David Lee Roth’s best friend has passed away.
Russell, a twelve-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, was Dave’s unrivaled loyal sidekick, living together, touring together, and seeing the world together. Russ accompanied Dave to every city Van Halen performed at on the last two tours, including even Japan and Australia. Russ was mentioned countless times on The Roth Show, and his bark was immortalized on a song on Van Halen’s last album, ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’ album (hear Russ at 3:19 into “HoneyBabySweetieDoll”).
In the video below, David shares the special last moment he had with Russ, who was stricken with terrible arthritis in all four limbs, to the point where he could not even move.
“When it’s time to deal with one of your sweetheart loved ones… your puppies… your dogs… your cats… and you gotta make that terrible decision, whatever… here’s something that’s really gonna soften the blow. And I’ll give ya a little tip. This is as much for us as it is for the critter.
“What we did for Russ… a big 55 pound cattle dog… a big, tough dog… he was getting… he couldn’t even move… couldn’t even roll himself over. Instead of just tearing your heart out… my sister… we made plans ahead. She went to Pie ’n Burger. She got two of the biggest cheeseburgers they ever made, and they made them at breakfast time, cause they knew it was an order in advance. Got two orders of french fries. Enough ketchup to float him. And two big vanilla milkshakes. (No straws. They’re not for you, they’re for the dog).
“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, you gotta come see about this… we just gettin’ started.” And we gave him [the two orders of french fries, and the] milkshakes. We gave him two of them. And his eyes rolled back and we disappeared into his glorious memory of love. And he fell asleep and went to heaven. And I want you to 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 out there who has lost a beloved pet.
Russ had a wonderful life. May he rest in peace.
VIDEO: Press Play and it will start at the talk about Russ…
All pics via David Lee Roth’s Facebook.
UPDATE: David Lee Roth saw this article yesterday, and was touched by all the love. Listen to his special message for fans at VHND here.