Monday, April 19, 2010

Rudy, by Christine Birhanzl

If I had to choose three words to describe Rudy they would be: loyal, best friend (I know that is 2), and gentle.

Rudy was at the Humane Society at the age of 6 months and was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. I fell in love with him, took him home and he has been by my side since. He has traveled across country with me and put up with me being a foster home for many dogs. At one point, I had 10 puppies that were abandoned that I fostered. He was always loving and gentle to any of the animals I brought home.

He was diagnosed with a cancer originating in glandular tissue (Adenocarcinoma) 3 years ago and I know that his time is limited. It is difficult to think of my life without my buddy in it. I am so grateful that the dear Lord has given me the opportunity to have Rudy in my life. Each day is a gift with him.

I am sure it is hard for some to understand how a person can learn from an animal, but I have learned from Rudy. There is a quote by Anatole France that reads; “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” My soul has been dancing since I held that little 6 month old, mange covered puppy in my arms at the Humane Society many years ago.

(Pictured is Rudy with his mom, Christine, and Rudy getting a healing massage from his friend Pickles.)

4/21/10 Update on Rudy -- Today is chemo day - Chemotherapy in the form of Lysodren. Treatment is best viewed as a means to improve quality of life, rather than increase lifespan. Rudy gets chemo twice a week.Fortunately it comes in pill form. His loyalty to me amazes me.


Had a scare with Rudy the past few days. He started limping and holding his right paw up. I thought it might be his nails. Rudy has always had fast growing nails. Rudy has NEVER let me cut his nails; believe me I have tried. I have bought the best nail clippers made for dogs and he still refuses. It got to the point where all I needed to do was walk to the drawer where I kept the clippers and he would start shaking. Maybe Rudy has me trained better than I realize. Could he have learned ... start shaking and mom will feel sorry for me and let me alone? He went to the vet yesterday, had his nails cut and still limps. The doc said that he could not see anything wrong with the paw. Needless to say the past few days have been emotional for me. I try to live in the day and be thankful for all of the time I have with Rudy, but my fear of losing him seems to overwhelm me.

I have always wondered if our furry friends go to heaven. I believe they do. I try to hold on to the fact that when Rudy does leave this life and goes to heaven he will meet me again one day.

I read Luke's message to Murphy today on his blog. I sat there and cried. The love we have for our buddies. I think about all of the sadness in the world and I feel a bit selfish feeling this sad about Rudy's cancer.

Well, he is looking at me now and letting me know he wants out or food.

My boy is growing tired. He stays by my side to this day. I thank God every day for Rudy.


Anonymous said...

He is so lucky to have you in his life! Wishing the best for both of you....have you ever tried K9 Immunity pills? My boy was diagnosed in November (Mast Cell cancer) and has been on it ever since...he is (almost) having a 2nd puppyhood! He's a nearly 9 yr old Shar Pei...I'd also encourage you to join our dog cancer forum..lots of great people and advice there...PLEASE check out I know they are giving my boy a much better quality of life, and knock wood, no recurrence yet!

Christine said...

Thank you for your comment. Rudy is 13 years old and I know that I am so fortunate to have had him in my life this long. How do you deal with it? How will I deal with it when the day comes that he is no longer here? I pray that he slips off peacefully in his sleep. I do not want to make the decision to have him put down. The vet said that rarely happens - that they just fall asleep. I have made a promise to Rudy and myself, that the first sign of him being in pain, the day he cannot go outside, the day he stops eating etc will be the day I say goodbye. Just breaks my heart.

Anonymous said... know I am here for you and you know I will be there for you if the time comes when you have to decide. I have told you from the beginning that you will know when it's time. I'm banking on the fact that he will probably just go to sleep peacefully...knowing Ru....he will want to make it as easy on you as possible. If hypothetically it doesn't happen that way( but I am a betting will) you will know by his eyes. Ru won't be there anymore when you look into them. AND...if that time comes call/text and I'll be there. BUT...treasure and enjoy each day you have with him. He is going to be here for many more b/c he knows how much that means to you and that lil fella isn't ready to give up just yet!!!!! He's a trooper and fighter! Sending {{{{{ HUGS}}}} to ya! We will get together very soon! I want to see the 'babies'!

Anonymous said...

For some reason I had to post as anonymous but I hope you know it's ;) Maybe some time you can come out to the 'country' and visit me and the kids. Then we could take a ride over by the old house...:-D

Christine said...

Yes Ms D., I know who you are :) You have always been such a support for me and the furry kids. I have such fond memories of Graf Road. Remember it all started with the rescue of 3 German Shepherds. I had 10 puppies at one time ! How could you ever forget the days they brought home Deer Parts to me. The icing on the cake was the Deer Head, not once, but twice. Sarina leading the pack to the creek and of course Rudy staying behind with me.