Farewell, Dusty


Dusty, from a photo taken in 2008.

It is with great and tender sadness that I write to inform all our friends that our beloved Dusty has passed. I was here alone and came in from the evening chores to find him sleeping peacefully in his warm and cosy basket. Only he wasn’t breathing. I checked under the blanket to feel his pulse to make sure. I didn’t want to believe he was gone – even though our dog in spirit Cedar had been here for the past four days, waiting to take him Home.

When I asked Dusty why he slipped away while I was outside, he gently told me “it was perfect timing – my timing.”

The house is filled with his presence still, an invisible cloak of light and love, that is the angel Dusty always was. Even though the end had been coming for a long time, and Andrew and I put in months of around the clock hospice care, his departure left a hole in the fabric of our family. He had been with us seven years.

I miss tending him. I miss fussing over his blankets, making sure his bed was dry and soft, keeping the fire burning all through the night. Sitting quietly with him in the wee hours, taking it in turns with Andrew who is probably hurting the most right now. He also tended him graciously and uncomplainingly for months of broken nights.

Many of you will remember the sweet and gentle chocolate-coloured kelpie who we took on unhesitatingly when we got an emergency call about him. He wasn’t considered fit for re-homing, considered “too old” by other agencies, but needed a home, because his person wasn’t leaving her abusive situation without him finding one. (Good for her, even it that was difficult.)

Dusty came to us with “trauma”. He had been flung across the room, walked with a limp, had the worst case of “shot” nerves anyone had ever seen, a broken tooth and insides that were so shaken up, that he nearly died.

Dusty sleeping on Andrew surrounded by pack.

Dusty sleeping on Andrew surrounded by pack.

When Andrew collected him, this dog wound himself around him and created a deep and lasting bond of the heart between the two of them. Dusty enjoyed long walks, sleeping on top of Andrew, and true peace, fitting easily into our pack.

And then, some months after he came to us, he stopped eating.  A rushed visit to the vet found a diaphragmatic hernia and organs floating around in his chest cavity, the result of “past trauma”. He needed surgery, and there was a question over whether he would survive. But when I tuned in, he so wanted to live, with a fierce determination that belied his frail body.

He survived. And he recovered.

Dusty didn’t want to leave us this time either. He clung onto life, not minding the indignity of being carried outside to go the toilet. Or anything really. He called us his “angels” and always knew “angel hands” would lift him up. So when Cedar arrived in spirit we knew it was time to remind him there were other angels who would take care of him on the other side.

Dusty was one of those funny little furry ones that blessed everyone who met him. People would single him out for a pet or a cuddle. He touched everyone with his gentle dignity.

I don’t think anyone can say a dog is “too old” and therefore unhomeable. Dusty gave us seven years of friendship and love. When hearts bond, no matter the circumstance, they bond for a reason and no “authority” should stand between that bond and dictate something other. I say this because many dogs I have come across have been refused loving human companions they bonded with because the dogs failed a stupid “behavioural” test under scary conditions. I know people have to be careful. I know there are a lot of people who shouldn’t have animals in their care. But the women and dogs this has happened to don’t fall into that category. They are loving, kind, compassionate and capable.

Our family was blessed by Dusty in ways only other human beings touched by the love and gratitude of a rescued animal can understand. He is deeply missed and our little cottage is very subdued as I write. We have done our ritual post death clean of the home, rearranging it and energetically clearing it and now we are taking some nurturing family time with vegan “junk” food and movies. We usually like to take a family day off and drive down the hill to the beach, but for some reason we haven’t managed to do that for the last losses. Overdue for sure.

We know lots of people have suffered animal losses this past little while. And want to send you our love and blessings. We know it hurts.

And those with elder animals, make every day a jewel.  Supporting them through their soul journey is a very special and rich experience for the human spirit.

. . . . . .

Billie Dean is an internationally recognised interspecies telepath, animal and peace advocate and award-winning creative artist.  She  is the author of Secret Animal Business, and  co-founder of Wild Pure Heart Productions which produces  inspiring and heart-warming films about animals and peace.  Billie runs a transformational on-line school Rainbow Fianna, teaching animal communication with ethics and an eclectic blend of native  and visionary wisdom to help people evolve into the human angels animals need them to be. With her husband and daughter, Billie runs A Place of Peace at her home, where over 40 rescued horses run free, and is the founder of the Billie Dean Deep Peace Trust, a not-for-profit that promotes peace and freedom for all animals through the arts, education and compassionate action. billiedean.com  Copyright ©  Billie Dean, 2012.  You are welcome to share  this article but only in its complete form with author, author blurb, and website attached.  Thank you!

Photo credits: Billie Dean

Showing 12 comments

  1. Alison

    We also have a dog named Dusty, and he is 7 years old. He too had been abused and been to the animal shelter twice – and then we found him. Actually my daughter found him in the shelter, because he was ‘talking’ to her from his cage. We brought him home, this totally unruly dog, and he is now the way you describe your lovely Dusty. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him. Everyone loves him, particularly my husband who has taken Dusty as his own. We hope we have given him the things he missed out on when he was young; a loving family who want only the best for him.
    I’m so sorry you have lost your Dusty, and for the pain you feel right now. It is always such a difficult time when we lose someone we love so much. I hope your wonderful memories of Dusty help you to get through this sad period in your lives.
    Your article on Dusty was so well written, and so touching. He was indeed a lucky little boy to be loved by you and your family.
    Lots of love

  2. Billie Dean

    Thanks so much Alison — bless you xx And hugs to your Dusty xxx

  3. Lyn G

    Sweet dreams dear Dusty x

  4. Billie Dean
  5. Linda Geer

    My dog Louie died when he was 8 years old and I also missed his timely passing and he too told me the angels were there assisting him along and with me as well. Our beloved companions (soul partners) spirit is within us always. Blessings

  6. Billie Dean

    Bless you Linda xxx

  7. xtina

    oh billie
    i’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. please know i am sending you love and light from ‘up here’ in rural california. take care dear heart

  8. Trish Willing (and Zak Willing)

    Kia ora Billie raua ko Andrew

    Your article on Dusty’s passing bought many tears to my eyes! But how wonderful that Dusty found such a loving, caring, compassionate family and was able to enjoy 7 beautiful years with you all. How blessed you both were. Can I share a small farewell to the deceased in Te Reo Maori Billie. May his spirit run and play all day long with Cedar and all the other beloved animals who have passed over from your loving care! With much love, light, peace and blessings in abundance. Trish and Puppy Zak xx Kia ora ano.

    Tena Koutou i o koutou tini mate Greetings to your many dead
    No reira, haere e nga mate Therefore, farewell the dead
    Haere ki te wa kainga Go to the home of all time
    Haere kit e kainga tuturu Of our Creator
    Haere, haere, haere Farewell, farewell, farewell

  9. Bev Szymanski

    Rest softly in the arms of loving angels, dear sweet Dusty. Blessings to Dusty and you all (2 and 4 legged beings), at this very difficult time. May you also be held and comforted by the angels, Namaste _/l_

  10. Terrah

    you wrote this so beautifully – oh! and that photo of him on Andrew – wow. what a bond – true love… How wonderful he was guided in his crossing by Cedar. Sending you love and blessings in this difficult time.

  11. Jo Walter

    They will all be waiting for you at “Rainbow’s Bridge” sleep softly little one……

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