All Dogs Go to Heaven

Written by Kevin Johnson

Published in the blog "Lisy's Battle with Leukemia"

September 06

All Dogs Go to Heaven – September 6, 2005

They say all dogs go to Heaven. If that’s right then someone upstairs just got the perfect dog. A dog that will always be by your side and never leave you stranded. One that is always happy go-lucky and constantly has his tail wagging. The type of dog that will love you even when you yell at him for eating something he probably shouldn’t be eating. He is the perfect older brother and if you’re sad he’ll lift you up. The type of dog that all men want. The perfect companion. He loves to sit in the front seat while you drive and check out the world as it passes by. He is our Rud-man.

This evening after weeks of watching him heal and then days of watching him take a horrific turn for the worse, my family put down our 9-year old, Flat-Coated retriever Rudy. It was something we had talked about for months now. Rudy had gotten a problem in his spine where it was destroying the nerves in his back legs. My Mom took him to a Vet in Canada and they decided to put him on some steroids and see where that landed him.

Surprisingly, Rudy healed within four weeks and he was able to hobble around and play with his younger brothers. Then a couple of days ago Rudy went the other way. On Monday he looked awful. He wasn’t able to carry his back legs anymore. They slid along side his body as he tried to play with the other boys. He jumped off a two-foot tall stairway only to land on his hip because his hind legs wouldn’t catch him.

So today, my Mom called me at work and said it was time. We met at the clinic, said our good-bye’s and left him to sleep. Now somewhere he is running around happy, eating grass, playing with other dogs and being the Rudy we knew for 8½ years.

As mentioned before, he was the perfect dog. I love Micky and Koby, don't get me wrong. Anyone that knows me knows I favor Micky, but Rudy was the perfect dog. Micky is too emotional and Koby’s just too wild. Rudy was laid back. Koby didn’t mess with him cause he knew who was the King of the Castle. Rudy was always happy, even until the very end. He just wanted to go, go, go. It was kind of nice to see. Nice to know that he still had that energy, the energy that made him Rudy.

One of my favorite memories of Rudy came on the night before Lis left for Brazil back in 2002, after we first met. We had become really good friends, Lis and I, and she had become a good friend with my family. We were all saying our good-bye’s and there was a somber feel in the room. We all knew Lis had to go but nobody wanted to say it. Then along came Rudy. He got up, walked over to Lis, jumped up on her lap and kissed her goodbye. It’s like he knew, he probably did. I liked it.

He was an American and Canadian champion. He’s the reason my parents are into showing dogs. He made us all Flat-Coat lovers. Which by the way, for anyone with a family and wanting to get a good family dog, look at the Flat-Coats they’re terrific dogs. I used to be a Golden fan, but thanks to Rudy, I switched.

I only wish he could've been healthy enough to be friends with Lukas. I know he would've loved to camp out underneath Lukas' high chair and eat all the food that Lukas loves to drop. I'm sorry that Lukas won't be able to know Rudy. They would've been best friends.

I’ll miss you Rudy. You were awesome and brought us some good memories – kissing Lis, walking the plank with us on the houseboat trip, the list goes on and on. I love you Rud-man! Don’t eat too much grass in heaven! You know what it does to you.

Oh, one more thing, God if you’re listening and you need a good dog, take Rudy. You’ll be happy with the choice.