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21 Feb 2005
Where do I begin to tell you about Rusty? ......
In 1988, I was in field training to be a police officer. My training officer and I stopped at our Sergeant's house to see the litter of puppies. The mother, a tri-colored collie, had eight beautiful bundles of fluff, some tri-colored like her, some with standard collie markings. I set my heart on choosing one like the mother, and easily talked my dear husband into acquiring a puppy. When we went to choose, a pot bellied little fellow, colored in the lovely white/brown/ black markings most collies are noted for, waddled over to me and parked himself between my feet, rolling over for a belly rub. That was it. He chose us, and there was no argument from us. ( So much for one that looked like his mother!) We took our new baby home and named him Rusty, after the many dogs in the then-popular "Far Side" cartoons.
He was nothing but a joy to us always. Extremely smart, expressive and energetic, Rusty house trained in two weeks. His vocabulary was vast, and he could fetch any toy by name. He loved to go to yard sales, where he would carefully select a stuffed animal for himself, and proudly carry it home. He loved his brothers and sisters, the three cats we also had. His heart was as brave as it was loyal, and he once chased two thieves breaking into a neighbor's car at three in the morning. He never destroyed anything in the house, and was the only dog I ever met who wouldn't eat eggs. He was most generous in waiting until we got out of our bed before he got on it. His face displayed a thousand emotions.
When Rusty was three, we decided he needed another playmate, so we had a daughter. But, despite the care and concern he obviously felt for her, he remained most loyal to us, his mom and dad. Rusty was overjoyed when we decided to leave the city lifestyle and move to a more rural area. I became a stay at home mom to both my babies. Rusty really didn't mind sharing his land with the deer or rabbits, but he barked at every bird he ever saw. He would bark at a lone feather in the yard if he confronted it! He reveled in the chance to run and generally considered himself the lord of all he surveyed. We never argued this fact.
Over the years, he suffered through surgeries on both his knees, but in general remained in excellent health. Old age slowly advanced, as it does for all of us, and his runs became walks, his hearing was lost, and his back legs became lame. Nothing could dim the bright shining intelligence and devotion in his eyes, though. The last six months of his life, we gently carried him on his necessary trips outside, and up and down the stairs. He endured the indignities of incontinence, and his once proud and muscled body began to atrophy.He could not walk more than a few steps without falling. In December, shortly before his sixteenth birthday, my beloved adopted son, as much a child of my heart as my own daughter, began to vocalize his pain to us and the look in his eyes became one of pleading. That terrible decision had to be made, and we helped our beloved Rusty cross to the other side, to be a companion to my father, and all the other great and noble dogs and cats I have had the honor to know and love. My heart is forever broken, but I am also forever blessed just to have known him. I wish I could write a novel, a sonnet, an epic ode to this great and wonderful friend. I can't wait to see him again, and pat his beautiful head, and once again watch him run.
P. S. This picture is of Rusty at approximately age 15. Still beautiful in my eyes. Always beautiful in my heart.
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1 Feb 2005
For quite awhile now, I have wanted to just say, Thank You!, to all of you for your help with my loss.I have not posted for several weeks. For the record, I went to my doctor and I am now on anti depressants and an anti anxiety medication. It has helped tremendously. Your forum is wonderful, but personally I had to get away from it to help myself heal. Selfish of me to take from you all and give nothing back, I know, but it is what it is, I am what I am, human, and had to do what I needed to do to cope and function. I would just like to say to anyone out there who is considering it, do not hesitate to call your doctor if you are so overwhelmed by grief that you become ill. I lost nine pounds in the first five days and slept perhaps three hours a night. I have a wonderful doctor who cried with me when I told him about Rusty. As he said, everyone grieves in their own way, and these medications will not lessen my grief, only help me to sleep and eat and stay healthy while mourning. I so appreciate the help everyone has given me, and I will still stop in from time to time.
On a happier note, last week, in the heart of this cold and frosty Ohio winter, I saw a rainbow! No rain, no mist, just a rainbow over a snow covered field. I'm sure I had a glimpse of the Rainbow Bridge. God bless you all.
17 Dec 2004
Does anyone else have trouble with a particular time of day? I felt I had a good day today until the afternoon, when my daughter comes home from school. That was my "busy" time, carrying Rusty out, then feeding him, carrying him downstairs, starting dinner, etc. I guess it was his most active time of the day and I find myself having basically an anxiety attack at this time of the day. Has anyone else experienced this and do you have any good hints? Sorry to keep coming on here and only thinking of myself, I truly feel for all of us who have gone thru this and pray for us.
15 Dec 2004
I'm at the one week point and did pretty well all day, but evenings are hardest. I miss so much! I feel so guilty for all the times I complained about the work, carrying him, etc. I am trying very hard to see that we did the right thing, but it's still nagging me. I thank you all so much for your support and understanding.
14 Dec 2004
I've decided to get some professional help with my grief and guilt. I cannot subject my family to this and I can't handle it myself. I"m going to see someone today at 1600 and I hope this will help me. I cannot stop thinking that I killed my dog and that I should have given it more time, and it's destroying me. So, I pray this will help. I still appreciate all the kinds words and I will still visit here often. I pray for all of us to get through these hard times.
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