In Memory of Rusty Ryff

My name is Rusty and I want to tell you about my long wonderful life. It began in 1993 when Miss Kathy found me at a dumpster in Bremen. I was a mange covered mess of a puppy. She took me home and named me Whiskers because the only hair I had was my whiskers .Anyway, she nursed me back to health and I played on her farm with her boy Buddy. One day Miss Kathy decided she had more animals than she could handle and talked a lady she worked with into taking me home. That’s when I met my new Mom, Ellen. Boy did I ever get lucky. She took me home to her house and I met my sister Patches.

She was a big girl but we played in the yard and romped around the house too, some days much to the dismay of Mom. Mom said I needed a new name because Whiskers was for a cat, not a big strong guy like me. It took a while but she finally decided my new name was Rusty because of the color of my furry coat. Suited me just fine since I don’t care much about being associated with cats.

I never wanted for much of anything, except the days that Mom would forget to fill the food or water bowls but my sister took care of that. She would shove them around the room until Mom took the hint. I used to sleep on the bed with Mom and my sister which actually left little room for Mom now that I think about it.

I love treats, any kind of treats, dog or people, it doesn’t matter. One day I chewed the arm off one of Mom’s dolls, needless to say she was not at all happy with me, but she got over it and believe me I learned to stay away from those things. I got lots of chew toys of my own after that incident. Live and learn as they say and I learned lots of stuff. I learned that if I stood at the top of the steps and rolled a tennis ball down the steps that my Mom would chase after it and bring it back for me to do all over again. Who says you can’t teach people anything!

She took good care of me although I was not at all fond of the ordeal of getting shaved for the summer. I really looked silly with no hair, again, and just my long fluffy tail and fuzzy face. Again, I endured whatever needed to be done because it was all for my comfort, since like my Mom I don’t particularly care for the hot weather. Give me the cold and I will play outside for hours and then come in and curl up by the sofa. Somewhere after the turn of the century (in people years) my sister Patches got sick and had to go away. I met her again at the Rainbow Bridge along with some of Mom’s older kids.

A few months later , Mom comes home with a surprise for me. Oh, goody, I like surprises. Well guess what, this surprise has four legs! Yikes and just when I got used to being an only child. Turns out he’s OK. His name is Lucky Dog and he knows it fits. He’s bit of a terror but we finally got used to each other and when Mom moved to a new house we had a huge yard to play in. Lucky chases squirrels although what he would do with one I have no idea. I just like to mosey around sniffing and checking out stuff and sunbathing when it isn’t too hot.

As I got a lot older I preferred to lay around on my own bed by the fireplace. If someone else was there, and you know who you are, I would just lay down anyway and make them move. After all, Mom bought that bed for me long before anyone else was there. When Mom went to the kitchen I would have to follow because you never knew when she might drop something that I needed. No sense wasting good food. A couple of weeks ago my hips and legs got where they didn’t want to cooperate with me. My medicine wasn’t doing much good although it tasted good. Mom had to help me stand up and walk. She finally agonized over it but knew that she had to let me go to a place where I would not hurt anymore. So, on January 9, 2009 I went to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for her and Lucky.

Mom, I know your heart aches, but please know that I an grateful for the nearly sixteen years we had together and I feel like that puppy you brought home so long ago.

I love you now and forever and many tears and years from now we will all be together again.

Thank you for my wonderful life,
Love Rusty

Dear Rusty, I love you and miss you. You definitely left your big fuzzy paw prints on my heart. As the saying goes, Dogs don’t make our whole lives but they make our lives whole. No truer words have been written.

Love, Mom and Lucky