Young Rusty the puppy. Never was a cuter dog.
Here he is doing his "Speak" trick. His other tricks were "Shake Hands", "Lay", "Stay", "Sit", and of course "Fetch". He liked to run with big long sticks.
A story Natalie wrote about her dog Rusty a long time back.
Last photo of him.
He loved people contact as much as we loved contact with him. If he could lay across all 4 of us on the couch he was as happy as he could be.
When guarding his toy he would pick it up and chew it as soon as you started moving in his direction just the slightest bit.
He didn't like the water much because it was cold for him but, he always loved to ride on the ATV.
A contractor's young dog, the first to tire Rusty out.
The first time we met Rusty at River City Vislas. Wil knew how to breed Vislas.
Natalie wanted a dog so badly she pretended to be a dog for years before we got Rusty, hopping around on all fours and barking. If we had known the dog would be Rusty we would have gotten him years earlier.
Natalie took many of the close up pictures here with her cell phone a couple weeks before the end.
The kids played rough with him and he would be rough too but, always at the right level. You couldn't find a dog with a better temperament.
We, being retired, were able to spend time with him and give him the attention he needed. He was never neglected. Left home along for a few hours he was happy to sleep the whole time.
In his favorite spot on the couch. We could tell when he was cold and would cover him up with the blanket. We spoiled him but, he deserved it.
Here he is panting after a sprint around the vineyard, hurdling the irrigation hoses at full throttle often with a big stick in his mouth. Here is a movie of this.
He was an excellent watch dog too. He could be very ferocious even scaring the vineyard workers on an ATV. He had a loud bark but, only barked when he heard or saw something. We never thought about getting a bark collar for him.
He loved to sit on your lap all lanky 48 lbs of him. I liked him there. He would wait for me to sit down.
He would crawl under your covers and lay between your legs if you let him. How he could breath there all night was a mystery.
He felt secure. He let us scratch his belly and even pick him up upside down and hold him like a baby. "Baby Holders"
He liked to chase a red laser spot on the floor or even a flash light.
Sometimes he decided he wanted closer contact and would put his paws on your shoulders and rub his face up against yours. He would lick your face all over if you let him but, he was able to control the instinct if you asked him to. I called it the "lovey dovies".
Rusty recovering from a tear he got on some concrete reinforcing mesh wire. He had it restitched 2 times before it was able to heal fully.
He loved to ride in the pickup truck.
He was always around. He would not even think of running away.
Rusty was a Visla, part greyhound and fast as the wind. We clocked him running 20 mph next to the ATV once.
He even helped us clear the table after dinner by clearing it for us during the night if we left the dishes there. He would sit at the base of the stairs waiting for us to go up to bed before he would go to work. We let him clean the plates most nights which became his expectation. We never fed him while we were eating and he never begged while we were eating but, if we would linger too long at the table in conversation he would let us know in a soft voice that he was still waiting to clean the plates.
Rusty was not just a dog. He was a noble being whom we loved dearly. He taught us about life and how to live, how to be with other people.
Rusty, 5/2/04 - 7/15/08 We can't imagine a better dog.
7/15/08 is forever Rusty Day
Last edited 1/7/09 Mark Holler