RUBY'S TALE: a true rags to riches story!
by Julia Szabo
photo by Sara Beth Photography
Every shelter dog has a story to tell, and deserves to have it told, but not every adoptee K9 has a willing and able biographer. Ruby, a brindle beauty, got lucky. First, she was rescued from an abandoned house by St. Francis of Assisi Animal Rescue in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Then, she was placed in a foster home in nearby Scandia, where the Bettendorf family agreed to care for her until the right home was found. "We agreed to foster Ruby just for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend - ha!" recalls Pat Bettendorf, who quickly joined the proud legions of "foster failures" by adopting the six-month-old pup in December 2003.
Happily for dogs who are too often dis criminated against by breed, Ruby cer tainly found the right home"”and her success has done a great deal to change the public's perception of so-called "dangerous" dogs. Today, at age seven, Ruby is looking forward to the publica tion of Bettendorf's book titled Ruby's Tale (Beaver's Pond Press), the chroni cle of her meteoric rise from shelter un derdog to media top dog. But inspiring a K9 biography isn't Ruby's only spectacu lar achievement. The sweet little pit bull has numerous career highs to look back on - and the future's so bright, she's got ta wear shades (which she does, often).
Certified by Therapy Dogs International (TDI), Ruby visits nursing homes twice a week, spreading love and joy wherever she goes, and serving as an abassador for the often-maligned American Pit Bull Terrier. Ruby's star quality reached a bigger audience when she accompa nied Bettendorf to the local radio sta tion where he hosted an afternoon radio show. From radio it was a small leap to the stage, as Ruby was cast as the fam ily pet in a Minnesota theater produc tion of Cheaper by the Dozen. At every performance, she was surrounded by 12 adoring, adorable kids"”yet Ruby managed to command the spotlight by remaining strong and silent, on-stage and off. "She is steady, calm, smart, and unflappable," Bettendorf says.
It wasn't long before Ruby left an im pression with television audiences too. Fox 9 News and the local CBS affiliate featured the perfectly-behaved pit when she was inducted into the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association Animal Hall of Fame in 2006. The budding me dia hound was also immortalized in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a feature ar ticle that quickly went national when it was picked up by the Associated Press.
A dog star was born. What to do for an encore? Enter the Milk-Bone contest! Not only was Ruby one of the hundred biscuit-spokesdog finalists in the company's hundredth-anniversary contest, she made it to to the top three. As a guest on TV's "Bonnie Hunt Show," Ruby graciously thanked her celebrity host by lovingly licking her face. And because Ruby is also certified as a Ser vice Dog, she traveled to Hollywood for the TV gig in style: inside the airplane cabin, on her very own seat.
Despite her dazzling stardom, Ruby never forgets her humble beginnings, and she's always glad to be the guest dog at animal shelter fundraisers, or visit schools to help teach kids about dog safety. And in her down time, she loves snuggling up for naps, sharing a pillow with her little sister Sadie, the Betten dorfs' 4-year-old daughter. "Not too bad for a dog who was left behind to die," concludes Bet tendorf. We couldn't agree more"”rock on, Ruby!
For more information about Ruby: www.rubystales.com or you can purchase the book through www.amazon.com