A Missing Link

We have a chain link missing from our family today. Yesterday (Sunday, January 3rd) we put our beloved dog Rudy down. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far in my life. He was the sweetest and cutest dog ever.

We adopted Rudy in early December of 1998. When we met him in the visiting room at the Humane Society he was a tiny thing and he was so freaked out he peed all over the seat. We knew right away that we wanted him (weird huh?!)

He was frisky as hell, hated to be held and if you tried to hug and cuddle on him he would just bite you. He tore up a couch arm, so we got rid of that couch and so then he proceeded to chew the pillows on our newer couch (if you ever wondered why our living room couch doesn’t have pillows, that would be because of Rudy).

Eveyone said he was a beautiful dog, most people couldn’t get over the fact that he was 11 years old and didn’t have an inch of gray on him and he would run around the house and backyard like he was still young.

He was our first baby and was SPOILED, but then L and J came along and he took to it just fine. He was content to take a backseat and he would let L love on him. In fact, most nights you would find him sleeping in either of the kids rooms.

His most favorite place to sleep though was under our bed. I always used to worry that our bed would fall on top of him, and it did. Just once. We hopped out of bed so quickly and he was unharmed but I worried constantly about it happening again.

He had a beautiful thick brown coat with an undercoat so he was often hot. He loved to spend the day down in the basement, it was nice and cool down there but when he was ready to come upstairs he would come to the back door and whine. Usually one of the kids would open the door for him and he would prance in and run to each of us, as if he was taking a head count.

A couple years in a row we would have him goomed in the summer and we would have him shaved. HE LOVED IT, but we hated it. He looked so goofy. We used to call him a squirrel.

He did have his faults though (don’t we all).. he had a nervous bark. Any noise and he would bark, he often woke up the kids from their naps when they were babies.

He had a begging problem, of course this was our fault because we fed him from the table constantly. You would too if you had the cutest puppy face staring at you while you ate.

He lifted his leg to pee on our air conditioner one too many times and now we have to have the whole thing replaced outside.

He would throw up dirt with his back paws after doing his business so we always had ruts in our yard.

But all of that I would take back anyday just to have him here with us. In October Rudy was diagnosed with cancer and it was a pretty nasty one she said but he had surgery and most of it was removed. The doctor was concerned because she knew she didn’t get it all and it would come back, when we didn’t know. So a week before Christmas his leg started to swell again, JT took him to the vet and she said that yes it had come back and it was becoming more agressive. She gave us signs to look for when his end would be near, she thought he’d make it to spring. He didn’t.

The week of New Year’s he started to pee in the house, so unlike him and he started throwing up but we thought maybe it was because of his medicine he was on. Saturday night (1-2-10)  we were concerned because it was 9:30 and we hadn’t heard him at the door yet, which was odd. So JT and I went downstairs to check on him and when we approached him he didn’t get up. With a little prodding he stood and it was like his back legs were drunk. They were so wobbly and he couldn’t stand for too long and he could barely walk. We got him to go outside and when he came back in, he headed towards the back of the basement and was hiding. We knew it wasn’t looking good. We got him upstairs and under the bed he headed without eating or drinking anything, he was panting really hard and his heartbeat was really fast. We could tell he was in pain and struggling. We went to bed later that night a little concerned and thinking we would call the vet in the am.

In the am (Sun 1-3-10) he wouldn’t come out from under the bed and he was bleeding. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything so we called the vet and they were of course closed. We called our back up vet and they could see him at 2:45 pm. We knew in our hearts that we were probably looking at putting him down. Neither of us wanted to leave the house that day. I dropped the kids off at my mom’s and came back to help load him in the car. It took my brother, myself and JT to get him downstairs and outside. C met us out there and we all followed him to the car. JT put him in the backseat and sadly we left the house. It was a short drive and I kept trying to convince myself that maybe he would be coming home with us, maybe we were overreacting. Once we carried him inside he was standing there panting and bleeding all over the floor. Finally we were shown into an examination room where the doctor came in and told us that it wasn’t good. He could also tell that Rudy was suffering in pain without even examining him. They took him in the back to do an IV, while back there the doctor checked him out and basically he had no muscle left in his back leg, it was all tumor tissue and it had split open, hence the bleeding. He said it looked to have spread to his other leg and all the way up to his stomach. His skin was black, gray and red from the tumor. We were doing the right thing. The doctor came back once Rudy was in the room with us again and explained what was going to happen. His eyes wouldn’t close, he might relieve himself or take some gasping breaths. I couldn’t take it, I could not see him do any of those things. I had hoped he would just close his eyes and go to sleep… JT stayed with him while I cried outside. It was quicker than I thought, maybe only 5 minutes. JT came out crying and just walked away without a word, I made sure they had our phone numbers to all us about his remains and then followed JT outside. He told me that he sat and talked to him and petted him so he would know he wasn’t alone but it wasn’t all bad, yes his eyes remained open but nothing else seemed to happen.

I dropped JT off at home and went to pick up the kids. I cried heavily at my mom’s and L sat on my lap patting me. We left and brought them home. L ran into her room and grabbed her picture of Rudy and just started sobbing. Poor thing. She cried a lot that night and I just sat and held her.

It’s sad to see his bowl, I can’t look at pictures yet without crying. I’m afraid of his ashes. I know that sounds funny but I want him not just a box of ashes. Today I went and bought a beautiful vase and placed his collar on top, I cried, it was heartbreaking. Once we receive his ashes I will seal it so it can’t be opened again. We noticed tonight Roscoe (our other dog)  is a little sad, more lethargic than usual.

I know this post itsn’t grammatically correct and the sentences may not make sense but it’s about the only way I can get everything out. Please forgive me if I return with more sadness, talking about it helps. Maybe tomorrow I will have more pictures but for now there’s just one. I took a few pictures of him the other day, before Christmas, he hated my camera it scared him. Because in my mind I knew it would be his last Christmas with us, thank god I did.

He was our Rudy, our boo. We loved him and we’ll miss him forever.

2 thoughts on “A Missing Link

  1. Deanna says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. We had to put our dog down this summer and it was devastating. I cried for days, and I wasn’t even her biggest fan. I always cringe when people compare owning a pet to having a kid, but, in the period following Bella’s loss, I could understand that feeling a little more.

    Wishing you strength in your loss and time to mourn on your own without worrying about the kids and their loss as well.

  2. Angie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You post totally made me cry. I’m glad you included his pic, he was gorgeous. I dread the day something happens to my dog, it’s so horrible. I’m so sorry.

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