The 31st December 2019 marked the three-year death anniversary of Ruby – our first beloved rescue dog. She was eleven (so the vet’s think) when she came to live with us. She was the proverbial “lights are on but nobody is home.” None of our friends thought she’d live more than a few months. We enjoyed four years and four months together before we had to say goodbye.
When I brought Ruby home and let her into the house she went from room to room, checking out all the smells.
Yay! I’ve finally been adopted. Will they keep me or will they throw me away like my last owner did? It smells nice here. I can smell another dog. It doesn’t smell right, like the other dog was sick or something. The lady smells okay though. She looks at me with those big green eyes as if I’m really special.
What if she realises that I’m a good for nothing?
What if I do something wrong?
What if she sends me back?
I need a drink.
Ruby had a large drink from the water bowl. Moments later she regurgitated and bolted to the back door, her eyes stricken with panic. I ran after her, patting her and talking nonsense soft words to her, telling her she hadn’t done anything wrong. Accidents happen. It was heartbreaking to see the fear in her eyes. She clearly expected to be punished for her involuntary action.
We would repeat that same scenario many more times over the following weeks (she had a regurgitation issue) before Ruby learned that she would not get into trouble. That she would in fact get rewarded with pats and cuddles.
I cried the day that Ruby regurgitated and didn’t flinch. She was finally feeling safe.
Ruby was a beautiful senior. Watching her grow in confidence, basking in the love we showered on her, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Love you, gorgeous girl.