I had him for 15 1/2 years. One of nine he was, at two months he was a pup the size of a cat. He thought that when I looked him and his siblings over there at the pound that I’d choose another, so he stayed in the back, looking forlorn. And so I chose him. Ruddy (his full name was Ruddy My Heart) saved my life in more ways than one. He was the most gentle being I’ve ever known.
It was on all those long hikes with Rud, all those miles, that I conceived of the concept of a book like Opalescence. In the book, Tom befriends an Aelurodon he calls Little (though in the book Little grows large), an early member of the canine clan, who becomes his hiking partner. Ruddy was ever in my mind when I described him.
When he got older, and the hiking became harder for him, I’d carry his 90 pounds on my shoulders, up and down those hills. Sometimes my brother came along and helped me by carrying Rud for awhile.
When he passed in 2000 it was the hardest thing I’d ever faced. It was like being torn in half. He knew me better than anyone. Always overjoyed to see me (and I him). Always accepting. Never judgmental. Never demanding. Love unconditional. Ruddy will always be in my heart.
Opalescence is dedicated to him.
Where are you my boy?