March 12, 2012

In loving memory of Rusty


"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." ~Unknown

RUSTY Sept 29, 1995 -- March 8, 2012
(picture taken at Pet Fest 2007 when he was 12 years old)

(picture taken at Bruster Ice Cream Parlour on Sept 29, 2010 while waiting for his birthday ice cream sundae)

(Rusty eating his sunade on is 15th birthday)

(Rusty and his siblings)

Dearest friends,

Our Mommy will be doing this post by herself today. Hopefully she will not mess up too much, but then you all know our Mommy and of course she's crying now as she types. She is gonna talk about the loss of a ATDR volunteer's Rusty, that hits too close to home.........Mona & Weenie

the Mommy here..........

Last week ATDR sent out an e-mail about one our seniors who had died of old age, estimared at 14 years of age. She had been adopted, as a senior, on 2/9/11. The last year of her life was spent in a lovingm home, living the life she deserved. It may have been her only time of happiness. Senior deserve a chance too.

Then later in the week Diana lost her senior dachshund RUSTY, he was 17 years old. You've seen his picture and Diana's on this blog before. Rusty was not adopted from a rescue group. He was 7 weeks old when Diana got him from her aunt. His mother, Mandy, was her aunt's dog. Rusty was her heart dog. She is heartbroken. because she had to make the decision to let him go.

He was a fiesty little thing and looks so happy in the first picture, Diana's favorite picture of him.

Rusty had renal failure. My Samantha had renal failure too and diabeties, so I had to make that same decision and I know how hard it was to make it. Many of you have had to make the same decision in your lives. My heart breaks for Diana and any one ever forced to do this but it is for the good the dog.

Diana has 3 other dachshunds of her own to help her through the pain but please keep her in your thoughts & prayers. Diana has been a foster for DROH & ATDR for many years. Here is a poem written for foster parents, but any rescuer in the world would in some way be included by experience. Even if you've read it before, it's a uplifter of the spirit. To me it seemed so touching and so true, so I have decided to share it today.

"Little Pieces" by by Grace Saalsaa

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay across her lap.

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces.

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived. Nobody cared that he was gone.

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and dust.

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat motionless, waiting and limp.

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her. They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him.

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her heart.

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces of her heart.

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brushed some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own.

"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to re-hydrate.

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah...that's how it is, he thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her heart.

"I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and a little piece of my heart."

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic.

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again.

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that resides within.

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love.

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him.

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on me, he said.

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple statement made from the ribbons of her heart.

"I love you, Joe."

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap.

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask? Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog.


You will be missed sweet Rusty. Run free amd strong again and don't worry about your Mommy, we'll take, care of her. Say hello to my Samantha for me and let her know she is always in my heart.

God Bless, Sarah


♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a beautiful tribute to Rusty!!! Soft woos and gentle hugs to his family.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Run Fast and Free Rusty. I know that there will be MANY who will be there to greet you.

Mr. Pip said...

What a beautiful tribute. Run free, Rusty. You are and always will be a hero.

Your pal, Pip

GOOSE said...

Beautiful tribute. Run care free Rusty.

harrispen said...

It is obvious Rusty was a much loved pup. Seventeen years is such a long time. Your friend gave him the best life possible.


Nola said...

Run free, sweet baby
Dachshund Nola

Cupcake said...

I love the pictures of Rusty. What a handsome, happy boy. We will be thinking and praying for his Mom.

Love, Cupcake

Amber DaWeenie said...

Run young and pain-free at the Bridge Rusty. You will be missed but you'll always be in the hearts of everyone who loved you.

Sarah, we would love to include Rusty at the "Our Rainbow Friends" site for the March tributes to be released on April 15. Please email the needed information to:
if Rusty's owner would like to have him included.

K9 Katastrophie said...

We are so sorry. We will be praying.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

A very beautiful photo of Rusty!
A beautiful tribute

Macintosh Mitch said...

What a beautiful tribute to Rusty. I know My Maggie has already welcomed him and is introducing him around to all of her friends.

Love ya lots,

Matilda said...

Hi Mona and Weenie.
I am sorry about Rusty.
He was beautiful...

A MilShelb Mom said...

We are very sorry about Rusty. :( Very sad. Mom says this is a beautiful post. She also says they we have her heart and she knows what it's like to make those hard decisions... she says it's very hard to do.
~Milly and Shelby

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Very sorry for the loss of your friend's Rusty. They do take a piece of our heart when they leave.

Amber DaWeenie said...

Sarah, "Our Rainbow Friends" is honored to be able to include Rusty with the March postings. I will be using the first picture for the post. We will use the link to this post as the "viewing link" unless Rusty's owner would prefer using a different site for the link. You can let me know later. The March postings will be published on April 15.