From Dusty’s first family mom:
We were lucky enough to have Dusty as a pup and then for the last seven years of his life. He was my best friend, constant companion and never-ending source of attention, devotion and love. I was never alone. He was always available for whatever the day brought - sometimes it was a walk around the pond, but most times it was helping me cook and bake from his big bed in the kitchen. He was always there. I love him dearly. He had the best life. He was the best dog.
From Dusty’s second family mom:
Maybe she needs Dusty more than Dusty needs her, he said. He was right. At a time in my life when I was challenged to see my purpose, this big yellow dog came raging into my life in all of his goofiness and neediness to help me see what was always there. You see more than anything, this dog needed to be needed. He needed...and demanded...to have the attention of his humans and quite honestly, he got all of mine. He would shove his big face into whatever space there was to ensure I saw his eyes locking mine and guiding me forward. I will always hold onto those eyes and the way they looked at me. You are enough, those eyes told me. Your purpose is here, those eyes told me. I need you, those eyes told me. He immediately became my running buddy. Not because I really needed a running buddy but because it was honestly just easier to run with him on a leash than try to walk with him. While running, I didn’t need to say “Dusty heal” 1,000 times. While running, we were both carefree and getting out whatever we needed to in order to move through our days until we came back together again. His presence filled a house and took up a lot of physical and mental space. He was watchful, observant, and protective….of all of his family. He loved helping his dad shovel snow, getting belly rubs and butt scratches from his mom, playing catch with the Squirrel, going for never-ending swims, bounding through the snow at the golf course while his family snow-shoed, and watching over his aging and at times, very curmuddeny brother. Near the end of his brother’s life when walks became slow and short, he would walk alongside and guide him forward too. He was never impatient and knew what he needed to do. In all that he did to help me, there came a time when I knew I needed to help him. Life in the city became harder for him and eventually, it was time to come home to the country and his first family. There his purpose was big, too. He watched over the house and made sure things were as they were supposed to be. He spent his days observing life in a big yard and a big kitchen. He could spend what seemed like an entire day waiting for a chipmunk to emerge from a drainpipe or a seemingly infinite amount of time finding that just right spot to go to the bathroom. Could a guy get some privacy please? He was the best listener and kitchen companion. He loved helping with meal prep and always made his presence felt...mostly because he was exactly in the way of where mom needed to be. He would never pass down popcorn but his palate was all-too refined for a measly oyster cracker. No thank you. He was lucky. He gave life to those around him and he would never turn down a hug, scratch, or kiss on his big head. His whole life was big and he will be missed. I learned a lot from that big, bounding dog. I learned that joy comes from within, I am enough, there is always a purpose, and there is always, always a way forward. Thank you, Dusty, for what you gave to me, and to each member of your family. I know there will come a day when I get to see that big, bounding dog raging toward me once again...this time for all of eternity. Thank you, Dusty, for what you did for me.