Sunday, February 17, 2019
Fudge is the February 17, 2019 Pup of the Week
Rainbow Bridge can be like a retail store during the holidays. There are weeks when there is not much activity. Then over a few days, we get inundated with new angels. In two weeks we welcomed Gordo, Petey, and Marshmallow. There was a fourth dog who crossed too, one who I have not been able to recognize yet, but must do so now. Fudge is one of my good friends from Blogville, and this is his story.
Fudge was the leader of a large pack of Portuguese Water dogs, a beautiful and playful breed. Their mom had many pups, but Fudge was her best friend.
Fudge moved in with his forever family to mate with a female dog, Simba. Their union would produce nine fantastic dogs for their mom to love. Fudge got a family and created one at the same time. But Fudge was more than just a lover.
He was an athlete too. He performed in rallies and won a ribbon. But most of all he was mama’s easy going, funny dog. He never complained, even when he was made to dress up. He helped raise his puppies and was a gentle friend to the senior dogs who preceded him in the pack.
But what Fudge did the best was love his momma. He slept under the desk when she was on the computer. He snuggled next to her while she knit. He slept on her side of the bed. He was devoted to many, but he was hopelessly devoted to his mom.
Three years ago, at the age of ten, Fudge suffered a stroke. His back and rear legs never fully recovered. His mom gave him supplements and pain meds. She did everything she could to make sure he wasn’t in pain and could enjoy his life. Some days he was close to normal. Other days he needed a sling under him to help him go outside. But he ate, smiled, and never let his affliction bother him.
Sometimes when a dog is near the end, he will be blessed with one day of feeling normal and being energized before his journey. In January Fudge got his day. He played, he ran out to the garage to eat, he jumped on the couch. His parents wondered if he could be getting better.
But there is a price of pay for a rally day, and soon the bill was due. Overnight another stroke hit Fudge. When his parents awoke their special boy could no longer stand, and a single look in his eye told them that Fudge was no longer there. He had left for the Bridge. His parents made arrangements to send his body to join him.
All those who became angels before him gathered to greet Fudge when he arrived at the Bridge. We anxiously awaited him. I checked my watch. He was overdue. Then we heard splashing. I went down the steps and found Fudge happily playing in the river. He saw us and sheepishly climbed on to the bank. “Sorry,” he said. “I really love the water.”
We all got drenched when Fudge shook, but that was okay, it was his day. While frolicking in the river all of the pain from his strokes and getting older left his body, and he was young again. I could tell he was certainly feeling his oats. After being sworn in Fudge ran through the hills enjoying feeling young again.
It did not take long for Fudge to assume the same role he had on the mortal side of the river. He is a true leader, for those who were in his pack, and for dogs without a family. Fudge is a teacher, and passing over will only enhance that.
On Valentine’s Day, at the Bridge, we celebrated Fudge’s 14th birthday. This was the first birthday that he could eat an entire chocolate cake, but also the first birthday he spent without his parents, and this made him sad. As a birthday gift, we all gave him tips on how to visit his mom in her dreams and kick down the door between the right and left the side of her brain so she would remember her dream.
Fudge wouldn’t say if it worked. We hope it did. We know he will keep trying.
As a father of nine, there is one thing Fudge has learned: Patience