The camo camper-truck pulls in right before dark.
It’s been a long day for Rusty and Timber. They left around eight this morning. Soon Rusty walks over to our campsite. I can tell by his walk that he’s exhausted and I can tell by his face that he has good news.
The first thing he says is “I gotta’ sit down. My legs are killin’ me.”
I grab a folded-up camp chair (due to the wind) and open it up for him. I set another one up for myself and wait to hear his news.
“They tell me I might have my place in five to six weeks,” he announces.
“Oh, that’s great news, Rusty! Tell me what happened.”
To summarize . . . The VA person helps Rusty fill out all the paperwork. He arranges for Rusty’s bank statements to be sent to the Prescott VA office, thus eliminating the need for Rusty to have them sent to his Lake Havasu City UPS postal box and then forwarded to him somehow, and then having to drive to deliver the statements, burn gas . . . ..
The VA person asks Rusty, “How do you see yourself furnishing the place?”
Rusty tells him about this blog and the wonderful, generous people who read it and the promises to help him with furniture and such. The VA person is very impressed and says he will take a look at the blog.
Apparently in the course of filling out paperwork and discussing things with Rusty, the VA person realizes the extent of Rusty’s disability and difficulties. He tells Rusty he will not be assigned an upstairs apartment, something that has worried Rusty greatly the past few weeks.
“I can’t be climbing stairs. My legs can’t take it.”
Another worry dogging Rusty is the statement made at the last VA visit, something to the effect that Rusty should save his money for first and last month rent. At this meeting the VA person tells Rusty not to worry about that! He also tells Rusty that once he’s settled in, he will have regular doctor appointments and he will have his teeth fixed, among other benefits. The VA sees Rusty as a person, not a pile of paperwork to process!
I interrupt this report for some related news.
Gee, I sound like a news anchor. Timber, God love him, has been another worry for Rusty. Will Timber keep him from getting a house or apartment? Will Timber adjust to living around other people and dogs? How will Timber act inside the house when left alone?
In short, Timber is a big worry for Rusty.
For instance, Timber was unhappy at being left in the truck while Rusty visited our campsite (This was the day of my grumpiness.). In protest Timber proceeded to destroy Rusty’s computer, chewing the keys, scattering them all over the floor, tearing the screen off, ripping the wires. Yes, Timber, you made your point.
Back to the good news.
Timber is going to become a certified service dog! If Timber is a service dog, he cannot jeopardize or delay Rusty’s application. Rusty was given information from this blog’s readers, did some research online, and talked with the people at the VA. Eventually he found the right trainer.
Lucy the trainer has successfully trained several dogs for vets applying for housing through the Prescott VA. By telephone Lucy suggests Rusty bring Timber to the park by the courthouse so she can evaluate Timber.
That’s another worry for Rusty.
Will Timber pass the test and be accepted as a service dog trainee? Will he go nuts in a city park environment with people and dogs all around?
After meeting with the VA person, Rusty and Timber go to the park and meet Lucy. Rusty shows Lucy how Timber sits and lies down on command, and the tricks he knows. Lucy puts Timber through some exercises, including having Timber sit in her car. Timber sits in the back seat like a perfect gentleman which seals the deal. He’s in!
Lucy remarks that it’s the shepherd in Timber that makes him a good candidate for service dog training. Lucy works with Rusty and Timber for about three hours.
Every Monday for twelve weeks Rusty will take Timber to Lucy for class.
Actually, it’s Rusty who will receive training on how to train Timber. Throughout each week Rusty will have homework with Timber. The first six weeks will focus on the basics.
The second six weeks of training will focus on real situations. Timber will learn how to behave in public buildings, in the elevator, around strange people and dogs, etc. Lucy predicts that Timber will receive his certificate at the end of twelve weeks.
All of these worries, plus not knowing how many months before Rusty would have his new home, made me irritable the other day. I’m not a worrier myself, but when people I care about worry, it bothers me.
In one day, Rusty learns there’s no need to worry!
In that one very long day, Rusty drove to Prescott, dealt with his application at the VA, met with the dog trainer for three hours of training, shopped at Wal-Mart for a replacement computer, picked up ten gallons of water, and drove back to Camp Drake.
Wow! The saga of Rusty and Timber continues . . . and it keeps on getting better!
In a time where the VA has only received negative press, I am happy to hear that they are taking care of a Vet with compassion and respect. What good news! Thank you for your updates.
Glad to hear that things are going well for Rusty! Timber sounds like such a character, smart, too. And everyones gotta’ have a grumpy day, Sue and you bring so much joy to all of us followers. Thank you.
That is just fantastic!
I hope Rusty and Timber are happy in their new home.
Stuck in FL and planning on full timing this year.
AJfixit : FL is a great place to full time it! The state parks are great $$ if you’re a resident and 62 or better. bWe’re looking forward to coming back.
So very glad to hear the good news about Rusty and Timber. Soon they will be in their new home. How wonderful it is to have caring friends
What wonderful news all the way around! YaY Rusty! With proper training Timber will no longer be chewing computers for fun! This news could not be better.!!!!!!!
If anyone deserves to be treated well, it is our Veterans. So glad to hear of Rusty’s progress and a big thank you for helping and encouraging him.
This is such great news, and I’m sure a huge relief to you and Rusty. Rusty has done so well in everything he has set his mind and heart to! And it’s so amazing about Timber’s training. Thank God!
Your update brought tears to my eyes. I will be praying for Rusty and Timber, God knows they both deserve a break. If I recall correctly, Timber was well-behaved and loved by the people who took him in during the time he was “lost” last year, so my guess is he may do very well in a larger home or apartment environment (vs. Rusty’s trailer) where he has some room to move around. You are an angel Sue for being such a support to them both!!
I truly believe that the Univrse is ever conspiring for our greatest good. Awesome news for Rusty, Timber and you and The Crew! Congratulations and good luck moving forward!
*WAVE* Mr. VA man! We’ll make sure that Rusty gets his housekeeping set up.
This may have already been done but I wonder if it would be possible for Rusty and Timber to open up a paypal account. That way those of us who want to make a cash contribution using our PayPal account could easily do that. I am also a Vietnam Era veteran who has had good experience with the VA. Its takes time but, in my case, it got done. I would like to help Rusty as much as I can with a direct contribution that I know will get to him. If a few more people wanted to do the same via PayPal I know it would help him and the person making a gift that really counts. I do not know Rusty but and do know a few people like him. They deserve to be helped.
Hi,BC, i am unable to get PayPal, but wal mart gift cards are ok, I receive a pension from the VA. thank you, sir, and god bless, and thanks for serving, welcome home brother —Sue will set things up
Hey Bro, Send us your mailing address so we can get things rolling for you and Timber. Things are looking up, so hang in there.
was wondering if that would be ok (gift cards) for those of us that don’t have pay pal . I’ll wait for Sue to get things set up. I’m so happy everything is going so good so far, You and Timber get some rest and don;t worry everthing will work out, There’s a lot of us out here that will help out in any way we can. Thanks to Sue and the crew. God Bless
Please be patient, Joe. Rusty doesn’t have a local mailing address . . . yet. He isn’t renting a PO box yet because he is not absolutely certain where his home will be and he wants a box that’s handy, of course.
Rusty will be okay financially for the time being. Your help at the time of move-in and thereafter will be greatly appreciated, I’m sure.
I am from Maine but right now my wife are in out Little White Casita camper in Texas.
Awesome news…Thank You, Lord!! And Thank You, Sue!!
What wonderful news. Actually, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the VA facility in Prescott. Thanks for sharing this update and perhaps down the road you could put out a list of things Rusty might need. I’m sure most of us carry around more than we should 🙂
Sue this sounds like great news for Rusty
may I have his Blog name too please
See it just goes to show you……ya’ll can’t worry about situations you have absolutely NO control over!
Great to hear that Timber can be a service animal…and that Rusty is being trained. He can always be an emotional support animal (ESA) which provides therapeutic benefits to it’s owner through companionship and affection. This type of service animal doesn’t need any type of special manners.
I know this is premature but I’m getting excited again. Have a marvelous day!
To Mr VA Representative Sir,
Welcome to the best blog on earth. After reading the stories about Rusty and Timber you may want to save this blog to your favorites….you will not be disappointed. Any topic regarding Rusty and Timber has an enormous amount of posts, with well wishes and support. We are very excited and patiently wait for the day RVSue reports..Rusty and Timber have a place to call “home”.
Cin and Jules, Adirondacks of NY
Great! Good news these days is hard to come by. I could feel the relief in your words.
I wondered if Lucy knew the Timber and Rusty’s story that all of us have had the pleasure of knowing? If so, I bet Lucy is so proud to have them as her classmates. I just think that is so wonderful they even offer that. Nice to know the VA was so helpful and interested in their well-being! I’m really excited for them…gosh to get dental work will be a huge +!
Thanks for the update Reporter Sue :O) Made me smile that good things are happening!
Such wonderful news all around!
I’m so glad that Rusty, a vet who served our country, is getting the help he needs as he gets older. And that he will be able to keep his beloved Timber with him! Hurray!
Nice to be reminded that most Social Workers at VA (or Social Security or other Govt Agencies) entered that field because they wanted to help people! And they do try to that but often get so beaten down in bureaucracy that they can’t.
Awesome news. I’m so glad it all worked out. Let’s continue praying so that everything plays out the way it should. Thank you Sue for being an angel for Rusty and Timber. You are good person. You and the crew have a wonderful day, you all deserve it. Thanks for the good news.
OMG—-I guess there are people who work for the government that really have hearts. Just delighted to hear that Rusty and Timber are on their way to their forever home. I worried about them both and included them in my prayers at night–guess the Lord heard me.
All great news. Thanks to the Prescott office of the Veterans Administration. I also served and am so pleased to see Rusty being treated so kindly by the VA. God bless America, the VA and my friend Sue who started this whole story of Rusty and Timber.
Well, that brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for Rustyand Timber!
Yay Rusty! Yay Timber! Yay Sue!
Dancing… Dancing…. Timber getting that Service dog certificate will be AWESOME!!! Timber will be shopping at Wal-Mart too! Ya hoo!
HA! A thought… maybe Timber will teach Spikey some neat things along the way… then Spikey teaches the Princess and she won’t be so camera shy in the future.
The best news today, a gloomy what looks to be a 7 inch snow fall from yesterday/night. Least the sun is out… and of couse so is the OCD Rowdy. A white Scnauzer turned brown as he rolls in the yard. He won’t come close enough for me to catch because he knows he will be headed into the shower and made to stand still.
Congrats Rusty and Timber on getting into training. Good things are happening.
Thank you Sue, for reporting live from the wilderness of Arizona.
YAY!!! As someone who deals with a ‘differentability’ via my brain injury, I COVET a service dog. YAY for Rusty and Timber!!! Whoot Whoot!!!! And Sue, thanks for letting us know. Hugs From Hoquiam!
Good job Sue! Human kindness does get things done that take heart to motivate! It is clear
that many who follow this blog will reach out with all varieties of help to fulfill the needs of
Rusty and Timber.
Again; GOOD JOB SUE!
Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM @ “The Original Ranch” an Escapees Co-Op
Your title “what a difference a day makes” says it all. This is great news!!
Ginger Las Vegas
Here I am in my office on Michigan Ave. in Chicago crying tears of joy for Rusty and Timber. I am a first time commenter, have bought your recomended dog harnesses through your blog and love reading your escapades each day. I have too have a Solar Casita (1998 – new to me last spring) and look forward to my camping season vacations — until I can broaden my adventures once I retire. Keep up the insperation, laughs, great stories and pictures and livin’ the dream. BJ
Hallelujah for Rusty, Timber, and the VA! I knew I was in for some good news by your blog title, and I was right. This world has many, many kind and caring people that don’t get the recognition they deserve, and that VA rep is definitely one of them. Thank you for working WITH Rusty to get him what he needs. And Timber is going to be a service dog, how cool is that!
Happy Dancing for Rusty n Timber…woo hoo! Thanks for the update Sue n crew
Hello Sue, have enjoyed reading your blog. I had never thought about a single person using a rv let alone full-timing in one. I went on the casita website and looked at floor plans. I was so surprised as what they put into such a small space. You have a great set-up. I do have one question, how do you keep your pups so clean and white? Mine would be a mess in 5 minutes. Give the pups a pat for me, they are a cute pair. Deb from Knoxville Tn
Happy for Rusty and Timber. Rusty is only getting what he has coming for signing a contract with the country that could be filled out by us even to the forfeiture of his life if need be. Glad to see him getting his due. Sue you are a heroine to all who served as you have stood in our place to help Rusty. Thank you.
Answered prayers!! So glad for Rusty and Timber! 🙂
Now Rusty has a new worry — learning windows8!! Bad Timber! I’m sooo glad that all sounds like it’s going to work out. My first thought was Timber too, what a miracle. Funny how life seems to actually work things out. I’m really happy to hear all this!! You are a really good friend to Rusty & Timber. 🙂
WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best news I’ve read all day.
Yey! That is good news 🙂 Your blog has been the catalyst of many great things Ms. Sue! I’ll be following along so I can send something to Rusty as he gets settled into his new place. Thanks for cheerful post on this chilly day!
Thank you Lord, for the prayers of so many of Rusty’s friends. What wonderful news!! The VA system is not made up of non-caring people. The local VA office here in Mississippi has been a Godsend for Jerold as has the VA Hospital in Memphis. When you think of the number of people they are trying to help, you can understand why some things take longer. This VA actually saw Rusty’s needs and stepped right in to help. I am so happy for Rusty AND Timber. What a great story!!!
What wonderful news to hear of Timber entering school and graduating in six weeks. Hooray for that door opening ~ thanks so much for sharing! I am one of your few readers who must go back and read the story of Timber and Rusty.
Glad to read such good news… I’ll be waiting to read whats next for Rusty and Timber. Thanks for the update
Such good news gladdened my heart this morning. Wish I lived in your country so that I could help Rusty’s transition like so many others of your readers, Sue. So glad for Timber too!!
WOO HOO!!!!! This is great news!! I’m so happy for Rusty & Timber! I think Timber will be a happier dog with some good training, so he is better equipped to deal with his new environment. I used to volunteer for our local Humane Society, & I trained dogs & owners for the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. It was great fun! I hope Timber & Rusty enjoy the training.
Really happy for Rusty and Timber.would love to help them both. Pay Pal acct is a great idea.
Love reading your blog.
That’s great news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Glad things are working out for Rusty and Timber.
Awesome–Just AWESOME!!!! What a great day!! So happy for Rusty & Timber. Thankyou Sue for all you do! Hugs to the PUPS! Dixie
Wow – what happy news for all involved. Rusty and Timber have a lot of folks in their corner to help them settle into a new life in the best way.
What wonderful news…….thank God! Sue you have such a great heart……
Wonderful news! Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
As Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer says, he rehabilitates dogs and trains people. I hope the trainer can get Timber and Rusty into the program.
Something I haven’t seen mentioned yet is Rusty’s truck. I wonder what provisions they can make for it so Rusty doesn’t have to give it up or give it up before he is ready to. Ya know, a guy’n his wheels…
Some days the blessings rain down by the bucketful. What great news for Rusty and Timber!
Glad the news is good for Rusty!! He must have found some VA people who wanted to help and are good at their jobs!! Sounds like Timber maybe needs to be crate trained…younger high energy dogs often need that for a time…
Thank you for keeping us updated!
Where do you mail the Wal-Mart gift card?
Thank you, again.
+1 on mailing address!
Rusty does not have a local address yet. As soon as he does, I’ll post the information.
I am looking forward to helping Rusty and Timber out in any way I can. We would not have this freedom if it were not for the VETS.
Yeah! It is so cool to read some good news today! Heartwarming.
What a great friend you are, Sue! Hooray for Rusty and Timber! Timber goes from chewing up a computer one day to being a service dog te next! 🙂 Who knew? Maybe there’s hope for my Bassett Hound Charlie after chewing up my wooden window sills, many books and an antique dresser! LOL!
Its all about love and compassion for our fellow beings…..we are our brother’s keeper.
Excellent news! I’ve been worried about him, as has everyone. For sure Rusty isn’t going to have a problem furnishing his place. Not a problem at all.
Great to hear that all those things are working out.
The VA gets a bad reputation considering that they have to work within whatever political climate is in power. My daughter-in-law is a counselor and advocate for disabled vets (as in missing limbs, organs, etc.) through the VA hospital (I am so proud of her!!) – and I can’t believe the “hoops” she has to jump through to get the best for her clients. My son will tell you how many times she has come home very upset because she can’t get what she believes her client needs and deserves. It looks like Rusty got a good guy with a few breaks on his side!
I’m a long time reader, but don’t often comment. I’ve been following Rusty and Timbers story from the beginning and I must say Sue that I’m reading todays post with awe and amazement and joy! It’s gone from your chance meeting with Rusty and Timber two winters ago, to you all becoming friends, to Timbers disappearance, and then his amazing recovery, and now Rusty’s home base search and Timbers training! I’m so glad you just ‘happened’ to meet, and through your meeting, we ALL met, and now Rusty and Timber have a huge support group….prayer support and $$$ support….who woulda ever thunk it, huh Rusty?
Blessings to both of you and all the sweet pupsters!
Micky on Monterey Bay, with 464 days till retirement and fulltiming in my Casita, that I don’t have yet.
Amazing news ! Glad to hear it. It restores my faith in humanity to see that people are helping Rusty out to get all this sorted out. And you have helped him so much too Sue!!!
Great news!!!!!! I’m thrilled for Rusty and Timber. I’m sure Rusty and Timber will enjoy their classes. I so enjoy reading your blog I call it my RVSUE fix and I’m addicted…LOL.
VA Person – If you are reading this there are many people out here who thank you for helping Rusty and Timber with such compassion!
Great post and we are so happy for Rusty and Timber.
What fun it is to read all these happy comments! One of the things I love about my blog is the type of people it attracts.
I didn’t write individual replies this time because I didn’t want to disrupt the flow of love and excitement over Rusty and Timber’s story . . and what more could I add? You did a great job expressing exactly how I feel!
A few comments have questions which I’ll address in the next post. Bye for now . ..
I have been a follower of yours for a while now and I cannot tell you how anxiously I wait for your next installment…but this Rusty and Timber thing has me all wound up in this drama..and now Happy Days…I cannot believe how much your blog has helped…Now they both will be fine…I would also comment that when I put in my weekly order from Amazon, I used your blog site…I also hope that we as readers can add a little support to you and your crew….love you guys really.
Thanks for all you do,
Future fulltimer in California.
How sweet of you, Shirlene. Thank you for following my blog and shopping Amazon here. Yes, it is hard to believe how this blog and its readers have brought about positive events for Rusty and Timber. Nice to hear from you!
Prescott (and Chino Valley and Prescott Valley) is a great little town full of caring people and I have heard good things about the VA there. It seems like an area where Rusty and Timber could be content. I wish them all the best and happy for all of you!
I arrived in the area in the late 1990’s after a long stent of travel in the Canadian and US West by car and lived there a little over 3 years doing a combo of living in my car/tent (before it was so accepted), housesitting and apartment from time to time and felt very welcome there. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and hiking all around the area. Such beauty — but even then the landscape would get torn up by folks who didn’t seem to care. Sue, like you, I loved Chino Valley. I always got the same sense of peace from driving through that valley as when I would kayak on the open water with an expansive horizon.
I have appreciated hearing about your travels and experiences in the area (good and not so good) — it reminds me of a nice time in my life and provides inspiration to be on the road again…
Sending you good vibrations!
Thank you, Mi. Enjoyed reading your comment very much.
Wow! Amazing. Our vets deserve this attention and support.
I love your last comment about not being a worrier. I try not to, but my daughter is in trouble, I can’t fix it and I am worried-And it drives me crazy-that worry.
Great news for sure. Don’t worry, be happy. Ok so I stole that from a song but you get the idea 😉
I know easier said than done, I’ve been known to worry myself but I try not to do it. Never got me anywhere anyways.
I think Rusty will probably receive so much stuff when he moves in that he will be able to furnish several homes. Such great news.
Hey rvsue and crew! I have been following your blog now for several months and LOVE IT! Your living the life I plan to start next year. So, here is my question(actually maybe 2 questions). Do you have a S&B somewhere? I researched it but could not find an answer. Also, I have quite a few picture albums, slides and alot of postcards that I have received from friends and family. Most of it I have not looked at in years and I found alot that I did not even know(forgotten) I had. When I go fulltime I plan to sell the house and NOT put anything in storage. It’s getting really hard to let go of the past to make room for the future. I suppose I am just looking for encouragement. I do have a sister than may store a rubbermaid storage bin for me but not much more. This process of downsizing is slow and emotionally painful at times. Do you have any suggestions and what did you do with your “stuff”.
sorry for the long post.
p.s. Don’t be tooooo hard on your crew for rolling in the dirt 🙂
I’ll answer for Sue although it is not necessarily what she would say.
First, IF you want to save the photos, although you have not looked at them in years, then scan them and save them in digital format. Then throw them away, do not store them.
Second, IF the downsizing is going very slow and is emotionally painful then I suggest
you assume that you have died. By that I mean you contact someone that handles the disposal of the ‘stuff’ that someone has left when they die and have them get rid of everything. It sounds like your possessions are possessing you and you need the outside help.
I think that’s good advice, Ed. In fact, I remember being motivated to get rid of stuff and to distribute memorabilia to family by this thought: When I die this job won’t be left for someone else to do. Strange as it may sound, that made me feel good. In the previous years I had the task of handling the stuff left by my mother, father, and uncle. It was a massive undertaking that took an emotional and physical toll.
Tidying up your life is a considerate and responsible thing to do when you reach retirement age. Glad you added your thoughts on this …
WOW! Ed, you are a wise man when you say “sounds like your possessions are possessing you”. I have had several job careers with memorabilia and have stuff that I cleared out of my grandparents houses. I come from a long line of packrats on both parents sides. The maternal grandparents lived through the depression and the faternal grandparents were farmers. So, yes, I have frequently felt that my “stuff” is an albatros around my neck keeping me from moving on. I have thought, if the house burned down or was destroyed by a flood(I live on the water) it would not be so bad. I would more easily be able to move on. Let’s face it! It’s just stuff. The memories are in your head. Just as long as my cat and I are safe. As I write this I am becoming ever more motivated to purge stuff from my life.
Thank you for letting me ramble on. I will keep you updated on my progress.
I love this discussion because I too am going to be purging when I return to America in June. I am going to take pictures of the items, offer the items to my children and then sell it, give it away, and move on. The Peace Corps has taught me to live out of two suitcases for two years and I have loved it! The stuff has controlled me for years and I want to take the cash for all those antiques and “move on” to a freer less confining life. If the children don’t want it now, they certainly won’t want it after I am dead and gone!! Good luck, Chip.
“It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies.” Sylvia Townsend Warner
Love the quote, Joan, and your thoughts on the simple life.
WOW! I somehow missed this post about Rusty getting training for Timber. Prayers couldnt be answered any better ❤ The onoy thing we did NOT do in public access training was escalators_saw a horrid experience once and i wont put my dog through that. Sunds like they are on the path to smooth sailing _im so happy for them. Seing as they are so well bonded should make all the diff in the world. My dog loves learning new things (and positive reinforcement with raw meat is a biggie). He not only fully accomodates me but has his tricks as well_dances figure 8's between my legs to "if i only had a brain" on cue. I cant think of a better read to endmy night before heading out to walk with the monn. Thank you for the uplifting update and blessing he found a trainer to help thru the process
~Ky G and Bingo
All this good news in one day! Your Bingo sounds like an outstanding companion.