Youngstown business and city leaders gathered Friday on Andrews Avenue to celebrate work that was 40 years in the making.
They celebrated $1.2 mil- lion in road work that included new curbs, sidewalks, grassy areas and driveways.
But amid the celebrating, they paused. All 75 or so of the attendees bowed their heads for a moment of silence.
Wolfy, say the business guys there, really was the one who owned Andrews Avenue.
It’s among a host of reactions to a beloved stray dog who roamed Andrews Avenue and the neighboring Smoky Hollow neighborhood for eight years with his mate, Princess, and pup, Andy.
I wrote the story two weeks back, and it’s still on Vindy.com if you missed it. (Search “Wolfy & Hollow”)
It garnered a lot of reaction, and I’m glad for that.
The emails have continued for two weeks.
On Friday at lunch at Ghossain’s in Boardman, a lady asked if I was “The Vindy guy who wrote that story on Wolfy.”
When I said yes, she said there needs to be a book on those dogs.
Heck — the guy who hates me the most is my car guy, Charlie Jasinski in Struthers. He yells at me about life, my weight, The Vindy and my abuse of my cars. He paused from ranting to say that the story about Wolfy was a good one. (Then he was back to yelling.)
The experience has been the same for Richie Dascenzo, one of the Andrews Street businessmen who was a key part of the Wolfy story.
He was the one who relayed the Friday moment of silence at the street- project celebration.
“It’s crazy, isn’t it? For a dog,” he said.
But don’t question his “for a dog” line as insincere as he was among the many who poured a ton of love into Wolfy. He’s just still rather amazed that others have seized on it as well.
One call he took was from a funeral home that wanted to donate a stone with Wolfy’s photo on it on the street corner at Dascenzo’s Dutch Auto Body shop. Others called him wanting to contribute funds to a memorial.
A constant question in the messages that came to me was, what will happen to Princess and Andy?
I would see Wolfy and his pack often on Andrews Avenue. I looked forward to seeing them. Wolfy was obviously the alpha, as regal as any king. It broke my heart to read the story of his last days. I know many are wondering about the fate of Princess and Andy. Will you do a follow-up and keep us informed? Thank you for writing this story.
I wanted to let you know that Princess and Andy are doing just fine.
Initially that first week after Wolfy’s death, Princess and Andy weren’t seen. Richie said it was clear their pattern had changed.
But after a few days of scattered behavior, the two fell back into their Andrews/Hollow routine.
Richie said Friday that the routine is not exactly the same as when Wolfy led the group, but they’re fed and healthy.
But that they are acting a bit different reflects the overall sentiments of the crew.
Without Wolfy, it’s hollow in the Hollow.
Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs, too, on vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.