Tom Woof

 Tom Woof was such an obedient dog (except for that biting business). He never let me down in public. He attended weddings, funerals, burials, sat for ten days at hospice with a friend until he died, tons of book readings, and visits to my mom in Durham.

Once, while visiting at her retirement home, I decided it was safe to remove Tom's lead. Her door was closed and her room was small. What could happen?

When a nurse poked her head in to see if we needed anything, Tom was off - down the mile-long hallway! Twice around the atrium where the Alzheimer's patients nodded in their wheelchairs. Three times around the dining room while the diners gaped. Once around the nurses' station as they went into fits of giggles and didn't even attempt to catch him. Finally, in the kitchen, a wise cook waved a slice of bacon, and Tom came to a halt. I took the bacon, and, to wild applause (well, as wild as old people can manage), Tom, smartly heeling on his lead, and I marched to Mom's room. Forgive me, Dr. Plankenhorn, I broke the bacon into pieces and fed it to Tom slowly, with a kiss on his nose between bites.

Yesterday, you all made the unbearable bearable. What a grand send-off. Lovely carpet. I'll put the flowers in Tom's Memory Box.

Dr. Plankenhorn, you will always be in my heart. Thank you for never making me feel rushed or hurried. Your heartfelt love and comfort touched me greatly.

My deepest thanks,