Online Memorials


1999 - 2012

"Rustine" U-GRACH CH PACH2 Zephyre American Rhone Beauty CD RE HSAS JHD MX MXB MXJ MJB MXP7 MXPG MJP7 MJPS PAX2 NF XFP NAC TNN NGC TT CGC TDI, Group-placer, multi-UKC Agility High in Trial, UKC Agility High Combined, AKC Herding RHIT, December 29, 1999-December 26, 2012 Last night at 5:45 p.m., 3 days before her 13th birthday, we helped this special dog, my Best Dog in the Universe, the Ultimate Go Dog, go where I cannot follow. Rustine was a puppy I sold and got back when she was two years old. We weren’t planning to keep another dog, but we liked her so well we couldn’t let her go. What a blessing that decision was, for her and for us. Rustine has many accomplishments, as her accolades above show, but the biggest was her total devotion and her eagerness to give 110% in everything she did with me (even, in instances like herding, where 110% was not, strictly, ideal). At the age of 8 years, Rustine suffered an injury that cost the sight in her right eye. I thought that was the end of agility for us, as she lost all her depth perception and was unsure about takeoffs. But, she loved the game with me so much we went back to training from the ground up and ran in preferred—and she was even faster than before. I had to learn to handle with vocals only when she could not see me, and she learned to trust that I would get it right. Our official agility highlight was the standard round 2nd place in 20” preferred at the 2011 AKC Agility National Championships, but, truly, every run with Rustine was a great time. She saved me whenever she could and gave her all every single run. Her agility comeback last New Year’s, after major surgery for salivary gland cancer 6 weeks before, garnered a handful of first places—we were back! She ran again with 3 out of 4 Q’s at the CSPC trials, then 3 days later was diagnosed with lymphoma. Chemotherapy stole her muscles and ended her agility career, but it didn't touch her spirit. She still needed a job, so we took up nosework, and even under the influence of numerous drugs she excelled and had a blast playing this new game for the last many months. Rustine got to enjoy the Run For Glory, showing as the oldest dog in vet sweeps at our regional specialty, moving to our new 10 acre property and the long off lead perambulations on it once or twice a day (which she did up through Dec 25) and being a loved partner for many months. I asked her to please get through my birthday and Christmas, and she did in fine form. Yesterday was different and I knew when I looked in her eyes that morning that she was ready to go—and asking me to help. My friend and Rustine’s chemo Dr, Karin Cannizzo came out to the house with two of Rustine’s chemo techs and helped her pass. I kissed my beloved girl on her noggin, told her it was OK to go, and that I would love my Best Dog in the Universe forever. We have been so lucky and blessed to have her. Run fast and free, Rustine. The bonds of earth no longer hold you, but your bond with me is forever. Joni
-- Joni L. Freshman and David W. Morris