I remember the first day that I brought Rudy home from the Philadelphia SPCA in 2004. It only took a couple of hours for him to show me all of his teeth.
I knew he would be a challenge for me. I would later realize this was a gift. This was the start of my career as a dog trainer. I have loved all of my dogs the same but Rudy would be the one to teach me a lot of what I know about handling a dog with his particular behavior problems. He taught me how to breathe, when to push and definitely when not to. He also taught me that not all things can be fixed and sometimes acceptance and management may be the best result. At the end of the day, we can not change who they are.
Rudy was a mentor to many dogs over the years that have had behavior problems. He helped them by being who he was. One of the most beautiful things to watch is for one dog to teach another how to be. Some dogs are students and some are teachers. Rudy is a teacher. That is how I will always think of him. He was a special kind of dog to me.
Rudy is now 14 years old and was diagnosed in May 2018 with rectal cancer that is inoperable.
Today is the day I will put my best friend to rest. It is the least that I can do for all of the years and good times we have had together. Since entering his senior years, I have always wanted one thing for him and that is for him feel great. As hard as it is, helping him move on is the only way for him to achieve that.
Rudy was one of the dogs that started Unleashed Unlimited. He has been my mentor, best friend and most loyal companion. Today is a sad day and to say that I will miss him is an understatement.