Rusty the Rooster – ??/??/?? – December 10, 2012

Since its inception, this website has been dedicated to the celebration of life among my beloved dogs, The Thundering Herd. Even in loss, we want to celebrate life.  Specifics as to what happened are at the end of the post, but feel free to skip that part and just smile as we are Рthrough our tears.


One of our all-time favorite pictures of Rusty the Rooster in his early days.

As happens so often, Rusty was not the dog we were trying to adopt.  We had traveled to Carolina Siberian Rescue in July of 2004 to meet Sunshine, a dog who looked perfect for us on their website.  Eleven-year old Nikita and one-year old Natasha went with us to approve of any new family member.  Sunshine failed the test.  In fact, so did every other Siberian Husky on their website.  Not a single dog was approved by both Natasha (who was, at the time Little Miss Princess Pain in the Butt Рbefore she became Queen Natasha the Evil) and Nikita (who was decidedly the queen of the house at the time, and rapidly teaching Natasha how to be an iron-pawed alpha female).

We had thought we had exhausted every possibility when Donna Wolfe, the director of CSR, said that she did have one more dog, a new arrival. ¬†He had not been tested yet with others, but seemed to be good natured. ¬†Out stepped Rojo who immediately went into a play bow with an excited “wooooop” sound. ¬†Natasha returned the play bow and Nikita shrugged (hey, that was approval in Nikita’s world). ¬†On our trial walk, Natasha and Rusty played every step of the way. ¬†A few days later, our references all checked, Rojo came home with us.


Best . . . Toy . . . Ever

We originally re-named him Boris (get it, Boris and Natasha).  Well, as you can imagine, Boris just did not fit.  We tried several names on him and, in the meantime, just kept referring to him as that rusty colored dog.  That finally was shortened to Rusty and it just seemed to fit his exuberant lifestyle.

Wall Walking

Rusty’s patented strut – and demonstrated on a rock wall.

Rusty’s most famous trait was the fact that he never, ever, walked in a normal fashion. ¬†Absolutely everything was a game to him and we never knew how he would turn a mundane walk into an adventure.

Rusty raincoat

Sooner or later, Rusty would always play his “behind the human back” walk.

We have been asked a thousand times why we taught Rusty to walk behind a human’s legs. ¬†Let’s be clear – we didn’t. ¬†Rusty thought this was the best game ever and invented it totally by himself. ¬†His front paws would come down right in the spot where you lifted your foot – the result being a zig zag walk that he perfected. ¬†We got so used to it that we would rarely even notice when he was doing it.

Never sleep on the ground.

His other goal was to never, ever, ever, ever sleep on the ground.  A bench, a chair, a couch, a bed, a table Рit did not matter.  Anything was better than actually sleeping on the ground.

But most important to Rusty Рturn everything into a game.  Absolutely everything.  Here are some samples:

A plastic water bottle can make lots of noise as you walk.


That sandwich was for me, right, Mister?

Aren’t I styling in my Tilley hat?

What do you mean, I am supposed to use a tree?

Rusty’s loved every piece of construction equipment he ever saw.

Who can ever forget the famous balloon boxing incident?

What’s cooking in the RV, hu-dad?

Why walk on the plowed road?

Sand at the beach – dig with enthusiasm.

We hope that the pictures made you smile.  It was a great trip down memory lane for us and we reminisced about our beloved Rusty the Rooster.  Somehow, as we see him entering that special area for Siberian Huskies, North of the Rainbow Bridge, we picture him strutting just like this:

A walk? I thought we were going for a strut.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

At first, we thought we would take a few days off of blogging.  But we have decided to dedicate the next few days to our favorite Rusty the Rooster videos.  Please come back every day the rest of the week and laugh with us as we remember one of the most unique dogs to have graced us on this earth.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

This last section can be skipped, but we know that many are curious as to what happened.  We will explain, but feel free to just skip over this last section and remember Rusty with a smile.

Back in October, Rusty had shown signs of anemia, spinal discomfort, and a high white blood cell count.  At the time, we had feared there was a mass in his body, but we did not locate one.  Antibiotics seemed to have controlled his blood results, so we accepted our extra time Рknowing that it was going to be short.

When those symptoms came back this past weekend, we were afraid of the answer.  Scans showed that he had a cantaloupe sized mass inside his chest cavity, crowding all of his organs.  With the size of mass, surgery was highly risky and the prognosis was very poor.  We had to make a decision.  Hopefully, you know as well as we do that Rusty was all about having fun in life.  As we said elsewhere, a clown like Rusty is supposed to smile. Thus, a little more time at the expense of having fun did not seem like the right trade.  We made the decision that every pet owner hates to make, but it was the only decision that was right for Rusty.

The hu-dad was able to lay on the floor with Rusty, kiss his nose, and tell Rusty how loved he was as he drifted off to his final sleep.  Soon, his ashes will join his Big Red Brother, Kodiak, around the Tree of Life in our field.  The rest of The Herd play under that tree every day, so we can think of nothing more fitting.


  1. Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz on January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    We did not know Rusty before today, when we saw on Our Rainbow Friends page that he had crossed the bridge…so we came to your blog to read all your tribute to him, and oh, what a special dog he was! We love his exuberance and his high stepping prance, too. We send our purrs of sympathy for your loss.

    Ps: You have a lovely blog and a wonderful family of doggies, too!

  2. Kat n collies on December 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. This post had Rusty stealing a little piece of my heart.

  3. Alorinna on December 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Joining you in both celebration and tears. Strut away, Rusty Baby.

    Cate and the pack (Sabre, Diefenbaker, Ziva, Abby, Dozer and Scooby)

  4. Piappies World on December 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

    We are sorry to read about the news. If you notice, we have not been blogging these past months due to Piappies Mom’s workload.

    We join you in celebrating Rusty’s life. It’s true when you say that he is indeed full of life and fun. We shared a lot of laughter when ever you share stories of Rusty the Rooster.

    Run free Rusty! The Herd will play close to where you are but we are sure that you will continue to watch over them and HuDad.

    Thank you, HuDad for sharing the videos of Rusty. We send you lots of hugs.


    The Piappies – Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Max, Wai-Pai & Forgie

  5. Jed & Abby in MerryLand on December 13, 2012 at 2:45 am

    We are so very sorry to learn that Rusty has crossed the Bridge. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

  6. The Lady on December 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Faithful reader, but I never comment. Rusty was my favorite pup to read about on your blog. He was such a goof.

    I know you will miss him greatly. I will miss him too.

  7. Steve & Kat on December 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    We know you will miss Rusty terribly. We will also miss the stories of him that you shared with us.

    Rest in peace, Rusty.

  8. Suzanne Adams on December 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Wow – what a beautiful, special creature you were blessed to share time with…so sorry for your loss! RIP, Rusty!

  9. Kari on December 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Rest in peace sweet Rusty

    Stop on by for a visit

  10. Rottrover on December 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing the joy of Rusty with us. I will miss him.

  11. Lynette-Golden, Co on December 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I haven’t known the herd for a fraction of the time most of the rest of your fans have, but I read, started to cry, pulled myself together a little and gave my husky Juno an enormous hug. Most of us have gone through this loss and the only thing that makes it bearable is knowing we’ll see them ALL again.

  12. Random Felines on December 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    We are so sorry…somehow we missed this….. safe journey over the Bridge Rusty – we know you will be well met. And we hope the rest of you can find some peace and job in happy memories of your sweet boy

  13. Oorvi on December 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

    We are so sorry to hear about it. Rusty was so full of life and his ways were so unique. While he was here, he had a loving family and a good life, and you made it happen for him. It must be a very difficult time for you and the pack…we’ll be thinking about all of you…

  14. Rod Zeigler on December 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I understand the loss and pain you feel, but it is mixed with a great measure of hope and gratitude for the love you and everyone else commenting are showing. Those of us with Huskies understand the special bond that they create, and as a community share each others highs and lows. You gave Rusty a loving home and made his life a good and happy one. Nothing more can be asked, or given.

  15. FiveSibesMom on December 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear of Rusty’s journey to North of the Rainbow Bridge. May he be running free, enjoying his unique strut across those beautiful snowy fields. He was such a beautiful and unique boy…with tear filled eyes, I enjoyed all of Rusty’s photos and smiled at his silliness and zest for life. Run free, beautiful boy…we know Kodiak is there showing you the way…and maybe you’ll even spot our Chelsey girl. Our thoughts are with your hu-family and fellow pack family as we know just how much they must be missing you.

  16. Tucker on December 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    So sorry to hear you had to say goodbye to Rusty, he was an original and will be missed. His walking style showed his character and we will be thinking of the herd during this difficult time.

    woof – Tucker

  17. Maureen on December 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog for about a year and it never fails to put a smile on my face, even through the tears. Last night I had to let my two Saints and one beagle sleep with me so I could hug them a little closer. I hope that you can find peace knowing what a wonderful life full of joy and love that you gave Rusty. I’ve been playing a song my husband wrote for his Sibe when he had to put her down – Goodbye my old friend, God I hope to see her again on a sunny mountaintop in spring..goodbye Althea…Run on Rusty in the sunshine through that soft power. Much love and light to you and your family DK and the rest of the herd. <3

  18. KP on December 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I have a feeling that your Rusty was greeted by my husky Boomer on other side.

    My condolences.

  19. Savannah NanaMo on December 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Such joy in seeing the photos, some new, others remembered from past posts. Especially the wall walking one…I am so thrilled you chose that one, I clearly recall his look of dismay upon learning that the wall ended and on the ground no less. We had 3 Sibes, Rose was our red head, blue eyed girl. Crusty was our black and white brown eyed boy, and always ready to play and Mischa, the alpha and first was gray and white and bi-eyed. They all passed to North of the RB within 8 months, they could not live without each other. They all played and’or walked shortly before drawing their last breath…they lived in joy and are remembered in joy…just as you are remembering Rusty, in joy and light. Linda, Savannah’s Mom

  20. Princess on December 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Soft woos on your loss.

  21. Sylvie on December 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    My sincere condolences to you and yours.

  22. Lisa Myers on December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Soooooooooooo many tears! My heart just aches for you, The Herd & all who loved him. This is why my kids want me to stop following the Sibe blogs. I get wayyyyyyy too attached to the dogs. I know Rusty will never, ever be replaced. I also know that you will really miss that beautiful head between the back of your legs. Trot on Rusty, trot on! I will miss you dearly.
    Many hugs to all, Sitka’s(w/the same blue eyes as Rusty’s) Mom, Lisa

  23. Kristine on December 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I am so so sorry you had to say goodbye to Rusty. Thank you very much for sharing your memories of him with us. He will live on in all of the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him. He has touched more lives through this blog than he, or you, will ever know.

  24. Robert Johnson, Sr. on December 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    We are just heartbroken, but we are so glad that you were with Rusty as he made his final journey.
    We know how much you loved and how much so many loved Rusty.
    God Bless.

  25. Laura on December 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    When I first came to your website, it was Rusty who caught my attention. I had a Rusty of my own — he wasn’t a Sibe, he was a golden retriever, but he was equally silly and fun-loving and just plain loving. My heart goes out to you; I know how painful losing such a special friend can be. I hope my Rusty has joined your Rusty north of the bridge there — because he loved nothing better than lots of snow on a nice cold day — and they’re romping together happily with Kodiak and all the other much-loved pets who have left us too soon.

    Run free, Rusty. And if a human passes by, be sure to walk RIGHT behind him just for fun!

  26. Amanda on December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    what a gorgeous boy, rest in peace beautiful you’ll never be forgotten.

  27. A Husky Life on December 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    What a truly special, beautiful boy he was. Rest in peace, Rusty.

  28. Ice 'n Ayla on December 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Today,it is me, Gail, writing this. As soon as I saw your title today, I KNEW, and I can hardly see through the tears as I write this. Ice ‘n Ayla are lying just outside my computer room door, wondering why I’m crying. We have all enjoyed Rusty’s antics since I began following the Herd. He was definitely his own “person”, and we’re going to miss him terribly. I know this is not easy for you, and the sad part is, it never gets any easier each time this decision has to be made. However, hearts heal, and though he won’t be present in body, he’ll always be in your hearts, and in all of us who follow the Herd. RUSTY WAS JUST SPECIAL, that’s all. Wonderful to know he’ll be waiting for you North of the Rainbow Bridge, cavorting with Kodiak while they both wait.

  29. The Ao4 on December 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    We’ll never forget you, Rusty! And I’ll do my very best to carry the mantle of silly redheads who thrive on adventure and making life a game!
    Please know that you’re all in our thoughts and prayers.
    Play bows,

  30. Diane Taylor on December 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    OMG I am crying reading this – I love your blog but haven’t commented in g aloooong time. My heart breaks for every sweet pup that crosses that bridge. I hope that doggie heaven is like I imagine in my mind……sending light and love to you and your family. Run free Rusty – and if you see a huge chocolate labbie named Buster? Tell him we miss him dearly.

    xxoo – Diane Taylor and chocolate lab Indy Bones

  31. Tammy and the goldens on December 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    So sorry for your loss..the time is never long enough but the love these beautiful pets of ours can squeeze into that time is amazing.

    The stories and photos are beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  32. Junior, Orion and Sammy on December 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    We are so very sorry to read this. It seesm Rusty was a very fun woofie! We are sending our bestest purrs to help you heal.

  33. Mathias on December 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Sorry for your loss…know exactly the feelings you are going through for the moment…i lossed a old friend this spring , 13 years…went to sleep on his birthday…cancer.. ūüôĀ
    Rusty was a nice dog
    Mathias from sweden

  34. melanie on December 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

    it’s verry sad to lost a dog they’re our babys!!! but it was the best decision he can continu to do his play where he is now

    you made me smile during the blog he was so a verry clown dog love the way he walk hahaha husky are special dog you can’t compare to other dog!!!

    lots of positive though to you ūüôā

  35. Michelle on December 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We have been through a rough bout with a Golden Retriever a few years ago and although it breaks your heart to make that decision we know it is the best thing for them. Thanks for sharing your story. I know you will forever remember the good memories and that Rusty will live on with you forever.

  36. Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus on December 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Great tribute to Rusty – he will definitely be missed, but certainly never forgotten. Abby truly appreciated (and frequently attempts to emulate) Rusty’s desire to get off the beaten path! ūüôā

    -Dr. Liz and Family

  37. kathy on December 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I am so sorry for your lose. I know the feelin when you lose a fur babie. Just know that he is up in that field wearing that silver harness with pride. I am sure Rusty is watching down upon you family with a smile only a huskies can have.

  38. Dennis the Vizsla on December 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

    hello thundering herd its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am verry sorry to heer of the loss of yore red dog rusty wuz a grayt karakter and a merry prankster and i am shoor he is alreddy teetching the other sibes north of the rainbow bridj how to strut and danse with balloons!!! run free rusty!!! ok bye

  39. Nora B. Webster on December 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

    We are so so very sorry for your loss. Praying for your pack as you grieve and celebrate Rusty’s life.


  40. The Poupounette Gang on December 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Thank you for sharing Rusty’s life with you in such a joyous manner. All our friends leave such enormous holes in our hearts when they leave, but they also leave so many smiles, so much warmth and so much love. Run free, Rusty!

    Woofs, Purrs, Neighs and Hugs,
    Tommy, The Chans, The “V” horses and #1

  41. Anna the GSD on December 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Mom and I gasped when we read the headline, but then we smiled as we saw all the great memories of a superdog like Rusty…memories that you, and thanks to your kindess for sharing, we all will have. There is no greater love than the unselfish decision human parents have to make for their furbabies. Run free Rusty! And hugs and licks from our house to yours! <3

  42. Kristin on December 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

    R.I.P. Rusty!!!! I loved looking pictures of you and very, very large machines.. You were so photogenic and I know you made your parents and brothers and sisters so proud. Go to the raindow bridge my brave friend..

  43. Susie and Sidebite on December 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Hi, we didn’t know you guys, Bert sent us over. Losing a doggie member of Blogville is always hard, we will cross our paws for you, and we have Rusty in our thoughtsWish we could have known him, sounded like a real hoot. We know that he is not in pain and has the Rinbow Bridge crowd in laughs. Just remember he is waiting for all of us to come and join him.

    Your Sad Furiends
    Susie & Sidebite

  44. Amber DaWeenie on December 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

    We just heard the news about Rusty and offer our deepest sympathy on your loss. We never had a chance to meet Rusty but can see from his photos that he was quite a character. I know his memory will always be safe in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

    Run young and pain-free again, Rusty.

    Amber and the Pack
    and Mom

  45. Heartbeats on December 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’m actually “glad” to read peoples stories about loss. I’ve never had to make that decision as my first dog as an adult is now only 6.5 years old. My cats are only 11. I want to know how I will know the time is right when it comes. I think you made a magnificent decision for Rusty. I always thought of him as a goofy puppy. I loved to read about his antics! You and the Herd are in our thoughts as you adjust to this new life.

    Love from The Heartbeats
    Mamma Heartbeat

  46. Sage on December 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Rusty will always have a special place in your hearts and will be sorely missed. He was quite a character and you wrote a fitting and loving tribute to him. Our hearts go out to you, your family and the herd.

    Sage & her Mom

  47. Barb on December 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I read your blog every day, even though I generally don’t post comments. But, I had to post to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss of the amazing, silly Rusty. I really enjoyed reading about all of his antics and especially enjoyed your stories about his love of machinery (haha). What a great dog he was. Thank you for sharing him with us. Even though I never met him, I loved him and am so sad that he is gone.

  48. jane on December 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Thank you so very much for sharing all things you share with us about the herd. You have had good, bad and everything in between. You may not realize it, but you have helped me through my loss. 2 years ago in april I had to put my husky Aries down. It was the hardest thing I had to do, but I knew I was doing the right thing. I know the hard choice you had to make. My kids showed me a video of mishka the talking dog and I cried so hard because I missed Aries so much and his wooo’s. From there I have looked other husky owners up that share their huskies. Huskies are my favorite breed of dogs. Always have been and always will be. 6 days after we put Aries down we bought Bruce. Now he is a German Shepherd, but he is a wonderful dog. He has filled a hole in my heart from loosing Aries. Bruce is not my Aries. No one can replace him,but Bruce is special too. I love seeing everything you put on here and facebook about the herd. It truly does help me. I am so very sorry for your loss of Rusty. I am happy you were able to be there for him as he went to sleep forever. I too was able to be there for Aries as the rest of my family was there too. I have his ashes on a book shelf with the best picture of him glued to the box so i can still see him everyday. Some people just don’t realize how special these animals are to the world and how they help us be better humans by being in our lives. Thank you once again for sharing such beautiful and wonderful animals with us all. May God bless you and your family and herd in this time of loss. R.I.P. Rusty. Great big hugs and kisses to the herd.

  49. Laís on December 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I’m so sorry about lovely Rusty! Today it’s been 5 months my loved cat Rutha passed away after 15 years of love and fun. You wrote a loving post in honor of Rusty, he would be happy to read.
    Laís (from Brazil)

  50. brooke & darwin on December 11, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Rusty was one of a kind and he will be greatly missed!
    We cant wait to watch his videos and see the strut!

  51. bichonpawz on December 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

    We want you to know how very sorry we are to find out about Rusty. He sounds like he brought joy to everyone who met him. Our hearts go out to you and your family and the rest of the herd. Rest in Peace Rusty. Our prayers are with you all. xoxo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

  52. Mitch and Molly on December 11, 2012 at 5:49 am

    We are so very sorry to hear about Rusty. We so wish that we had gotten to know him. He sounds like he was quite the character. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Godspeed, Rusty.

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  53. Homer on December 11, 2012 at 5:41 am

    That was a wonderful tribute to Rusty. We are so sorry for your loss and we are going to miss him.


  54. Khumbu on December 11, 2012 at 4:27 am

    We are so sorry to hear Rusty has gone North of the Rainbow Bridge way to soon. Love and hugs being sent to you all x

  55. Holly & Khady on December 11, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Our hearts are just breaking for you. We so loved watching Rusty’s walking video’s! He was such a fun character and was so lucky to have such a wonderful family. Rusty will always be in your heart. We are sending lots of hugs for you all.

    Holly & Khady

  56. Stacie on December 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    So sorry to hear about Rusty, he was certainly a character. It’s never easy to say goodbye and make that decision, but it sounds like that’s what he would have wanted!

    Great tribute to him! Keep being silly wherever you are Rusty! ūüôā

  57. 24 Paws of Love on December 11, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Rusty always made me smile and laugh when I didn’t think I had it me. He was a very special dog and a character that that will be hard to forget.

    Thank you for sharing Rusty with us. 24 Paws are crossed for you and your Herd.

    Until we meet again…

  58. Shelly on December 11, 2012 at 1:09 am

    The Crew is currently offering up a robust chorus as I am finishing your wonderful post. Seems fitting that he get his own ear drum rattling, chest tingling song today. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing all his “Rustiness” with us.

  59. siku marie on December 11, 2012 at 12:40 am

    A celebration of a wonderful life force is the perfect tribute and we joyfully will walk beside you down memory lane sharing and remembering with smiles. But allow us just a few tears for the laughs the evil c has cheated us of. Our candle is lit in a tiny corner of New Mexico, Rusty, to help you on your new journey and we wish your humans peace.

  60. Wild Dingo on December 11, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I’m crying my eyes out. Much too soon. What a love. Yes we will watch every video. I just adored him. He made me smile every time I saw him.

    Sending lots of love to the entire herd.
    love Wild Dingo, juno and loki

  61. elmo & mouse on December 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

    So sorry for your loss of precious Rusty. Thank you for sharing the tribute with us. So much love, joy, and happiness were shown through the tribute and the pictures. Rooster had such a happy life with you and the Herd.

    Hugs to you all.

  62. elmo & mouse on December 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Thank you for sharing Rusty’s tribute with us. I see so much love, joy, and happiness as I read through the tribute. Rusty was very loved by you, the Herd, and us – people who are the Herd’s fans.

    This truly has been a very rough year as someone has mentioned. We will never forget Rooster the goof-ball. Hugs to you all.

  63. RA, Isis & Nan√ľk on December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    We are very sorry, soft husky woooos,

    RA, Isis & Nan√ľk

  64. houndstooth on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I knew I would cry like it was one of my own dogs when Rusty’s time came, and I am! But I thank you for sharing him with all of us. A personality that big shouldn’t be kept from the world. You were so lucky to share the journey with that rusty colored dog, and we were all lucky that you shared him with all of us and let us love him for the wonderful character that he was. He could have driven someone else insane with his antics, but instead he kept us all entertained through your gentle humor. We will miss him, but I can’t think of him without smiling. Please know that we are thinking of all of you!

  65. Val and my girlz on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    First time to your blog…I am so sorry for your loss. Rusty must have been a wonderful dog.

  66. Beth and Bailey on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Our hearts are broken. We are so very sorry for your loss. Rusty was definitely one of a kind. He will never be forgotten! RIP sweet boy! May you wear your Silver Harness with pride!

  67. TeddyBear & Sierra on December 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Our hearts break for your loss. We know that Rusty is running free and happy with Kodiak on the other side of the Bridge. Prayers are with you all. Rusty will never be forgotten.

  68. Lily Belle on December 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    As we read your post with many tears, we want to offer you many doxie hugs during this difficult time. We didn’t know your herd or Rusty, but still the same, we are truly saddened.

    Please know we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    A safe journey home Rusty!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  69. Ron (The Horde and Their Humans) on December 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    It’s the hardest decision we have to make but in our hearts we know it was the right one. Rest in Peace Rooster and guard that Tree of Life so all can play there.

    Don’t stand by my grave and weep
    For I’m not there, I do not sleep

    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamonds glint on snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain

    When you awaken in morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circle flight
    I am the soft stars that shine at night

    Do not stand at my grave and cry
    I am not there, I did not die.

    Attributed to an old American Native poem

  70. The Island Cats on December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    We are so sorry to hear about Rusty. We send you comforting purrs and headbutts….

  71. Maureen on December 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    How beautifully you described his life. Thank you for sharing this tribute.

  72. Dream Valley Ranch on December 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Oh no…I am so so sorry to hear this news. I adored Rusty’s strut and hilarious personality so much. What a huge loss for all of you-you will all be in my heart and thoughts and I look forward to a week of Rusty Rememberings…he was such a unique and special boy. Please give everyone a monster hug for me.
    Sue and the crew

  73. Susan and Wrigs on December 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I just read KB’s tribute to Rusty on Romping and Rolling in the Rockies. I am so sorry you lost your special boy. Thanks for sharing the wonderful stories and photos. I’ll be stopping by to see the videos of Rusty later this week. Lots of hugs,

    Susan and Wrigs

  74. Cinnamon on December 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    KB, Shyla & R sent us over.
    Our deepest sympathy to you and the Heard.

    Sleep well dear Rusty.
    Hope we meet you on the other side someday.

  75. Valerie on December 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    We are devastated for you. Such a delight! Such a loss!

  76. Jacqueline on December 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful family with us.

  77. Bert on December 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Bert and I send our love. Rusty was such a character and we are so sorry that you had to make the decision to let him go. WE have done that twice this fall and know how your hearts must hurt.

    Please know we are thinking of all of you.

    We don’t comment much, but we love your blog and know the joy will return soon, but the missing, will never go away.

    Bert and My Vickie

  78. Pip on December 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Rusty’s passing …what an amazing, spirited, talented, beautiful, smart, special dog. Thanks for sharing him with us. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  79. edith on December 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The answer to “how old was he?” is not old enough. Thank you for sharing him with the world. Leaving them with their dignity is always the hardest decision we have to make as humans. So sorry for your loss.

  80. Stella and Rory from Down Under on December 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Howdy Mates, we came over to offer our sincere sympathy on Rusty passing to the Rainbow Bridge. What wonderful photos and we will visit again to watch his videos. Love Stella and Rory

  81. tweedles on December 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I am a friend of KB, R and Shyla. I came to tell you how sorry I am that Rusty became ill.
    You gave the biggest gift to him to let him go peacefully. What a beautiful boy he is.
    I know your hearts are breaking- and I am sending my love.

  82. Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning on December 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    When we saw your second post of the day, we knew it might not be good news. We are so very sorry for your loss. Rusty was such a fun boy – we have always enjoyed smiling and laughing along with him and his silly antics. You have given him a beautiful tribute, a celebration of the life of joy and fun that he lived. Hugs to the Herd from all of us

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning and Mom

  83. Biloxi on December 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    To my “long lost brudder”, woo will be greatly missed. I send woo “woos and haroooooos”. I know woo is struttin’ around dem twinkling lights tonight in dat sky.
    Godspeed Rusty Rooooo

    Your brudder in spirit

    P.S. Biloxi’s maw here. That was a very beautiful tribute to Rusty. A candle has been lit and I am sure he and Kodiak have reunited. Godspeed sweet Rusty.

  84. Carol stonestreet on December 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your special boy with us all these years. He touched a lot of hearts.

  85. Bassetmomma on December 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about sweet Rusty. My heart goes out to all of you. That was a lovely tribute to your beautiful boy!

  86. Jo and Stella on December 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    How many tears can you cry over a dog you have never met in person? Millions and more.

    When we first started blogging, one of the first things I did was read DK’s stories and bios of the dogs. I thought this guy knows his dogs better than I know most of my family! So, it was a good place to fall in love with Rusty, and we did! Please leave the stories and pics up for a long while, they are needed!
    Our most heartfelt condolences to you and your family,

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  87. Dachshund Nola on December 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss

  88. Kate on December 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful dog! The pictures and the story did make me smile through the tears. I can’t stop giving my two fur boyz extra attention tonight. Please give Queen Natasha extra love from all of us…even though she won’t admit it I bet she really needs it. After all, she helped bring Rusty into your family. I’m looking forward to enjoying Rusty’s videos this week. Thank you for sharing him with all of us!! You will all be in our thoughts and prayers.

  89. Jean McKinstry on December 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I have hopped over from KB at R&R in the Rockies. My sympathy, decisions that have to be made are never easy, but as you know, show true love and so much care. Rusty will always be in your hearts, and memories and photos you have shared with us today,tell of a wonderful boy.Remember with love, and thank you for sharing with us his wonderful life. Greetings from Jean

  90. Terri Jacobson on December 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I have always loved the Rusty stories and I will miss them. Take care of yourselves and enjoy the memories. Rusty would want you to laugh.

    I am so sorry. He was a wonderful boy.

  91. hisqueen1 on December 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    8 yrs of love, fun and joy for all of you, what more could a hu-dad and Rusty Roo ask for. What a horrible hard decision to make. find peace in knowing that he will not suffer with the mass getting bigger and you having to watch him suffer. I’m sure he was welcomed with exuberance by Kodiak. Under the Tree of Life is a wonderful place for his ashes to find their final resting place.

  92. Becky Slack on December 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    The hu-dad leading Rusty’s team will always feel that head butting the back of his knees. Rusty runs free now with Kodiak.
    I am just so sorry for your loss.

  93. aTXtumbleweed on December 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    What a wonderful life you gave Rusty. Even at the end you gave him a loving peaceful cross over.

  94. Mary Jo Seuferling on December 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Smiling at the photos, crying through the text. I’m so very sorry for your loss. RIP, Rusty.

  95. Sherry and Willow on December 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. I love reading your blogs every day. My heart goes out to you and your herd.

  96. Brian on December 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Smiling through the tears. God bless and Godspeed Rooster.

  97. jansfunnyfarm on December 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    A happy tribute to a happy dog. They leave us with happy memories, but sometimes we can’t see them right away for the tears. Very sorry it was Rusty’s time to leave.

  98. Cathy on December 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    So sad for you. Just remember how happy you made him and how happy he made you. My siberian is my best friend so I realize how you feel. Just started reading your sight yesterday but I know I will continue.

  99. Andrea on December 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    As with any ride, the ride must end. Sadly we’ve stepped off of a few ourselves and know how monumentally difficult it is. These dogs are special and insist on playing such a huge role in our lives. When they’re gone the abyss is a gaping one. But as we’ve learned so well from them….the show must go on. They will rejoice in another land and will see us once again. Thank you for understanding him, appreciating him for who he was, and loving him so very much.

  100. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heary on December 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Ahhh, balloon boxing and the famous butt-walking. All hail Rusty.

  101. Cindy on December 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a special and unique boy with us.

  102. HoundDogMom on December 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    We are so sorry for the loss of your beloved Rusty. We so remember his antics for walking and they will forever make us smile when we think of him. May he run free North of the Rainbow Bridge. We send our hugs and prayers to everyone in the family. The HoundDogs and Mom (Sherri)

  103. Khyra's Mom on December 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    As usually happens during THESE times, we are sad yet happy that you listened to him –

    I spent much of Sunday checking the Blackberry as I was on the road to Hagerstown and back for I recall another Sunday with another red Thundering Herd member –

    Sadly, I think Fate let me know what was to come for as I passed the area with all the Rusty toys leveling and hauling dirt, they were all parked – not a one was working – it was if they wanted me to know their work was done here – no picture opps this week –

    We’ve got a candle lit – one that is actually some of the colour of Rusty furs –

    Romp Free Rooster!

    Khyra and Phyll

    • Sandy Snyder on December 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

      I like others, read the story and through the tears enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures. My Dawn had 2 Norweign Elk Hounds she lost this year, which she had for 12 and 14 years. Our hearts go out to you, cause we know the pain you feel. My daughter loves any kind of animals, and this hurts her as she reads your blog every day to check on “The Herd”. With pain in our hearts, you are in our thoughts. We also have the good memories and pictures of hers.

  104. Carolyn on December 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Just love this. Thank you. Looking forward to more videos!!!

  105. Teddy Westlife on December 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    It’s been a terrible ending to this year for lots of us. Sending hugs to both of you.

  106. Sam on December 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    We are so sorry. Our hearts are breaking for you, but we are also so glad to have been able to get to know Rusty through the blog. Sending hugs and love.


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