat out of a pocket. He loved his walks, and somehow knew when he was going to get one without anyone saying a word to him.

Woody got to know the other dogs in the neighborhood. There was Misty, a border collie who lived in the house behind ours. She soon learned that she was not the boss of this new young collie, as she had been of the elderly Fred. Then there was Maddie, a terrier who lived next door to Misty. At first a little shy of a dog 10 times her size, they eventually became friends, with Maddie racing in and out of the invisible fencing line that Woody wouldn’t cross. But his best friend was Charlie, a black lab who lived next door. Charlie could open doors, literally, for Woody. He knew how to open our patio door screen and let Woody out when he was unfairly being kept inside the house. The two of them ran perpetual circles around the yard until they were both too tired to go any farther.

A true herding dog, Woody would run after a ball if you threw it, but refuse to bring it back. He would simply stand over it, showing you that he had found it and was keeping it safe where it was. If you want it back, he would seem to say, you’ll be needing Charlie. It bothered him if Bob and I were in separate parts of our house, as it made it much more difficult for him to keep tabs on us.

He went for many rides on our small boat, something that he wasn’t so much interested in for the sake of boating as for just being with us. He didn’t like the wind in his face, and would curl up at my feet under the dashboard. He hated the noisy whine of the engine, and had absolutely no intention of getting in the water for any reason. Still, he would beg to go along if he saw us hooking the boat up to the truck. He did seem to enjoy lazy river cruises, where he and I both had bench seats in the V-hull and passers-by could admire him from their boats. The occasional lab or spaniel in those boats were interesting, but he could never understand why they insisted on jumping into the water. He could only tilt his head and stare at them quizzically (while barking out a warning that they were doing something crazy).

After struggling for some time with health issues, Woody went quietly to sleep on November 3, 2011, with Bob and I and Dr. Griffith, who had cared for him since he joined our family, at his side. He was 12 years old. It was a really difficult decision for all of us, but we knew the time had come. He brought a lot of joy into our lives, and asked for so little in return. We will miss him terribly.
less fearful that other people would take us away from him and more curious about whether they would pet him, or maybe even pull a treat out of a pocket. He loved his walks, and somehow knew when he was going to get one without anyone saying a word to him.
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