Happy Birthday, Baby Rudy

Precisely six years ago today, the world’s tiniest pig-monster arrived, complete with black and tan markings, and a seemingly never-ending hunger.

Little did we know at the time, but the breeder had the situation summed up from Day One, when she told us over the phone:  “Audra’s a good eater.”

Oh yeah.  “Rudy” was originally “Audra,” at least in Oklahoma.

But by the time she deplaned in D.C., Erin (and I) has settled on the name Rudy, based in equal parts on my love for Notre Dame, and Erin’s love for The Cosby Show.

Erin, Rudy, and Court

Erin, Rudy, and Court

Initially, Rudy lived in Washington with Erin and her roommate Courtney, before the 3 ladies learned of a “no dogs allowed” policy at their Dupont Circle apartment.  After a few weeks of attempting to hide her from management, it became clear it was time for Rudy to head South.

So it was down to Charlottesville, Va., for a new-age edition of “My Two Dads,” as Rudy joined the Rio Hill bachelor pad inhabited by myself and George Lettis.  I’ll never forget the look on Jorge LeChuga’s face the day I came home from work at WVIR, and told him, “Hey man, is it cool if my girlfriend’s Chihuahua comes to live with us?  And also, can you feed and walk her while I’m at work?”

Uncle Le and his Baby Niece

Uncle Le and his Baby Niece

Suffice it to say, George and Rudy took quite nicely to one another.  And even though she regularly enjoyed “hiding her business” amongst his pile of laundry, she still managed to end up in his lap during our wedding  ceremony.

Years later, Rudy moved again, this time to the Sunshine State, where she fully embraced her Mexican roots.

Baby Rudy in the Sun

Baby Rudy in the Sun

Lying belly-up, with eyes closed and limbs outstretched, Baby Rudy logged many a lazy afternoon amidst the Florida crabgrass, venturing back inside only upon being promised treats.

Rudy in Froggy PJ's

Rudy in Froggy PJ's

And now in New York, her 5th State, she again has shown her ability to adapt, and persevere.  Clearly, the Manhattan streets can not compare to the lawns of Fort Myers, and never has she understood the need for a “coat,” or “Froggy Pajamas.”

But Rudy’s “press-on power” has always been her trademark, her single-minded intensity on the task at hand (usually eating) her signature.  Rudy is a mini monster, a pint-sized prize-fighter.

Rudy's X-Ray

Rudy's X-Ray





She conquered a near-deadly case of Demodectic Mange, which cost her half her hair, but none of her spirit.  And she’s rallied through multiple hospital visits, for scares ranging from pneumonia to choking.

Jack and Rudy

Jack and Rudy



She’s stood and stared down the scale, watching her weight yo-yo, as her meals have been cut from 4-a-day to (gasp!) a mere two. And she’s battled the baby brother she never wanted, only to remain a stand-up sister.

Rudy Goes Under the Knife

Rudy Goes Under the Knife

She endured an uncomfortable knee surgery, leaving her immobilized in a cast as big as her. Expected to be sidelined for weeks, Rudy was dragging herself around within days, scoffing at the notion of the disabled list, and laughing in the face of R&R.

And through it all, Rudy’s rallied.  With an unquenchable thirst for life, and an insatiable appetite for “chewy bones,” Rudy’s first 6 years have been a blessed blur.

Rudy and a Chewy

Rudy and a Chewy

If we’ve brought her half as much happiness and joy as she’s brought us, she’s a lucky puppy.

Happy Birthday, Rudy.



  1. Happy birthday, baby girl! We hope you get everything you wish for on the big day (like an extra meal). I will never forget riding in the cab of a big-rig tow truck with you and your mom on the afternoon of your “lady’ surgery … stay beautiful!

    Uncle Le and Auntie JLe

    P.S. — Come visit us in your old ‘hood! OUR Dupont Circle apartment is very dog friendly, and your cousins Reese and Gaby want to meet you and Jack! xoxo

  2. What a great write up, Jason! It may have even brought tears to my eyes at the end;) Our furbabies bring so much joy to our lives, don’t they? I hope Rudy has a very Happy Birthday. She’s a lucky pup to have a mom and dad that love her so much. I only wish all furbabies were so lucky. Hope all is well. xo

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE LADY! I so remember being there with your mom as she picked you up at Reagan National. It was sweet watching the two of you shaking like leaves. Can’t wait to give you a signature Auntie Jo bum scratch this weekend! (:

  4. RUDY! Happy 6th Birthday! I remember when my mom went with your mom, aunt jo and aunt court to pick you up at Reagan National so long ago…and then when your hair fell out. We were all very nervous. Then, i loved when you came and lived with us in alexandria for a couple of weeks – and auntie jo and my mom fought over who could snuggle with you. i was just happy to be sleeping on the floor and not being part of that ridiculousness. i wish i could meet your brother this weekend – but i know my mom is for sure happy to see you both! maybe for your 7th birthday you can come visit me in cali!! xoxoxoxo cousin bella

  5. Happy Birthday, Rudy. I’m Great Auntie Esther and from what I have read about you, I really would like to meet you in person (that is dog person). You have a great life and are being well taken care of by two loving wonderful parents. Enjoy each day!
    Your birthday happens to fall on cousin David’s birthday and on cousin Margie and Sandy’s anniversary.

    I hope we get to meet you very very soon.

    Love and Hugs from Great Auntie Esther.

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