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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 10:41 AM
Number of posts: 8,253

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Update Regarding RushIsRot: The Rascal Rescue

Many of you are aware that our dear RushIsRot has -- as he would have put it -- taken the Dirt Nap. We lost him at 5:05 am on May 3. (I truly appreciate all the thoughtful posts from all of you!)

Thankfully, his son, who resides in Texas, was able to be with him the last few days of his life. RushIsRot was so very glad that his son was with him.

I have been helping RushIsRot's son with the disposition of RushIsRot's estate. Despite carrying the burden of the loss of his father, this young man has been so strong and courageous.

He has been particularly concerned about his Dad's two dogs. He wanted to insure that these wee furry ones would have a home after his father died. Sadly, one of RushIsRot's dogs, wee Katie, was taken by a pack of coyotes. However, his other dog, Rascal, will be going to his new forever home this coming Tuesday. This is the story of our Rascal Rescue.

RushIsRot cared deeply about Rascal, and told me the story of how he acquired this gentle giant of a dog. Apparently, while living in Louisiana, RushIsRot (who, ironically, self-identified as a curmudgeon) was feeding a stray that lived rather furtively among some abandoned warehouses or corporate buildings (I cannot remember which) across the street from his house.

He had noticed this stray was pregnant, but she wouldn't let him get near her. He knew she had whelped, so he continued to leave food out for her even though he didn't see her for a while. One day, he opened his front door to discover a tiny bundle of fur on his doorstep, a furry wee puppy that looked like the stray he had fed for months. He never saw the mama dog again, but he kept and raised her son, and named him Rascal.

One of RushIsRot's neighbors agreed to find a home for Rascal -- now an elderly dog, with canines worn to nubs -- and informed us Rascal could go to live with her son, who is recovering from cancer. Her son's cancer treatments have left him weakened, so he requested that we have Rascal groomed before he moved in. I found a groomer who agreed to groom Rascal for a greatly reduced rate, and I lined up some muscle (thanks, David and Eileen!) to get Rascal to the groomer.

I have only ever been to RushIsRot's home in the late morning to early evening hours. On the day of Rascal's rescue, I had to travel the eight miles of dirt road to his country cabin to pick up Rascal at 6:30 am! This proved rather fortuitous, because I was lucky enough to see many of the reasons why RushIsRot chose his own personal Walden, deep in the heart of Newton County.

First, a deer. She crashed through the undergrowth right in front of me. Luckily, we both swerved in opposite directions, so she didn't end up a hood ornament on this peaceful, cool morning.

Next, a wild turkey. He caromed wildly against the fence bounding the road until he found a space large enough for his escape. The last I saw him, he was gliding down the ravine into the woods.

Surprise! A pileated woodpecker startled out of a tree right next to the road, his bright red head almost close enough to touch!

Then, the indigo buntings: flashes of brilliant metallic indigo blue making for the sheltering underbrush -- lightning fast, darting for cover.

Countless squirrels, boldly scampering across the road, heedless of the massive tires bearing down upon them. (No worries, I didn't hit a one.)

Lastly, a tiny chipmunk -- so fast, I couldn't have reacted if he'd gone under the truck. This little guy is the first chipmunk I've seen in ages! Chipmunks are so cute!

I arrived at RushIsRot's cabin at the appointed time, and with the help of his neighbors, David and Eileen, Rascal made the trip to the groomer. He was so anxious he wee'd in the crate I borrowed from Eileen for his trip to the groomer. I'm sure he was confused -- his human disappeared one day and then never returned.

Rascal was panting, and clearly distressed. I boo talked to him, and David stroked his forehead. I promised him he would be safe, and soon in his new forever home. I told him he wouldn't ever have to forget about RushIsRot, and that there would be lots of children to love on him.

I picked up an entirely different dog when the groomer was finished. Rascal was grinning ear to ear, and his tail was thumping mightily against the floor. He sported a jaunty bandana around his neck. The groomer helped me clean the crate floor, so Rascal would stay smelling sweet and clean.

I carried Rascal to Eileen's home in the late afternoon. Saw plenty of squirrels. As I was coming around the last curve before Eileen's cutoff, I found the Native American Trail Marker Tree that RushIsRot had shown me the first time I visited his remote cabin, many months ago. I have promised his son I will take pictures (and, maybe n2doc will help me post some here?).

Eileen has promised to keep me apprised of Rascal's journey to his new home this coming Tuesday. When I left Eileen's --with a loaf of garlic sourdough bread and the promise of an Ash Mallet for my summer woodcarving project (a red cedar bowl), Rascal was surrounded by Eileen's children and grandchildren -- and a whole lot of love.

Update Regarding RushIsRot

Posted by his son earlier this morning:

This is Tom, Newton's son. My father passed this morning at 5:05 AM. I wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes. You all kept my father entertained to the very end. He was on Facebook until late Sunday night, then just got very tired and went to sleep. He woke up a few times but was less and less coherent until he finally went to sleep around 10:30 AM on Monday. He never woke back up and passed quietly just like he wanted. One of the last things I remember him saying was "Let me see what eulogies my friends wrote" as he smiled, grabbed his computer and logged on to his account...His online accounts on Facebook and on DU were his lifelines to the outside world and you were all his family. Thank you.

He will be greatly missed.

Long-time DU member RushIsRot is in the hospital.

He is in the CCU at Cox South in Branson, MO. His heart is weakened to the point that his cardiologist had recommended hospice last week, but he was life-flighted back to the CCU and is not expected to live. He is DNR.

His son has flown in to be with him. I hope to see him again on Monday.

He gave me permission to post this information because he has enjoyed being a member of the DU forum. I will miss him terribly, and I don't think I'm the only one.

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