How this P.E.I. rescue dog got his own song

·2 min read
'He's pretty low key and respectful and a great little dog,' says owner Joy Palmer. 'Let's call him a sensible dog.'  (Submitted by Joy Palmer - image credit)
'He's pretty low key and respectful and a great little dog,' says owner Joy Palmer. 'Let's call him a sensible dog.' (Submitted by Joy Palmer - image credit)

From the lyrics of the song, he would seem like a proper gentleman who ate cheese with a certain degree of sophistication, hated sneezes and loved guests.

But it was Rudy the dog's mangled teeth and extremely charismatic face that prompted the decision to write him a personal song.

"You look at a photo of Rudy and man, that song just needs to be born," Canadian singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman told Island Morning's Mitch Cormier.

"The song was going to write itself."

'Member of our family'

Throughout the pandemic, the artist has been dedicating music to people's animals and featuring them in his live streamed show Hawksley Night in Canada.

He said he pitched the idea to a manager years ago, but was quickly shut down. Now, he's receiving "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of entries from fans around the world with pictures and missives about their pets."

One of those was P.E.I.'s very own Rudy the rescue.

Rudy was adopted into the family in December 2016. 'I found in Rudy's case, it shone a light on the humane society and the valuable work they are doing,' says Palmer.
Rudy was adopted into the family in December 2016. 'I found in Rudy's case, it shone a light on the humane society and the valuable work they are doing,' says Palmer. (Submitted by Joy Palmer)

"We brought him home the evening of December 21st, 2016. So he's our little Christmas present," said owner Joy Palmer.

"Rudy became a member of our family."

'Blown away'

Even though it was Palmer's son's girlfriend who sent the request for a song, Palmer said the quirks and personality of Rudy were captured perfectly.

"I thought this is amazing. Like, I was just blown away."

'People who really know my songwriting well, they know I like the minutia of absurdity,' says Hawksley Workman.
'People who really know my songwriting well, they know I like the minutia of absurdity,' says Hawksley Workman.(Submitted by Joy Palmer)

"I saw the picture of Rudy and then I read the little essay [from] Rudy's, I guess, sister-in-law," said Workman.

"It was a beautiful and hilarious written little missive about this pup who has a face full of glorious, misshapen, you know, dental features."

Rudy's song includes lyrics about his love for fast food, his friendship with a raccoon and even his journey to finding a forever home.

Album in the making

So far, Workman said he has written about seven pet songs but not all requests have come for four-legged friends.

"There's been other people bringing me pet ideas for snakes, frogs, turtles, hamsters, you name it," he said.

"I'm quite pleased to be writing songs about people's pets."

For the time being, Workman said he has no intentions of giving up his new gig.

"My love for pets is not going away any time soon. So if the world continues along the strange path that it is, there's going to be more pet songs that I'm sure will result in an album."

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