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The Portrait of a Dog

I’m here to write a simple eulogy.  You may or may not have known the deceased, but this is important to me, so allow us to begin.  I’ve been blessed enough to not have lost a person of meaning in my lifetime.  My mother’s parents have passed away, but I was barely out of the womb and have no memories of them.  While this is saddening, it does not match the loss of someone held dear.  For now, my parents are of fabulous health, my dad’s parents healthy into their 70’s, and the rest of my extended family alive and doing well.  On November 6th, 2013 I underwent the most severe loss I’ve had in my short lifetime.  My dog, Rudolph Valentino Bross, passed away of an enlarged heart.  Now, is a dog dying the equivalent of a person?  Clearly not; however, I know many would sympathize with me this is something that is not easy, especially when no tragedy has been suffered.  Rudy was the cutest dog I know, and that can be said with all bias aside.  Born to be raised a show Golden Retriever, Rudy was unfortunate enough to have been borne with a slight defect and could not be groomed to try and emulate his father’s champion status.  Instead, he ended up in a kennel in Cincinnati, Ohio where my brother quickly picked Rudy to join our family.  For the next eight and a half years, Rudy has brought far more people than just his family an amount of joy and memories than seems possible for a pet.  Those who remember him can think of his floppy ears, lion’s paws, silly idiosyncrasies, and seal pose (spread eagle) and instantly smile.  His efforts to conquer a championship kibbles eating time was heroic, and he eventually was able to crack the thirty mark during his youth.  Chasing ducks at the lake, chasing squirrels off the deck, and chasing hearts of whomever entered the Bross home were some of Rudy’s favorite hobbies; along with classic dog behaviors of begging, sleeping, and asking for pets.  His favorite food?  Well, it wavered over the years, from chicken tetrazzini off the stove, cherry cordial off the deck, and green beans off the palm; Rudy never refused a scrap or missed an opportunity to use his natural beauty to wrangle out another meal from unsuspecting meal donors.  Until the end, Rudy loved everyone.  From his favorite Brosses to his newest friends, Rudy would greet everyone with a wagging and tail and a shoe in his mouth.  I don’t think there was any mistake in his passing.  Had you told me Rudy’s heart was too big, I wouldn’t have been surprised as he had so much love in him.  No other cause of death could have fit our loving puppy; in the end, his heart ended up being too big.


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