Remember Rusty: The Great Dog....

It seems like only last month that Mark and I and a few hiking fellows found two puppies (Rusty and Wilson) stray and looking hungry along the trail at Black Rock Mountain in the mid of Oct. 2003. My eyes fell on Wilson's playfulness, while Mark fell for Rusty's demeanor. The amicable agreement was that Mark would take Rusty into his care, while I was so excited to bring Wilson home to surprise my daugthers. Wilson miraculously survived a deadly disease during November, while Rusty was growing healthily, admiringly and obediently keeping Mark company. With our great distance and differing daily schedules, the two brothers met up only once at Gary's backyard during early December. They greeted each other with playful hugs, snugs, sniffs, licks, and what seemed like endless chases around the yard. The sight of them lovingly sharing the same bowl of water that night is still vivid in my memory.

On Aug.14, 2004, Rusty suffered a sudden seizure of unknown cause, and died on his way to the veterinary office. This has saddened all of us who have known and had a chance to spend time with him.

Though we know that only Mark can profoundly understand the pain from the loss of his best companion, our hearts go out to him to comfort and soothe his sorrow. Let us cite a beautiful speech given by Formor Senator George Graham Vest of Missouri.........

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is man's dog.

A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty. In health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side.

He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens."

Courtesy of Kasey

Below are the original postings

Wilson - love found on the trail

A few hikes ago we found Wilson.It was a really cold day at Black Mountain State Park when we met him. He was beautiful, tan, and a lot of us ladies took a liking to him, but Kasey was the lucky one to take him home!

Yep, that lab pup sure won over some hearts that day! He and his brother-"Rusty," named by his new buddy and roommate (Mark)-were hungry and had no collars or tags.

Well, it turns out Wilson, as he's known to Kasey and her kids, has parvo (a dangerous virus which can be lethal) and the vet's cost has run quite high (last tally it was at $600).

If you'd like to donate to help Kasey with the bill, please send a check made out to our ASH leader, Charles Dean, at 3710 Montrose Pond Walk, Duluth, GA, 30096. It would be a nice gesture to do for someone who took home an abandoned dog while on an ASH hike. Thanks!

UPDATE (1/7/04): Wilson made it through his illness and can be seen happily dragging Kasey through the North Georgia mountains on many weekends! A big thank you to all those who helped him in his recovery!