Losing Rusty

I shouldn’t be surprised by the depth of my sadness following the death of my dog today, and yet, I have a hollow hole in the center of my being, a gaping wound. Maybe it’s the fact of living along in the midst of the pandemic. “Thank heavens I have my Rusty to talk to,” I’ve said on many occasions.

He was my companion, my friend, my walking buddy, my constant.. He talked to me – really, sort of like Scooby Doo in the cartoons. I could swear he said “mom” with regularity. He was unconditionally loving, friendly to everyone, and held no grudges.

I knew something was wrong, with coughing, raspy breathing, and gagging. He was eating less and losing some weight. When I brought him to to veterinarian’s office today, I was hoping for an easy diagnosis and a cure with medicine. I wasn’t expecting cancer, a large tumor almost blocking his throat. With a very poor prognosis, I chose euthanasia, not later but today, as his worsening condition would not get better, and he would only suffer more.

So I came home to an empty house, with no wagging tail greeting me at the door. His dog beds are on the floor, food and water dishes are in their usual place, and two kinds of treats are on the counter. I thought of putting everything away, but didn’t have the heart. Instead, I watched TV and cried. I didn’t take my usual walk tonight. What was the point, without Rusty by my side?

I will miss him greatly. As the saying goes, I hope I am half the person my dog thought I was.

And now I write, post photos on Facebook, and start processing my grief in this way.

6 thoughts on “Losing Rusty

  1. Oh Maureen, I feel every tear as well. There is no pain like the death of a beloved pet. I have in the last 3 yrs lost 3 of my original cats. The black male Travis that died on December 29th, 2017 was by far the hardest. He was the “one”probably like your Rusty and it was completely unexpected. His liver failed and he only had a few more days. All I can say is pat yourself on the back because you were the best friend he ever had. You did what was right because we are their compass. We have the unenviable role of knowing when “it’s time”. As a Chaplain I know you have counseled and consoled both patients and their families. So take some of your advice and just be. Remember him, cry for him whatever let’s you move on a little. As you know in grief there is no right or wrong or timetable. I hold you and Rusty in prayer tonight, knowing physical freedom for him and peace of mind with love for you. Blessings, Georgiann


  2. Hugs to my sister.


  3. Love and hugs to you ♥️It’s so hard to lose our fur babies! I hope you can find peace.


  4. Sending you so much love. There’s no easy way through. I’d love to walk with you, when you’re ready. Hugs dear friend.


  5. Maureen, my heart goes out to you and I know that pain far too well. So sorry for your loss . You did the right thing and the most humane thing you possibly could have done. Hugs to you my friend. Oxoxox


  6. Rusty is going to bring you his replacement. My Mitzi dog who I had for 15 years brought me
    Sophie. I know she did and I tell Sophie all the time that Mitzi brought you to me. So have an open heart because it may happen sooner than you may be ready for. Sophie came just 4 months later. Our animals are one of the best things about this life! They love us no matter what.
    So sorry Rusty is gone but keep an eye open you never know. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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