Actor, Tom Hardy has penned a touching tribute to his beloved dog, Woody, who passed away earlier this week following a six month battle with a chronic muscle disorder, Polymyositisis.
“I first saw Woodstock running across a turnpike we were turning onto late one dark night in Peachtree, Georgia, Atlanta. Whilst we were shooting Lawless. He was a stray. 11 weeks old. Oh no we thought. Quickly go get that dog … not even sure it was a dog, actually. We stopped the car. It was pitch black literally. I used my phone to light the road in case a car came round the turnpike and couldn’t see me. And I tried to cover some ground but he was fast. I watched this thing running towards the highway in the pitch black making good speed towards the cars and lorries and I remember seeing what were its floppy ears bouncing towards the traffic. That dogs had it I thought.”
“Whatever it was had no road sense and was tearing away. I panicked a little because I couldn’t help it had no name to shout and now it was close to the freeway. I put my fingers to my mouth and I whistled. Loud as I could. The whistle pierced the black. And It stopped the dog dead in its tracks. Then it turned and set eyes on me in one swift movement the ears about faced and the dog decided to run straight at me in the darkness all flashes of teeth and snarling. And shrieking. Fuck this I thought that’s not a fkn dog. What am I doing? It ran straight at me and hit me around the legs.”
“I snatched out expecting to feel teeth and grabbed a fist full of soft neck fur lifted what was actually an incredibly light weight up to my face and shone my phone at it. It was a very small bundle literally sagging from its neck fur with two big brown eyes staring straight into mine. Terrified and utterly quiet. When I got back to the car and sat in my seat he lay on my shoulder and fell asleep. And snored. Clearly he’d been through a lot. And now the ordeal was seemingly over enough for him to relax.”
“He was covered in dogshit. Now so was I. We took him straight to the pet store to clean him up and buy him well, things.. lots of things things dogs need and we walked the aisles the three of us letting him choose toys and his lead and his collar. I’ll never forget that night. It was wonderful. One minute he was almost dead, the next terrified, then picked up by strangers then after he had a power nap in the car, and the next he’s walking with his bandy leg John Wayne strut under the strip lighted aisles of this massive pet store happy and playful.”
“He wore a red bandana that night and from then on and drank religiously from the toilet throughout the night despite having a few bowls of water in the apartment. He was every inch a survivor. He wasn’t house broken. It didn’t matter. We were outdoors mostly. He became our onset dog I will always be eternally grateful to Georgia, Atlanta. It gave me the greatest of joys of being a dog owner.”
“The first morning we had him, he ate a turd and we chased him to drop it but he gobbled it down because he must have thought we wanted to eat it. So he ate it as fast as he could. We just wanted him to eat some real food. He now had plenty. But there was a survivor in him. That was clear he had had to eat what he could and from then on it was clear he had food issues. But he would never go hungry again. His nickname was Yamaduki. Because he literally yammed down a duki. So Woodstock Yamaduki was his full name. Woody Thomas later Woody two shoes and Wu for short.”
“Woody came back to the UK after Jess’s parents kindly looked after him. He had my t-shirt from Warrior. I picked him up from them in California when I shot Dark Knight and thanked them. He hadn’t forgotten me and despite the tireless efforts and hard work that Jessica’s Mum and husband had put into Woody he heard my whistle again and turned and ran at me and didn’t look back. I felt for them but secretly I was very happy that my friend and I were reconnected.”
“We all had a picnic we jumped into a lake Woody too and then it was clear Woody couldn’t swim and I hauled his ass out of the lake. Dragging him out the shit a second time cemented a pattern. I have hauled him out of rivers and ponds on many occasion since that day such was his love to chase ducks. Especially the Thames.”
“He was an Angel. And he was my best friend. We went through so much together. Charlotte worked tirelessly with him to get him through a rough case of separation anxiety. He loved her like his Mum. And when she was pregnant he gaurded her fiercely. He has been on many sets. Met many crews. Photo shoots, premieres, made many many friends. He was #73 most influential animal in TIME magazine. He beat JAWS. Something we all thought was brilliant. He’s been in Peaky Blinders, Legend … everyone who met him loved him. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body. All he knew was love.”
“I don’t normally speak out about family and friends but this is an unusual circumstance. Woody affected so many people in his own right so with great respect to his autonomy and as a familiar friendly face to many of you, it is with great great sadness and a heavy heart that I inform you that after a very hard and short 6 month battle with an aggressive polymyostisis, Woody passed away, two days ago. He was only age 6.”
“He was far too young to leave us and we at home are devastated by his loss. I am ultimately grateful for his loyal companionship and love and it is of some great comfort that he is no longer suffering. Above all I am completely gutted. The world for me was a better place with him in it and by my side.”
“To the bestest friend ever to me and to a family who loved him beyond words and whom he loved without doubt more than I have ever known. Woody was the bestest of journey companions we ever could dream of having. Our souls intertwined forever.
A friend told me he was special bro, a shining example of man’s best friend. He burnt very very bright and, those that burn very bright sometimes burn half as long.”
“Thank you Woody for choosing to find us. We will love you and be with you and you with us forever. Never ever ever forgotten. Your boy Tom xxx
I love you beyond words. To the moon and back again and again to Infinity and beyond. Run with Max now and the Angels. I will see you when I get there. With all of me I love you. Always.
Thank you for your love beautiful boy.”