If I had ever gotten around to getting an ILP number for him so that I could show him in Obedience, Rudy’s full name would have been Parker’s Rude Awakening. Parker was my mixed-breed Airedale with a streak of dog aggression and it was a shock to her when Rudy came into the house. But as I was working on training him, my own bodily ailments got bad enough that I couldn’t put in the time and energy to train him beyond house manners, so he stayed just plain Rudy. He was the most Velcro Airedale I’ve ever owned, wanting to be right where I was all the time. Not having him there to shadow me leaves a big hole in my life and my heart, although it’ll be easier to get from the bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night, now that I won’t have him to step over. Rudy was a stray in Cincinnati, got picked up and sent to the pound, and ultimately came into Airedale rescue. He went into the prison training program at the London Correctional Institution and I was the one who drove him there. He barked the entire way from Cincinnati to London and I had to create makeshift earplugs for myself to keep me from just dumping him out by the side of the road. From that rather rough start, he and I grew on each other. He was supposed to go home with the prisoner who had worked with him in prison since his trainer had gotten paroled and had fallen in love with Rudy. However, the prisoner missed an appointment to pick him up, so we decided that wasn’t going to work. By that time, I had gotten a bit attached to the big, goofy boy and I happened to have space for another dog in my life. Rudy lived with me for 11 good years and was at least 12 and possibly older when he crossed the bridge. He put up with Parker, even though she would periodically try to kill him, and he and my more recent Airedale, Dira, were good buddies. I miss him very, very much. The picture below to the right is “cool dude Rudy” getting cold laser treatment for his failing rear end.
– Barbara Mann