Just a few days ago we had the heart breaking decision to make to take our beloved 13 year old German Shepherd, Rudie, to our compassionate and trustworthy vet, for the last time. To take oneself out of the equation in order to do the right thing is never easy. The devotion and loyalty that Rudie has given us throughout his entire life meant that it would not have been fair to prolong his pain. He suffered from hip dysplasia which only came about a few years ago. Being on good medication which helped alleviate his discomfort meant that he was able to live an active and happy life until recently. However, he stopped wanting to eat and slept most of the time. I did give him some bacon that last morning which he devoured with relish- making me think of death row prisoners and their final meal.
Rudie came from a highly recommended breeder and his lineage was excellent. His mother had been trained and used to sniff out explosives in war regions and his father was chosen for his temperament and intelligence. We brought home the most gorgeous, fluffy 8 week old long haired pup who grew up into an amazing family dog. He was always wary of strangers – typical of this breed – and was protective to the very end. I do believe that if one is going to give a home to a potentially vicious breed of dog then it is critical to know as much as possible about the parents as well as the history of the pup. Even a young puppy who has been roughly treated from birth could potentially become a difficult dog to train and early training is so very important.
We miss him every minute of the day, but have some wonderful memories – not least of which is trying to get him to stop helping to water the garden. He constantly made holes in the hosepipe so the only solution was to give him a rubber chew toy to stop the destruction!
One day we will start the process once again of bringing home a fluffy baby, endure the puppy socialisation classes and give the new addition as much love as we gave to dear old Rudie.
RIP our trusted loyal boy. You will never be forgotten.