Saturday, January 24, 2015

Little Dog Lost


When I realized in panic that Rusty wasn't in the house or fenced yard, I naturally turned up our street calling his name frantically as I went. After all this was the path we walked each evening. That he might have turned the other way, toward the corner and the six lane highway, seemed unthinkable.

A neighbour heard me calling. Taking pity on me, improperly dressed for the freezing weather, he offered to drive me around to look for Rusty. 

And what a kind man he was to drive me all over the neighbourhood, even waiting patiently while I left our details at the elementary school on the off chance that Rusty might turn up there. 

When our neighbour finally dropped me back home, I went out again on foot, but it was if Rusty had vanished off the face of the earth. Frozen, I finally retreated home. Later in the afternoon when my husband came home, we went out in the car and continued to look well into the evening, but to no avail. We went up to bed with one less dog and two very heavy hearts.

First thing this morning the phone ran. It was the animal shelter calling. I heard my husband saying Rusty's name into the receiver and my heart leapt for joy. Somebody had found our little lost boy! 

But no, seconds later I heard my husband repeat the words "was hit by a car and had passed before the Police or Animal Control arrived".  I burst into tears.

A spring and the latch on the backyard gate usually means that the gate locks shut whenever someone goes out. Unfortunately freezing temperatures and snow had effected mechanism and yesterday morning the latch did not lock. A gust of wind and the gate swung open for only a moment. Rusty seized the opportunity to go on a walk-about. What made him turn toward the busy highway we'll never know, but before I even realized he was missing, he probably already gone.

How we will miss our sweet little dog. My husband and I are devastated.

102 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, Jennifer! I can realize your pain.... Hugs, Satu

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    1. Thank you. I know you are a dog lover too.

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  2. I am so very sorry for you and your husband. I can only imagine what you must be feeling.

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    1. Thanks Les. I know you love your dogs as much as we love ours.

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  3. My sincerest sympathies to you both.

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  4. I am so, so sorry to hear this - it's one of the most devastating, excruciating things to lose a much beloved pet!! He was such a lovely, beautiful dog, who had fantastic owners - you gave him a great life. I lost my cat last month after she was run over and it's a pain that never goes away. He will always be remembered. Don't blame yourselves in any way, oh this is such awful news! :( I'm truly sorry for your loss :(

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    1. I am so sorry that you lost your cat Esther. We do our best to keep our animals safe.
      I do like to think that Rusty had a happy like with us. I keep remembering his joyful little face whenever he was the dog lucky enough to have caught the ball.

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  5. I am so very sorry for you loss. I know he'll be missed.

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    1. Thank you Jenny. He will be dearly missed.

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  6. Oh no. We're so sorry to hear this.

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    1. It was heartbreaking news to have to share, but Rusty is one of the three reasons for this garden blog's name. Sadly there are now two dogs in our garden.

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  7. Oh Jennifer - my heart goes out to you.

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  8. So, so sorry....Take time for yourselves to grieve...Rusty was a member of the family & time will heal your wounds.
    Maybe you can think in the future of another little dog that needs your love & comfort & in return you can love again!

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  9. I'm so very sorry for your loss....can't imagine how devastated you are! These puppies are our family!! So sorry!!

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    1. Thank you Fran. We did consider him to be a part of the family.

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear your sad tale, thinking of you both.

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  11. How very, very sad...I am so sorry, he was so lovely. This must be devastating.

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    1. I am completely heartbroken Adrienne.

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  12. I know how much this hurts. My heart aches for you. I've had gate problems, too. You're in my thoughts, my friend.

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    1. Thanks Tammy. I am sure you know how horrible a loss this is. I know you love your dogs as much as I love mine.

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  13. Oh no!!! What an awful thing to have happen! I'm so so sorry Jennifer. My heart goes out to you both - hugs.

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  14. Thank you so much everyone for your sympathies. We just arrived home from the animal shelter where we said our goodbyes and made arrangements for Rusty's remains.
    There were no obvious signs of trauma on his little body. I guess it is a minor blessing that he must have died instantly. Rusty lay there peaceably as I stroked his head and whispered my farewell.

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  15. So sorry to read this sad news. Please try not to blame yourself or torture yourself with "if only..."
    RIP dear Rusty

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    1. I know I shouldn't, but I have been torturing myself all day with "if only's".
      I had only just fed them breakfast. The three of them like to go out and play in the yard afterward, but then they start to wonder if some food might have been missed in their dish and want to come in just to check. Then the want to go back out to play. Often this plays out a third or fourth time on the odd chance that some crumb remain.
      In the meantime, I made my own breakfast. Scrap and Rusty were laying at my feet and I assumed Rusty had retired to his bed up on the stairwell landing. He's a rescue dog and even all these years later he often likes the quiet of being on his own.
      If only I had realized sooner that he hadn't come in that last time. If only I hadn't taken the time to check the house and walk to the back of the yard. If only I hadn't walked up the street to look for him instead of down. If only Rusty hadn't turned and walked in the direction of the highway where he didn't stand a chance.
      In times I am sure I will come to terms with all this guilt, but for now, it is hard to bear.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there and know the sorrow you must be feeling.

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    1. Thanks Paula. It is always hard to lose a family member isn't it?

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  17. Oh no; so sorry to hear this. It's very much as bad as losing a person; I have been there too. Thinking of you.

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    1. Thank you Beverly. The dogs are my constant companions as I work at home. I will miss him everyday.

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  18. Oh Jennifer, I am so truly sorry to hear about your beautiful Rusty. What a horrible thing to happen to a beloved furry friend. I don't have any good words of comfort, but I know you must feel so very sad. Big hugs to you. This is the third sad dog story I've read this week in blogs. Each one has been equally heartbreaking. These silly dogs who only want to get out for some fun and just don't realize the dangers. Take care, Wendy x

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  19. I'm so very sorry. Someday your tears will turn to smiles of happy memories of your beautiful Rusty. But until then, know that so many of us know your pain and take solace in the fact that you are not alone.

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  20. Oh my gosh. There are no words. I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I know the pain of losing a beloved pet, they are family. xoxo

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    1. Thank you Kacky. We loved him dearly.

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  21. THIS JUST BROKE MY HEART--BEAUTIFUL LITTLE RUSTY--SO VERY, VERY SORRY!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie. My heart is broken too.

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  22. It is never easy. So, so sorry. Our sympathy to you and your family. Also sorry if this posts twice as my first try seems to have disappeared.

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    1. Once or twice your sympathies are heartily appreciated.

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  23. My heart is heavy for you and your family Jennifer. You gave him a wonderful home filled with love and adventure. Cherish his memory.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, Rusty was a dirty, skinny rescue when he came into our home. It is a comfort to think we gave him 8 happy years.

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  24. I am very sad to hear about Rusty. He is such a beautiful dog. He was lucky to have u as an owner. He won the lotto. Life takes twists and turns. I hope you are doing okay. . Take good care. Brenda /a fan of your blog.

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    1. Thank you Brenda. I woke this morning with such a heavy heart. Rusty had a tough start in life. I think he spent most of his first year neglected in a dog crate. When he finally came into our lives we tried to love him as much as possible.

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  25. Oh my goodness Jennifer. I am crying for you both right now. I am so sorry that you lost your sweet boy. He was lucky to have you all as his family as you were lucky to have him. I will be praying your family. Sending you a hug dear friend....Love Nicole xo

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  26. I am very sorry. Such a tragic end. You will treasure the memory of the years he had with you.

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    1. Thanks Alain. It was very tragic. I am sure he would otherwise have lived for many more happy years. I will treasure his memory.

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  27. I'm so sorry for your loss and my heart breaks for you. May time help heal your sadness.

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  28. I am so very sorry over your loss of Rusty. You can't blame yourself - I believe things happen for reasons. Our fury friends are like our children, especially when our children grow up and leave home
    My are getting up in age so I will be facing that in a few years - loosing my kids.
    Take care and God Bless you.
    Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary. I am trying to come to terms with his loss. Children leaving the nest is difficult too. We want the best for our children and we send them out into the big bad world praying they will be safe and happy.

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  29. Jennifer, I am so sorry this happened to your darling Rusty. This really hurts my heart because my sheltie Louie was hit by a car while when I was seven or eight years old. I still miss him thirty years later and I know how much you are hurting. As I got older and my cats passed away, my mom and I planted pansies in their memory. It is so therapeutic to have a memorial plant because when you see that plant, it instantly brings happy memories to mind. I'll be thinking of you.

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    1. It must have been awful to lose your dog as a child. Death is confusing enough when you are an adult. I love the idea of planting a flower in his memory this spring. Thank you for suggesting it Stacy.

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  30. Oooh Jennifer, such a terrible accident, tears are flowing here too. It is so sad and you will miss Rusty so much and at the end the sweet memories of this dog will remain.

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  31. Oh man that's just awful, I feel so very bad and sad for you both. It is such a heartbreak. Your other dogs will be missing him too. Sending you a virtual hug

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  32. Jennifer, so sorry to hear about your loss. I can understand how you feel as we lost our wonderful dog Shaukou recently; the hollow feeling of losing an integral part of our lives. Reminding ourselves that our dogs had wonderful and happy lives with us can help somewhat.
    Chen

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    1. Chen, I am sorry to hear you lost your dog Shaukou. I remember meeting Shaukou and taking his picture while visiting your garden. He was a lovely dog. So sorry you have suffered a loss of a beloved pet as well.

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  33. I am so sorry. (((Hugs))) Animals often really are a part of the family and it hurts so much to lose them.

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  34. Jennifer, my heart is breaking.
    I am so very sorry, and I know just how much this hurts.
    May your wonderful memories of this sweet boy, bring you comfort. xo.

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    1. Thank you for your condolences Lisa. I do indeed have many wonderful memories of Rusty.

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  35. I am so sorry. The if onlys are an endless merry-go-round leading to more pain and suffering. The quicker you turn them off, the better, but easier said than done. They are part of the grieving process which takes a long time.

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    1. Thank you Carolyn. I am trying hard to turn off the "if only's".

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  36. Oh, no! I am so sorry! Rusty was a beautiful member of your family, and I know you will miss him terribly. Your post brought tears to my own eyes.Years ago the same thing happened to our beloved black lab, Jasmine. The latch did not catch; same desperate search, same heart-wrenching result.

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    1. Poor Jasmine! So sorry to hear that you lost a pet in the same way Deb. It is heartbreaking isn't it? Thank you for your condolences.

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  37. Oh....I am in tears reading this and looking at Rusty's beautiful sweet little face. I am SO very, very sorry for your loss and simply don't have any words that may be of comfort to you....but I feel for you both with all my heart. Rusty was a much loved friend and you shall always have those memories, nothing can take them away...I am glad the end was quick and your angel didn't suffer. Hug hugs to you.xxxxx

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    1. It is comforting to know that his end was quick and painless. Thank you for the hug Snowbird.

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  38. I have just been reading your comments....please, please don't feel any guilt, tragic accidents happen and there was no way you could possibly know the gate was open, my dogs have got loose in the past and we live on a busy road...., these things happen...you saved that little guy from a wretched life and gave eight years of love and a wonderful home, never forget that.xxxx...

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    1. I am trying hard to come to terms with it all. I promise I won't forget that he lived a happy life here with us.

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  39. I am so sorry Jennifer, so very sorry. We are dog people aren't we and to loose Rusty (as we almost lost our Chief who you cuddled), your heart is broken I am sure of it. You gave that little guy a wonderful life so try to take comfort in that, Your little angel would not want you to be sad and he will always be with you in heart and mind. xoxo

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    1. Thank you Bren. I do find it comforting to know that he was a very happy little fellow for all of his 8 years in our home.

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  40. So sorry to hear this Jennifer. Such a tragic accident. Sending you hugs.

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  41. I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our boy last September and know how hard it is.

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    1. I am sorry that you lost your boy last September. We love our pets as members of the family and I sure this loss was hard for you too. Thank you for your condolences Lynne.

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  42. I've been abesent from blogging this past week due to illness and just now read this horrible, sad news. I sincerely feel your pain at the loss of your beautiful little Rusty. May he rest in peace and may his memory comfort you now. It is always so hard to lose our furry family. Big hugs to you all.

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    1. Thank you Ida for your condolences. Hope you are feeling better now.

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  43. Oh, Jennifer, I am so sorry! I remember a few years ago when our Sophie ran off in a storm and how frantic I was that I couldn't sleep all night. Fortunately, our story had a happy ending when we found her dirty, but fine after spending the night in a cornfield. I wish Rusty's story had turned out the same way. I hope that your memories of the good times with him can help to heal your heart over time. Sending you hugs, Rose.

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    1. Thanks for the hug Rose. I am so glad that Sophie's story had a much happier ending.

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  44. Jennifer, I am so very saddened by your loss..

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  45. Very sorry to hear your news. It will be a sad time for you. How are your other dogs coping?

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    1. Sadly, Buddy isn't doing very well, but not in any way that relates directly to Rusty's loss. He is 14 and his health is slowly failing. Buddy still manages to chase after the ball, but I don't throw it very far these days.
      Scrap seems more directly effected. He and Rusty were sometimes at odds (Rusty resenting Scarp's dominance), but they both loved to run outside together to play. Now Scrap turns around and appears back at the door almost immediately.
      Then this morning Scarp decided he'd sneak up to look for crumbs at the bottom of Rusty's dish (as he often did in the past), but I saw him catch himself and turn around knowing that Rusty and his dish were no longer there. It was sad to witness.

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  46. Oh, no, Jennifer, I am so, so sorry. What heartbreak and loss you must be feeling. And your other doggies, too. Ugh. Do you read the blog, For The Love of a House? They just lost their dog recently, and her most recent post is a poem, as well as a quote, that you might like to read. Again, I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

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    1. Thanks for your condolences Mindy the blog recommendation. I did pay For the Love of a House a visit and read through the post. Losses like these are always heart breaking.

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  47. Oh Jennifer I am so sorry for your loss. People don't always realize that pets are our family and our hearts are broken into so many pieces when they pass. I can only offer my warm thoughts and hugs during this difficult time.

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