Rusty was, as all dogs are....very special. He and Scarlett came to us from the SPCA a few weeks after I had lost two dogs in one day from two different causes of death. (Snick and Bouncer) Rusty was about a year old when he came into our backyard to meet me and almost knocked me into my koi pond in excitement. Rusty started sniffing my mothers breast and subsequently she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rusty stayed with my mother daily once she was diagnosed with and going through treatment for breast cancer. He slept on her bed with her until she was well. Once she was well, he went back to taking care of the rest of the family. Rusty was a huge fan of children and regardless of the two neighborhoods we have lived in; he quickly became everyone's favorite with his great smile and huge fluffy tail. Toddlers could pull on his tail and he wouldn't wince, bark nor threaten to bite. I had to get up daily and walk Rusty, Scarlett and Max ( and then Bindy). There wasn't time for my family inherited depression. You can't be depressed when you have four dogs. They need to be walked, fed, played with and loved on lots. So Rusty saved me. Bindy (pittbull/rottweiler mix puppy) was starving when she crawled up the steps to our house. Rusty loved her from the day he met her. Rusty even loved Bindy when she outweighed him by 30 pounds! The last six years of his life, we have had the luxury of living next to a golf course that had a creek. Needless to say all four dogs have had the time of their lives. Rusty was able to chase squirrels, birds (including ducks that he couldn't catch) Bindy, Scarlett and Max. March 20, 2010 we lost Scarlett. Rusty was not the "mourning" type and he didn't let me mourn long. I tried my best to make his last years the best. Rusty was also able to lay in the shade and watch the other dogs when he became elderly. The last six months of his life were terrible for me....I kept running a 15 year old, 75 pound border collie/mix around to cardiologists to extend his life. (for me) He of course tolerated me and my wish that I could keep him forever. Last November, a starving chihuahua wandered up to us. (Lola) Rusty never liked her very much. I guess he already had too much experience with the ladies. Some of my most cherished days with Rusty are he and I walking alone. He would go visit a neighbor, sit a while, wag his tail at nothing....it was a good life. After we lost him, my daughter drove me home. Everything was fine until we drove into our garage. At any time day or night if I left in the car...(rain, snow, sleet or Texas heat) Rusty would be sitting up on the hill waiting for me to come home. He is not there and I miss him so much. His little buddy is left in the estrogen pool of female dogs.... Max misses Rusty as much as I do.|
Four weeks after Rusty died, I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Very similar to what my mother went through 12 years ago. Quite honestly when Rusty was alive in June...he did give me a warning which I summarily dismissed. I think I chose to ignore my symptoms because I knew Rusty was dying. Now six months later, and going through chemo and facing surgery I want to thank Rusty again. I know he saved my mother and me. I am quite sure I will never have another dog like Rusty. Thank you God for giving me such an incredible dog and allowing me to be a part of his exceptional life.
Rusty, you are gone now but a year. I still have your picture on my desk and in my heart. My breast cancer has gone well as I knew it would. While I still love Scarlett, Snick, Jake and Bouncer, I don't think my heart will mend from losing you. The "black" pack, Bindy, Max and Lola and doing well. I say your's and Scarlett's name out everyday to Bindy and Max. They wag their tails. Max is almost 15 and his back is not well. I should be grateful for everyday that I have with him, but he was very close to you and Scarlett. I think he just doesn't want to be here some days. Lola attacks and tries to play with Max like he used to play with you. As for Bindy, she has taken on Scarlett's role. She sits up on the hill and is our protector. I often think that I should find a male so she would have a friend. Since you died, I have found out that you are an Australian Border Collie. (very rare and expensive) Max is old, Lola loves dad more than me and Bindy is 130 lbs. I don't have a running/walking partner like you and Scarlett. I always remember the four of us running on the golf course and you catching frisbees. We had the BEST time! Who other than me can run/walk 4-6 dogs at one time? Often days when I am walking around the house...I feel a brush up against the back of my legs...this has been going on for a couple of months. Is it you Rusty? I hope so.