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Man’s Best Friend By Bill Mardis Editor Emeritus

Rusty has taught me so much. It’s a shame it took me so many years, until so late in my life before I learned what a blessing a canine companion can be. I was married to Linda for more than 50 years before we got a house dog. Up to then I would not tolerate a dog in the house. I simply would not live with a dog, I insisted. It happened by accident. Our son who lives in Florida asked his mother if she could find a dachshund for him to give his wife for Christmas. Linda knew a man who raised dachshunds. He just happened to have a new litter of puppies. She picked what she thought was the cutest one and bought it. He was seven weeks old. Problem was: It was the first of October. Christmas was nearly three months away. Question was: Would we keep the puppy until our son could get home at Christmas? The spotlight shifted to me, the always firm “no dog in the house” man. I didn’t have a lot of time to think. The puppy was ours; it June 2013

had to go somewhere. Dachshunds don’t stay outdoors very well. I could be Scrooge and say, no, and ruin Christmas. Or, as I reasoned, I should be able to put up with anything for three months, so I reluctantly agreed to let the puppy come to our house. The little dog’s shiny rust color mandated that he be called ‘Rusty,’ and so it was. Linda did most of the work, but I tried to help. Rusty had to be taken outside to pee and poop, often in the middle of the night. He was about as much trouble as raising a baby. If he had an accident, and he did several times, he looked at us with those big, brown eyes and wagged his tail, as if to say, “I’m sorry.” He always got forgiveness, immediately. Well, to make a long story short, everybody became aware of the bond that developed between me and Rusty. Our son decided not to take the dog to Florida, apparently because he knew I couldn’t part with it. Before Rusty, I always thought dachshunds were ugly. 9

Southern Kentucky Health and Family, June 2013  

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is a publication of and is distributed by Newspaper Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of...

Southern Kentucky Health and Family, June 2013  

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is a publication of and is distributed by Newspaper Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of...

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