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Rusty

Nicknames

Rusty Roo, Roo, Rooster, Red Headed Step Child, The Boy, Baby Boy, Chunky Monkey. We originally tried to call him Boris (to go with Natasha), but it never fit him and he became Rusty. Rooster is both a play on Rusty Roo and the fact that he loves to sing like a Rooster.

Origin

Came to us as a rescue from Carolina Siberian Rescue July 13, 2004 at roughly a year old. Virtually nothing is known to us about his first year, except that he was found wandering the streets and weighed all of 33 pounds. The boy has not missed a meal since (even has to diet periodically now, thus the Chunky Monkey nickname).

Personality

Goofy and sweet, but not very bright. The Boy totally loves life and greets everything he does with incredible enthusiasm – including sleeping for hours on end and not wanting to be dragged out of bed in the morning. Put a harness on and he pulls for all he is worth, but has no clue which is his Haw paw and which is his Gee paw (some of us were born to be wheel dogs). Happy go lucky is about the best way to describe The Boy. Roo had always been the Omega dog and tried, briefly, to be higher than Kiska. Kiska settled that 2 days after arriving. When Kodiak arrived, Rusty tried again, and to his amazement (and ours), Kodi actually has succumbed to Rusty despite a 15 pound advantage. Qannik was a pushover to all so Rusty has, somehow, attained the status of Alpha Male. Doesn’t have a clue what to do with it, but has it. The Boy is enjoying his status, though his sisters still pick on him constantly. Alpha Male does not mean that any of the females give him any respect.

Voice

A gruff sound that starts out low and moves up at least an octave as he completes his woof (a woof takes 5+ seconds to come out, so could never be confused with a bark). Will howl at any siren, including any on TV.

Where he sleeps

During most of the year, he sleeps on the ottoman at the foot of the bed. But when it gets cold, he prefers to sleep under the covers (what kind of Siberian does not like cold weather?). Off the bed, he always want to sleep high (chair, couch, bench, table),
never, ever on the floor.

Where he rides in the jeep

Seat belt is right behind Natasha on the passenger side. Generally, he snoozes in the car so that he can rest up for whatever adventure we are headed for. And everything is an adventure when you are Rusty.

Favorite activity

Running, wrestling, being chewed on by his sisters, sleeping. He is the king of sleeping, provided he does not touch the ground.

Rainbow Bridge

Back in October of 2012, 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 – knowing that it was going to be short.

When those symptoms came back in early December, 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. 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 December 10, 2012. His ashes joined 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.