A dog with a very important job

The call went out recently for our readers to dob in a dog - and we had a great response. Read on...

Rusty has a very important job - he is an unofficial "therapy dog" and lifeline for 89-year-old Zelma Collier, who lives in Euroa.

Zelma sent us Rusty's story in his own eyes.


My name is Rusty, I'm a four-year-old Blue Heeler, and this is my story.

At the age of seven months I found myself in a pen at the Wangaratta RSPCA - dumped - pre-loved or relinquished with my circumstances unknown.

One day a couple in their 80s arrived to adopt a dog. I never gave them a second thought, thinking they will pass me by, not so.

They had selected me.

A pretty assistant took me from my pen to a larger area to meet the couple and their 12- year-old dog named Murray, a Murray River curly retriever.

The introductions passed and the next step was the red tape - the snip organised for me, adoption papers, and then off to my new home in Euroa.

On arrival in Euroa, my nervousness was evident by the chattering of my teeth. A small green pasture greeted me, called a lawn.

I panicked, thinking this would only be agistment for me and not a permanent home.

How wrong I was! Murray appeared, pattering along at a senior's pace to meet me and when he wandered in front door, I followed him and watched as he flopped into a dog bed by the fireside.

I noticed another dog bed and assumed it was mine, so I followed suit. From that day on, a great companionship developed and most times we are inseparable.

Squeaky toys became an obsession of mine, especially when airborne, for me to jump and catch or retrieve.

I constantly have a much loved toy between my teeth and it is often one that has been buried for some time or hidden from the missus, as she disposes of them as soon as they're missing a limb or damage has caught her eye.

The missus would often ask me "What would you like to do today Rusty?" - I respond by racing to my lead and barking loudly.


Our walks became shorter as the missus had some difficulties walking far at 89 and a half. The gorgeous granddaughter Anna would appear and walk the legs off me.

I also acquired the title and position of "Guard Dog".

I took this position very seriously, in fact I was so good at my job, before callers could ring the front doorbell, I had pre-warned the missus with my loud barking.

Night shift was challenging - waking up the missus by nudging her with my cold nose and barking when I heard noises on a cold frosty night.

I think this is enough of my characteristics and I can only anticipate the possibility that I may be considered a candidate for Man's Best Friend.