It was in May of 2001 that we looked into your sweet eyes. There you were, sitting in your crate with your head down over your crossed paws. To us you looked like you were ready to get out of that room with all those yappy dogs. Your dad spotted you first. We only went in to see the puppies not to buy one. They led us to a room and sat you down on the floor. You looked at us and then jumped up in your dads lap and started kissing his face. He fell in love with you instantly. We played with you for a while and then with saddened hearts gave you back to the worker. She talked to us about price and you were just way out of our price range. In all honesty we could not afford any price. She mentioned payment plans. We said no and with that walked out. We sat down in the mall food court to have some dinner. Your dad (for the first time ever) said "what if we do the payments?". My jaw dropped. I swore I would never buy a dog from a pet store but you were different. We headed back in and put a down payment on you and you came home with us.
You were so much fun that first day. Running around the yard. Climbing on us, eating the over grown dandelions, finding sticks way to big for you and trying to run with them. That first night you stayed with me as your daddy and I were not married yet. I tried to put you in a corner and block you in to sleep. You whined and barked and cried for a couple of hours. I gave in and let you sleep in bed with me. You woke me in the middle of the night by chewing on my nose and trying to get me to play. I wanted to kill you. On top of that I was taking you out to go potty every couple of hours to potty train you. I felt like I had an infant and that night I received no sleep. The next day I drove you to your dads work and dropped you off. He tied you up to the truck and you spent most of your day laying under the truck.
You were so smart. You picked things up quickly! You would sleep on the floorboard of your dads red truck while he delivered pizzas at night. You were potty trained in a matter of days! You were and still are a master escape artist. As months passed you learned how to sit, stay, heel, and shake. It was easy teaching you commands. I remember the first time we took you to the lake. We wanted to see if you could swim. Your dad picked you up and threw you in. Your instincts kicked in and you started chasing ducks in the water. You became a pro at swimming, and running, and fetch, and frisbee.
A few years after being married your dad and I were moving back to Maryland. We were staying with his parents and had no where for you to go. Your dads brother lived on a camp with lots of acreage. He was willing to take you for a while. He ran every day with with, you spent many mornings in the lake, played soccer and roamed to your hearts content.
For Christmas that year Tom and Christine gave us an album of pictures of you. I cried like you were my baby, you really are. A few short months later we picked you up and brought you to Maryland.
As the years went on you were always there. You made it through several moves, and made many friends along the way. You brought us so much joy and happiness. When things were tough you would always make your way to us and give us many kisses and snuggle us. You helped us to cope with many losses and loved us even at our worst.
Some of your most favorite things to do....beg for food, Swim, sunbathe, go bye byes, play fetch (for hours), roll in gross stuff, lay in puddles, be with us always and sleep.
Yesterday, was one of the hardest days in my life. When we realized that you weren't getting better, we knew we needed to take you to the vet again. Your daddy and I were upstairs in our bed crying. You and I both know daddy doesn't cry often but his heart was so broken. I knew the choice that needed to be made and I didn't want him to make it. I went into the guest room and as I sat on the bed I called the vet. She didn't even ask questions. She knew from the sadness in my voice what needed to be done. She said I could bring you in as soon as I wanted. I could hear your daddy sobbing from the other room. I got myself ready and asked your dad if he wanted to stay behind. He said "No I need to go". Neither of us wanted to make this choice for you Rusty. We wanted to be selfish and keep you around for as long as possible, but that would not have been fair to you. When I made my way downstairs, there you were, in your Daddy's spot, all comfy with your head on his blanket. We had fought for weeks to keep you off the new couch but I just smiled and as tears rolled down my face I went over and kissed you in the spot I always did, right below your eye on your nose. You just looked at me with those sad eyes. I believe you knew what was coming. I think that is what broke my heart the most. Daddy came down and found you in his spot and he just loved on you.
We got ready and as we headed out the door we asked you if you wanted to go potty. You got off the couch and slowly came out. You headed to your favorite spot, behind the shed. You stood there for a minute gazing out and then slowly walked back toward us.
Daddy opened the side door and sat in the back with you. We cried all the way to the vet. Not one word was said. Just sad tears spilling from our eyes as you laid on your favorite blanket and slept. Your daddy kept petting you and whispered his love to you.
We arrived at the vet and as I pulled into the parking lot and parked I just sat in the van. I was thinking how I just didn't have the courage to do this. I didn't want to say goodbye. A lady was coming out of the vet with her puppy and she saw us and knew. Her face was so saddened for us.
We walked in and we could barely speak. They put us in a room immediately that had a blanket on the floor. You laid on it and just put your exhausted head down. As the Vet came in and spoke in a fun voice your dad and I couldn't control our emotions.
Rusty, I have never seen or heard your daddy cry as hard as he did. You were his baby, his loyal friend and it was so hard to say goodbye.
They gave us a few minutes with you and then came in with the first shot. It was anesthesia to put you to sleep so you wouldn't feel the second shot. As the shot did its magic it was the last time you lifted your head. I just kept petting you between your eyes and whispering my love for you. 10 minutes later they came in and gave you the second shot. As I kissed your face I saw the tears in your eyes. I know goodbye was just as hard for you. Your heart stopped and we knew you were no longer suffering.
They told us to take as much time as we wanted. You looked so sweet and asleep. I kissed you one last time and got up. I walked out the door but your daddy stayed behind. The sobs coming from the room broke my heart. I looked in through the glass and there he was loving you and crying over you. Baby boy, thank you for 15 years of love, laughter and teaching us to live. Thank you for being our baby when we didn't have any babies of our own. Thank you for loving us even when we didn't make it easy. Thank you for always coming over and insisting on being petted, licking our hands or faces for kisses. Thank you for always taking up the whole bed when you slept with us. Thank you for throwing your toys at us to let us know you wanted to play. Thank you for always crossing your paws like a gentleman. Thank you for always carrying your food bowl around and gathering your leash in the most perfect pile. Thank you for being loyal.
Thank you Rusty boy.
I pray that the Lord allows you to be waiting at our mansion steps with your bright red wubba to play catch when we arrive.
You will be greatly missed.
Momma and Daddy