Really sad to announce that today, Friday the 13th of all days we lost Rudi, our senior Rottweiler and beloved top dog aged just over seven years. This was very sudden and he had been exercising and working as normal earlier this week. He woke up on Thursday with significant lameness in his front left elbow and this deteriorated to the point in which he was clearly in extreme pain. In fact he was in such pain that we couldn’t move him and the vet had to be called to come to the house.

The vet instantly diagnosed a large tumour and said that the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep, which of course we did. Coming fairly swiftly after the loss of Tara, this was even more upsetting because whilst she was over eleven years old, Rudi should have had plenty of life still to live.

On top of that, Rudi has been the most fantastic work partner and companion in working with many problem dogs over the years. There are many clients and their dogs who have made Rudi’s acquaintance and he has always made a big impression. We worked together dealing mostly with dog aggression cases and Rudi was the most brilliant ‘reader’ of other dogs. As a dog behaviourist I obviously need to be able to read other dog’s body language, but just as often it was the way Rudi read them and almost telepathically passed that information to me, via his own body language of course, or just the way he looked at me, which led to successful and incident free assessments.

Of course, over the years we had our occasional scrapes and one where a collie half the size of Rudi put us both on the ground, lives on in the memory! These incidents were few and far between and I am proud to say that in all our dealings with aggressive dogs, neither I nor Rudi were ever injured. Although our pride was perhaps a bit dented in the collie incident a few years ago! I hasten to add that Rudi was ever the gentleman and neither was any client’s dog ever injured although Rudi was not averse to dishing out a good telling off when required!

As always when one loses a dog, the mantle of Ashclyst top stooge dog passes on to the younger ones and Jana and Otis, plus of course Rory will carry on the good work, helping other people’s dogs to become more well balanced.

Gobby, talkative Rudi – we had a fantastic relationship. We trusted each other and watched each other’s back and you will never be forgotten.

‘Never very good at goodbyes
So (gentle shoulder charge) love you mate.’