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.