Photo of Rudy, a brown hound

Your kennel name was Lyla. Your previous owner called you Kate. We called you Rudy, Rudo, Rudo Prosciutto, Dodo, Dody, Rude dog, Rudiosis, Rudiosis Montosis, Rudy girl, Girly, and Sweet girl. Didn’t matter what we called you, you came. You were the sweetest dog we could have ever imagined.

Your backstory was a rather intense one. Rescued from a kill shelter in Collin County as a month old pup in a fly-by-night operation by Austin Pets Alive! Your first owner loved you and trained you but was busy with work and felt guilty about kenneling you so much, so she returned you to the shelter. The next day, you came into our lives.

We first met you in April of 2011. We were unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant and – as couples in that situation tend to do – we figured a dog might be a healthy distraction. We had been to the dog shelter three weeks in a row and none of the dogs sparked that sense of joy. Then you ran up to greet us with your copper coat, expressive eyebrows, beautiful eyes, and sweet face with your tongue hanging out the side. We were instantly sad because we assumed you belonged to the young man walking you. “Congrats on the dog!” we said. “Oh, I just volunteer here,” he said. A few moments later, you were ours.

What kind of dog were you? According to the DNA test a Catahoula Leopard Dog with some Dachshund mix, but I think our old neighbor Dave described it best: “a Texas shithound.” You were a good dog, a beautiful dog, a sweet dog. You were the kind of dog that made people who don’t like dogs want a dog.

You were there for the major milestones in my life. You slept next to me on our guest bed while I made the Microsoft website. You were there when I edited my podcasts. You were there when we brought home our kids from the hospital. You were my work buddy, protecting me in my office every day. Every morning I’d ask “Wanna go to work?” and you’d hop out the door with me. While I think you secretly liked to hideout with me instead of suffer the sounds and abuse of young children in the house, I appreciated having another heartbeat in the room.

You were a pack dog through and through and hated to be alone. You stayed up late with your dad. You slept in with your mom. You loved interacting with your human siblings, feline brother, and canine cousins. You loved sprinting around our backyard and barking at every squirrel in every tree. Later in life you loved laying in the sunny parts of the back yard to heat your old bones. A good ol’ dog.

To know the Ruperts was to know Rudy. We’d take you everywhere we could from breweries to camping. You’d greet our guests with lots of aggressive sniffing and licking of their pants. Despite years of admonishment, you kept doing it – your most obsessive quirk. Friends learned to respect your spot on the couch and we’d all laugh when you fought the cat or moaned “I love you” in that way you did with your legs splayed backwards on the furniture.

We had a wonderful 12 years with you, our Rudy girl. At Christmas we got some bad news about a cancer growing in your body. We thought we had days but we were blessed with a few more months with our sweet girl. Today, after a sudden decline in health, we had to say goodbye.

Thank you for being a part of our lives. You’re the kind of dog that makes us never want to get another dog because we know there’ll never be one as special as you. We’ll miss you.