Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dog Day

You might remember our dog Ruby from my post last September about treating her for heart worm.

Ruby came to us at the end of last summer from PAWS New England , a rescue group who works to place un-wanted or abandoned dogs in safe, caring homes.

When we first met her, she was over-weight and her coat was pretty ratty and patchy but her winning personality shined right through. She’s a bit of a doofus and she’s constantly under-foot but she’s a real sweetheart and is amazingly tolerant of LittleFoil who has been known to yank on her ears, tail and even her tongue.

And never a snap or a growl from Ruby.

With a regular, healthy diet, she dropped the excess weight and her coat is now a gorgeous, deep, shiny, chocolate brown.

It’s hard to write about her in this way – and in the present tense – because yesterday morning we had to give Ruby away.

Over the past two months, Ruby had become very territorial in our yard. When walking in the woods or at the beach, no problem. She was friendly with other dogs and people.

But in our yard, she would get very aggressive - even with people just walking by on the street. Finally, several weeks ago she took a shot at a young kid from our neighborhood. She didn’t break the skin but she definitely snapped at the boy.

Two weeks after that she took a shot at another neighborhood kid (ironically the cousin of the first boy) and this time she broke the skin. Right on the buttocks no less.

As much as I love having Ruby around and as much joy as she brings us, we simply can’t have that kind of risk, that kind of liability, in our lives. It’s a crazy, litigious world and I don’t want to be vulnerable to that kind of thing.

Most importantly, we're concerned about the possibility of her hurting LittleFoil and I just can’t have that.

So we got back in touch with PAWS and I dropped her off at a temporary foster home on Saturday morning. The foster home was a good environment, way out in the country, lots of room to run and play and a couple other dogs for company.

The foster parent told me that there were already four families interested in Ruby so I’m hopeful that she’ll find the right situation with the right people before too long.

I’ll admit to blubbering as I drove away. She’s a sweet, sweet dog and I could hear her yowling as I pulled out of the driveway.

Damn. These are the shitty parts of being a grown-up.

Good luck Ruby.

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