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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words


By: Pat Hamilton

Rusty taught me how to be happy and enjoy life. He taught me about unconditional love and how to come out of my shell and reach out to people. He taught me that life is to be lived because that is what he did everyday. He was teaching me how to live like him. Perhaps I wasnít getting the whole picture or putting actions with the message. He is teaching me more joy now and how to live even in his death. Perhaps it was all those baby steps we took together that lead us to where I am today. He was a great teacher if only I can be as capable a student.

He smiles at me from my favorite picture of him. He smiles at me from above.

He showed up one day out of the blue and found me. Came right up to my front door and said can I come in. He stayed for six wonderful years. It was his time to move on to help some other desperate soul, to move on to heal another breaking heart.

I didnít like to have him lick my face because he ate bunny poop in the back yard. He licked my face a lot on our last day together. If or when a love like his comes into my life again I hope they lick my face a lot. Iím going to let them, I donít care where that tongue has been.

He was such a happy boy and brought so much joy and smiles to so many. Letís take that and put that love in all our hearts.

I do feel bad I use to say to myself how I could join a hiking group, play softball or ride my bike (not my motorcycle Joanie) if onlyÖwell he wants me to do that now and I canít let him down. I hope he understands it will happen but in baby steps in its own way in its own time. I was happy with the way things were I donít really need to do those other things but I guess he thought differently. Or perhaps I didnít let him know otherwise.

He knew when the time was right and how I have to travel along this path with the lessons he has given me. He makes me smile. He would not want me to cry he would be licking those tears away anyway. I told him I loved him a lot most every night before we went to sleep and when I went to work in the morning.

Before we drifted off to sleep at night, he would sigh and I would sigh. He is still getting me up at 5:30 these days before the alarm goes off. And I get up and go for a walk because he would want me to. Itís good for me because I sit all day so itís good for me. I canít get out of practice or out of the routine because my love will be back. I needed to lose weight too and I think he thought so too because the good boy he is, he is helping me do that as well.

We had a great six years together but I think I took some of it and him for granted. I didnít make a big deal about his birthday this year Ė we usually celebrated it in July. Iím not very good about things like that with everyone. But I know I told him a lot how Thankful I was to God for bringing him to me. I Thank God for my buddy, my house, my life, my family!


I feel like I neglected Rusty in the last few weeks. I was feeling strange like a change was coming in my life like I was going to lose my job. I believe I have a strange intuition that Iíve been able to feel in the past. Examples include when or how I was going to meet someone I had it when I met my friends Joanie and also with Eileen.

I had it when I lost my job at HPSB. I had no idea it was about losing Rusty. I must have thought it would be my mother because my attitude got better on one level with her and then worse on another level. One moment I was telling her what a good mother I thought she had been and trying to simply ease her pain. I even told her I loved her. I can not recall the last time I ever spoke those words out load.

I wonder if she is even capable of any of this type of feeling any more. Does she know what regrets are or does she ever reflect on what she has done in her life time? I thought maybe she did so I thought it would be nice to ease her pain.

At other times, I felt I didnít want to be there nor did I have sympathy for her coughing fits. I was tired of them. Sheís losing weight and I thought if anything changed in my life it was going to be my job or my mother never ever did I think it would be my lover boy.

Of course when I would have these depression periods each month I felt burdened by having to be at the nursing home, then feel bad about that. I thought these feelings would bring about her death sooner than it should.

On those depressed days over the past two weeks Ė I know I took Rusty for granted. Was it the hot weather, was it going to the hospital too much? But not going gave me fits of guilt that felt worse than going.

I know because of these feelings or trying to deal with these feelings I neglected him lately. I went into myself and let it get me down. Oh how I wish I could get those days back. I miss him so much.

My shoulders are killing me Ė Iím holding it in and Iím getting so tight in my shoulders all the pain is focused there. The body knows there is pain it knows a heart is broken. I have this overwhelming desire to get another dog so that I can make it up to Rusty. Then I think, no thatís not right. I need to deal with these emotions and thoughts first. I need to figure out what lessons I need to learn here before I subject another beautiful soul to my tortured soul.

He was full of life and love. He had so much happiness and sunshine to bring to everyone he met. I know he wants me to take that with me now. Baby steps. Goodness, kindness and compassion. GKC Ė he had this in deuces! In spades. Yes you heard me, compassion - believe it!


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