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Me and Rudi favMy number one constant on this earth has been my German Shepherd, Rudi.  Even though I have been through hell and back over the past three years he was happy to be on that rough journey with me….as long as he was just WITH ME.

I have spoken about a few things in my life.  Most of the “rough stuff” I’ve touched on and I felt today should be dedicated to one of my happy places.  This boy is it!  My Rudi!  Rudiger das Starke, his full German name, as his AKC papers flaunt.  Rudiger the Strong is what it means in English.  And a strong fella he has been.

New Year’s Eve 2004 is when I first saw this handsome guy.  Bouncing around inside of a box with the rest of his litter mates.  I’d always heard “let the pup choose you”.  And so I did.  He ran up to where I was and jumped up to put his paws on the edge of the box and hopped up and down on his back feet.  It was love at first sight with this sweet guy.  My husband and I went to pick out a puppy for me and this was the one I wanted. I lifted him out of the box and he nuzzled in my hair.

On the drive home, I remember not knowing if he was going to be a “Jack” or a “Rudi” but finally settled on Rudi.  Got out of the car in front of the house and put him in the grass to potty and he instantly just sat at my feet and looked up at me.  I’d walk a few feet away and he’d bound over to where I was just to sit next to me again.  It was fate.  He was going to be my defender, my protector and my best friend when it felt like everyone else had walked out.

I dedicated time to obedience training (which he got 1st place in…duh LOL) and a little agility training afterwards.  Unfortunately, he’s had joint issues with his knees since he was 3 and has undergone two ACL repairs.  At 10 years old, you’d never know he was lame and couldn’t walk at one time.  Yes, I am one of those doggie mom’s that spent money to have him operated on and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  This dog would stand in between me and a bullet if my life was threatened.  I would do anything to fight for his health in return.

During the time my husband walked out on the marriage, I told him I wanted to keep the house and Rudi would be staying with me.  I think he knew that would be a battle if challenged.  Rudi’s name can even be found in our separation/divorce paperwork as part of the splitting of “assets”.  When my husband walked out the door, I remember Rudi laying in the hallway for weeks waiting for him to come home.  In his mind, part of his pack was missing and he was being loyal by waiting for us all to be together again.  That day never came….so after a few weeks Rudi began sleeping in the bedroom again.  He lays on my side of the bed next to me these days.

He has seen me cry many a night and let me hug him until his furcoat was soaked with my tears.  He lays at my feet every night when I sit on the couch.  He waits patiently for me to come home everyday.  And he will protect me with his life.  Of that I am sure.

So as the saying goes, anyone that thinks diamonds are a girl’s best friend has never had a dog like mine.

I love you Rudi!