Remembering Rupert

I have found that there are things in life that a person realizes can happen, but you never ever expect them to happen to you.  These are things like dying in a freak roller coaster accident, winning the Powerball, or contracting a rare, fatal tropical disease while honeymooning in Fiji.  These things do happen, but it never crosses my mind that they can happen to me because they are fluke events, right?

On Monday night I got to live one of those “it will never happen to me” fluke moments, but not the good kind like the Powerball.  No, this was that really tragic moment when you watch (seemingly in slow motion) as your 8 month old puppy darts into the street after a cat as you stand helplessly in the yard with his leash in your hand.

And it was a total fluke, but that doesn’t make me feel much better.

I was leashing the dogs in the front yard, and, as usual, I put Oswald’s leash on first and turned around to put Rupert’s on.  For some reason, one of the gates was open slightly and when I looked up he was standing on the other side of the fence looking at me with his tail wagging.  No big deal.  But then, as I started to call him back, a cat with the world’s worst timing decided to scamper across the street and pure hound instinct flooded Rupert’s body- he was in full chase mode. Usually this wouldn’t have been a big deal, as this was late in the evening and our street is quiet at that time, but my sweet puppy managed to dart directly in front of the only car that had driven down the street in a ten minute period.

That was his last chase.

Once the feeling of disbelief faded the feeling of emptiness set in pretty quickly  That was followed quickly by feelings of guilt and unfairness.

If I’d taken them for their walk earlier would this have happened?

If I’d paid more attention and noticed the gate would that have prevented it?

And how is it that I see other dogs wandering loose all the time in the neighborhood and nothing happens to them?

Why was is it my sweet, happy, loving puppy that was just getting going with life the one that was there in that exact moment?

I’m a great dog owner, so why did this happen to me?

Why, why, why, why, why?  The why’s could go on forever. Over the last few days I’ve come to realize that there is no answer to the why’s, that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and it isn’t fair when they do.  It’s just a fluke thing.

My little buddy had a great life.  Based on my teaching schedule (summer’s off!) and now my career change (applying for nursing school), I have literally spent all but two weeks at home with him since we rescued him from the levee when he was 7 weeks old.  I watched him blossom into the most playful and loving dog that aimed to please me all the time and loved to spend his days going for runs and chewing sticks.

The night before he died my Dad was in town and we had gone to visit some friends for dinner. Rupert came along so he could play with their black lab, Bud, and he also had a blast rolling in the remains of the fish that the guys had caught earlier that day.  Then we took him to our local pub where he cruised around making friends and finally learned how to sit still on a bar stool.  It was, unknowingly, a pretty perfect last night.

Since his death, I’ve been amazed at how many people reached out to me about him.  He had such a way about him that he could even win over people that weren’t “dog people”. I’ve had other people that have never met him tell me that through seeing pictures on Facebook and reading the blog they still felt like they knew him well.  He was loved by so many. I’ve had other dogs before, but this dog really was extra special.

I planned on spending a good 14 or so years with Rupert, but I’m still grateful for the 6 months I got.  I will miss him as my running partner, my canine shadow, my comic relief, and my cuddler. He was my sidekick in every sense of the word.

I know from experience that time heals all, and it will, but for now there is a big hound-sized hole in my heart.  And it sucks.  I can only hope that he found a big levee up in the sky and he’s currently trotting off into the sunset.


13 thoughts on “Remembering Rupert

  1. You are awesome to share this with us. . . . Many of us have had a similar experieince that makes us know that our hounds (dogs in general I guess) have a spiritual place in our hearts and a place in heaven as well. There is a bond here that surely must be eternal and long lasting even after this lifetime has passed away. There is a saying that “Families are Forever” and this surely applies to our special relationships with our animals. Keep on your steady path of love and celebrate the goodness of those incredible relationships. Enjoyed your tribute so much. Kurt Hibbert

  2. oh I’m so sorry! I loved reading about Rupert’s outings. I always read the Rainbow Bridge poem when a pet passes on…it makes me cry harder but it also comforts. Rupert was lucky to have found you and had such a wonderful 6 months. *hug*

  3. I am so sorry for you…One of my greatest fears came true for you…It sounds as though Rupert had a greatness to his life that many dogs never know with years of living…again sorry!

  4. Pingback: When to say goodbye | Reggie's House- a dog blog

  5. Yes, bad things happen to good people, and good animals. I guess we’ll never figure out why these totally unreasonable things happen, but I was indeed lucky to have come into town and got to spend one last night with the adorable albeit mischievous canine in the Crown and Anchor and then take him for his last walk, with you, on the levee the next morning. None of us had a clue or a premonition that his life was close to an extremely premature end.
    Heather, hugs from your Dad and I’m mentally hugging Rupert too (even though he’s wriggling to get free from my arms). By the way, I think Rupert wants you to keep writing; after all, he was the instigator of “Ginger Beagle”; maybe it was his way of helping you find and unleash your new talent.

  6. Pingback: RIP, Rupert | pyjammy dot org PREMIUM

  7. Pingback: RIP, Rupert | pyjammy's {identical} triplets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s