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Sharing life and love with 2, 3, and 4-legged animals

Robert Rhudy is a pleasant colleague, known for his booming laugh. But he's not the sort of person that would seek out personal exposure unless it was for a good cause. Which leads to this week's featured Libraries employee:

Robert Rhudy

Robert, a member of Access Services, and his wife, Mary Miller, of the Media Department, have been fostering dogs, including "Sunday," a corgi mix who they found by the side of the road with a dislocated hip.

"She's lost the use of her right front leg, but even while her left hip was in a sling, she got around great as a biped. Now that she has the use of three legs, she is unstoppable.  She has a very sunny disposition and is a sweet and playful puppy. Anyone out there interested?" Robert said.

The Rhudy-Miller house currently is home to six dogs and an equal number of cats, all previously living on the streets.

"I want to let people know there are resources available for people seeking to adopt a pet or who need help caring for or placing an animal they have found," he said. "Also, that it's possible to live with so many animals without losing your mind."

Robert has had several stints as a library employee while on his higher education path. Originally a political science and business major at Furman University , he developed an interest in African studies from a course on African politics.

"I eventually took all eleven classes they offered" about Africa at Furman, he said. "And that was just the beginning of a fascination with the field. So a good teacher really can make a big difference!"

Robert originally came to Athens to help his ex-girlfriend from Furman move here to enter graduate school. After they rekindled their relationship, Mary found a job at the Science Library and it was Robert who entered a doctoral program, in political science.

"My long-term goal is to teach in college, but I love working in the libraries," he said. "There's nothing I don't like about it. I really enjoy the public service aspect. And books that I would never have sought out on my own constantly come across my desk. It's a great opportunity to learn."

Lest anyone think that Robert is only a bookworm, he and his dad once bicycled across the United States.  (Mr. Rhudy just completed his sixth cross-country ride and has expanded his adventures to a hike to the base camp on Mt. Everest.)

Robert's favorite book for many years was The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews. "For the last couple of years, I would have to say Microserfs by Douglas Coupland," he said. "It's not a work of great literature, but it says a lot about my generation's moment of history."

He lists his favorite movies as " Casablanca," "Witness," and "The Crying Game." "It occurs to me that all of these are about people who can't be together; thwarted romance," he said. "Happily my own romance has not been thwarted."

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