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It’s a treasure, a rare jewel and extraordinary gift. Well, not really a gift, more like a “finders keepers, losers weepers” sort of thing – and to think it was a result of one of the scariest moments in my life – a moment when my heart was racing, my paws were sweatyee I’m sorry. I’m rambling on and haven’t introduced myself. I’m Mr. Dogwood, but my friends and family call me Woody. Sometimes I’ll hear “Dogwood” – like if I’ve made a knucklehead decision or if Dad’s trying to make an important point.
Anyway, I’m a black and tan miniature wiener dog who lives in the great state where I was born – Kentucky, making me Woody, The Kentucky Wiener. My big sister Chloe, a redheaded miniature wiener dog, my human parents – I call them Mom and Dad – and I travel around in The Woody Bus talking to kids and adults about being their best. We call it Woody’s Five Ways to Be Successful. Mom, Dad, Chloe, and I hope we help others, all the while reminding ourselves, that with hard work, a positive attitude, respect for others and ourselves, we can accomplish great things.
Mom and Dad tell Chloe and me every day that we can achieve all our goals and dreams.
“Work and dream like a big dog, Woody.” Dad once told me. “It doesn’t matter that you’re little, just think big. That, plus a winning attitude and hard work will take you places.”
That was the best advice I’d heard. In fact, it’s become my motto. Now, Mom, Dad, Chloe, and I travel all around and share that message with others. What a great life.
That brings me back to the treasure. Mom, Dad, Chloe, and I had just returned home from traveling. Upon our arrival, we found our homestead safe, and more importantly, our siblings Rio and Fe – two Labrador retrievers – and Dolly and Little Bit – two cats – waiting faithfully for us. As retrievers, one of Rio and Fe’s jobs is to retrieve the newspaper from the driveway each day. They keep the newspapers in a safe place and when we return, we read the news we missed.
Dad’s favorite section is Sports. The Big Bad Wolf could blow our house in while Dad’s reading and he wouldn’t know. Chloe and Mom love Features, but my favorite is the Comics. Anyway, we use the newspapers to catch up on what we missed while away. And that’s the only thing we use the newspaper for, just in case you are wondering.
Chloe and I read in the paper about the county fair coming. We were so excited and begged our parents to take us.
“Since you’ve been obeying the rules and working hard, tomorrow morning, after breakfast and chores, we’ll treat you to a day at the fair,” they said.
Chloe and I couldn’t wait for the merry-go-round, to win a prize at the duck pond and to watch the greased pig race. Maybe I’d be real lucky and walk away with a scrumptious cake from the Cake Walk.
The next day our trip to the fair was going perfectly. I was terrified when I read the sign, “Two hot dogs for $1.” Mom said it wasn’t referring to Chloe and me. We were enjoying ourselves when Chloe said, “Hey Woody, there’s the Ferris wheel. Let’s ride.” I don’t know what came over me.
Maybe it was the smell of cotton candy or the excitement from the pig race, but without thinking, I said, “That’s a terrific idea.”
Before I knew it, Chloe and I sat side by side, fastened tightly in our seat, waiting for the Ferris wheel to take us soaring through the air. After making sure everyone was ready, the nice man flipped a switch, started the music, and Chloe and I moved higher with each note of the whimsical tune. At first it was thrilling. I could see the booths at the fair, friends and my parents waving as they stood below, but the higher we went, the scarier it got. I was shaking and shivering, hoping I wouldn’t cry and trying not to lose the corn on the cob I had for lunch. Chloe, being the perfect big sister, saw my fear.
“It’s OK, Woody. If you are too scared to watch, just bury your head. It will be over before you know it.” I was embarrassed. My sister was having the time of her life and I was scared out of my wits, but this was no time for pride. I snuggled close to Chloe, buried my head, and focused on the seat – and that’s when I saw – the treasure.
Thanks to LG&E/KU both E.ON companies and KPA for making this project possible. Thanks to the Kentucky Secretary of State for sponsoring the new podcast. For podcast and questions and activities go online to www.kypress.com.