Dudley aka The Dude aka Sir Dudley Underfoot
From the moment I found out the Jessie was sick, I knew that I would eventually get another dog. Not until after she was gone, and there would probably be a mourning period of sorts in there, too. Having spent 9 years worshiping at the altar of The Great Jessiwah, I would need to adjust to her absence, grieve properly, and allow my life to settle a bit before looking for another canine companion.
And so it came to pass that, about 4 months after we put the Jessie to sleep, I began the search. I visited a couple of local county shelters, moved on to private rescue groups, and finally ended up at Friends of Homeless Animals. Put together a list of potential candidates, and went out to meet some of the furry folk. Was greeted in the office by a volunteer and a young man named Dudley...
Met, walked, and played with several dogs, but Dudley stuck in my heart. A sweet one-year-old German Shepherd / lab / hound (probably blue tick coon hound) mix, he seemed to deal well with leashes, played joyously, and was simply too cute for words. And so I put in an application on him.
One home visit / interview later, I was approved to adopt Dudley. On February 22, 2004, he came home with me... Little did I know he was not housetrained, had issues with men (yay for previous owners who were abusive and neglectful), and a great talent for chewing through leashes...
A week later, his distrust of men was greatly reduced, his demeanor was vastly more confident, and he was no longer relieving himself on my carpet. In that short time, he learned to sit, to enter his crate on command, to display proper running etiquette, to come back around objects like telephone poles and trees, and to not hassle me while I was eating.
This seems to be the beginning of a wonderful relationship :)