Woody Bute, Great Pyrenees therapy dog, passed away, Sunday, April 1, 2012. Woody was born June 1999 in Chester, IL. He was adopted by Bob and Valerie Bute of Louisville, IL in July, 1999.
Woody, a big white fluffy dog, was one of eleven in his litter and just a little bigger than a quart jar at five-weeks-old when he came to live with Bob and Valerie. He was loving, compassionate, and loyal to many. Woody was the first certified therapy dog in Clay County. In this role, Woody visited many people in nursing homes, making many lifelong friends.
If one of Woody’s friends was in the sic, you might see Woody walking down the halls of the hospital to bring them a smile and some healing. Often Woody would make his last visit to a loved friend at the funeral home, helping the family to cope and remember the person they loved and lost.
While the elderly and infirm in the nursing homes loved and appreciated Woody, none were more thrilled with him than children. Woody and Bob would visit the children at school to teach 4th and 5th graders about being a responsible pet owner and how to approach strange dogs safely. When Bob would show the children how Woody could wait for a treat placed directly in front of his nose, they were amazed! The resulting puddle of drool brought cheers from the boys and plenty of “eww gross!” from the girls. One of the highlights for Flora at Halloween was to see Woody walking down the side of the parade, stopping for pets and praise.
Wherever you saw this fluffy white dog, you would hear someone say, “There’s Woody!” It seems to most in Clay County, Woody was a celebrity. He even received several awards of honor and appreciation for his service. However, all he wanted was to love people and to help them heal. For a lady who had recently lost her sister, Woody bumped her wheelchair to get her attention, offer comfort, and bring her a smile. For a man who could only pet with his right hand which was against the wall of his room, Woody would hop into his bed to let the man pet him.
When a long time friend lay dying in her bed at the nursing home one February, Woody lay by her bed where the room’s heater was. If Bob took him out for cool air, Woody would simply turn around and go back to his friend. Amazingly, one lady claims that Woody even saved her life. She was refusing her medications and wishing to die. Woody repeatedly bumped her arm, she says, “encouraging her to take her medications.”
Chances are you or someone you love was touched by the amazing heart of this big, fluffy white dog named Woody. If you were, thank you for allowing him and us to be a part of your life. Woody was much more than “just a dog.” He touched countless lives, not the least of which was ours. We love him and miss him very much.
Page 2 of 2 - Don’t worry; you will still receive many pet visits from Woody’s family. Woody is survived by Great Pyrenees, Snow, Maggie, and Patches; St. Bernard, Heidi; and Cavalier King Charles, Scamper who will be carrying on Woody’s work of pet therapy. Bob and a friend will be visiting you soon!