The canine world has lost another angel.
Peacefully, surrounded by her family, Ruby passed in the wee hours this morning. She will be missed desperately by her family and anyone who had the chance to meet her. Ruby was one of the most devoted canine girls that I've ever had the privilege of meeting. She liked people in general but her family... well there was none like them and I have to agree. The life they shared with this girl was one that most dogs would dream of.
Ruby was the first dog for my sister's family. She joined their family when my niece and nephews were very young. The kids (now grown) spent most of their lives with her by their side. Ruby watched them grow and kept them in order. She had a very different relationship with each member of her family and liked it that way until the end.
I met Ruby when she was just a youngster; full of beans and raring to go. Her absolute favorite thing in the world was balls and water. A true Nova Scotia Tolling Retriever, Ruby excelled at water and land retrieval. She went through life never far from a tennis ball.
As part of Ruby's extended family, I was one of the lucky ones. I got to spend hours photographing her as a youngster, in her prime, golden years and beyond. I loved shooting her in high gear; leaping into the water for her ball and bringing it back. She could often be seen sitting on the front of the kayak as my sister paddled around the lake.
Ruby also snuck into the hearts of Grandma and Grandpa where she was a special spot for her alone. They adored her and she them. It was a very special connection.
Ruby spent enviable time at my parent's (Grandma and Grandpa's) cottage. Whether she was diving in the water, retrieving on land, kayaking, swimming, sleeping by the fire or just enjoying the great Canadian outdoors, she loved life to the max.
Just two weeks ago I headed home to visit my sister and her family. I captured some great moments of Ruby enjoying her golden years.
But my absolute favorite thing about seeing Ruby again just weeks ago was watching her care team. Observing her family dote on her every move; help her up and down the stairs, tag team feed her and care for her was heartwarming. She was as loved as any dog could ever be loved, if not more. There is now a huge hole in many hearts today. But soon those holes will be filled with loving memories. The memories that our dogs leave with us that can never go away. They are stored away in a special place in our heart until needed.
Ruby leaves a legacy. As the first dog she has set the ground work for those to follow in her footsteps. She has instilled the love, care and connection between human and canine. She will be deeply missed by many. Rest now sweet girl.