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.