This is our youngest furry family member, Ruby Jean.
Ruby is a Tibetan Terrier, a breed we saw for the first time six years ago when we watched the National Dog Show. We tuned in just in time to see a beautiful Tibetan Terrier presented as the best in show.
We fell head over heels in love.
We had lost our rescue dog, Gracie, a few months before and promised ourselves we would never ever have three dogs again. Then we saw and researched TTs–Tibetan Terriers.
The breed is a cousin to the Lhasa Apso. Like the Lhasa, they were bred and raised by the lamas in Tibet. They were called the “Holy Dogs of Tibet” prized for their loyalty and companionship as well as being the lamas good luck charms. Neither breed was ever sold by the lamas. They were gifted as a sign of respect or as a way to promote good fortune.
We searched and searched but could not find a TT breeder locally. Even though we knew the dangers, we began a long internet search. The red flags were waving but we thought we knew what we were doing. We had been so lucky with Duffy. Heck, we knew how to make a wise breeder choice.
We were wrong.
Long story short, Ruby arrived at DIA on December 4, 2011, somewhere around 6:00 p.m. As luck would have it, Denver was experiencing the first ice storm of the year and her flight was the first one to arrive at that terminal. The outside doors were frozen shut because of the very cold temperatures and the amount of freezing rain we had received. Finally, her carrier was brought into the room where we, like the expectant parents we were, paced and paced. As Michael signed the paperwork, I edged over to meet my new puppy.
This seven-month-old puppy left Florida on the 0600 flight. Taking into account the time it took to get her ready to travel, travel to the airport, and do the pre-flight paperwork, she had been in her carrier for over twelve hours. Slowly, I bent down to gaze into her face. In the dim light, I peered around the inside of her carrier. I strained to make it be more because all I could see was wet, crumpled newspapers and a slouched-over, wide-eyed puppy. She had no food. She had no water. She had no room to sit up or lay down.
I was very unhappy. We hurried to get her home.
Once home, we coaxed her out and discovered she was underweight. She had small bites over her chest, legs, and abdomen. Her ears had very little hair. At seven months of age, she had no idea how to go up and down stairs or how to go through a door.
Today, although still skittish and shy, she is happy and healthy. She loves to run in her backyard while watching all the new types of wildlife here in the Texas hill country. Her eyes are beautiful and expressive. Her facial expressions are more human than some people I know. She is my clown, my athlete, and my healer. Whenever I am sad or not feeling well, she will be at my side until I am feeling stronger and better.
On that icy December night, as I looked into her sad eyes, I felt I had another rescue dog on my hands. I certainly had that wrong. What I did not understand was she was about to rescue me.
I love Y’all.