In today’s challenge, show us what “gone, but not forgotten” means to you. It could be a photo of a faithful canine friend who’s chasing squirrels in a better place, a spot in your city, town, or village that reminds you of a relationship now over, a talisman that reminds you of something that you can never get back, a photo of you in your smashing 70s silver lamé jumpsuit, or the crumbs that remain from the delicious cheesecake you baked. – Photo Challenge
For this week’s photo challenge I’m posting about my beloved dog Rudi. She recently passed away after several years of being my best dog. You can disregard my portion of the picture. This was before I lost a lot of weight through weight loss surgery and I was obviously having a bad hair day. But it’s my favorite picture of Rudi.
We got her from a pet rescue adoption at a local pet store. We already had two smaller dogs and had visited the store to pick up some supplies for them. My wife saw her and fell in love with her. While I certainly thought she was cute I was not really interested in having a third dog. We already had two, why would we need a third?
We took her home with us anyway. Since I was the one who wasn’t really interested in having her to start with she immediately took a very strong liking to me. She had to go everywhere I went. Laying on the couch next to me, sharing the bed with me, and anywhere else she could possibly go with me. Of course with her never leaving my side it didn’t take long for a strong attachment to form.
She was scared of people she didn’t know. Probably from her situation prior to being rescued. I tried taking her for a walk around the block shortly after getting her. We got about half way around the block and then she started shivering and refused to move. I ended up carrying her the other half the way back home. It was a good workout since she was probably close to 60 pounds!
She was very protective of her yard and house. Every day for all the years we had her the mailman would come around the same time. Even though this happened six days a week she always was in a hurry to run to the door barking her head off. If she could get into the dining room or to an open door and saw someone walking down the street she was sure to alert everyone. She also was very vocal about letting neighbor dogs know they weren’t welcome on her property. We have a privacy fence so they can’t see into the yard but that didn’t stop her.
After another of our dogs passed we added an additional dog. Another lab we took in from some friends who could no longer keep him. She was not happy about the addition. We tried keeping them apart for a little bit so they could get used to smelling each other. Eventually we decided we would try letting them together supervised in the backyard with Rudi on a leash. Almost immediately upon seeing the new dog she lunged at her and scared the new dog so much she jumped into our inground pool in the middle of winter. It was a slow start but eventually the two dogs became the best of friends.
I could always count on Rudi being the first greeter at the door when I returned home. Almost as if she knew what time I would be home and was all set to show me how much she missed me. Although she was never as interested in playing fetch as our other dogs were she would always atleast humor me by going and chasing the ball or stick and bringing it back to me. She just would refuse to drop the ball or stick so I could not throw it again in order to make her go fetch it again. She was a smart, loyal, loving dog.
It’s been about a month now since Rudi has passed. I know she is in a much better place and much happier now. I look forward to the day when I get greet her again and allow her to show me how much she has missed me. The lab left behind misses her too. She seems very lonely by herself and has taken to replacing Rudi on the couch next to me or sleeping with me at night. I love the comfort and love the dog shows me but I still have a great deal of sadness over Rudi no longer being by my side. I have had dogs in the past but never a dog I got so close to.
In time I am sure that sadness will depart. I will never forget however.