Our dog Ruby passed away yesterday. It was heartbreaking, to say the least.
Ruby was verymuch an integral part of our lives. Maryellen and I don’t have kids, so our pets take on an increased role in our home – suffice to say, they get a TON of attention.
We got Ruby in 1999, when she was about 2 (she was a shelter dog – we like “used dogs”), and besides our vacations, she was with us almost every minute for the past 11 years. She was on the couch with us, she slept with us (sometimes in our bed, sometimes on her bed), etc etc. I feel dogs should be welcome everywhere in their home. Personally, I don’t like dog owners that tie their dogs outside for hours on end, and then lock them in the basement when they DO let them come inside. Listen, just expect that if you have a dog, your house will have that certain doggie smell, dog hair will be present, and on rainy days, you’ll see little pawprints. Deal. But I digress.
Anyway, Ruby started limping this past summer – we took her to the vet, and they said it was likely arthritis (after all, she was 13). We got some pills/shots for her, but the limp got worse. She was pretty obviously in pain. Then her shoulder appeared swollen last Saturday – we took her back to the vet this past Monday, and got the worst diagnosis possible: it was a tumor, and she had bone cancer. Very advanced bone cancer. And very terminal, very soon. The tumor grew daily – it was almost double in size in a few days, and really hurt her. Ruby was in serious pain, and we couldn’t do anything about it. Two sleepless nights where she moaned and cried out in pain was enough. Although she put on a brave face, she was too sweet a dog to go through that any more – we took her back to the vet Friday to get put down, and she died peacefully in our arms as we told her we loved her. I’m tearing up right now as I write.
Ruby dying has affected me in a “time” sense (as well as the loss of a loved one). I’m 44 years old – my life is likely half over. Maryellen and I got Ruby right after we met/got married. So now “the Ruby years” of our lives are over. It’s very sobering to think about it that way.
George Carlin once said “life is a series of dogs” – he was right. The Ruby era is over. We’re now looking at new dogs to start a new era.
Goodbye Ruby – I love you.