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The Day I met Rusty… and my Toby.

Rusty stared at me. "What do you want?" I asked. He gave a small whine and a nod towards the door. "You want to go outside?" He jumped in glee, his tail high in the air, with a smiling face. I chuckle, placing my tablet next to me on the couch. He sprinted for the door, eager to go out. I get up and opened the door. Rusty trotted off, looking for a spot to do his business at, or perhaps a critter he suspects danger from and chase them off. I watch from my spot at the door, leaning into the frame. Oh, how easy the life of a dog.

Rusty was a rescue from the Humane Society. At the time I met him, I had recently lost one of my dogs, a Maltese mix named Toby. Toby was given to me due to his sudden lifestyle change from a big yard to an apartment with no yard to run freely in. He did not like this change, as he was used to running around. I would say he was sort of a rescue, but not quite a rescue. We bonded quickly, and for this reason was why I wanted to rescue dogs. So when Toby unexpectedly passed, I couldn't go very long without a dog by my side. So I looked up the dogs available at my local Humane Society, and spotted him on the list.

My sweet Toby.

He was, however, not my first choice. There was another dog that caught my eye, a fuzzy sweet guy. I wanted to go see him. So I dragged a friend of mine out to go look at him. Well, not dragged. He really wanted to help, so he came along. Upon our arrival, the very dog I wanted to lok. at was being adopted out that very moment. Disappointed, I walked into the side of the building where the dogs were located. Rusty, of course, was the first dog I saw. He was sitting quietly, watching us. I had remembered him from the list of dogs I had seen prior to the visit. But to not be impulsive and want to pull him out to meet, I looked at the other available dogs. Most of them jumped, barked, or was too young for me to handle at the time due to my job.

But my mind went straight back to Rusty. We circled around back to him. He sat still and watched quietly, unbothered by the dog next door jumping up in greeting. I paused. My friend asked if I wanted to look at any dogs or head home. I then pointed at the quiet dog. "I want to look at him," I said. So off we went, informing the front desk about us meeting him. We soon were allowed into a private room where Rusty was brought to us. To my surprise, Rusty was the opposite of what he was in the kennel. He jumped up into my lap in excitement, his tail wagging. He sniffed both of us, but kept his eyes on attention. But he did not bark.

After a few minutes of visiting, I decided that I wanted to take him out to the yard behind the building where potential adoptees visited and walked their dogs. So that was when the magical moment happened. That moment when the dog and human connection just clicks into place. Rusty had hopped up onto a bench and I sat next to him with my arm across his back. He turned and gave me the smallest of kisses, like he was saying "Hi, human," I just about had it. I wanted this dog. But I had a problem: my mom has a allergic reaction to certain kinds of dog fur. Rusty has a almost rough, thick fur, not quite the kind my mother stayed away from.

The magical moment that made me fall in love with Rusty.

I sighed. How am I going to convince her? What if she meets him and then has a reaction, and then I would have to take him back? By this time, the Humane Society was getting ready to close their doors for the night and I had to leave Rusty there. So that night, I asked my mother to go meet him the next day, when they open at noon. She was hesitant, but complied, perhaps to get me off her back over it.

Well, you guessed it, she approved. I went and got him as soon as I got off of work the next day. He was so happy, he jumped gleefully in the car and we drove home. He has been my best friend ever since. He runs across our land to chase away the deer, turkeys, and any other critters that dare cross our property. I take him to the barn regularly, where he has learned how to be a proper barn/farm dog. Yes, he has his moments with his Cattle Dog instincts, but I still love him nonetheless.

Rusty plodded back up to the door after finishing his business. He proudly carried his head high and I kneeled down to praise him. "Did you scare away the critters?" He wagged his tail as if he was saying yes. "Want a treat?" He jumped in glee once again, and darted between my legs and the door frame into the house. I smile, following him inside.

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