I wrote this last Moday night, the last night we had with our dog Rudy… He was a German Short-hair Pointer, he was 17…
Yesterday, Keith and I went and… said goodbye to him…
I don’t take stuff like this well for a lot of reasons…. Rudi as been part of some of the Tales of the Realm that I have written… Keith has RPed him, as have I, on the Collective as part of the Mtech thread doing all sorts of things like fetching telephone poles instead of sticks and things like that…
We have always, since the first day he came into our lives, called him our Devil Doggie…
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion – Unknown
The sun was setting in the Realm, its form touching the lake and slowing sinking into it. The Realm was oddly quiet this evening. The streets were empty, with most in their homes with the ones they loved. It was so because there was sadness in the Realm this day. Far off in the hills of remembrance, three figures sat looking into the sun.
The first was Keith, Tera’s Eternal. He sat cross-legged on the warm grass looking not to the beauty of the setting sun, but down to Tera, her head resting in his lap. She was curled around a small dog, her hand stroking along his back in time with her Eternal’s scratching of one of the dog’s ears. Beside them sat their daughter Rianna, her hand rubbing the tail of the dog with a finger as well.
The dog, a hell-hound, breathed slowly and steadily, his eyes looking upon Keith, then Tera, finally Rianna, before closing again with a sigh to rest once more. His skin, normally red, now had white in it, a sign of how old he was. Seventeen millennia. There was a streak of what above his eyes, and his muzzle tinged with white, too.
I’m sorry, Tera. He hasn’t eaten. He won’t eat. He’s getting thinner, he won’t last much longer.
I don’t care! There has to be something we can do!
Tera. Please. You’ve given him a long happy life. It’s his time now. Spend it with him, with us, and remember.
Tera was crying as she lay there beside him. She knew that this would happen someday, but in her heart she thought that it would never be. Delusional? Maybe. But then, sometimes what is in front of you, you never see until it’s too late.
Keith… Rudi’s limping….
He’s getting on in years, Tera.
Arthritis comes eventually, Honey. We’ll just make him a house doggie and keep him from hunting.
That’s going to be hard on him….
Better that than to lose him in the hunts, Tera. You know him… he’ll keep going until he falls over. There is no ‘give up’ in him. Please, keep him home and give him the time he has.
Tera sat up and carefully placed Rudi onto her lap, still stroking his back. They all smiled as the little devil started to snore…
What’s that noise?
Shhh… Rudi is sleeping…
Upside-down, legs in the air, not a care in the world, and he snores. I wonder where he got that from, mmm?
If he wasn’t on top of me. I’d get you for that my Eternal…
The sun dipped lower still, the moments forever moving from the future, to the present, to the past…
Yup! He did!
What exactly are we going to do then, Tera? The little thief stole that game from another hunter, and they’re going to want it back.
Pffit… They probably used him to find it in the first place… It’s his, so he brought it to us.
Right, Finders Keepers… You teach him that?
Sniffling, Tera tried to wipe away the tears. But they just came and came, falling onto Rudi’s skin and soaking in there….
We were lucky, Tera.
I know. We almost lost him…
They have no idea why it happened, it might happen again.
I know… But I won’t give up on him. Not until there is no hope, and even then I won’t…
I know. Neither of us will.
Rianna turned away for a moment, her sniffles loud. Tera replied softly, “Rianna… Go home… You need to be there tonight. Rianna sniffled again before she placed her head beside Rudi’s, her blue horns touching his black ones with the little bits of white in them. Then she hugged Keith and Tera before running off into the fading light…
Rudi! Come on boy! Fetch! That’s it! Good….. No… NO!! Rudi!!!
That’s a tree. He did that on purpose you know.
Well he is our Devil Doggie….
As the light faded away and the night fell upon them, Keith wrapped them all in a blanket before putting his chin onto Tera’s shoulder. For a while he said nothing, then said, “He is a good dog, isn’t he, honey?”
An entire cookie box, Tera?
But… But… He’s so cute! Look at that big nose, those soft ears, and his eyes!
But that’s an entire box, Tera.
He’s a good dog, he deserves everyone of them…
Tera choked back a whimper, “The best. Never be another like him. Ever.”
Gosh he has a short fuse.
As short as his little tailie?
Maybe shorter, he’s going to be a handful.
I know that you, me, and him will get on just fine…
Keith held Tera in his arms, the two of them just sitting there through the night, Rudi sleeping when he could, sighing when he needed, his eyes looking upon them when he could, the love and devotion in them so plain to see….
Another dog tried to get to me, Rudi put one paw on its throat, shoved it to the ground, and then gave it a warning bite on the scruff of its neck before letting it go.
Are you okay?
I’m fine… I’m worried about Rudi, I don’t know if that other dog got him or not!
Let’s go, honey. Good boy, Rudi. You did really good.
He gets steak tonight!
Keith wiped away tears before reaching past Tera, his hands touching the collar that Rudi had worn these long years. With a soft click, it came loose and he pulled it away from Rudi’s neck gently, before placing it upon the ground next to him. His hand rested then upon that spot where it once had been.
“He’ll be more comfortable that way.” Tera managed a nod and nothing more….
What do you think? Red or black for his collar?
Red, I think.
mmmmk… Put his name on it, too?
Well of course, it’s his collar after all.
As they sat there, quietly, waiting, Tera felt Rudi’s body relax, his breathing calm, the tightness in his body ebbing away. She shivered and whispered, “He’s going.”
Keith and Tera held hands as he answered, “I know. Just, just hang on, Honey.”
Jumbie is gone, honey. I, I can’t make that right for you. No one can, but he was suffering.
We had to.
I know. Doesn’t mean that I have to like it… Rudi… I know… I… know…
Come here, Honey… You too, Rudi…
The night was broken by the first rays of the morning sun. The light found Tera and Keith standing beside a white grave marker, the earth freshly disturbed. The marker was topped by a carving of a small dog with a short tail bounding through the air. Beneath that, the name Rudi was written, below that the simple words… Our Devil Doggie
With that look? That’s a good name for him.
What is his name? He’s sooooo CUTE!!!
Rudi. I understand some call him Rude.
This cuteness? NEVER! Rudi it is! Jumbie will love him!
As they stood there hand in hand, still crying together, Rianna came towards them, a hell-hound beside her. This one was larger than Rudi, about twice the size. She was young, perhaps a century old if that. She had a long black tail with a small little fluff at the end making it look odd, a small pair of black horns above her eyes of brown. When Rianna was close enough, she nodded and then sent the dog towards her parents with a smile.
The dog walked towards them, paused, and then sat on the ground beside Tera. She lifted up her right front paw and gave Tera a little tap on the back of her leg. Tera turned to look at her before kneeling on the ground beside her. Tera managed in a wavering voice, “I’m sorry, Brit… Rudi… Rudi won’t be coming home….”
What’s her name?
Brit. She, she was beaten Tera. We’re her last chance.
She’ll be fine with us, right?
With Rudi’s help? She’ll be just fine, Honey.
Brit raised her paw again. In reflex, Tera took hold of it. Brit’s claws came out a little as she drew Tera’s hand closer, and lower, towards her nose. A moment later and Brit’s nose was beneath Tera’s hand, Brit’s eyes looking at Tera and Keith sadly. Tera placed her other hand against Brit’s ear and gave it a light scratch as Keith kneeled down with her to rub his hand against Brit’s head. Rianna joined them moments later as their family wept again at their loss…
As much as we cry and remember, as much as we laugh and remember, there is nothing more important than sharing the love you have.
Sleep well, Rudy… you’re a good doggie.
Tera & Keith
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009