A Decade with Dusty T. Dog

If I’m an expert on anything, it’s Dusty T. Dog. After ten years — that’s right, ten years today! — of living with this guy, I think I have figured it out. Dusty is big, black, barky, and protective. A Labrador retriever mixed with Doberman, he’s a force to be reckoned with, but he’s a marshmallow inside, less likely to bite than your average Chihuahua.

Dusty was a rescue, a damaged little dog soul that had been kicked, beaten and pushed out of a car on the freeway. After professional training, and lots of love and attention from me and his dog friends, he has turned in into a dog that gets mail from the electric company complaining about his bark. Yes, his bark is scary. Walk into his house, with me here, and he will love you to death.

Dusty LOVES everything he learned in his six weeks of professional training. He does not pull on a leash; he doesn’t even need a leash. He loves to sit, stay, lie down but he doesn’t know any tricks. I think tricks are for dogs that are smaller — and more light-hearted — than Dusty is. Dusty has never played with a toy, but he did play with his Husky Moms and Bear cajoles him into playing with  her.

He’s a complex creature, a fatalistic Eeyore kind of dog, with a heart of gold. He loves those he loves passionately and deeply and grieves their passing. In his life he’s lost all of his Siberian husky moms. I suspect he fears that he will lose more of his beloved dog friends. If I take his little sister/daughter, Bear, outside alone, without him, he waits at the open back door until she comes back.

10 is on the cusp of old age for a dog, and Dusty is beginning to have the bumps and lumps of old dogs of his breeds; he hasn’t slowed down, but sometimes I catch him looking into space with the sage expression of other dogs I’ve had into their old age. I love him a lot and I’m proud to have been his human for a whole ten years!

Dusty T. Profile

Dusty T. Dog



12 thoughts on “A Decade with Dusty T. Dog

  1. What a great tribute to a wonderful dog. And even the electric company write letters to him – he must have left a very good impression on them.

    • 🙂 “there appears to be a dog or dogs on or near your property” Turns out that they came over to read the meter and Mindy (who has no teeth, does not bark, will not leave the yard, is 2/3 Dusty’s size and loves everyone) was in the front yard! It wasn’t Dusty at all, but I don’t have the heart to tell him.

  2. When we lived in Boston, we had a little Norwich terrier who wanted to be scary, but no one was scared of her. But the UPS guy loved dogs, so he would act terrified and she would got into paroxysms of bliss and try to lick him to death.

    We have had all but one of our many dogs through the years from whenever to the end. I wish they would not get old so soon.

    • Me too. I will never get over Lily. Each one I lose seems to carry those I lost before, kind of an increasing pain each time, but then I think of all the great dogs who have no homes and I decide that the certain pain is worth it. And sometimes I think this miraculous creature, Bear, is all my dogs incarnated into one amazing beast as she seemed from the very first moment to have known exactly how to live with me. ❤

  3. Oh my, Martha, this one really got to me – I couldn’t help tearing up. Abuse of defenseless little ones, whether it’s animals or children, just breaks my heart. Your Dusty is one lucky guy that someone – you – saw into his soul, rescued him, and did the work of healing him. What a beautiful post!

    Like Marilyn, I too wish our faithful animal companions lived longer. They die too soon, no matter when it happens.

    • Dusty made it perfectly clear to me the day I met him that he was my dog. 🙂 He picked me, and I am honored and happy to have been his human for a whole decade. And what a decade it’s been!

  4. Martha–this is so beautiful. I think of the post you wrote on my blog, and together with this…how can you not love Dusty? I wish he could read this to know that you are not going anywhere. Although I think he realizes you are in there for the long haul with him.

    • He’s a really, really good dog. And right now he’s very happy because we went on a long walk and Bear came too (so he didn’t have to worry about her) and he didn’t have a leash on. He doesn’t leave my side, but still he thinks he’s “running FREEEEEEE”. He’s getting some wet food with his kibble for dinner. 🙂 ❤

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