Fourteen years ago on a cold January morning, I drove to Magnolia, Arkansas in response to an ad in the newspaper about Golden Retriever puppies. The owner was the Forest Ranger for the Southwest Arkansas area and he and his wife owned both the mom and dad of the litter of puppies. Fourteen puppies to be exact and each one was the fluffiest butterball I have ever seen. I sat in the middle of the yard and they crawled all over me, each one trying to entice me to "pick me!". I finally settled on the runt of the litter who was busy trying to bite his brothers and sisters during my entire visit. The owner's tied a blue ribbon around his neck with the name "Ewing" proudly written in sharpie and I left knowing that in three weeks I would be back to claim our newest "baby".
We named him Rusty and he was immediately the center of our family. We have had a lot of dogs during our 23 years of marriage but this one was the best. Every day, he gave us
a smile that would brighten our day;
patience and understanding;
everything we could ever want.
Rusty was diagnosed with nose cancer a year ago and as the cancer progressed, we all agreed we didn't want him to suffer. On Tuesday, Brad and Spencer took him to the vet and Dr. Peck gave him pain meds to keep him comfortable until Cole and I could make it home on Saturday to say our good byes. But Rusty must have known the end was near and after his dinner on Wednesday night, he wandered off and Brad couldn't find him. Brad and Spencer searched for two days, they alerted the neighbors and scoured the woods around our house and on Thursday night, our next door neighbors found him on their property. Brad said it looked like he had found a place to get comfy and had fallen asleep and died in his sleep.
We are having him cremated and will bury his ashes in his favorite place on our property, while Brad is making him a cross. It has been such an emotional weekend but I know that Rusty knew he was loved and treasured by all of us.
"God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds...'"