A chihuahua holds the book, "Woodrow on the Bench."

Woodrow on the Bench is the tale of an elderly dog named Woodrow, who suffers from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF for short.) At the time we read this, Rocco had recently been diagnosed with CHF, so my heart was particularly wrapped up in this story.

Jenna is an award-winning author from her many previous novels, and her powerful storytelling skills are put to good use telling the story of Woodrow.

Although I’ve read 4 memoirs now in my reading challenge, I never once asked myself why Jenna thought Woodrow’s story needed to be told. It’s everybody’s story. Anyone who has ever lived with and loved and lost a dog needs this story.

Jenna kindly shares a quality-of-life assessment in one of her chapters. I was wildly glad to see that Rocco scored over 60 points. Not quite the 80 of a perfectly healthy dog, but definitely still very much enjoying life.

At the end, Jenna has to make the difficult decision to let Woodrow go, and of course, I cried for her and Woodrow too.

This is a very special book, and one I enjoyed every page of. It also made me glad that I have chihuahuas, because if Rocco ever gets so infirm he can’t walk, I can just tuck him under one arm and hardly notice the weight difference.

It’s clear from the number of people who cared for her during her grieving period, and those who showed up for Woodrow, they are both very special people. Definitely my favorite book so far, right up there with Saving Sadie.

(I wrote this immediately after reading Woodrow on the Bench, which was before Rocco passed away. Changing this to reflect his death in October would have changed everything I felt at the time, so I decided to leave it this way.)

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By Andrea

Andrea is a dedicated dog mom of three chihuahuas. She has over a decade of experience as a dog groomer, chihuahua owner, and more recently as a dog trainer. She loves all things canine, particularly chihuahuas.

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