I found this quite touching:
In Memory of Ruby
Ruby came to us as a rescue last fall. She was an older, red Doberman that needed a home. She had been passed around a few times. I didn’t know what to expect, but one thing for sure is whoever had her sure didn’t appreciate her – I don’t know why ever ended up in rescue – she was a perfect dog.
She came to us housebroken, got along with any dog – ANY dog, she liked cats, children, men, women, and was steady with new things, even storms. She was trusting and happy and ready to go on rides, or play. She was crate trained easily and responded to simple training with enthusiasm, and was a quick learner. She had a bark though that could have made you pee your pants if you were on the other side of a door and didn’t know this smaller sized older gal was on the other side. No kidding.
She loved to play with stuffed animals, and never tore them up, only mothered them and played with them, and curled up to sleep with them.
We picked her to be the first dog to expose the blind Doberman, Radar to and she was so wonderful with him. She was patient and taught him to explore new areas, and watched after him. He learned to follow her by scent and I always worried when we would groom and bathe her that he would get confused, but he never did. He always new Ruby, she made sure he knew she was there and that he would be ok because of it.
We named her Ruby because she was so good. More than once we referred to her as perfect, a real gem, etc. So we picked Ruby as her name. She was a foster, but we treated her like she was ours, in every way, and in fact we told very few people about her, she was going to go to the PERFECT home and we never found it. She was going to be hard to part with and we had decided if she stayed forever that was ok. I guess she did, even though forever turned out to be so very short.
On a Friday she went out to play with Radar and to use the bathroom. She did fine going out and explored the yard willingly. On returning to the inside just a few minutes later she seemed slow. She was walking slowly and guarded. Over the next few hours she did not want to lay down and stood with her head hanging. We were worried and took her to the vet. All of her blood work came back ok. X-rays showed no injuries, and she was eating and passing urine and stool fine. She was drinking water, and responded to her name ok. Her eyes dilated/contracted normally, but something wasn’t right. The vet told us to take her home and watch her. Late into the night she started circling, and would bump into walls like she was having nervous system problems, couldn’t see well, or was disoriented. We took her to the emergency vet, and again we did all the tests suggested – they came back normal, and the doctor gave her some medication to prevent seizures just as a precaution. He did not know what could be wrong. Neither did we. After many hours we took her home. On Saturday, she seemed the same with no improvement. She was eating normally. She continued with slow walking, sometimes bumping into things. She was aware of us, and doing things like drinking and eating ok. Sunday morning, upon waking, she was found curled up in a small ball by the bed, with her paw over her eyes, and she had passed away. We were shocked. We called the emergency vet that had seen her on Friday night/Saturday morning when he came in on his shift that evening and he was stunned. He said he never saw it coming and could not imagine what had been wrong, for nothing in the tests could tell us anything. He offered to do a necropsy (an animal autopsy), but we had taken her body to be cremated that morning. We’ll never know what happened and that makes me uneasy. It makes the closure hard. I still think about it a lot and look up new things and symptoms all the time trying to find something.
Ruby passed away on February 18th. Her ashes rest beside of Jordan’s not far from where I am sitting at home right now. Her collar drapes across the top, and an angel in prayer sits between them. I love my dogs, they teach me – everything. They help me to help others. Ruby helped not only me, but Brad, Ashli, and especially Radar. We studied her behaviour with him extensively. We watched how she calmed new dogs that met her. How Radar would cope was one of my first thoughts. He missed her. He has learned to go on without her. What she taught him – what she brought out in him will allow him to continue training as a Therapy Dog.
I don’t know about her past life. The fact she was passed around (that I do know), and that she was in need of rescue, means someone didn’t want her, and being up in age – we think she was over 7 years old, I can’t imagine letting go of a dog that old – well, I don’t know if her life had been good, had been filled with kindness. I am glad that when we got the call we did not hesitate to say “yes”, so that we could bring good things to her life. She confirmed what always astounds me about rescues – that the majority of the time they are such great dogs. In saying, “yes” to her, we gained so much, and by loving and caring for her, we were blessed. Though we had her a short time, we gave her a home, a beautiful collar, toys, good food, friends, safety and peace. That made her ours, and we loved her. We miss her.
I believe that there are always lessons to be learned in everything. I’ve learned that love can make a big impact, even in a small amount of time. I’ve learned, once again, that you never know if you have more time, so make sure you show love now. Most of all, I’ve learned that when it comes to sharing your life, to giving when you can, then it always pays to say “yes”. Think about saying “yes” to an older dog, to a rescue, to a dog that you know needs a home. Think about fostering, about sponsoring a needy dog, about saying “yes”, even though “no” would be easier. I can’t imagine not having had Ruby in my life, I’m so glad we said “yes, where do we need to go to get her?” In fact, don’t just say “yes” to a dog, say “yes” to helping anyone, even when it is easier to say no, actually especially when it would be easier to say no.
Till next time – woofs!