Awhile ago, Sam posted a Youtube video of a song called “Bronte” by Gotye. It’s about a dog that needs to be put down and the family that has to let him/her go. The lyrics for the second verse goes like this:
Since the day we found you
You have been our friend
And your voice still
Echoes in the hallway of this house
It’s the end
There is so much I need to say, but it’s not coming out. You know, I have never owned a pet beyond my childhood and even then, the rabbit we had, ran out the back door of the shop my parents owned and disappeared into the night. I surmise that the population of rabbits around Richmond over the last three decades was the result of Cookie escaping to establish his rabbit kingdom.
Rudi is my wife’s dog, but he’s more than just a dog. He’s more than just a pet. I could not be there for Amber, as she goes through this difficult period in her life. So I gave her some money last year around Christmas for a dog, to help her recover from PTSD. A few months ago, through a stroke of luck, a woman had to give up her dog due to a streak of financial woes. At first, Amber felt maybe the dog wasn’t a good fit with her, but as the days went on, her initial feelings were replaced with a sense of adoration. Rudi is perfect for her. He’s upbeat, cute, playful and sensitive, though he can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but I think that’s just him trying to get Amber out of her comfort zone.
Rudi turned 2 years old June 16th. He will have a long life, at least another ten years. In ten years, I will be 46 and Amber will be 36. So a lot can happen from now til then. We will have a lot of walks together. Rudi may drive me crazy sometimes. It will be work on top of work. The thing is, I have to accept him and learn to love him because he entrusted us for his care and guidance. Also, because he is my wife’s savior and life’s companion.
I’m just sad that his life won’t be as long as us. If I am lucky enough to live a relatively healthy life with my wife until we’re in our 80’s and 90’s, that’s still about 30 years of life without Rudi.
I know I shouldn’t think about it, but I do. It’s hard enough that I need to deal with the passing of family members and close friends as we all age. To have to deal with the passing of a friend so soon, especially one that honors my wife is going to be tough. I haven’t even met Rudi yet. I have only seen him in photos, videos and webcam chat. Yet, I am already attached to him.
A few days ago, I was doing some trail riding and went back to old trails I went to when I was a kid. The place is overgrown nowadays with large trees, vines and bushes, but they’re still cleared away by civil workers. Riding those trails bring back memories, when I was not yet a teen, when those trails felt so foreign and mysterious. We weren’t allowed to go so far away, though when I look at it now, they weren’t that far away.
So looking at these trails and neighborhoods again, I imagine that Amber, Rudi and I went have walks around here, play some catch and do other things over the years. Rudi will meet his grandparents, my parents and meet Oreo, my brother’s dog and the rest of my relatives. We would go out for hikes together, go to the beach and stuff. I am looking forward to it.
Life would be so vastly different for me when Amber and Rudi comes over. I would no longer spend copious amounts of time sitting in front of the computer playing games and watch Youtube. I would actually have to go outside and do things, keep a relatively normal sleeping pattern and eat healthier. We would visit the homes of our friends, have get together and enjoy the time spent talking, being in people’s company. We would get into disagreements, but make up after. When we’re not available, my parents will look after Rudi. Rudi’s family would have expanded. He would experience new and different things.
Life would get better for us.
However, I am just so sad that I can’t live to 90 with Rudi beside me, to be able to see our children and their children grow up. My heart breaks just thinking about it. My heart breaks just thinking about my wife’s feelings. She had Mylo who she grew up with, but I feel that although no one can ever replace Mylo, it’s also true that no one can ever replace Rudi either, but such is life isn’t it? To me, Rudi is more than just a dog and a pet. He’s my wife’s savior and best friend and I was there to help them meet each other.
Rudi, I will never abandon you. I promise you that.