in memory of RUBI


Rubi is buried in the field and every time I step outside
I have the chance to say hello

Rubi enjoying the sun on her old bones

September 6, 2008

Gee, where do I begin?  I guess the beginning.  We (husband and I) adopted Rubi while working and living in North Van.  We also had a two year old Belgian German Shepard cross at the time, Diva. 

The two dogs got along famously.  They loved to wrestle and play together.  They became very good pals.  Diva was always the boss.  They would wrestle for hours in the yard and they were both very fast runners.

Diva letting puppy Rubi have a turn "on top"

Rubi’s life included many other dogs.  Both my brother and sister had dogs so that every family gathering or visit the dogs would get a chance to play. We would sit for hours and laugh.  They played so graciously together.  They had quite the dance.

We lived so close to Lynn headwaters so once or twice a week we would head up there for a run.  We also hiked any north shore trail with another girlfriend and her two dogs.  We loved racing through the trees.

Rubi came camping with us as well.   She came most places with us.  She would drive around with us most of the time. No one would come near our car with the two of them in it.

Rubi and Diva and miles of sand to run on

We drove down to the Yucatan in Mexico and we lived there for about 1 1\2 years.  The dogs were fantastic.  Every morning we would get up early and head to the beach.  Very few people were around.  The dogs would chase coconuts into the water and we would swim in the Caribbean Sea for a long, long time.  She loved that.

 Rubi's waiter serving coconut milk             Rubi living the good life                

At the end of the day we would also head down to another beach and we would have our nightly swim.  I loved that time with her. We had a ball in Mexico though when we were driving back home both dogs had been asleep for a lot of the trip and when we hit Oregon and the geography and the air changed both dogs got up and stuck there heads out the windows and rarely brought their heads in or lay down again in the car.  The air got cooler and the smell of earth was quite prominent and I think they appreciated it.

She grew up on homemade food.  We always made her food.  She was an extremely healthy and hearty dog.  We rarely took her to the vet. If ill, she was treated homeopathically most of the time and was rarely on any antibiotics (if ever).  Rubi would eat anything and that is what got us into trouble at times.

We have now lived here in Lantzville on Vancouver Island for the last 5 years.  The dogs have enjoyed 2.5 acres to run and explore. It is all fenced and they have had to make friends with cows, horses, bunnies and other neighbouring dogs.

My brother refers to Rubi as “the Duracell dog".  Rubi never stopped moving. If we ever didn’t want anything to be stepped on... Rubi would step on it.  If we ever didn’t want our wine glass to be hit off the coffee table Rubi would hit it with her wagging tail.  We eventually tried to keep most things off the floor or clearly away from her wagging tail range.  I think it was she always wanted to be part of the conversation so she was always close by.

No dogs allowed on the sofa....

She had lots of support around her.  We are fairly social and we took her most places we went. My mom and sister loved her dearly and my sister had a very soft spot for her and always made sure her needs were met.

Torben and Rubi

I now have two children a 5 and 7 year old.  So Rubi has now had kids in her life. They have been very gentle with her.  Marcella the little girl has always made time for Rubi. She has brought her into show and tell so many times.  All the class loves Rubi.  I bring the dogs for pick up at school and they get out of the van and hang out with the kids while they say their good-byes which often takes 15 minutes.  The dogs run around with the students.

Rubi loves to lick our ears. If we snuggle her head she will try to get a lick of our ears.  She loves to play chase. She loves to lie in the grass. She loves to eat. She loves to bark. 

Two years ago Rubi seemed to lose her hearing rather quickly.  The vet could not figure it out.  I think she got quite confused for a short time immediately after that.  We had taken her collar off for some reason and someone left our gate open and Rubi went missing.  We were panicked as she had no I.D. and could not hear very well.  To make a long story short, I would get up at the first light and post posters all up and down the island highway.  We made up hundreds of them.  I would drive and stop at every postal box all the way to Coombs then turn around and drive back before I went to work. I did this for 4 days.  On the last day I had planned to put a poster in this campground at Nanoose Bay but I missed the turnoff so I took the next one.  I drove down this road until I found the first postal box and put my last poster on the box.  After I had got home from work a lady called and told me she had Rubi.  It had been four days. Rubi had joined a family in Nanoose about 20 kms away. She must have walked the railway line as she could not have done it on the highway.  They had seen my very last poster that I had intended for the campsite.  They never would have seen the one at the campsite. It was such a fluke I left one so far off the highway.  That episode changed our relationship yet again.  It deepened my love and admiration for the Rubster.  I was clearly reminded of how much I adore her and her energy.

She would sit with me while I hung my laundry on the line. She would sit with me while I cooked. She would garden with me .She was never far from my side.  She loved every minute of life. Rubi sure lived in the present moment and she lived life fully.  I so clearly remember her and Diva lying on my bed during nap time. I couldn’t get enough of the closeness.  Perhaps all dogs give such love.

I guess I could go on forever. This has been the first opportunity to write about Rubi and I realize there is a lot more to acknowledge about her life and I will take the time to journal that for myself.

Rubi died last Sunday and I still weep at the mere thought of her.  She is buried in the field and every time I step outside I have the chance to say hello.  It was beautiful to see Diva say goodbye to Rubi and walk into the deep hole and nuzzle her and give her one last nudge. Diva then sat on the edge of the hole until the tractor put the last dirt and rocks on the grave. She wouldn’t leave. 

I loved that little girl so very very much.  I truly believe that she had a great healthy life that was full of adventure and lots and lots of love.  She was a great dog.  I guess her dad was a great dog too eh?

So, thank you AAS, for all that you do.  Thank you for making an effort in making this world a more compassionate and humane place.  Thank you for rescuing Rubi as she has changed the lives of our small family and we are therefore more loving and compassionate beings. It’s amazing how your work can change the world one owner at a time.  And that is what you are doing.  Who would have ever thought that fostering a dog for only a couple of days could have lead to such a rich experience for all of us?  Many thanks!

Thank you for allowing me to express my love for the Rubster.  I miss her terribly.


You can help to pay AAS's vet and rehab bills so that we can go on doing this for the dogs that have only us. All donations go directly to real animal welfare.

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