Rescue Story: Rusty

Thank you Debbie for sharing your rescue story with us. Rusty seems like such a good doggopupper!

Rusty is my rescued retriever. It’s true what they say about rescues, he 100% rescued me!

My husband and I had 2 beautiful golden retrievers. Two years ago we noticed that Travis (age 8) wasn’t feeling very good so we took him to the vet. He had a horrible cancerous tumor and the vet advised us to help him cross the rainbow bridge that very day. We were devastated. We brought Travis home because we just weren’t prepared to put him down. That was on a Friday and by Monday morning we knew what we had to do. We said our goodbyes with a heavy heart.

We were still in shock. Our other golden was with us when Travis crossed over. Honeybear was 10 and clearly her heart was broken as well, she was so sad because her bestie was gone. She never stopped looking for him.

I came up with the idea to adopt a senior doggie. I thought it would be good for Honeybear to have someone her age. I couldn’t imagine bringing home a puppy for her. Plus it was just too soon for us. A couple of months went by and Honeybear still mourned for Travis. I kept looking for a playmate but still nothing. Within a few months of each other, Honeybear passed for no apparent reason. We believe it was from a broken heart. Within days of her passing, we got the call.


There was a 10 year old that needed a forever home! My husband thought we should wait a while to heal then probably get 2 puppies. My heart was so broken I did not want anything to do with puppies. I felt I was robbed of my senior years with my babies and I knew I would be the perfect dog mom to take care of this other old guy.

Rusty came to us horribly abused. He was never given love or attention. He was a back yard dog living his life in a small fenced in enclosure. He spent his days barking and pacing the fence. He had such bad ear infections that were never treated, his left ear is all curled up like cauliflower and he barely hears from that side.

It has been about a year and half and he finally feels at ease! It took a while for him to feel like he wasn’t doing anything wrong by just being in the house! Sometimes we catch him still pacing the fence (some habits are harder to break than others). I am happy to tell you though, that if it wasn’t for Rusty, I would have been a complete mess. I love loving him!


He is the happiest dog ever! He finally is comfortable doing a happy dance! He actually spins in circles when he is happy! He sleeps with us every night! I wish I could share all the pics and videos of all of his firsts! Like the first time he played in the ocean or the first time he walked up stairs! He didn’t like waking on grass because he had never done it before and now he rolls and does summersaults! He is amazing and he healed my broken heart.

I love having my senior dog. So it’s a win win! For everyone that is reading this, I hope you can find it in your heart to adopt a senior. They are so thankful and so loving and deserve a forever home too! They ask so little and give so much. Rusty rescued me. Please find your rescue dog soon and you will make many happy hearts. ❤️

Thanks for letting me share our story,
Ronnie, Rusty & Debbie

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jimette Bell says:

    Rusty is beautiful. My next rescue will be a senior dog.


  2. joni says:

    You will need Kleenex to read this ‘love story’!


  3. Lynette says:

    Sorry for your loss of your Goldens. I love your story. Happy you rescued Rusty and are enjoying your lives with him! All the Senior dogs need someone to give them the TLC they deserve.


  4. Kim Hagerty says:

    Such a beautiful story anout the adoption of Rusty your senior “puppy ” .You both rescued each other. I love it.


  5. Chdano says:

    This is so heart warming… The only thing that really upset me is when a owner says he/she has to put him/her down… that is very harsh thing to say about your love ones… how about saying we had to put her to sleep and as she/he crossing over the rainbow. Do you put your Mother/Father/Sibling down ?


  6. Anonymous says:

    such a heartbreaking story with a happy ending. we have had to put down 2 bassett hounds, Murphy & barney, 2 doxies alf,& scooty, I dalmation named Rain and I cat named petey. if we ever adopt anothe rdog, it will be a senior dog. we have a cat who will be 13 in june and a chiweeie who ia about 10, whom we got from the shelter. Keep up the good work and God bless u


  7. Anonymous says:

    This is such a heartwarming story. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my baby boys Leo & Tigger over the past couple years due to Stage 4 Kidney disease. Tigger was put down just recently April 26th 2017. I miss them both every day. Anyways I just wanted to say thank you for rescuing Rusty baby. There are so many abused animals in the world that need our help. God Bless you all!


  8. Mandy says:

    It brought a tear to my eye to hear that heart felt story of Rusty. Its a reminder of how the unconditional love of a dog like Rusty can help heal a broken heart.
    When i lost my little Maltese a few years ago his best friend “Tyson” who was a boxer fell into a deep depression and never recovered. He passed away from a broken heart I believe. It was very hard for me to get over loosing both of them because they were all I had and I’ll always miss them. Thank you for your wonderful story. Mandy


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