From the Desk of Lori Davidson June 4, 2021
Tuesday (June 8th) was World Pet Memorial Day.
Remember your first fur child? I surely do. So, this month I’d like to share a bit about my boy, Rudi. Well, his formal name was Rudolph. You see my hubby at that time and I were beginning to think about having a child within a couple of years. We’d just purchased our first house together and were making all those dreamy plans for our future. Sitting on our back deck one evening he and I were discussing names we loved for children. His favorite for a boy? Rudolph. Now there is nothing wrong with this name and I loved the nickname Rudi. However, instantly I had visions of a little boy in first grade teased mercilessly at the holidays with the “red nosed reindeer” song. What to do? I had a thought.
I hinted that I wanted to adopt a golden retriever. We ventured from our home in Maryland to a reputable breeder in the Virginia area to “look over the puppies” and “think about” this plan. There they were, nine glorious balls of fur. The runt of the litter marched himself over and sat down on my foot and didn’t want to move. You’re all pet parents, you know the next part. We were soon heading home with our boy.
What a ball of fur and in no time we were head over heels! Rudi was the runt remember? So, when we took him for his first veterinary checkup they told us to expect him to grow to about 65 lbs. Perfect!
Fast forward about 18 months. Our boy Rudi had grown to over 120 lbs.! He was NOT heavy, just huge. That old tale about puppies growing into their paw size? Shoulda paid more attention!
He was family and we took him everywhere we went! Once when vacationing at Deep Creek Lake he stole a woman’s purse she’d sat down on her dock and ran down the beachfront with its contents flying everywhere in his wake. (Good thing she had a sense of humor.) We rented a ski boat and Rudi proudly sat up in the captain’s chair, fur flying and ears flapping in the breeze. Thunderstorms? You’d find him and a ton of his toys under our kitchen table. Put him in my office when we had company? He ate the couch cushions. He was a dog with personality plus!
When our first “hooman” child arrived on the scene Rudi was not a happy camper. He left 6 huge calling cards in front of her changing table that night so there’d be no doubt as to how he felt. But goldens are lovers and he and our daughter quickly became best friends.
We had Rudi for 11 magnificent years. We’d moved, had a second daughter and he was remained a treasured member of the crew! We had a backyard pool which he loved but his favorite time to get in it was when we’d open the pool each spring. Water dirty, leaves all over that had blown in as the cover was removed... and Rudi could be found every year - standing in the middle of the mess happy as a lark.
He truly was our one of a kind, once in a lifetime buddy.
Retrievers however are genetically prone to cancer and at the age of ten and after a veterinary oncology visit or two, we were told we had but weeks left with him. They didn’t know Rudi. Although he would get quite thin and slow down a bit, he stayed with us for another year. He ran, he swam and he was loved.
So, this month stop and remember your first child, the one with fur and share a photo or story about the dog (or cat) with us on our FB page. We’d love to hear from you. Rudi won’t be the only pet I’ll be honoring Tuesday. And he isn’t the only pet that holds a special place in my heart. But he was and always will be my first born, my only son.
Enjoy your summer!