06 Jan Margaret and Rusty are a match made in heaven
Margaret Bacon and her dog Rusty are inseparable.
They watch TV together, eat together, go to bed at the same time and, unless Rusty has a sleep-in, they get up together.
Since her husband Keith passed away in October 2017, the companionship of a dog has been critically important for Margaret who lives alone, near family, in Timboon.
“Since we retired into Timboon we’ve always had a little dog. One, we had for about 10 years and when he died I talked Keith into getting another one,” she said.
“We had him, a Maltese, for four-and-a-half years but just after Keith died – around the time of the St Patrick’s Day fires – I lost him in an accident on the road.
“You love their little souls – they’re like children, they really are. The minute I lost him I wanted another one.
“I wanted a Maltese or Maltese cross and I looked on the internet and around Melbourne, but just couldn’t find one. My brother lives in Strathfieldsaye and found Rusty for me there.”
Numerous studies indicate that companion animal ownership is associated with a range of physical, psychological and social health advantages, including lowering blood pressure, increasing morale, improving appetite and reducing stress.
Margaret said living with Rusty meant the world to her and they looked after each other.
“When you live on your own – he is number one. He sleeps on my bed at night and wakes me in the morning…unless I get up quietly and he has a sleep in,” she said.
“I take him for daily walks. I have arthritis and it keeps me active and makes me exercise.
“We watch television together all the time and he lets me know if a car pulls up or if someone comes to the door. I suppose he’s a bit protective of me.
“We spend all our time together. If I go down the other end of the house, he follows me and makes sure he knows where I am.”
Margaret said an electrician came to the house recently and was very taken with Rusty.
“We got talking and he was a bit worried about his mother and saw how good Rusty was for me.
“He went home and talked to his wife, they asked around and found a dog in Terang for her and he came back to tell me how wonderful it has been for her too.”