Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 17, 2013

02/17/2013 — Lee Ward: Dog’s letter points out good, bad in people

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — About a month ago, I got a lovely letter from Rusty, a carrion terrier, who told me about an area woman’s hospitality.

Rusty said he got lost on Ohio 522 and was about to give up when his luck turned and Helen Adkins of Flatwoods stopped and picked him up. Adkins and her granddaughter, Caleigh, and their friend, Edna Lew, had been out to dinner to celebrate Caleigh’s birthday and on their way home from a restaurant, they saw Rusty, who had a foot injury.

“My lady,” Rusty said — he calls Adkins ‘his lady,’ — “My lady said to her friend, ‘As a Christian, I cannot leave that dog out here in the woods.’” Rusty really appreciated that Adkins remembered that he, a canine, is one of God’s creatures, and even though Adkins is more of a cat person, she allowed him into her car and into her home. And Caleigh shared her steak with Rusty on the way home. “It was delicious,” he said.

It seems it took a while for the lady to warm up to Rusty. He admits he had to have a barking fit to talk her into letting him into her house, but now he regularly sleeps at her bedside.

“I followed her very step she took,” he said. “I was afraid she would leave me.”

As a new dog owner who had more experience with cats, Adkins was in for a few surprises.

“I learned fast when she pointed her find and said, ‘No barking!’ she meant it,” Rusty said. “When winter came, she covered the sofa so I am able to jump on it and look out of the window. I now know what she means when she points to the window and says, ‘Rusty,¸look out the window — it’s snowing’or ‘there is that cat.’ My lady and her family are surprised how many words I know.”

Rusty said his lady has made an honest effort to find his owners, but to no avail.

“Since I am handsome and smart, she finds it hard to believe someone would train and love me and then desert me. Neither can I,” Rusty said.

Rusty, some people are cruel. They also can be irresponsible and careless. It’s hard to tell why your first owners lost track of you. It could even have been an honest accident. But you can forget all that now. You have someone who cares. But I think you realize that.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.