Sometime in the 80’s we brought home this little 10 week old fuzzball who we named Rusty. She was a long legged, gangly and red Golden Retriever who we instantly fell in love with.

The first night we had Rusty I was taking her outside to do her business when she sort of laid down in the middle of the doorway and started kicking her legs and twitching around. “How cute” my Brooklyn bred and raised wife who had never had an animal in her house, said.

“Damn” I, who grew up on a farm in Ohio, said. “Somethin’s wrong with this pup”.

The next day Rusty had several occurrences and continued to suffer seizures throughout her life. All the Vet could say was “We don’t usually see seizures until they are older”.

In addition to the seizures she had many problems including hip dysplasia and bladder stones. We visited the Vet frequently and through it all loved her like a child and took great joy in the love she gave back to us.

When she was ten years old she became extremely ill. The Vet diagnosed the problem as kidney failure but could not explain why it was happening. After several days of trying to treat her he gave up and said “You can take her home and watch her die or we can put her down now”.

I don’t know if it was coincidence or Divine intervention but while she was being treated at the Vet I read a story in the news about a family in California who had died from eating poisonous mushrooms. The article described the symptoms they suffered and they sounded eerily like what was happening to Rusty. We lived in the country at the time and Rusty was free to come and go as she pleased. As she was not particularly careful about what she ate, I felt it was possible that she got into some bad mushrooms. A little research indicated that huge doses of potassium were the best treatment for the condition.

At this point Rusty was so weak she could neither walk, eat or drink but we made the decision to take her home and do what we could to save her. If we couldn’t at least we would be with her at the end. We made a bed for her in the basement and made her as comfortable as possible. At the grocers we stocked up on foods with high potassium content. We mixed up a concoction in the blender, along with some potassium supplement, and started feeding it to her with an eyedropper. Every hour that passed with her still alive was encouragement to keep going. One of us stayed with her round the clock through the first days, giving her an eyedropper full of the mixture every quarter hour or so.

After the first couple of days she began to show signs of getting stronger. She could now try to hold her head up, her eyes were beginning to clear and she was much more alert. We moved up from the eyedropper to a meat baster and continued feeding her the concoction for a few more days. Finally she was strong enough to get up and began to eat on her own.

Eventually she fully recovered and we got to enjoy her for another two and a half years. At the end she became so frail I had to carry her outside and hold he up while she did her business. One summer night she passed peacefully in her sleep and we buried her on a hill in the country.

Dan from Pennsylvania