Ruby: A New Way to Love

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Meet Ruby, the newest addition to our family.  She actually joined us back in February, but back then I was hesitant to share her with you because I honestly didn’t know if she was going to “make it” with us.

You see, Ruby was found abandoned in someone’s back yard, along with another dog, who was dead.  Ruby was in such bad shape that she required two months of intensive medical care and rehabilitation before she could be put up for adoption.  And, then she was adopted, but her new “forever” family only kept her for 4 days before returning her to the shelter for “bad behavior” and “nerves.” (The first day after they adopted her, they left her alone in a bedroom for 9 hours and she ate the mattress!)

When our daughter Megan called and informed us that she’d fallen in love with this puppy, and told us about her history, of course my heart went out to her and I said “bring her home,” all the while questioning my judgement (it’s not like we don’t already have a houseful of four-legged family members!) as well as whether it was wise to adopt a Pit Bull Terrier mix.  I tried to keep in mind all of the positive stories I had heard of this breed…how loyal and smart, responsive, eager to please and more…and decided to do my best to give her a chance.

Believe me, those first few days I watched her like a hawk.  I was most nervous that she had not been raised around cats and didn’t know how she would react, especially since she was still officially a puppy whose play could be overly enthusiastic at times.

Ruby soon proved that she, too, was a cat lover and we all enjoyed watching her interact with our “herd”, especially with one of our youngest, Faith.  Ruby would tease Faith and Faith would tease Ruby, back and forth, forth and back…Ruby gently mouthing Faith’s whole head and Faith pedaling Ruby’s face with her back feet, claws sheathed.

So, I relaxed about that.

On the other hand, spending the majority of her first year outside and then in a shelter, Ruby had some other issues which I found myself having difficulty dealing with.

She chewed.  Everything.  Furniture. The carpet. The door jamb.  Toys.  Whatever she could get her mouth on.

She also seemed to be totally disinterested in learning to “go” outside.

And, she definitely had a case of “the nerves.”  Loud noises, (especially metal on metal) and sudden movements freaked her out.  She had to be approached from her front, and preferably underneath her chin…if we went to pat the back of her head she would cringe and shy away.

Although I’ve done my best to be patient and loving with her, there have been many days when I really didn’t know whether we were the right family for Ruby.

Until this week.

We were out walking the dogs when Ruby got away from us.  Now, let me tell you…Ruby is FAST.  When she’s off leash at the dog park, she can eat up some ground like I don’t know what.  But, this time she didn’t take off.  With us trailing her, calling her name, she started heading down the street…never letting us out of her sight…slowing down and even stopping until we got close enough for her liking…then starting off again.

Nervously, we followed her…the highway was only a short block away and that was the direction she was heading, but then she turned…

and, crossing a field, went straight to our house, curling herself up on the doormat, patiently awaiting our tardy (and sweaty) arrival.

It was then that my heart fully opened to our Ruby.  I saw a beautiful, young dog that knew where she belonged…who knew where she was loved and treasured…who knew what HOME is meant to mean and who had found hers…forever.

So, I am pleased to introduce you to our Ruby…a new way to love.