Goodbye and Hello…Rescue Dog Updates

Sadly yesterday our family said goodbye to Rusty.  Rusty was our foster dog.  He came to us on November 11th.  I was nervous when I got him but I knew his condition and knew he might be a challenge.

Rusty had what is known as cherry eyes.  The glands in his eyes were troublesome and he needed surgery…and neutering along with a vet check.


Rusty was scheduled for surgery on November 18th.

The surgery went well but left Rusty with a dreaded cone for 10 days.  He had to get salve in his eyes 2-3 times a day too…but Rusty was a trooper.  It didn’t slow him down.  He was on a mission to… weave his way into our hearts…He did just that.


It took me a bit to learn his quirks.  He hated kennels and gates.  He loved to be fed out of my hand.  He loved his old blue blanket.  He loved kids.

In a way, puppies are so much easier to foster than older dogs.  Old dogs are set in their ways and routines.  For example, Rusty did not like me to see him poop.  He just would never poop if he thought I was watching.  Eventually, once I had some confidence in him, I let him outside on the long leash. I stayed in the house and watched from the kitchen window…then he would poop.

Puppies, they don’t care.  They will poop anywhere…and everywhere.  They don’t have habits that are formed.

In his quiet way, he even made his place with my dogs, Rosie and Izzy.


He quickly learned the best place in the house was to nap with the kids.

We found he was excellent with kids.  Even Scotty my grandson who does not like dogs grew to like him.  When Scotty was here on Saturday I told the kids that the next time they came, Rusty would likely be gone.  He was going to be going to his new home.  Scotty said, “But I like Rusty.  Can’t you keep him?”  I said we couldn’t and that I could only have two dogs.  Scotty said, “Well then can Rosie go?”  HA!!  He doesn’t like Rosie…but he sure liked Rusty.

I’m happy to say that Rusty has done a great job with house training.  Prior to coming to the rescue, he had lived his seven years of life outdoors.  He initially marked twice and then that was it.  He had a couple of poop accidents but once we figured out his routine, those stopped as well.  He is doing great!

On Monday morning Anders and I made the trip with Rusty to the vet.  He needed an eye check to be cleared for adoption.


He came out of the office with a clean check and no cone.  The guy was so happy.

He came home and cleaned and licked himself.  I never really thought about how much a dog licks and cleans.  I’m guessing it felt to him like not showering for 10 days would feel to us.

I did give him a bath.  He had needed one.


I was all worried as when I gave him his first bath, I thought he was going to bolt right out of the store.  This time he was all content and happy.  He actually bathed better than any dog I’ve ever bathed.  Whew.

If my eyes hadn’t been opened to the need for foster providers, I’d have likely kept Rusty too.  He really is a great dog.  I can’t keep dogs if I’m going to foster.  Boy, oh boy, do I ever have to keep reminding myself of that.


Then I gave Rusty a good brushing.  While the cone was on and while he was getting meds for his eyes, he got a bit of matting by his ear.  I think it was all due to sticky eyes.  In the picture, it might look like he’s wincing.  He’s not, the second you brush him, he’s all relaxed and grooving with it.  That’s Rusty’s grooving face.


I am VERY comforted by Rusty’s new family…in fact, I’m so excited for Rusty.  There were several applications in for Rusty and they all, I believe, came from blog readers.  I’m guessing because some were from out of state…and some had email addresses that had quilting references to them.  All of the applications were wonderful and Rusty could have easily gone to any of the families and had an amazing life.

He’s going to a retired couple that already has an older dog.  They specialize in adopting older dogs that have special needs or considerations.  I’m so happy for Rusty.

I so appreciate the blog readers that applied and offered to make Rusty part of their family.  It feels so good to be supported in this crazy fostering adventure I’m on.

In the short time Rusty was here, only 18 days, he really did weave his way into our hearts.   Everyone here will always remember him with great fondness.  He really was soft-spoken, non-judgemental, and tender.  He really taught me not to be afraid to foster an older dog or a dog with a repairable condition.  We’ll still find homes for them and there are people who are looking for dogs just like Rusty.  What a great lesson he taught me.

I dropped Rusty off yesterday morning…  I was a little sad but mostly happy for Rusty.  I keep telling myself…this is about Rusty and his new family.  I need to be happy for them.

I got home and headed to Decorah.  There’s another bunch of puppies who need help and  I went to help with the new puppies.  Part of me was happy that there were puppies to get my mind off Rusty.  Part of me was sad that there were more animals that needed help.  It’s a normal foster-provider reaction I guess.  When I started this, I never dreamed there were so many dogs that needed help.

…I’ll have to tell you about the puppies in tonight’s blog post.

For now…happy trails Rusty!!

17 thoughts on “Goodbye and Hello…Rescue Dog Updates”

  1. So glad Rusty has a new home. And thank you for all your hard work fostering dogs. They sure do need our help, don’t they? My grand kids volunteer at a shelter and see all kinds of animals come in and out.
    Love and prayers

  2. So happy for Rusty and his new family. Last year we adopted a 14 year old beagle. She was old and sick. I asked her foster mom how she did it…letting go. She said that she cries every time they leave, but then she does move on. The dogs go to good homes and it opens up a spot for another dog who needs help. We only had our old girl for 3 months. She got pneumonia again and just didn’t couldn’t recover. We would do it all over again though. She was such a hoot!

  3. Oh, I do so love a happy ending. But actually this just the beginning for Rusty. Wishing you the best, dear Rusty!
    BTW: Love all the pictures with Rusty and the kids, but the picture with all three dogs and Lily (?) is my absolute favorite. Saw you new foster on Instagram… another beautiful dog! Can’t wait to hear more.

  4. It was so great meeting you and your daughter yesterday Jo, and we are so happy to have Rusty in our lives now! Rusty and Mickey are getting along just fine, he follows Mickey out into our fenced-in backyard and there haven’t been any accidents. He does love a treat when he comes in. Rusty really is a little cuddle bug, thank you so much for fostering him and I can understand why you would have wanted to keep him. I’ll keep you posted on him!

    1. The treats from coming in after going potty is a habit I gave him. I have in-ground fencing so I call the dogs to come in, because they play outside a lot and previously didn’t always come when I called. The treat is really for coming when they are called but Rusty was on a leash so he equated his treat for just coming in. HA!! Glad he’s doing well.

    2. Carolyn A Thompson

      Connie,
      Thank you for sharing with us about Rusty!!
      So happy that he is getting along with your dog!!
      ………….would love to hear how he does settle in with your family:):)

  5. I read the lady’s blog that got Rusty and know he will have the best life and be loved very much. I so happy that’s he found his fur ever home,

    Bless you for helping find a homes for these sweet dogs.

  6. I was reading a newsletter that I got today and the lady mentioned getting a dog that was fostered. Reading on, I figured out that you were the one who fostered Rusty. Then I came to your blog and it confirmed what I had thought. I Can’t wait to hear about your new foster puppy. Thanks for fostering and sharing.

  7. I am so happy that Rusty found a wonderful forever home! I have enjoyed the updates about his surgery and am glad to know how well he is doing! Thanks for giving him such a great start for his new home.

  8. What a great adoption for Rusty! I think with you as a foster and posting about the animals, they will find forever homes with loving members. Thanks for all you do.

  9. I am sure Rusty went to a good home and you are right – she’s a quilter. I received her email yesterday that said she was getting Rusty and I knew it had to be your Rusty. He was a very cute dog and sounds like he was very sweet. So sorry Scotty won’t have him. Pretty cute that he thought Rosie could go!

  10. Small world – I know Connie from her Blog. And Mr Mickey too. I’m glad to know we will have more stories of Rusty and some more beautiful sewing projects from two awesome sewist. It’s a win win situation- I’m understanding Jo how hard it is to part with such a sweet boy but I can vouch that Connie will love him as your family all did.

  11. Shirley Ann Creighton

    I too have a new addition to my home; mistress maisey. Wigglesworthi. This ball of fire is here to stay. I love watching her as she explores and experiences all new things. Like Rusty this one stole my heart and she is my last rescue dog.

  12. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Since I also follow Connie’s blog, I read about her meeting you to pick up Rusty!! She does lavish love and attention on her dogs, so Rusty will be very loved and cared for in her home. It’s so fun to see all the pictures of Rusty on her blog!! It is hard to give a piece of your heart to a dog as a foster…my daughter fostered dogs when she was stationed in Hawaii and was a failure as she kept the third dog she fostered!! Thank you for opening your heart and home to foster dogs of all ages until they find their forever homes!! Maybe the next dog Scotty bonds with can live with him as their forever home…but at least he is learning that there are some dogs out there that he can bond with.

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