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Dad Misses You

March 16, 1998-
November 19, 2005

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March 16, 1998-November 19, 2005

Bronco Until We Play Again in Heaven,
Rest in Peace My Dearest Son,
With All My Heart and Soul,
Love Dad

It is with a sad heart that I must tell you the following news. Woody's long-time faithful friend and companion, Bronco, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Saturday morning.

Early Saturday morning, Woody found Bronco lying listless and unresponsive. Woody rushed Bronco to the Horton Vet Hospital, where Dr. Hussey and her colleagues did their best to save the life of Woody's best friend. Unbeknown to anyone, Bronco had a tumor on his spleen and the spleen had ruptured. Bronco made in through emergency surgery but the trauma was too great and he departed his earthly body about an hour later.

Dr. Hussey said that this condition happens often in golden retrievers and is very hard to detect until it is too late. There was nothing that Woody could have done to prevent this tragic loss. Bronco was only seven and one-half years old and was far too young to go so soon. Thankfully, he did not suffer long. Bronco was happy, playful and loving life right up until the end.

For those who listen to the show, you will know that Bronco, Woody's four-legged son, is an integral part of his life and has helped Woody get through many a tough situation. On the show Woody speaks often of their adventures together, his love for his "son" and the gratefulness he feels that Bronco is in his life.

As I watched Woody receive the sad news that his buddy had gone on to the heavenly realm, I saw his heart break into to many pieces. It is so hard to lose a loved one, no matter if they are four-legged or two. Yet his sorrow did not stop Woody from giving his friend a very special final tribute and send off. Woody decided that Bronco would be buried on the farm in Kirksville where he was raised.

Yesterday, Woody and I as well as Sarah and Darth (Bronco's doggie buddies) took him on his final ride home in Woody's truck. Bronco really loved to ride in the truck with Woody. On the way to farm, Woody stopped many times so that friends of Bronco could say their last good-byes. Bronco was a great friend to many of us and deserved to have this special tribute.

When we arrived at the farm, we had unexpected help from some very kind people, that we did not know. These folks rent the house where Woody grew up. With the help from Mary, her father Francis and her two children we were able to dig a grave for Bronco and finally lay him to rest. Drew and Lilly, Mary's children offered special comfort to Woody with their open hearts and interest in Bronco, a dog they had never met. When we began to fill the grave, Drew and Lilly, with their small garden tools, worked as hard as any of us there to make sure that Bronco was safely tucked in. Drew said he would come out every now-and-then to say hello to Bronco. Woody asked him when he did come out to see Bronco also to tell him that his Dad loves and misses him.

Once Bronco was laid to rest, we gave him a final ending with the Broncos Salute. Bronco was named after Woody's favorite football team the Denver Broncos. Every time the Denver Broncos would score a touchdown, team members would turn to each other and salute. Woody continued this tradition with Bronco throughout his life and right up until the end. Even though Drew and his sister Lilly had no idea who the Denver Broncos were, they saluted Bronco proudly right along with us.

Even though we put Bronco's physical body in the ground, his spirit remains alive and well in our hearts, all around us and in heaven. I hope this thought helps Woody as he mourns the loss of Bronco, his best friend and companion.

If you would like to see more pictures of Bronco please go to the 'host' page. If you would like to read some of the stories Woody tells about Bronco in Woody's Weekly Wonderings (WWW), please click on 'archives' under the current WWW. One of my favorite 'Bronco tales' that Woody tells is about the day Woody cut off his long hair. When he came home Bronco didn't recognize him and called the police to tell them there was a 'strange' man was breaking into the house. Gosh, Bronco was a really good guy. I sure will miss him.

If there is something to be learned from this sad event that would be to love our four-legged companions like there is no tomorrow. Take them out, play with them and always tell them you love them. This advice goes the same for our two-legged companions and loved ones, as well. Life is too short and we don't know when it is our time to go.

Please keep Woody and Bronco in your thoughts and prayers. Woody needs them, especially now. Luckily, Bronco is in a much better place. Peace and love,

Kelly, Woody's girlfriend

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