Actor Tom Hardy said he will always be “eternally grateful to Georgia” for introducing him to a dog he named Woodstock, who died last week.

In 2012, Hardy was in Georgia filming “Lawless” when he and his wife came across Woody while driving down a dark Atlanta interstate in the dead of night.

“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,” Hardy wrote in his Tumblr post. “That dog’s had it, I thought.”

Hardy managed to get the dog into the couple’s car, where it promptly fell asleep on the actor’s shoulder.

“Never forget that night,” Hardy said. “It was wonderful. One minute he was almost dead next terrified. Then picked up by strangers.”

From then on, Woodstock was Hardy’s constant companion.

“He has been on many sets,” Hardy wrote. “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.”

Woody died after a six-month battle with an aggressive muscle inflammatory disease. He was only six years old.