Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rudy's Story


Pet's name: Rudy
Adopted by: Corinne Humphrey
From: Friends of Animals Utah, Park City, Utah

Corinne Humphrey, author of The Tao of Rudy and Shoot for the Moon, Lessons on Life from a Dog Named Rudy, sent the story of Rudy, the inspiration for her books. Visit her website to learn more.

Rudy & Corinne: Who Rescued Whom?

In 2005, I left a 25-year career as an international flight attendant to seek a more creative, balanced life. The best thing about "coming in for a final landing" was that I could finally take those painting classes I'd talked about, and I could get a dog.

I made numerous visits to Utah Friends of Animals' "Furburbia" adoption center, looking for a four-legged companion that "spoke" to me. Rudy (a three-year old English Pointer mix formerly known as Bob) was skinny, scarred, and starting to become aggressive. He had been abused, then rescued, only to bounce in and out of shelters and foster homes for three years. He was not my first, second, or third choice, but the knowledgeable staff at "Furburbia" knew Rudy’s inner qualities and convinced me to "just take him outside, just give him a chance—he’s our favorite."

We walked out the door, away from the noise of the kennels, and made our way to a nearby park bench. When I sat down, Rudy sighed, and leaned his whole body against my leg. He turned his head and fixed me with a deep, soulful gaze that seemed filled with both hope and despair at the same time. I was hooked.


Any relationship takes work and lots of love, and with the help of trainers, neighbors, and dog-loving friends, we've overcome many past issues and injuries. I was training him, but at the same time, he was teaching me … to dig deeper, to take a closer look before making judgments.

Rudy is a gem, a diamond in the "ruff." He inspires me, makes me laugh, stretches my patience, and brings me much joy! And he’s also fun to draw—when I first started painting, I'd often find myself giggling while sitting at the easel, and I slowly gained more confidence with my art. Now if I'm wasting time lounging on the couch, a cold nose will nudge me and lead the way into the studio. Most of my paintings evolved from life lessons that I learned from Rudy, and his positive messages have connected with people of all ages.

Corinne with Rudy and the book he inspired

The Tao of Rudy was originally self-published in 2007. It earned a 2008 Independent Publisher's Bronze Medal for "Most Outstanding Book Design" and was also awarded "Honorable Mention" in ForeWord magazine's "Book of the Year" at BookExpo in New York City in May 2009. It was then introduced to the editors at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, and our new book, Shoot for the Moon, Lessons on Life from a Dog Named Rudy was released in May 2011.

Rudy hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be on the streets. He donates 10% of net proceeds back to Utah Friends of Animals so more dogs can find good homes too.

Corinne with Rudy in her studio



If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

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