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Please note: The dogs in ODH's Final Refuge care are not adoptable due to medical reasons and all are in permanent homes. Your sponsorship supports the veterinary expenses for these dogs - and we thank you!



Rusty found himself in a shelter when his owner had health problems and she could no longer take care of him. After Rusty settled into his new foster home, we saw his personality come out. Rusty enjoys long walks and most days this little guy loves to walk up to 5 miles a day. He has become quite a celebrity in the neighborhood and people often admire his puppy-like good looks.

Rusty came to us with many health conditions he was dealing with. He had skin issues that required weekly baths and has had pancreatitis and giardia. He also had some vision loss which has now advanced but luckily he was able to see an ophthalmologist who prescribed eye drops and eye ointment twice a day. In spite of his vision problems, he gets around amazingly well. With his vision loss, he is not a playful boy but he loves to snuggle and snooze the day away.

During the summer of 2023, he started to pant heavily and his voracious appetite waned to a concerning level and we were advised to take him to the emergency room. We had a visit with the examining vet who said he was placed in ICU and put on oxygen and also recommended that he be seen by cardiology for an echocardiogram. Rusty was treated at the hospital for three days and soon recovered.

When he did come home with much-improved breathing, he had a new medication regimen to help with his new diagnosis of congestive heart failure and an enlarged heart.  One of his medicines is a diuretic which means more frequent trips outside including at night. If he needs a trip out during the night he will give us a polite tap with his paw.
Several weeks later Rusty had a follow-up echocardiogram with a cardiologist and he was diagnosed with severe degenerative mitral valve disease, endocardiosis, and ruptured chordae tendinae. At his follow-up his congestive heart failure was deemed controlled which was a huge relief. He does not behave like a fragile dog…yes, his favorite spot is by our side on the couch but he readily accepts any offer for a walk.

Rusty has proven to be a resilient fellow and in spite of his heart issues and medications, he still wants to get his daily walks in and greet the neighbors and friends he meets along the way. Rusty is a very loving and affectionate companion and we don’t want to imagine a life without him.

Rusty is sponsored by:

  • Sherry & John Douceur of Bellevue, WA - Lifetime Sponsor
  • Victor Nosce - Lifetime Sponsor