Farm to Family – Ruby

a dog lying in the floor with crossed front pawsIn September 2016 we were devastated to lose our almost 14-year-old yellow lab, Elle, who we had since she was a puppy. After a week of deep sadness, we searched the internet for “Rescues for Labrador Retrievers in Pa.” Brookline Lab Rescue popped up and within five minutes we found Ruby — a beautiful six or seven-year-old yellow girl. We read about her life as a “farm girl” and the hardships she endured.

Fortunately, Ruby was rescued from the farm and placed with a Brookline foster mom named Maggie. At first, Ruby didn’t know what toys were, how to play with the other dogs in the house or even that she should go potty in the grass. She couldn’t climb stairs and loud noises terrified her. With the love she received in foster care, Ruby made an amazing transformation and when she was ready for a forever home, we were thrilled to be matched with her. She became the most wonderful dog we ever had.

a dog and a man outside

From day one, Ruby was a girl of rituals and routines. She insisted on sleeping in the front bedroom with our son. Even when we moved, she claimed the front bedroom of the new house as Ruby’s Room. On walks, Ruby would often decide to simply take a break by lying down on the grass or along the road. We gave up trying to coax her along, so we would all just take a break with her. In the evenings, Ruby would pop out of her front bedroom and come into the family room for TV time. It was her routine – another ritual – and the funniest thing. Before she would lay down to watch TV, she would stop and look at each of us as if to say…”Well here I am!” We looked forward to it every night.

a dog and a woman cuddling on the bedroom floor

Sadly, last October we had to say goodbye to Ruby. We were crushed, but it was time. The night before she passed, she came out to watch TV with us one last time. Ruby was between 13 and 14 years old when she died. Happily for her, Ruby’s years as a breeder dog had faded into a distant memory. Her years with us, however, will never be forgotten. We miss you, girl.
Families who foster and adopt farm dogs know what special dogs they can become. These stories, told by the families themselves, speak of the transformation breeder dogs go through when they are rescued and placed in loving homes. Please support our Farm-to-Family Campaign so that more dogs, like Ruby, can live the life every Labrador Retriever should live.