- Rusty, My Faithful Friend
This past year has been very difficult for me. My wonderful pet, Rusty, lost his battle with cancer on December 2nd. My whole year was consumed with trying to help him get better only to discover that it just wasn’t going to happen. After spending much money and devoting my whole life to helping Rusty my efforts just weren’t enough to save him. I thought I was going to prove those doctors wrong and that Rusty really didn’t have cancer at all. He just needed to cleanse and purify his liver. I cooked for Rusty because I was so worried about what was really in his dog food that might have made him so sick. I became obsessive and I wouldn’t go anywhere because I couldn’t leave Rusty with anybody else. By the end of the summer Rusty started to get terrible nose bleeds. If you haven’t seen a dog with a nose bleed, it is tough to take. The dog will sneeze and your place ends up looking like a crime scene. I still haven’t gotten all of the blood out of my car from the times when I had to take Rusty to the vet to stop the bleeding. I thought if a cop stopped me when all that blood was in the car, he would be wondering where the body was buried.
Rusty really was my son, Josh’s pet. He only became my pet when Josh went to college. Rusty was devoted to me like no animal has ever been before. He followed me everywhere and I treated him like he was truly human because to me he was. Losing Rusty was like losing a cherished friend. I would have done anything I could to save Rusty and I did everything I could think of to help him get better. Rusty died on December 2nd. I came home from school knowing that this could be his last day. He had a tough time the day before. When I got home I could see how hard he was laboring and frankly I remembered my father’s death vividly at this time. My sister and I were with dad when he had his last breath. I will never forget how difficult it was for us to be both praying for dad to recover and praying for a peaceful death. We really knew dad was going and there was no coming back by his labored breathing. Rusty was struggling and had lost control of his bodily functions as he wasn’t able to get up. I knew I couldn’t make him struggle any longer. I got some help to get him into the car and I took him to the vet’s office. I was so sad having to say goodbye to my treasured friend but I knew he wouldn’t suffer any longer and that was all I was thinking about.
I have wanted to share my thoughts on Rusty but it has taken this long to feel comfortable with doing this. Rusty wasn’t loved by everyone as he scared the hell out of delivery men, especially UPS guys in their brown uniforms. I’d put Rusty on the stairs and shut the door. They always wanted me to make sure the door was secure. Rusty was a little crazy when I would go to work. I never really knew what I might find when I got home. Rusty could either dig up the covers on my bed or kill my sofa. It was the worse case of separation anxiety I have ever heard of. I think this comes with the Aussie breed as I have talked to other people about this issue. For me Rusty was more important than my sofa. I’d just put some duct tape on the cushion and buy a new slip cover. I know that sounds crazy too but if you could only have known Rusty and talked with him like I did, you would understand. You see I would ask Rusty, in a normal tone of voice, if he wanted to go outside, eat or whatever and he always knew what I was talking about. It was pretty strange but this is one of the reasons I loved Rusty so much! Rusty was a smart dog but he never was clever like my niece’s dog. Jackie’s dog, Darby, interacts with the animals on television. Rusty would just sit there and never even notice animals or anything else on television but Darby always notices and reacts to them.
Rusty used to stay with me when I worked in my studio. He’d lie beside me while I painted or threw on the wheel. He was content just to be with me. It was always a comfort having Rusty near by. Sometimes I’d trip over him because he’d be right under my feet but I always knew I could count on Rusty for being a faithful companion. He was always there looking for pets or a treat from me. He also loved playing with his many toys. I knew he was really ill when he stopped playing with those toys. Once in awhile we’d still have a tug of war with a toy though and he’d happily take it away from me and feel like he had “won” our game. Little did he know that I always let him win! Rusty was a beautiful dog with soft, silky hair. I loved petting him and looking into his big brown eyes. He had a strong personality but most of all he was loyal to a fault. He would never have an “accident” in the house. Rusty would “hold” it until he could get out. So when he hit his last day and couldn’t move and was losing his control I knew how hard that was on him and I knew what I had to do to help him. However, painful it was for me I knew Rusty was more upset about leaving me than anything else as we were best of friends. I know Rusty loved me and was faithful to me. He was never disloyal to me. He was always there when I was both happy and sad. He sensed all I needed from my loyal friend. If I was feeling sad I’d get a cold nose rubbing against my hand or leg. If I was happy about something he’d always get excited too. Rusty was my loyal friend and I will love and remember him forever. Rest in peace my faithful friend.