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In 2010 we lost a special dog - Rusty

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sharing this story with pictures via blog since the pictures add a lot to it.
Written in 2011

The story of Rusty (?/2004 – 1/23/10)
I gave my wife a high quality golden retriever puppy for Christmas 2004. Her name is Goldie and she is currently sleeping about 4 feet from me. Well Goldie was an active puppy and thought my youngest daughter was a fellow puppy. My wife’s solution to this was to get another dog.
We went to the local pound, but was pretty disappointed at what was available. I went online at Petfinders.com and found a local rescue, Molly’s Place, that had a golden retriever named McKenzie available for adoption. McKenzie had such a sad beginning. He was bred at a puppy farm and was not sold. Because of this, he was abandoned. When found he was starving and had a bad case of mange. The mange he had was not the contagious one, it was the one that is the result of a low immunity system.

We went to Molly’s Place to meet McKenzie. Laurie brings out this friendly dog wearing a prong collar. Laurie said the collar was on him to teach him not to jump. We decided we needed to rescue McKenzie from the Rescue place, so we brought him home and changed his name to Rusty. Goldie had no problems with Rusty and they became best friends.
The early days with Rusty were sad. He did not know what a treat or toy was, flinched every time someone picked up a newspaper, and did not know how to eat from a bowl. We had to initially feed him from our hands.
Because of his mange, he had several intensive treatments to cure him of this. We had to bathe him in this chemical where we had to wear gloves. After a treatment, the hair would start growing, and then the mange returned. We then had to repeat the treatment. After several of these, Dr. Krusen said we may want to consider putting him down if the next treatment did not work.
Rusty became my dog. He loved me excessively. He would jump for joy when I came home and would pester me continuously. He use to lick and may have thought his name was “No Lick”. He use to sit on my lap every day. He use to play fetch with tennis balls every day. He was incredibly sweet and gentle. He was very hyper.

Rusty funny stories
We were in our family room (basement) and I head a tin of Christmas cookies hit the floor. When I came up the stairs – Goldie was licking up crumbs and powder sugar while Rusty laid innocently in the corner. The only problem was Rusty’s entire face was white with sugar. Guilty.
Rusty first trip to my parents’ home in New York was after they got new carpeting. Rusty pooped on the new carpet within minutes of our arrival. This is weird because I can count the number of accidents he had on my one hand. Get’s weirder. My parents moved to PA and on his first visit to their new house – he pooped on the new carpet. Glad we have all hardwood.
My wife made and decorated a fancy cake for my step-daughter when she got her first teaching position after college. The dogs raided it. Wife was really upset and was saying bad things about the dogs. I was putting them in their kennels for their safety. When I pushed Rusty in my hand got covered with frosting – oops. Guilty.

A year ago, my daughter was playing fetch and he started screaming. I carried in the house and gently got him on the floor. His one leg was totally wrong. I calmed him down. Goldie was very scared and anxious. I carefully got Rusty in the back of the Durango and took him to the animal hospital. X-rays showed that he had a major genetic disorder of hip dysplasia in the one hip and the other hip was shattered. The vet did not thing the hip could be repaired without significant suffering for Rusty and with his other issues he probably would die from infection. He would have never been able to run like he did or jump.
Life in our house is a lot calmer with Rusty gone yet we all miss him. He was a very happy and loved dog in our care.
Rusty and Goldie were very close. They were always together and next to each other. Goldie was really lonely with Rusty gone.

So Long Rusty.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DTHOR6
    Awe bless that babies heart. What a great doggie he was to your family. It's so sad when we have to have them put down though. You are in my thoughts today!

    2380 days ago
    Oh Paul. This has made me cry. I remember rusty being so excited to see us every time we came home to visit. He jumped all over us just trying to get through the door. Boy did he love those tennis balls, though he only wanted to play with certain ones, he could tell the difference between them... and Goldie how she would steal his and hold him hostage. Lol. He was a great dog. I miss him.
    He was so sad looking when he came home but you nursed him back to health and gave him a beautiful life filled with love and joy. That is something to be grateful for.
    2718 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2933337
    Thanks for sharing! That was a wonderful story full of love. I have found that most dogs love their people and just want to please, however rescues tend to be just a bit more loving and appreciative of where they are and what they have. I'm sorry for your loss emoticon
    2745 days ago
    thanks for sharing. Thanks for taking Rusty in when he needed you.

    our Golden was re-homed; he was 4 months old when he came to live with us.

    and we had to get somebody to entertain him - so we took in a stray, Jack.

    last year I found a puppy in need of medical attention at the park, bringing our furkid total to 3.

    (read my REGIFTING blog if you want all the details of our motley crew!)
    2745 days ago
    I recently heard someone say something that is just so true: Dogs are perfect except for one thing. They don't live long enough.

    Thanks for sharing Rusty's story. I laughed at the "guilty" parts, and had tears reading others. My last dog was also neglected at a breeder's until I got her at 7 months old (also with mange) & I was blessed to have her with me for 12 years. I still miss her all the time but remember all the love & joy she brought us.

    2745 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13641787
    I'm crying as I read this. Both for you and because it's bringing back the pain of the losses of my elderly dogs a couple of years ago. I still miss them dearly.
    2746 days ago
    Bitter-sweet story. Reminds me of Marley. I loved that book and the movie. So sorry for your loss of Rusty. Goldens are the bestest dogs ever! I have lab who is 1/2 golden now although she just looks like a black lab. She is a rescue and is very loved and spoiled but she still can't fill the emptiness my Sam left with me.
    2746 days ago
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