Ruby came to me at North Idaho Animal Hospital, a terrorized puppy who had been shot in the head. She was deathly afraid of going to the veterinarian, and terrified to even leave home.
Yesterday I was in downtown Sandpoint, ID, and who did I see trotting up to me for a greeting and hug? Ruby, out confidently exploring the world.
What happened? Ruby’s human, Bill, cared for her with all the intensity of purpose any veterinarian could want. He worked with me, with the team at NIAH, and with my daughter, trainer Mikkel Becker, to build Ruby’s trust and teach her that the world, and people, could be safe and loving.
These are the words Bill sent me after our encounter yesterday:
It was good seeing you downtown today. I’m glad you got to see the progress Ruby has made since last summer. She could be your new poster dog for changing behaviors!
She has come so far from when I got her as a puppy with a pellet in her head and terrorized with fear. With my love and your and Mikkel’s care and knowledge she has turned into a pretty normal dog.
She is getting use to walking in downtown Sandpoint with all the cars, foot traffic, being cornered from strangers all around her, and people approaching her. She is eager to go every day, leads the way often, explores by herself at the end of her leash, and walks into open businesses to visit people or check a new place out. She loves the lake and fetching sticks. Thanks for all your help!
Ruby’s joy, and Bill’s, are all the thanks this veterinarian could ever want!
Photo: Ruby, with her big stick!