Pippa, was a 10 month bitch who was surrendered to Sprocker Assist in September 2016 as her owner advised she was allergic to her.
After a whopping 8 hour journey she came to live with me in the Highlands as a foster. I’ve been an admin for SAR for about 5 years now and she was my third foster.
My existing rescue sprocker, 5 year old Ted was terrified of her! To say she was a lively excitable bundle, who would wet herself if given any attention, is an understatement and he was completely overwhelmed by her and took to hiding in cupboards, behind furniture, anywhere he could to get away from her. He trembled and tried to scrape his way out of any room he was in with her.
It was awful to see him so distressed and I immediately regretted offering to foster her.
I sought advice from Keri Corbett our amazing behaviourist who gave me some strategies to use and over the next two or three weeks things improved between the dogs.
However, it highlighted to me that Pippa was a complex dog who the rescue would struggle to rehome. I lost a lot of sleep worrying about her future, imagining her going from home to home or even worse, being euthanised, and knowing I couldn’t risk that happening, knew I had to keep her. Pippa became Ruby, and joined our family as a permanent member much to Ted’s disgust and if I’m honest, against my better judgement!
I think it’s safe to say I struggled majorly with Ruby’s impulsive behaviour for two years.
I met with Keri in September 2018 and she spent several hours with Ruby and I assessing her, coming to the conclusion that Ruby has hyperkinesis, or extreme hyperactivity.
Fast forward another two years and lots of guidance from Keri, focused work and lots of blood, sweat and tears! Ruby is now 5 years old and so much more settled, but still struggles with impulse control and in the time I’ve had her, she has impaled herself and required emergency surgery, had concussion and run herself literally to the point where she has collapsed.
I know her really well now and I act as her impulse control, ensuring she does a lot of focused lead walking, scent work and only let her off-lead if I’m confident she’s in a safe place.
Its not been an easy journey with Ruby and continues to have its challenges and probably always will. I dont think she will ever be a ‘normal’ dog.
Would I do it differently if I could do it all again? No, I absolutely wouldn’t. There’s no doubt that my and Ted’s lives would be easier and more peaceful without Ruby in it, but she is the most intelligent, loving, desperate to please dog ever, and she makes me laugh every day! I’d love to say she and Ted are best buddies, but sadly that’s not the case and he just about tolerates her and I’m not sure he’s ever forgiven me.
Adopting a rescue is not an easy option and perhaps not for the faint hearted because you never truly know what you’re signing up for, but it is SO rewarding and worthwhile. The whole family love Ruby now and wouldn’t change her for anything!