I have the pleasure of sharing this beautiful story of a pit mix named Ruby. Ruby was brought to the Prince William County Shelter with a broken jaw due to blunt force trauma. The human scum who hurt her was never found, but the Prince William Humane Society put up a fund and paid for Ruby’s extensive surgery. Immediately after she finished her recovery she was placed back in the shelter and put up for adoption. That day I came to the shelter to evaluate dogs for my service members in need of a service dog. I had passed 3 dogs as potential service dogs and Ruby was one of them. She was so friendly and loving during her evaluation and provided endless kisses.
Once I finished evaluating all the dogs, I introduced them one at a time to my service member, Averill. All of the dogs were friendly and happy, but Ruby really laid on the charm. She wouldn’t leave Averill’s side and smothered him with pitty hugs and kisses. They made a connection right away. Once he told me he decided on Ruby, I shared her story. Averill was now able to relate to her on a whole new level. They were both “broken” and needed to heal, but now they could heal together. This is where their journey began.
I could tell Averill was very excited, but a bit nervous as well. He hadn’t planed on going home with a pit bull and was aware of all the bad publicity they receive. He also has never had a dog before, so he had a lot of learning to do. Averill was a very diligent and hard working student. Ruby knew just a couple basic commands, but she was a hot mess. She would fly (and I mean she was in the air) towards every dog and person she saw to say hello and play. She couldn’t sit still for more than 1 or 2 seconds. She was very distracted by everything in her environment. She pulled on her leash consistently. Needless to say Averill had his hands full, but he wasn’t discouraged. Averill worked with her all day every day.
One year later on Friday January 23rd, 2015 Averill and Ruby took the final service dog test…and they passed. Ruby was a star and was the recipient of many admirations by passerby’s. She even laid down while a 2 year old girl pet her, but what made me laugh was when Ruby reached her head forward trying to discretely get close enough to give the little girl a kiss. Today Ruby and Averill are an accredited Service Dog Team through Train A Dog – Save A Warrior and they are inseparable. They are an amazing team and I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of their life. I am hoping this story shows how an abused pit bull can overcome her traumatic life events and provide life saving tasks for one of our wounded warriors.