A most difficult evening.  My once happy, bouncing, bundle of goofy joy was suddenly ill, out of nowhere, with no signs or symptoms to pave the way. It was simply…awful.

Dudley came to me from another rescue, and from the moment I met him, I was head over heels. This young man was no ordinary dog.  Dudley had an immense amount of charisma…a charm that you’d see in a funny, dashing George Clooney role on the big screen.  He always wore a grin on his face.  He cocked his funny little head when he was captivated…not just to the right or left, but almost a 45 degree angle, with a look in his eyes saying “Well, that’s most peculiar….”  He hopped around as if he were a four month old puppy, fanny up in the air, paws swatting you, teetering side to side like a metronome, and tongue dangling out of the side of his mouth, goofy grin in place. He gave sweet, gentle kisses.  He rubbed his head all over you like a cat.  He loved showing you how he adored you with affection, smiles and “the paw.”  He’d stand on his hind legs when I came home, hopping, and saying “HI MOM!!!!!”

One of the most endearing things about Dudley was his funny little walk.  I’ve described it as the town drunk, a swagger, etc., but my favorite and most accurate description was how PUMBA walked in “The Lion King” as he danced away singing “Hakuna Matata!”  That exact walk was Dudley’s gait.  It was absolutely enchanting.

Dudley was the rare dog that no matter how bad the day was, no matter how upset I was, he could always…and I do mean always…calm me down and make me smile.  He loved life; he loved his brothers and sisters; he loved taking charge of his brothers and sisters 😀 ; he loved running as fast as he could across the yard; he loved hard bones and resting in the A/C, and he loved me. I can’t begin to describe the way he lit up a room.  When I first took him to my veterinarian, before we left, Dr Shrum, smiling and laughing at Dudley, bent down and gave him a hug and a kiss.  He thought Dudley was exceptional.

We don’t know exactly what transpired, but a good guess would be cancer, due to a sensitivity in his abdomen area and loss of blood.  It would be understood to occur so suddenly, too, for often it’s not recognized until it’s too late.  Whatever it was, I told him I loved him until the very end…over and over I repeated myself…I just wanted him to be reassured.

This has been my fourth loss this year…something very hard for me.  In the past 2-3 years, I’ve lost at least three a year, due to various illnesses…some expected, some not.  It’s never the same thing twice.  It never gets easier. It always seems to be the ones that deserve to be up on a pedestal.  Or perhaps I just get so attached to them all?  Some have said that it’s not possible, insinuating insincerity.  I suppose, in a sense, not loving all the same is true…animals, just like people, affect you in different ways.  However, be it human or animal, you have a love for many, for they touch you in their own special fashion, unlike any other, and they hold a spot in your heart that is reserved only for their love.

I can easily describe significant little lovelies in each animal that I’ve lost.  Characteristics that made me adore them beyond words, each of them different from the one before.  There have been several with their own dispositions, their own type of love, and their own significant heart.  You see, when you love them so much…when they are such a large part of your life, as they are mine…it’s no different than loving your children or your family. You don’t love one more or less than the other…no. You just love them for who they are and the love they bring to you.  It’s the very same way with animals.  When it boils down to it, it’s love…pure and simple love…and that can’t be rated. So those people can call me insincere if they wish, but they don’t live my life nor feel the bonds that I share with the animals. Truth is, when I say I adore, or that they were a rare soul, it’s unquestionably genuine.

I wish each and everyone of you could have met Dudley.  Oh, he would have made you smile and given you such and abundance of joy and laughter, I promise you.  He was a diamond in the “R-U-F-F.”  What to many looked like a fish out of water in the dog world was, instead, a brilliant ray of light that added depth and warmth to everyone he met.  I would have one thousand Dudley’s if I could…all waddling away or pawing me in the face while wearing that silly grin.

I am grateful that the Lord blessed me with Dudley these last eight months.  I think he knew that we needed each other.

I know now, he’ll never wobble and slide on a slick floor again.  He’s running full force and in perfect condition at the rainbow bridge.

I’ll see you again, sweet love.

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