Today was the day I'd been dreading for the last 56 days. Today I held Rudi one last time, and sent her to the Rainbow Bridge. It was a hard decision, but was one made out of my love for her and compassion...
Rudi came to us from the rescue in September of 2003. A homeless woman who lived in her car, had seen her in a shelter in North Carolina. Rules were different at the time, and the shelter released the one year old Golden named Sandy to her. She had been returned to the shelter 3 times for her wild and uncontrollable behavior and was considered 'un-adoptable.' She was renamed Rudi and in a car full of other dogs, she came to Virginia. Not knowing her history, I agreed to foster Rudi because I thought that she'd be an easy placement. She turned out to be anything but that.
There is so much I could say about the first months we spent together. Rudi was an insecure dog with very high energy and never seemed to be able to focus on anything. It didn't take long to figure out that others had not been as patient, and had mistreated her. There were times that I doubted that I would be able to help her find her way or teach her anything. There were days that I felt pushed to the edge by the seemingly uncontrollable dog that barked all the time who would jump up and nip me in the face. She was always into everything. Nothing left on a counter was out of her reach, the cat food was her favorite. Medications seemed to have the opposite effect on her. She couldn't be crated alone because she'd break out of them. When many were telling me to 'give up' I just couldn't. It was only because in my mind I had a vision of what she could become if given the chance.
|~Rudi enjoying the cat-food~|
I have no idea when things started to change and come together. I guess it was me that changed. I stopped trying to fit her into a mold and just let her be herself. Rudi had such a big personality, was very bright and was so eager to please. She was very sensitive and was 'in tune' with my moods. Rudi was a dog with great character. If dogs have a sense of humor, she had one and she loved to 'show off.' She could always make me laugh. When you asked her to do things, she would start barking at you or ramble on in high-pitched short barks like she was questioning you. She always seemed to have an opinion of anything you did. Her tail was always wagging and her eyes always sparkled with mischief and she would look at you like she had a secret that she wanted you to guess.
|~Rudi (left) and Kasey--October 2009~|