Rudy, known as the Beaverdale Dog, was a longtime fixture in the yard of Joy Brady and Marty Canova’s house at 46th Street and New York Avenue.
Beaverdale residents, young and old, paid daily visits to the newfoundland-labrador mix, as he was tied alongside the sidewalk. Rudy bounded out to greet them as they walked by.
But Rudy is no more. The beloved Beaverdale pet died on July 11 from old age combined with a diabetes diagnosis.
Brady brought Rudy – named by her son who wanted to call the dog Rudolph – home from the Adel Animal Rescue League in 2003 as a 7-week-old puppy. From the moment she brought him to her new house in Beaverdale in 2004, people latched on to him, so much so that Brady put up a sign.
It read: “Hi. My name is Rudy. I’m very friendly but working on manners.”
Brady says there were so many neighbors who would walk by that she didn’t want them to be scared of the dog.
Residents would call to Rudy as they walked by. He would get excited and run to the edge of the sidewalk to greet them, day or evening. He had a natural instinct for how to approach individuals. He bowed down low for children or those he sensed were nervous. He was excited and wiggled his tail for teenagers. If there was a dog he didn’t like, he’d wait for it to pass and then greet its owner. He was a gentle soul who didn’t seem to realize he was a dog.
Rudy officially became the Beaverdale Dog when Brady and Canova bought one of the brown signs that are commonly made for “Beaverdale Brick” or “Beaverdale Bungalow” homes and had “Beaverdale Dog” printed on it. The sign hung on the tree near the sidewalk.
After Rudy died, Brady and Canova posted a letter on the tree to let residents know of his passing.
“We had so many people asking about him and leaving notes and cards,” Brady says with tears. “It was really quite amazing. We had no idea the reach, the number of people that he touched.”
Between 15 and 20 heartfelt notes and drawings from children were left on Rudy’s tree in honor of him.
Brady knew Rudy had visitors throughout the day, but she had no idea of the number until a day last winter when she was sick and stayed home from work. Until 6 p.m. that night, she counted 60-some visitors before she stopped.
When the couple would walk to Snookies Malt Shop for ice cream, people would come up to them.
“They’d say: ‘Is that Rudy?’” Brady remembers. “They didn’t know who we were, but they knew him. There was a joke that he could run for public office in Beaverdale.”