I remember when I brought Rugby home. A tiny, pink-nosed bundle of adorable. He was a tri-color puppy, but mostly black and white with just a touch of brown over one eyebrow. A bundle of energy, curiosity, and unconditional love.
He was so small that he could sneak under the corner of my desk, which sits very close to the floor. He lay under there with just his nose sticking out so he could see me and make sure I didn’t get away. Once he got bored watching me write and decided to chew on the cords. He gave himself a nasty shock and scared me to death with his pitiful yelp. But he was a quick learner. He never did it again.
Rugby always seemed to worry that I’d disappear and never come back. He was forever watching and following one step behind. When he was small, he’d sit on my foot while I washed dishes or worked in the kitchen, making it very hard to get away unnoticed.
Rugby was rough and tumble. He loved to play tug of war and shred his toys until they couldn’t squeak anymore. Half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and half miniature poodle, made him wholly sweet and cuddly. He could barely wait until you sat down before he was making himself comfortable on your lap. I called him my lapdog and I will forever miss his warmth and generous spirit.
I brought Rugby home shortly after my last child left home for college. We’d had a poodle for seventeen years and he’d died earlier that same year. I was knocking about an empty house feeling sorry for myself, and Rugby joyously filled that void and much more.
He could make me smile just by sitting and looking at me sometimes. He lived to please and loved to play. He chewed up tennis balls, stuffed toys, and ropes, faster than I could supply them. He was a sweet dog who loved to cuddle almost as much as he loved to chase rabbits. Sadly, he never caught one, but he never gave up on the dream.
We found out over a year ago that our sweet dog had cancer. They only gave him a couple of months to live but Rugby lived and lived happily… for another year. Being that we thought he was at death’ door, I dedicated my last book to him, and we spoiled him worse than usual. His appetite dwindled when he got sick and he lost a lot of weight, but once he started eating like a king, he seemed to feel much better. He devoured hamburger, chicken, and Chinese food and turned his nose up at Iam’s dry dog food like a true connoisseur.
For everyone who has known the love of a faithful pet companion, I dedicate this post to yours and to mine.
So long Rugby. You will be greatly missed.
Your adopted mom, Barbara