Rusty Update

I thought I would give you all an update on Rusty my foster dog.  I’ve had him for over a week now and have really enjoyed having him.  He’s a sweet guy full of love and affection.

If you’ve been reading along, you probably know that Rusty suffers from Cherry Eyes.  It’s what a gland doesn’t stay in place and comes out.  Surgery is needed to fix it.  The rescue, HEART Animal Rescue, that I work with made arrangements for the surgery, neuter and other vet work to be done.  His big day was yesterday.

Here’s how he looked before the surgery.


Here’s how he looks after…Don’t get upset.  The vet told me that this will get worse looking before it gets better.  We go back in 8 days and by then, it is supposed to be MUCH improved, and healing will well be on its way.  So we have to be patient.

Poor Rusty HATES the cone.  I’ve never cared for a dog with a cone before I’m learning right along with him.

I made the rookie mistake and took it off for a second hoping he wouldn’t have to struggle so hard to get water but immediately he tried to scratch.  My intention was only to take it off, let him drink, and put it back on.  NOPE.  I can’t do that.  Luckily Rusty has figured out how to drink with the cone on.


He had the worst time trying to get comfortable.  The guy is not a fan of regular dog beds at all.  This blanket is his favorite.  I finally got him to let me put the blanket over the thin dog mattress.


Last night he was pretty needy.  Not much stitching happened but that’s okay.  He needed some TLC.  The second I quit petting him he would open his eyes and get restless.  Normally he’s not like that.  I think he just doesn’t understand his discomfort…and yes, he has some meds so no worries about that.


Here his eye is today.  You can see it’s much improved.  Part of the reason it looks like it does is that I have to put a salve in his eye.  Once I don’t have to do that anymore, the wetness will look better.


Right now I think the cone is the biggest challenge.

He can’t fit in the kennel I have when he’s wearing the cone and has to wear it overnight…so last night I got a baby gate and quarantined him off in my itsy bitsy laundry room.  I heard nothing from him overnight.  Somehow he got over the fence and was in the kitchen when I woke up this morning.  I can’t do that again.  I have no idea how he got over that fence.  I was so worried too as he was just neutered yesterday too.  Oh my.  I’m trying to take care of him.  I never imagined he would jump the gate.  He’s not a big dog!!

Tonight I think I’m going to let him sleep in my bedroom.  Not in my bed as I don’t completely trust him as far as being housetrained but I am going to let him sleep in my bedroom.  I don’t know what else to do.  He’s a little escape artist.  Hopefully, that will curb a little of his anxiety too.

I want to do a HUGE shout-out to some of my blog readers.  When I initially told you about Rusty, several of you stepped up and donated towards Rusty’s vet bill.  I was told we raised $390 towards Rusty’s care.  That will cover a portion of it.  That is so awesome!!  Everyone at the HEART Animal Rescue that I work with was so thankful and impressed by your generosity.  I was too.  WOW!!  Thanks so much.  The rescue is always in need of donations.  HERE is the link if you’d like to donate.

Rusty will go back for a recheck on his eyes on November 28th.  If he gets a clean bill of health, he will be listed as available to adopt.  Feel free to fill out papers so you have a pre-approved adoption on file so when he does become available, you can quickly contact the rescue and let them know you’re interested in Rusty.  HERE is the link to adopt.

22 thoughts on “Rusty Update

  1. Kate

    Sometimes things have to be worse before getting better and that seems to be the case with Rusty’s eyes. The second day there seemed to be much improvement It is always so hard for dogs to use the cones but what a good thing they are. Hope all goes good on 28th.

    Reply
  2. susie Q

    Have never seen such a snazzy cone. Happy that the vet work has been done and praying that you have a “quiet” night……

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  3. Hedy

    I expect Rusty climbed over the gate. These small dogs do that, I’ve seen them before. Glad to hear he is doing better, it’s just a rough road now.

    Reply
  4. Shirley from Calmar

    You are special. For a future reference. They do make soft inflatable cones for pets. similar to our neck pillow. These work great and they can comfortably rest their head on it. I would run mine over to you but mine are way too big. Thank you for helping these little guys.

    Reply
  5. Annie Miksch

    Hi Jo – suggestion on the cone that I’ve used on my Newfs when they had surgery you don’t want them to bother. Get an old fat towel that fits around his neck. Roll it up, tape it so it stays rolled, form it into a thick towel collar he can’t get off. Make sure it’s big enough so he can’t reach his eyes with his hind legs. Much more comfortable for them, he can get into his crate, easily drink water and not have his vision impaired the way the cone does. There are commercial products that emulate this, but this does the same thing. I used surgical tape. He’ll be a LOT happier.

    Reply
  6. Sherrill

    Those cones are awful. I’ve seen inflatable cones but not sure they’re any better than the more solid plastic ones. Always hate seeing an animal having to endure the cone but know it’s for their own good.

    Reply
  7. Jill Klop

    My son’s beagle did so much better with the inflatable cone, as other have mentioned. I hope tomorrow will be even better for Rusty!

    Reply
  8. Judy Adams

    Oh Jo it’s going to be so hard to see him leave you! I feel for you already! You’re the best nurse for him. Please love him up for all of us watching his journey!❤️

    Reply
  9. Cathy Salt

    Instead of the cone, you can thread pieces of a pool noodle through his collar or piece of rope around his neck. This will still prevent him from scratching but allow more field of vision, this may reduce some anxiety.

    Reply
  10. Suzy R.

    You are doing an amazing job taking care of Rusty! I am so glad to see the improvement in just one day. I am hopeful that spending the night in your room will make it easier on both of you. Please give extra love and pets to Rusty, Rosie and Izzy from their internet friends!

    Reply
  11. Janet

    Rusty is fortunate to have you care for him! Remember that the awful cone is necessary to make his eye surgery successful. The beagle I saw coming out of the vet needed to have his redone because his previous owners didn’t keep the cone on long enough. It is a struggle but worth it in the long run. He’s so cute!

    Reply
  12. Kara

    I have a little Choodle (chihuahua & poodle mix), she is about 15 to 20 pounds. I tried keeping her in a smaller gated area with one of those tension child gates. She climbed the gate. No problem. Rusty looks taller than Angel, I bet he climbed the gate. :) Kara

    Reply
  13. Lynn B

    I want this dog so much but live in CA. I just lost my golden retriever and want a new little friend.
    At night try an exercise pen with a sheet closed pinned over the top. May help.

    Reply
    1. Susan the Farm Quilter

      Lynn, there is a group that has volunteers who will move a pet for free in short hops across the country. Each volunteer will drive about 75 miles, meet another volunteer and pass the pet off to the next volunteer, until the pet gets home. I don’t remember the name of it, but I have asked in the group where I heard about it, so if I get a response, I’ll come back and let you know. Rusty is so cute and calm…I want him too, but I’m in a neighboring state to you!

      Reply
  14. Sharon F

    Oh, poor puppy! He looks so sad and uncomfortable. But the surgery was needed, and the cone keeps him from scratching so he will heal properly from the surgery. Poor little guy just doesn’t understand. Hopefully in a week or so, he won’t need the cone, and won’t even remember it.

    Reply
  15. Samantha M

    Oh Jo, it really tugs on your heartstrings, doesn’t it? I just want to scoop Rusty up and cuddle him, but I know he’s getting all the love from you. He’s so lucky to have you. It’s amazing how they escape from what you think is a secure pen! Ours had surgery on a neck disc last year and we had to keep him penned and restrict his movements for 8 weeks afterwards – despite not being able to support his own weight to stand, he managed to “army crawl” across the floor, pushing the gates as he did it!

    Reply
  16. Suzanne Yerks

    When ours had their cones we would bend the cones in just so the could get in the crate. Once inside they scrape the cone to turn around and finally settle in. If you trimmed the cone and inch could he maneuver better and still not reach his face with his paws? I have done that too

    Reply
  17. Julie Higgins

    Bless him!!! Our rescue has a Cherry eye. My husband wants to get him the surgery. He thinks it’s uncomfortable for him.

    Reply
  18. Connie Campbell

    Quilting can wait while you care for sweet little Rusty, I’m sure he has no idea what is going on and gets such comfort from you holding him. Wish me luck Jo, we are about 3 1/2 hours away and I filled out the application form. I have a feeling quite a few will want to adopt him. I think Mr. Mickey and him would get along great as they are both timid.

    Reply
    1. Marty from Scottsdale

      I just read your blog where you mentioned you are interested in adopting Rusty. I really hope you get him because he and Mr. Mickey would be a very sweet pair!

      Reply
  19. Joan

    I just handed over my fosters that I had for 4 months because of medical issues. Escape seems to be the common denominator across all breeds. You love them, you heal them, you send them on their way. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t break your heart! He is a doll baby. Thanks for doing this.

    Reply

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