“Listen more than you speak,
always act like you have a purpose,
appreciate a simple life,
give more than you receive,
be happy with what you have,
be a best friend.”
I’d like to live my life like that, and I had a good example to follow.
After being hit by a truck he laid on the side of a road for three days – everyone thought he was road kill. When the county crew street cleaners went to retrieve his little lithe body they were surprised to find he was still alive. A county vet put him back together – his broken pelvis, broken back legs, numerous ribs and a severed penis in addition to neurological damage. But he survived and recovered like a trooper or a little fighter. He wasn’t perfect, and often had no control over his bladder, probably the reason no one wanted him. But he found a home with me and we both learned that nothing in life is perfect. His little legs were wobbly, yet he could run around in the back yard like there was no tomorrow – big ears flopping in the wind. No one could ever deny that he wasn’t the happiest little dog. Every day he greeted me “bark, bark, bark, notice me, I am over here, come say hi.” And I would walk over and give him a little hug and kiss on the top of his head, then let him outside where he would run free. Before he went through the doors to the freedom of the yard there was always a big wet lick on my shin. And when he was ready to come back inside, he’d sit in front of the door, “bark, bark, bark,” and that was my que: “let me back in!” He would wobble in and find his favorite spot under my desk where he would satisfy his need for human contact and rest his head on top of my feet. We both felt comfort in the warmth. He was my little foot warmer but more, my little heart warmer. And every morning whether I liked it or not, he’d wake me up at 5am and I would walk down stairs groggy eyed and say good morning while I feed my little friend first then made my coffee. Usually I was happy that we were both early risers, he made me get on with my days when I wanted to just stay in bed. Rudy would have no parts of it. Bark, bark, bark (always in 3′s) and that was my call to get up and start the day new and we did. While the other dogs slept in, it was Rudy and I taking our first walk of the day around the block. Just the two of us, in the calm peace of the morning, when the sun was starting to rise. This morning, I woke up on Rudy time automatically, the 3 bark alarm didn’t go off. When I walked into the laundry room where Rudy sleeps, he was laying on his side, unable to move and looked up at me helplessly. My other dogs Jack and Honey had slept with him all night and where watching vigilantly over him, they even brought him comfort toys, which surrounded his bed this morning. Animals know and have an innate intuitiveness, an uncanny six sense. I picked Rudy up and brought him outside. He made no motion to run and I knew what Jack and Honey already knew – it was time.
The sun has set on my little Rudy. Thank you dear friend, your positive attitude and sweet disposition will be forever in the many hearts that you warmed, and the many people that you inspired to keep on going through their challenges – you touched so many with your little fighter attitude – even till the end. Semper fi, little friend. We will miss you.