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It's not Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

It was in 1984, a few months after my husband Mick and I moved into our first apartment. A friend at work told me that her neighbor had found a puppy in the ravine while walking her two Irish Setters. She couldn’t keep another dog, so we went to have a look at it. What we found was a pathetic little black troll of a puppy with a malnourished body that gave her facial features a cartoonish look. She was terrified of everyone and her own shadow too. The lady who found her, said that “Two kids had seen a man walking on top of a ravine ledge near some bushes, who then threw the pup down into the ravine before walking off.” So we kept that scrawny little puppy troll. The veterinarian said she was only about four weeks old, and a runt of the litter. Ruby Tuesday grew up to be a very smart, beautiful, although small, black German Shepherd. One uncaring jerk’s garbage was our gold.

All our neighbors and friends just loved to test Ruby Tuesday’s intelligence with a few special tricks we taught her. Everyone’s favorite game was: “pick the biggest bill”. We would show her two different denominations of money, and she would always pick the largest $ amount. I never did tell anybody until now, that she would pick the bill I stared at. At just over a year old Ruby was starting to blossom, Mick let a friend who he then trusted, walk her on his own. When he came back without, and said that someone had stolen her, we freaked. Yes, don’t lend your dog out without wise consideration of the person your dealing with. Even a friend.

Now don’t get me wrong, bad things can happen to anyone, but having to blame someone else for such a loss can ruin a relationship. (Turned out that he sold her.) After recovering from the shock, the first job was posting flyers, running ads, and checking area pounds, shelters and parks. It’s fairly common knowledge that if you don’t find your pet after a month, that you probably never will, so it was more than surprising that after a month and a half an acquaintance said they had seen her by the store near our home, but she would only approach him, and then would run off. The next day my mother-in-law called and said that they got a complaint from the post office that “their” dog was preventing the mail delivery by barking and growling in their yard … but, they didn’t own a dog, and the postman described Ruby perfectly. Although it was across the river from us, Ruby knew their house well, from our many visits. Because of this new tip we redoubled our efforts, but two days went by, and nothing. The third day after that, Ruby followed one of our neighbors from the building, into the apartment lobby. The lady, who was out walking her poodle, was someone Ruby knew, and I guessed trusted.

My husband was in the basement doing laundry like the sweetheart he still is, but, when finished he entered the elevator, saying “hello” to the lady already standing there, he noticed her dog had a friend. “Where’d your new friend come from?” he asked while taking a closer look. Tears started to flow down his cheeks as he started to notice something very familiar about this dog. When she jumped all over him, he had no doubt, hello Ruby Tuesday. Talk about a surprise reunion, Mick and I were both discussing giving up again just the day before. Ruby was very glad to see us, but she seemed very subdued. When we took her to the vet, he told us that along with loosing over twenty pounds, she had several bruises, probably from a a beating due to the pattern, and her paws were worn from walking. Due to her poor condition the vet estimated she had been walking at least two or three weeks from where-ever she had been. It took over a year’s time with a lot of love and patience for her to even start to play again, but she never got over her mistrust of strangers.

We had the pleasure of sharing her life for ten more years before she had cancer. Despite the terrible ordeals she suffered as a puppy, from being taken too early from her mother, abandoned, to being stolen and abused; she never hurt any person or animal back. Ruby Tuesday had an intelligence, sensitivity, and capability for love that was beyond compare. We loved her so much, and always will, and she knew it, and found her way home.

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