Dogs Are For Life

Yesterday, I gave John’s keyboard and everything that goes with it to my son-in-law who is also a keyboardist. When I loaded the hand made, very expensive, cherry music stand into the car, I noticed that one of the legs had been damaged.

It took me a bit to realize that it clearly had been chewed by Rudi, who will be 10 this year (on John’s birthday, which we found out after acquiring the little knucklehead).

Johnny never told me; probably because Rudi insisted on chewing the heels off all my shoes (my fault of course, for leaving them where he could reach them), and engaging in a huge variety of annoying puppy behaviors – some of which he’s never outgrown.

John got Rudi as a playmate for his Mr Budro, even though I didn’t want to deal with puppy behaviors. (I much prefer adopting full grown dogs.)

But Johnny never asked for anything, so when he did, I said yes.

And Rudi immediately became mine. He liked John just fine, but it was me that he fell in love with.

However, he was a tiny little terror. One day, as he once again, for the 100th time that day, destroyed something, or peed on a chair, or whatever it was that he did, I broke down into tears on the floor. “I can’t keep up with him! ”

John hovered over me, clearly distraught that his-puppy-who-became-my-never-ending-annoyance was causing me so much grief. “Do you want me to give him away? I don’t want you so upset”.

“NO!”, I cried. And said something about how we’d get through it, that it was making me crazy but I loved the little stinker, and dogs are for life.

Rudi has outlived both John and Mr Budro, and along with Miss Millie, who we acquired later, keeps me company in my big old house. I worry about them and what I’ll do when they’re gone, and think often of how it would have broken John’s heart to have given him up. But it would have broken mine as well, no matter how much grief Rudi was putting me through.

He still is. He continues to do his business whenever and wherever he feels like it, and has ruined my wood laminate kitchen floor which has to be replaced. (He wears a diaper when I’m not home, but I can’t bear to make him wear one when I am home. Yet, even though I put him outside many times a day, he’s always too busy barking at faint squirrel scents, or the neighbors, or the random thoughts that enter his little head to remember to pee until it’s time to come inside. ARGH!!)

But I love my little Roo-Monster.

***************************

In memory of my beloved husband John K Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016, and all of the dogs and other critters we loved over the years.

Johnny and I were 7th grade sweethearts but broke up and after high school, had 30 year marriages to others.  Through a weird coincidence we were reunited, and after a challenging start (he had a serious industrial accident, among other things), we were married in September 2008.

As serious animal lovers and advocates – especially for dogs – we were involved in a number of animal-related events and activities that included fostering a dozen or so rescues one year, until little Rudi was hurt by a couple of rambunctious beagles (they didn’t mean to), and developed such anxiety when a new dog came home that we had to stop fostering.

Buddy, the adorable little wire-haired dachshund seen in the photos, was John’s dog.  Oh how they loved each other!  Buddy was old, and died shortly before his 15th birthday, just a few months after his Johnny did.

Millie was the second dog we fostered through one of the rescues. When she came to us, she’d just spent a month on death row in a Georgia shelter (the shelter thought the rescue was coming back in a few days for her so decided not to euthanize her… but it was a whole month, and the rescue thought they’d already killed her… it was sheer luck that she survived).  When we got her, her eyes were yellow with fear, but she immediately attached herself to me and wouldn’t let go.  So I didn’t, either.

Now instead of the five of us, it’s just Millie, Rudi and me.  And every day we honor the memory of those we’ve loved who are gone far too soon.

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