Requiem for Rudolf

To Kevin Yento, Rudolf the Mini-Doberman Pinscher Was More Than a Pet—He Was Family

Anyone who has experienced a pet cross the Rainbow Bridge understands the deep sense of loss that accompanies profound love, a love built on caring for a dependent soul, a love forged through mutual affection and solidified in trust.

Kevin Yento knows this well, having recently lost Rudolf, his beloved mini-Doberman Pinscher, to illness. 

Yento—a Bridgewater resident and the leader of Kevin Yento & Associates real estate team and a sales associate for Coldwell Banker Realty in Bedminster—has been Rudolf’s pet parent for the last six years. He got Rudolf a month after Hurricane, his first mini-Doberman Pinscher, died.

Yento fondly tells their story:

I fell in love with Rudolf before I even met him. I was looking at rescue dogs, and I saw his photo online and I just knew he was the one. He was 6 years old, and he was in really bad shape—stressed out so much that he had lost all of his hair—because he had been in the shelter for a year.

Nobody wanted him. But I did. I drove six hours in the snow to Annapolis, Maryland, to pick him up. He was really skinny: He weighed only 8.5 pounds. He eventually grew to 11.5 pounds.

As soon as our eyes met, I knew that he was my dog. I didn’t care what he looked like. He was so happy to see me he started barking and jumping up and down.

For the first year, he was very stressed, but I managed to get him up to a good weight and gave him a bath once a week for his skin condition. After six months of attention and care, he was better.

Although Rudolf passed at 12—a pretty old age for a dog—he still liked to take long walks. On my days off, we would go to Lambertville or to Asbury Park, where I have a second home, and walk along Main Street and on the boardwalk. Sometimes, we covered three miles or so.

One of our favorite stops was the dog park in Asbury Park, where we would go to meet Rudolf’s furry friends.

Unlike me, Rudolf was not a people person. He preferred the company of dogs, especially ones that were much larger than he was. Two of his closest furry friends from Bridgewater were Perpetua and Augustine, who enjoyed visiting Rudolf at our Asbury Park house, playing with him in the backyard and in the pool. 

When we visited New York City, we enjoyed getting lunch at outdoor cafés. Rudolf either sat in my lap or in the chair next to me. On these occasions, he would be a vegan. He loved vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower, and salads.

Whatever I was doing, wherever I was, Rudolf followed me around. I have an office in my house, and he would lie in a bed next to my desk. At night, I would put his bed on my bed so he could sleep next to me. 

When I did leave him, he got really excited when I came home and barked at me until I gave him a bacon-flavor treat. OK, I admit it: I loved to spoil him.

Having a dog is a lifetime commitment. You have to really understand the breed you have and make sure it matches your personality.

You also have to make adjustments to your life. Rudolf traveled with me everywhere. 

Rudolf was much more than a dog. He was like the child I never had. He and real estate are the loves of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’d like to think that Rudolf felt the same way.

Learn more about Kevin Yento at

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