Catching Up, Giving Thanks, and Pet Blogging

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Celebrating 5 Years With Ruby: How We Saved Each Other

This week Ruby celebrates five years with our family. She has now lived with us almost as long as in her first, not-so-nice home.

We adopted Ruby a month after Pip died. Everyone is different, but for me the best way to honor Pip was to adopt another dog right away. Her foster dads dropped her off two days before Thanksgiving. She arrived with a pink bed and a purple stuffed bear, both of which she still has and loves today. It was a messy time; I was still grieving Pip and Ruby was still healing and learning to trust. We gathered strength from each other and waited (and waited) until we were both OK.

My father passed away in February. And once again, Ruby stayed with me through the weight and wreckage of grief just as she did almost five years earlier with Pip. This sweet, soulful dog instinctively knows how to be present in moments when there are no words, only loss and broken quiet.

The right dog always finds us at the right time and sometimes saves us as much as we save them.

In memory of my father and in celebration of Ruby’s five-year anniversary, I am raising funds for Safe Humane Chicago. As long time followers may remember, Ruby is part of Safe Humane Chicago’s Court Case Dog Program. Court Case Dogs are victims of severe neglect and abuse who have been rescued by police or animal control officers and are associated with criminal court cases against their abusers. Prior to 2010, court case dogs were kept in cages at Chicago Animal Care & Control, sometimes for years, and then were routinely euthanized following the conclusion of their criminal cases.

Thanks to Safe Humane Chicago, court case dogs now receive socialization, training and supportive care so that they can transition successfully to partner rescues and find loving homes. Ruby is one of more than 1,200 court case dogs to receive a second chance thanks to Safe Humane Chicago.

Although truthfully my dad was more of a cat person, there was nothing he loved more than a good comeback story, especially Ruby’s story. He always rooted for the underdog and was the ultimate champion of lost causes and second chances – and court case dogs are the ultimate underdogs.

Please join me in making a donation in support of second chances for court case dogs and the lucky families they will surely love and heal. All donations no matter how small are welcome and appreciated. If you aren’t able to donate, please consider sharing the campaign or volunteering with dogs in your community.

You can make a donation here. If you would rather send a donation via regular mail, please email me at

Thank you for your friendship and support! Ruby and I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!


  1. November 19, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Aw. Ruby is adorable and what a lovely and happy ending for you both. Dogs can help heal better than just about anything else.

    Have a woof woof day, Ruby. My bet to your wonderful mom. ♥

  2. November 19, 2018 / 3:21 pm

    Safe Humane could not be happier to have you as well as Ruby in our big family. Thank you so much for your generosity and your powerful, compassionate words. Sending much love to Ruby and to Ruby’s mom.

  3. November 19, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    Such a beautiful second chance story! With a car down right now, all of my giving comes in the form of working for local rescues, and i am going to try to find out what happens to court case animals locally, too. Such a great program should be spread everywhere.

  4. November 19, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    It was just meant to be and neither one of you couldn’t have made a better choice!

  5. November 19, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Happy Gotcha Day Ruby! We know how lucky you are to have landed in your great home.

  6. November 19, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Hari Om
    Ruby, is it really five years??? my word where did that all go>!! Sending much love to you and your furmily. hugs and wags YAM-aunty xxx

  7. November 19, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Happy 5th Gotcha Day, Ruby! You and your mom were meant to be with each other♥

  8. November 19, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Our dogs really help us as much as we help them. I don’t know what I would have done without mine since I lost Errol. Pip was your everything, then Ruby came and brought you so much love. I’m so happy you two found each other.

  9. November 19, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    Happy Gotcha Day to Ruby! We can’t believe it has been five years already. We think Angel Pip had a big paw in sending Ruby to you – Pip knew just what you needed.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  10. Kathleen M Budrean
    November 19, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Your words are beautiful. So happy to know you, to be a part of Ruby’s life in even a small way and to have you in our larger Safe Humane Chicago family.

  11. November 19, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    A very Happy Gotcha Day Ruby!!
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

  12. Idaho PugRanch
    November 19, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    So glad you found each other
    Hazel & Mabel

  13. November 20, 2018 / 1:12 am

    Happy Gotcha Day Ruby!!! …to have such a wonderful furfriend in good and sad times is a blessing ;O)

  14. Princess Leah
    November 20, 2018 / 3:48 am

    Happy Gotcha Day Ruby, I am soooo glad you and your Mom found each other
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  15. November 20, 2018 / 5:48 am

    So happy you found each other. Mom can’t imagine waking up without a dog at her side, so we are a multiple pup family. We dogs pull people out of their sadness, it is natural for us. Congratulations on 5 years!

  16. November 20, 2018 / 8:04 am

    This is for sure a comeback story Ruby was handpicked by Angel Pip!!
    Kristin I’m so sorry to read about your Dad’s passing.
    Hugs C ecilia

  17. Sandra Hangey
    November 20, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Sorry for the loss of your Dad, and this is a wonderful comeback story. I just love it. I did not know about court cases like this, and so glad to hear Chicago had the safe program. you and Ruby are both blessed to have each other. my heart is happy for you and sad for the other dogs waiting to be . rescued. in our area there are thousands of rescue shelter dogs and cats

  18. November 20, 2018 / 11:31 am

    Congratulations on 5 wonderful years together – I wish you and Ruby many more years together! Her adoption story is so sweet, I can see how you rescued each other. Our pets really can help us get over grief and disappointment. That’s their super power.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  19. November 20, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Happy Fifth Anniversary, Kristin and Ruby! Your story speaks to the power of the animal/person bond. So many people say it’s “just” a dog or a cat and it makes me sad to see how much they’re missing out on.

  20. 15andmeowing
    November 20, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    Happy 5th Gotcha Day! XO

  21. November 20, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Happy Happy 5th Gotcha Day Ruby!! I can’t believe it has been 5 years already!

  22. November 20, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    Oh, I just loves your transformation gurl! I just knows you are a sweet soul with a name like RUBY! BOL!!! (sorry,…it just had to be said….☺) HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY GOTCHA DAY!!!!! And lots of {{{hugs}}}} and slobbery kisses for your Moms for rescuing you and sharing your journey with us.
    Margaritas all around!!!
    Ruby ♥
    (the OTHER Ruby…you knows I HAD to say it rights??!)

  23. November 21, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Awe ya’ll were a pawfect match!! Dat are such a pawesome program and we are so glad you are Ruby’s furever home!!

    Happy Belated Gotcha Day 🙂

    Matt & Matilda

  24. November 21, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Happy Gotcha Day, Ruby! You couldn’t have ended up in a better home!

  25. meowmeowmans
    November 21, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    Happy Gotcha Day, Ruby! We love that you found your perfect happily ever after. 🙂

  26. November 22, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    Happy Gotcha Day Ruby ! We’re so glad you found a wonderful family ! Purrs

  27. November 22, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    I truly believe our dogs save us and not the other way around. I am so happy Ruby has you and you have her. Happy Gotcha Day! Happy Thanksgiving!

  28. November 23, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    Happy Gotcha Day, Ruby! You hit the jackpot, as did your mom. You are the ultimate comeback story. I am so happy for both of you.

  29. Marjorie Dawson
    November 24, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    Ruby is a tribute to your loving care as much as a saviour herself. It takes two to take a journey of discovery and enjoy the ride!

    Happy Gotcher Day Ruby!!!!

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