For the past month to a month and a half I had been concerned about our 12 year old family dog Rusty. Monday I had been really concerned about him as he had been limping around a lot on his back leg, so I made an appointment with Dr. Hudson for him.

I thought that it was only arthritis; just as Dr. McCleary had said when he was younger. When he was 3 years old, he had knocked his leg out of joint; at that time she said his leg would never be the same and when he got older he would have problems with it. I guess I thought it was that. When Rusty started falling a lot, wouldn’t get up to go outside as often, and wasn’t eating very much… I really became worried.

Dr. Hudson examined his back leg, and said he  felt like something like a tumor. He needed to  do some x-rays to make sure. The doctor told us that bone cancer was very aggressive and if it had spread to his lungs that Rusty didn’t have much time. He suggested amputating his back leg since Rusty already didn’t have much use of it.

After the x-rays came back that he did have bone cancer and it was very bad, we decided to have him put to sleep. The amputation wouldn’t have been fair to him since our house wouldn’t have been good for him to get around in. (We have steps and hardwood floors) Also, the bone cancer was so bad in the back leg, that it was a wonder his back leg wasn’t already completely broken, Dr. Hudson said.

After they finished Rusty’s x-rays and blood work they brought Rusty into the the big room where we were all at, waiting for him. Rusty was so very happy to see us all. It just broke all of our hearts. He was just always such a happy dog…even in all the pain he was in.

We were all there with Rusty at the vet. (Kyle had to leave to go to worship band practice right before we made the decision to have him put to sleep, but was there at the at beginning.) My husband Facetimed my oldest daughter in Germany when it was time so she could say goodbye to Rusty and be part of his last moments as well.

This was such a very hard thing to do. Especially hard since this was my youngest daughter’s dog since we brought Rusty home as a puppy at 8 weeks old.

Rusty was Lindsey’s dog, and he laid his head in her lap as she sat on the floor with him…petting him telling him goodbye. My heart broke inside my chest. There was not a dry eye in the room when Dr. Hudson injected the medication into Rusty’s catheter on his front paw. It felt as if time stood still and we all sobbed for what seemed like eternity just watching a girl and her dog.

Rusty was now at peace. He was in no more pain, no more suffering.

Although our hearts are heavy and we are sad, we are happy that Rusty doesn’t have to be in pain anymore. Our happy dog can be free from pain. We will miss you Rusty.

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