David Lee Roth told of his last moments with his dog Russell, who recently died after enjoying one last treat.
The 12-year-old Australian cattle dog’s bark was heard on the track “Honey Baby Sweetie Doll” on Van Halen’s last album, A Different Kind of Truth. He regularly featured in Roth’s blogs and accompanied the singer all round the world.
“That poor dog, he couldn’t move around. I think I waited too long; I’ve got that sentiment,” Roth said in a new episode of his The Roth Report blog. “He looked up at me with the eyes telegraph, the same words that my Grandma Betty said when she was 88… ‘Honey, I gotta tell you. Leave me alone. Let me go.’”
He continued: “When it’s time to deal with one of your sweetheart loved ones – your puppies, your dogs, or whatever it is, your cats… and you gotta make that terrible decision… here’s something that’s really gonna soften the blow. And I’ll give you a little tip – this is as much for us and yourself as it is for the critter.”
Detailing how Russell’s arthritis had left the 55-pound animal not even able to roll over, leaving him and his sister distressed, he continued: “Instead of just tearing your heart out… we made plans ahead. She went to Pie ’n’ Burger. She got two of the biggest cheeseburgers they ever made… got two orders of french fries. Enough ketchup to float him, and two big vanilla milkshakes.
“And we brought them back and we fed two cheeseburgers to Russ, and his eyes rolled back in his head and his toes curled. And we said, ‘Oh, no, baby… we just gettin’ started!’” They continued to feed him the full two meals until “his eyes rolled back and we disappeared into his glorious memory of love, and he fell asleep and he went to Heaven.”
Roth added: “And I want you take note, because that’s how I want me to go, in case I can’t communicate. Two!”
Our sincere condolences go out to David and anyone who has lost a beloved pet companion.
Russ had a wonderful life. May he rest in peace.