It’s our gorgeous boy’s 9th birthday today!! It’s hard to believe – the years have gone by so fast – it seems hardly any time since he and his brother Ralph were little pups. For those who don’t know the story, Rupert and Ralph were given to my husband and I as wedding presents 9 years ago. The day after we returned from our honeymoon, we went to the Lort Smith Animal Shelter in Melbourne and found the two adorable pups cuddled up together. We hadn’t decided whether we wanted one or two puppies, but they were so gorgeous together we couldn’t resist. And the kennel manager said he couldn’t bear to separate them because they were such good mates.
So, we came home with two tiny puppies; no-one really knew how old they were, or what they were. All we knew was that they were adorable and completely the cutest we’d ever seen (we were a bit biased, and fresh from our honeymoon!)
They grew into beautiful boys and great mates, though in their terrible twos when the adrenalin started pumping they did have a few brotherly scraps (well, more than scraps, stitches were sometimes involved!).
So you can imagine how devastated we were when at 3.5 years old, we were told that Ralph had lymphoma and without treatment only had weeks to live. Of course we couldn’t let our boy go that easily, so we gave him treatment and had a happy healthy boy for another 18 months. Eventually however, the disease took over and we had to let him go.
I was distraught, and whether Rupert picked up on that, or was also deeply affected by his brother’s loss, he seemed to go into a depression for at least 6 months. He went quiet (and he’s usually quite noisy and vocal), sat in his beanbag and took no notice of things going on around the house or garden. It was terrible to see and we didn’t know what the best thing to do for him was – should we get him a friend (he seemed frightened of puppies he met), or was he happier being with us, as we started taking him everywhere with us.
He, and I, gradually recovered. He started to come out of his shell and engage in some of his ‘clown’ antics. We could see our happy boy re-emerging.
Eighteen months on, we decided to see how we’d all get on with fostering a greyhound in need. Well, I need not go into too much more detail! Three years later, our family now also consists of our lovely 11 year old April, and our 3 year old Billie (also a foster fail). And we have our boy back! Rupie is again the clown of the family; noisy, chatty and bossy! He loves having the girls to push around (but he has taught them manners – he is very polite with food and requests). He plays with his toys (well, more like destroys his toys), and barks at the girls while they run rings around him.
It’s a happy house again and a joy to be met at the door by three wiggling bodies. Ralph will always be deeply missed (on their birthday I often wonder what he would have been like as he aged; he will never grow old and will forever remain young in our hearts), but I’m sure he’s glad that his little brother now has some sisters to keep him company.
They’ve been running themselves ragged tonight, so this is the end of their playtime – Rupie always has the last word!
This is Rupert enjoying his new toy – no wonder I don’t buy him expensive ones – he does this to any toy, regardless of the cost!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUR BEAUTIFUL BOY!