I imagine that no family in Australia wants to raise children without a big back yard and a dog. Helen and Joe bought their sons a spectacularly good-looking, pure-bred, black labrador called Emperor Rudolf II of Prague (or Rudes for short).
The dog was loyal, strong, affectionate, gentle with tots and had a superb, shiny coat. He may have been bouncy and infantile all his life, as labradors tend to be. Nonetheless there is no doubt that labradors (and their cousins, golden retrievers) are God's finest creatures.
Rudes passed away in June 2008 and is still much missed