She was beautiful. She was amazing. She was eleven. And we
It wasn’t always like that. Most people imagine their new
golden retriever pup as the most beautiful set of paws to grace their home, a
playful, barking barrel of happiness and joy.
Not for ruby. She arrived in the back of a panel van, in a
carpark, at the back of Officeworks. She was scared, alone and afraid of almost
everything. This 6 month Old pup was possibly the worst looking golden I had laid eyes on.
Her eyes were sad, her body shaking and sliding around in
filth and her own mess from a 5 hour car drive. While I was relieved that my
gut feeling was right on the advertisement, this girl needed our help. I was
angry. The one transporting her, I refuse to call him a breeder, owner or even
human. I threw him his money, wrapped her warm, hugged her tight and drove
She was safe and she was loved.
We took her home, she cowered when we spoke to loud. She
cried, when we picked her up. She was untrusting and scared of hands that would
love and keep her safe.
We bathed her, she smelt terrible. We laid out a bowl of
fresh cooked veggies and chicken, she fought for her food. We gave her a warm
bed, with soft blankets and toys, she was confused. This girl had never known
love or affection in her short six months, it was truly heartbreaking.
Ruby was never a playful pup, she would walk around with a
soft toy in her mouth, and it was rare to see her without it. She loved the
couch, and her bed, and our bed. Car rides and short walks. She was a homely
pup, she never liked to go too far, especially away from her older sibling
holly. She loved ice cream, a lot, and vegemite on toast for breakfast,
Ruby was a routine dog, up early, bouncing and barking.
Dinner had to be served by 5.30pm not a minute later or a paw would land in
your lap. She loved people, everyone, whether you liked it or not. And cricket,
chasing the ball on the screen. Weekend wildlife shows, zebras and monkeys,
they were her number one.
She knew us, in tune with all of our ups and downs. When I
worked in mining, both our girls would start waiting 3 days out from fly in,
they knew I was coming home. She also knew 3 days before fly out day, random
shoes and clothes would disappear. She loved the vegetable patch and would come
out the colour of tomatoes.
The beach, I thought she couldn’t swim well, she would just
roll in the foulest smelling dead fish or seaweed she could find, it was her Versace.
I let her swim at the island once, she kept swimming, heading for pt Leo. I
will say I had to swim after her that day. She had a sense of humour.
Ruby knew when we were hurting, she would always lay with
you, or offer a paw and just love you. Even on my absolute worst and most
difficult day I experienced she was there, no need to say anything, it was
always in her eyes. “I love you, it will be ok and here is a squeaky toy, it
Our old girl from day one never took to obedience, it was an
uphill battle for stays and drops. But she would always come on recall, every
time, she never failed to return. There were golden words to this girl, simple,
but meant so much to her, walk, car, dinner, hungry, mum and dad. Ruby would
dance, literally, her paws clicking on the floorboards in nothing but
I was at work, a call came through, and no one could get the
words out. My heart was hurting, a seizure had rendered little ruby unable to
move. She was trying incredibly hard to wag that tail which had bowled over so
many coffees over the years. Tom our vet, tried everything.
If we watch the TV, we see all the bad that exists, ruby
proved it’s not half as bad it looks. All we really need is a roof over us,
food in our bellies, our pack to love us and a dribble soaked squeaky duck. Too
often we are all consumed in our devices, connected constantly to work, to
people we barely know, to systems where we wait on likes and comments for
approval and acceptance. When all we need is right under nose. Our pets don’t get
to stay forever and their time is truly never long enough. In their short time,
they fill our hearts with love, memories and moments.
We said goodbye to ruby on Wednesday. It was her time to
leave. I cried when I hugged her and watch her peacefully move on, I know she’s
in a place where nothing aches or hurts, where there exists her old friends
where they are all happy and healthy. Chasing rabbits in paddocks, rolling in
muddy holes, swimming in pristine beaches, endless ice cream and sun.
She has left behind paw prints on the floor and on our hearts,
which we can never forget. Nose prints on every dam window, I can’t bring
myself to clean just yet. When I want to cry, I try to smile and laugh, she was
a happy a girl who never let the world get the better of her.
Ruby rose. I will think of every day, care for you always
and love you forever old girl. Run free