She runs like a greyhound, zooming into freedom in our enclosed yard. I wanted to run with her like I did as a teenager, free to release pent up angst and parental control. Now Bernice and I are the parental control. We cannot allow Ruby, our two-year-old black terrier mix with floppy ears, zoom free into oblivion chasing squirrels in the woods, ignoring my shouts to return home. I learned my lesson with previous dogs who were struck too many times with porcupine quills; their heads and faces shaking as the Vet yanked out the quills.
It’s been two years since our previous dog died at age 15. We weren’t planning on another dog for quite a while, enjoying travel. But Covid-19 changed those plans. The house was empty of youthful energy. With so many rescues needing a home, we added our name to the list of empty nesters wanting to give a fur-ever home to a needy dog.
Ruby arrived in Maine from a Mississippi foster home three months after birthing pups. Because of Covid, she stayed in her Maine foster home for an additional number of months. That was all we knew of her background, only seeing her picture with her upper body and head lovingly snuggled against her Mississippi foster mom’s neck, which tugged at our hearts. She was spayed in Maine, and we met her when we picked her up from the veterinary hospital two hours away.
The day after she arrived, we took her to our Vet as she intermittently limped. Turned out she had double hip dysplasia, gratefully at the beginning stage, and was put on Glucosamine and Chondroitin. It didn’t inhibit her need to run. Six months later, her limp was gone.
Huggable and loving she was – until we attempted to put a leash and easy harness on her, then she became a bucking bull! She also gave the Vet a challenging time with x-rays and cutting her nails; they had to drug her. What did we get ourselves into? I immediately unearthed our many dog books to read and found a trainer who came to the house – of course wearing our Covid masks.
Then we began the guessing game of her background. Was she a stray? Was she dumped on the street pregnant? She wasn’t afraid of storms, but definitely of rain. Would not go out to do her business in rain. Had she been tied up and left outside? Abused? Yet she was so loving. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of her early life.
A few months ago we had a DNA test and discovered some of her possible relatives. Someone in Maine contacted us with a significant match. I emailed with the dog’s owner, and it turned out one of Ruby’s pups was in Maine, named Bailey. Then we discovered the rest of her seven pups also came to Maine when she did, all dispersed. After further conversation with Bailey’s mom, we learned she had been in touch with the foster mom in Mississippi.
The Mississippi foster mom, Desiree, happily agreed to speak with us, a friendly and outgoing woman. Ruby was her first foster and told us she was observed bulging pregnant on a rainy night walking the streets and was taken to a “city pound” where she immediately gave birth. Ruby and her pups were turned over to the foster mom the day after the birth. Desiree sent us a picture of her nursing the pups in a baby’s swimming pool in the house, bewildered and weary.
When the pups were weaned, they and Ruby were delivered to Maine foster homes. Before leaving, Desiree wrote a note to go with each dog, including Ruby. All the new permanent Maine homes received the note with their dog, except for Ruby. It got lost a long the way; no note for us.
Now eight months later Ruby no longer challenges the harness; even sits for her winter coat, impatiently waiting for her daily walk. Cuddles with us, lays on her back with feet up in the air, trusting her home life, even watches TV, mainly programs with dogs. She continues to zoom in the pen, as well as in the doggie park nearby, and attends four hours of daycare a week. She digs through the snow to find moles or mice, eats snow and ice, and slides on her back down the pen on the icy snow. What more could we ask for! Hundreds of pictures taken. A happy Covid family.
Please don’t hesitate to share your rescue stories.
2021 © Roberta S. Kuriloff
I loved reading the story of Ruby Roberta, what a wonderful rescue! She sure picked out the right parents!
Thanks Sally. We also picked the right dog!
What a touching story. Poor Ruby must have had a hard life. Wondering the streets in the rain. Thank goodness someone found her when they did or she might have gave birth right there in the rain. Who knows if she or her pups would have survived that. Well she certainly has a good home now . God bless you and Bernice!
It hit me hard reading your words that if her pups were born in the rain, she and they might not have survived! So horrible, and probably happens in many similar situations. We and she were meant to be!
Ruby is a lucky puppy and clearly loves her new home. You are lucky because now you can run again with her .I am also amazed at the picture of all the puppies and their different colors. She is very special and clearly loved by two special Moms.
Enjoy your new adventure ! Hugs
Hi Moransky, I so look forward to running with her after the snow/ice is off the road. Hard to run with cleats on my shoes! Ruby has spots of light brown/gold color when the sunlight hits her.
Glad that she has settled into your home…now an official member of the family!
One can’t help to wonder what their early life was like.
You’ve met our Finnegan, formerly Barrie, from Georgia, and just thinking about it is what prompted me to write ‘The Dog with the Floppy Right Ear’, just a wild fantasy about what he might have endured! If only he could talk…actually, he can, frequently and loudly…but we just don’t speak his language, or vice versa…yet.
Ruby and Finn are so lucky to find supportive homes. Too many strays roaming or dumped. Grateful that Maine has such good rescue organizations. I look forward to continue reading your story, even though I can’t stop crying!
What a wonderful story about the latest addition to your home. As I look down at my own, 13-yr.old, much-loved furry family member, I know that I have fewer years ahead with her than I have had in our past. I often think what I will do when she decides it’s time to cross the Rainbow Bridge and leaves only her spirit behind to engage with. Your story of Ruby encourages me to obtain a foster dog, in need of a forever home, whilst I’m moving through the worst of the grieving months for my little Abbey-Girl. Who knows, the foster dog may find it’s forever home right here; if not, we’ll comfort one another until she finds the home that is destined for her or him. Thank you for that lovely story and my best to you and Bernice. Warmly, Bonnie
Thank yo for sharing your story. The losses of our loved furry family members are so hard, but the love we’ve shared with them is worth the eventual pain. I wish you well in your choices. A warm hug, Roberta
This makes my heart happy! That baby deserves nothing but happiness.
Thank you Desiree – and especially for the good foster care you gave her.
My best, Roberta
Ruby has a loveable face~I would adopt her ~~ but you found her first.
Seriously, I know her lovability comes from you and Bernice
You are a precious young family!
Yes, she is lovable and I look forward to you someday seeing her; maybe she can play with your dogs!
I love the story, it’s incredible that you were able to get that information. I can only say, Ruby is one lucky dog and I can’t wait to meet her!❤️
Thanks Judi. I surely hope you will meet her as soon as we are all Covid protected!
What a touching story about the trials and tribulations of bringing someone into your life with a past cloaked in mystery.
Your love, patience and information gathering has helped Ruby to feel safe enough to be able to rub her tummy.
That is truly a success story.
It was beshert that Ruby joined your family.
Your writing as usual is a delight.
Best wishes always…RachelMarta
Glad you enjoyed Ruby’s story. Thanks for your support.
Happy Covid-free spring to you, Roberta
I was so happy to read about your taking Ruby in and how you and Ruby came to bond. My daughter,Hana, worked in a kill shelter in NYC. Any dog that is not adopted in 2 weeks from the time they arrive is put down. We already had a dog who my daughter found in Central Park chained to a tree. She called me at my office to tell me about this pit bull that was used for fighting and how after she gave birth they abandoned her and tied her to a tree. She said dad the park ranger said that if she was brought to a shelter they would surely put her down. She said dad can I take her home? I said NO emphatically. We only knew she was trained to fight Absolutely NO. When I came home from work that night do who was sitting in my living room? You guessed it. She had scars over her body and face and was missing 1/2 an ear. I named her Shanna. A Jewish word for Pretty. She was a most loving pet. Hated all other dogs but loved people. About 1 year latter my other daughter ,Holly, was working in the same shelter and a woman brought in a pit bull she had as a pet for 10 years. But she was moving into a No Animal building and brought the dog to the shelter. I couldn’t believe it. How can anyone abandon a pet that they had for 10 years. Anyway when Holly asked if she could bring him home I said no because Shanna would attack any dog. Holly said the dogs name was Menace but he was so meek and suffered from epilepsy When he got scared he would have a seizure. I said No. anyway when I came home that night Menace was in my bedroom and Shana in the kitchen. Later that night Menace left the bedroom and was walking into the kitchen when Shanna saw him. She stood up and the hair on her back did too She crouched down into attack mode. However the minute Menace saw her he feel on his side and had a seizure. Shanna saw this and laid back down. After his Seizure Menace got up and continued to walk towards Shanna. But even as he came near her she just laid there He even stepped on her and she just laid there. She saw he easy a threat and let him do whatever he wanted. A lot smarter than many humans. They became roommates
I loved your story and as kind as there are shelters and strays I would urge anyone who want a dog to go and pick one out. You’ll have a companion for life
Thanks Stu for sharing such a wonderful story. Roberta
i miss my lab”tiger” very much but at my age i do not have the where with all at my age to get another companion [FOUR LEGGED}knowing it will outlive me,so i made the most of it by adopting my grandson’s dog and can visit her any time!!,and she knows i love her!!
Thanks Gene for sharing. I understand your concern. Glad you have your grandson’s dog to enjoy. Roberta