You find them in every town – the well-heeled older woman, the grungy man about town, the slightly eccentric neighbour, the buff young blokes on the block and those who work hard for their money.
But just how do they spend their days? And more importantly, what are their favourite accessories?
Tune in each month to find out the deepest and darkest secrets of those dogs you may pass on the street but are just too polite to question…
Interview with Mr Rusty
Full name – Rusty
Age – 11 months
Breed – Rottweiler-cross + cross + cross
Residential area – Busselton
Favourite harness – Haqihana Harness Orange Medium
Preferred lead length – Freedogz Biothane 3m 13mm Grip
In-depth interview questions:
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room …. I see you only have 3 legs. There’s an elephant in the room? Just kidding. Like many young males one day I saw something I liked and I chased it. The problem was it was a kangaroo and I jumped out of a moving car. I smashed my back leg pretty bad. Now I’m more mature I can see the error of my ways.
And your leg couldn’t be saved? No, it had to be amputated. My owners were unable to pay for treatment but the amazing vets suggested they surrender me to SAFE Busselton. You know what SAFE stands for? Saving Animals From Euthanasia. I don’t know what euthanasia means, but I am sure it’s a good thing to be saved from.
I hear getting you back up and about was a team effort. Well, clearly the Heritage Vets and SAFE are absolute champions, but there were costs involved. Thankfully those great girls from Busselton Senior High School’s Ignite Girls program saved the day with their fundraising.
My foster carer Mary was the best. She joined SAFE at the same time as me and ticked the box on her fostering application to help dogs recover from injury or an operation – how perfect! She looked after me so well, even doing all her shopping before I came out of hospital so she wouldn’t have to leave me alone while I recovered. How cool is that?
Tell me about the Ignite Girls. Those girls are the best! The program is an initiative in mental health, wellbeing and civic responsibility. Those girls rose to the challenge and then donated their funds to SAFE. Just 3 weeks after my surgery I visited the girls – check out this newspaper story and photo.
I understand Rusty is a new name for you. I used to have a tough guy name but SAFE don’t like names like that, so they asked the Ignite girls to give it some thought. The girls came up with Rusty, and SAFE and Mary thought it was great. It didn’t take me long to learn my new name and now I really like it.
Tell me about your hobbies. Now my kangaroo chasing days are over, I love visiting the Busselton Snuffle Garden. All those items with different smells, and the smells of the different dogs that visit. I think my favourite item is a bale of fleece. I just love it there.
I love my training, especially finding treats hidden in boxes in the garden and looking for my toy chew bone that Mary taught me to find.
I live with Geoff now and he takes me training with Jennie. My physio Jane said swimming would be good for me, so I got my floatie and towel and headed to the beach. The water was so scary I had to be coaxed in with morsels of roast chicken even just to paddle! I hope to get used to it soon as it looks cool when the others splash around.
You sound pretty happy considering what you’ve been through. I am happy, and I’m very lucky to have the love and support of amazing friends, but…. *Rusty pauses and looks off into the distance*
But I really want a family of my own. I know I’ve only got 3 legs, but I’ve got a huge heart just bursting with love. Now my leg has been fixed all that is left is to fill the family-sized hole in my heart…
*Interviewer wipes tears from her eyes*
If a reader wants to talk about offering you a forever home, what should they do?
They should call SAFE straight away on 0488 518 963.
Even if they are after one of those more traditional dogs with 4 legs, SAFE has plenty of those in need of loving homes. I mean, they aren’t as unique as me, but they are still good dogs.
Rusty, for a dog with only 3 legs you have clearly fallen on your feet – good luck. Cheers to that!