An Homage To A Grand Old Dame–Happy Birthday Miss Ruby!

She was great!  Beautiful. Lean. Strong. Affectionate when she wanted to be and, at times, slightly aloof.  She was a great companion. She was a neighborhood legend. She lived a wonderful and interesting life. When she was old and in pain, she never complained.  She was a very important and dear member of our family.  Today is her birthday and she is somewhere on a twinkling star, looking down at us with love and watching over us.  I’m saddened as I write this, but I remember the fond memories…and there were many. Here’s to you Miss Ruby!ruby 003 Our family dog–and it is just weird to call her a dog–because she was more than that.  I referred to her as a girl.  She was so regal–just like a princess and I remember the day we got her as though it were yesterday.  My oldest son was a bit put off that we ended up with a Yellow Lab rather than a Golden.  So on the way home, we placed her into his lap, and within 20 minutes, it was love.  She was the perfect playmate for the kids—and she never became annoyed at any of  their crazy antics!

ruby 006While the kids were in school, Ruby, along with our adopted Basset Hound, Dorothy, would keep me company. Always underfoot just waiting for me hand out a reward of liverwurst or taking a ride for their vanilla ice cream cones at the Cream King in Pennington, NJ!

She once saved our neighbor’s child from being hit by a car.  The child ran out into the street as a car was approaching. Ruby ran in between the child and the car. Luckily the car had strong brakes and all was well! She never roamed far from home, if the back gate was left opened, she would saunter to a neighbor’s yard to see if the kids were playing on the swings.  She would take turns sleeping in the kids’ bedrooms, being fair and showing no favoritism. She loved everyone!ruby 013 Her idea of fun was traipsing around the house stuffing as many objects as she could into her mouth.  I remember one time in particular, she had been outside and I heard her scratching on the door.  When I opened it, I almost passed out. She looked so proud of herself while a bird was dangling out of her mouth.  To this day I feel bad by the way I overreacted–yelling at her to “get that dirty thing away from me”!!!!!!!  When she tore the ligaments in her hind leg, due to a game I played with her, the vet was irate with me—but Ruby just showered me with affection as I nursed her back to health!

After my husband and I divorced, she moved with him to Manhattan. I was unable to have her in my apartment–but she became quite the Chic City girl.  As Ruby aged and  was no longer able to handle the five-floor walk up to my ex-s apartment, she came back to live with  me and my Frenchman and his Corgi. The two got along perfectly and her senior years were spent quietly.  It’s so painful when you know, deep down in your gut that your beautiful creature’s time on this earth is limited.  Selfishness sets in and you cannot say goodbye so you let her continue on.  Ruby continued on despite being ill and fragile.  The night before she left us, I found her in the living room,  laying under the coffee table. I bent down to ask her how she was doing (Yes. We spoke to her as though she was human.) The look in her eyes seemed to be begging me to let her go. I will never forget that look.ruby 012 The next day, Bonaparte, my Frenchman, took her to the vet. I was at the office.  When I came home, Bonaparte sat me down and explained that it would have been too much for me to have seen her in that much pain.  Ruby left four years ago at the grand old age of 17!  Today she would be 21! So with that, my dear Miss Ruby, Vincent and I will toast to your life and the happiness and joy you gave to all!  We will raise our glasses to the brightest star in the evening sky and thank you for your love and affection! Here’s to a Grand Old Dame!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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18 Responses to An Homage To A Grand Old Dame–Happy Birthday Miss Ruby!

  1. mwgeraci says:

    what a beautiful homage

  2. SusanG says:

    Ruby was beautiful. It’s lovely that you can remember her with such joy. She was lucky to have you.

  3. Maureen Aupperlee says:

    We are dealing with that now. Gracie is only six but she has endured too many medical issues. She is such a sweetheart and real trooper. We treasure everyday with her. Thank you for sharing Ruby’s legacy.

  4. Catherine says:

    Maureen–isn’t it amazing how our little angels can endure so many issues at a young age, but still manage to move forward as though nothing is wrong???? I’m glad that you enjoyed reading about Ruby. ….XOXO!

  5. Catherine says:

    Reblogged this on Atypical 60 and commented:

    For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about a special little lady. She’s been in my mind and my heart while I’ve been working on posts, and while I’ve been going around my daily duties. It’s hard to not get all teary-eyed when I think of her.
    Last year, around this time, I wrote an homage to her. It was one of my first posts.
    This year, I would like to repost this. If you have lost a pet who has left you and transitioned to the other side, or if you have a pet who is still with you, please take a moment to read about the memories of my dear beloved Ruby.
    She was one in a million and is still within the hearts and souls not only of me, but with everyone she touched–inside and outside of my family and circle of friends.
    Bonaparte took such great care of her in her final days. She was a great dame of a yellow lab. Miss Ruby–I wish you never left!

  6. I know what that means !

    • Catherine says:

      Right???? It never leaves. My fault is that I sometimes compare Chippy to Ruby and think “OMG. Ruby would never do that”…then I give Chippy a hug! They would have gotten along so well! XOXOXO!

  7. spearfruit says:

    Catherine, I can relate, I think about my Chihuahua ‘Max’ everyday, he passed about 2 years ago. I miss him dearly, he was my buddy. Interesting reading about Miss Ruby’s torn ligaments in her hind leg – just this morning, I took my ‘Roxy’ in for the same thing. I am not sure how she did it, what did you do to help Miss Ruby with her injury?

    • Catherine says:

      Spear. First of all, Ruby had the surgery and her leg was shaved up to her stomach. The surgery went well, and our vet, who lived up the street and was really, really pissed off at me, kept her overnight. (somebody didn’t trust me!). When Ruby came home, she basically sat on the sofa and I gave her lots of Liverwurst–much to the chagrin of our Basset Hound, Dorothy. But Dorothy kept a good eye on Ruby and let me know when my wounded little baby had to go out. The healing process took about three weeks. It was worse telling her she couldnt play our “game” anymore because the vet would have me arrested! XOXOXO!

      • spearfruit says:

        3 weeks is not too bad and I can understand about not playing the game anymore, they just do not understand. My vet this morning gave Roxy a steroid shot and some pills and said to give it a week to see if it is better. We will wait to see if surgery will be involved – she is in spirits and eating, no noticeable pain. 🙂

  8. Judy says:

    Oh dear, now I am a wreck! We said goodbye to our two Border Terriers, Polly and Fizzy, 17 and 15, aunt and niece, in July last year. Both nearly blind and very deaf but with such spirit. The vet said it would be kindest to let them go together as it would be heartbreaking to watch Fizzy looking for Polly. We cried for days and the house is still empty, not sure we are strong enough to put ourselves through that again by getting another dog. Thank you for a beautifully written memorial to all believed dogs.

  9. Judy says:

    Sorry, eyes all wet, I meant “beloved” not “believed”!

  10. calensariel says:

    Oh… Did you KNOW Bonaparte was going to do that? Did you get to say goodbye to her?

    • Catherine says:

      No. I didn’t. She was so out of it the night before she “transitioned”. When I saw the look on her face when she was under that coffee table, I knew it was not good. The next morning, I had left for work and Bonaparte had a light day. He went downstairs to take Ruby out and she couldn’t move. It was like she was dead weight. He took her to the vet and (OMG. I need to collect myself here because I’m still not over her)–OK. He took her to the vet and the vet said she was ready to leave. To this day, Bonaparte says that was the hardest thing he’s ever done because he had to make that decision without me. Luckily for Ruby, she was at peace and in Bonaparte’s lap. When I arrived home from the office, Bonaparte was on the living room sofa and broke down when he told me the news. I was beside myself. I was angry at him for not telling me, but in hindsight, it was better because I have never put an animal down. My Dorothy passed away when she was with my ex and I don’t think I would have been able to handle it.
      The only other time I was that upset over someone leaving my was when my father passed away.
      My kids still talk about Ruby as if she is still here. I do to. Bonaparte, although he didn’t know Ruby as long as the rest of the family did, bonded with her so tightly.
      I truly, truly loved Ruby so much. People who don’t have dogs don’t “get” it sometimes but Ruby WAS more than a dog….

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