Our Rudy is gone. He was getting pretty old, had some digestive issues and we found out that he had some tumors that had invaded several of his organs. Even with all this, and knowing what was best for him, it was hard to let him go.
As dogs go, he was the best. He was so patient, so willing to put up with crazy kids, and so loyal. He never drooled on people, he rarely barked, and had a doggie smile that could melt your heart. He always knew when we were going to have pizza for dinner, even when we had just called in the order. He would try to look hungry and give us the wide-eyed look of adoration in hopes of some crusts. He stole many a pb&j sandwich from careless kids, and loved to sit under the babies' chairs to wait for morsels. He tripped many a kid as they ran, and would try to join in the wrestling that was always taking place. He would come to me when he was scared of the storms, and when he had enough of pulling from little kids. He once came and hid behind me when Andrew was trying to get him to go outside. He was usually at my side and I could almost guarantee that if I moved to another room, no matter how tired he was, he would get up and follow me. When I went to bed, he did his best to sneak into the master bedroom to stay with us at night. Once when Steve was trying to get him to go out for the night, he kept looking at me when Steve would tell him to go to bed as if to say, "But you said I could stay!".
Other people have watched him for us when we have gone on vacation, and it has never gone well. He would throw up, poop and pee all over the place until we would get home. He loved all the kids and was always excited to see them when they would get home from school or some other long absence. He loved all of us, even when we forgot about him. He was that constant in our lives and we loved him for it.
His last week was hard for us because we all knew what was coming. We loved him, talked about the funny things he did and did our best to spoil him. We all went to the vet to be there with him, and it was hard and peaceful at the same time. He was his loving self, right up to the end. With that pure love that he gave us, we are sure that he will be there to greet us in heaven.
We miss him for sure, a piece of our family is gone. My floors are messy with food now and every time I see a dog hair on the kids, I feel a little sad. I still look for him, and sometimes I imagine I hear him snoring at night. I miss my hairy shadow.