My wonder dog Ruby has not been feeling very wonderful.

It started this week on Monday.  She wasn’t quite herself.  The 4th of July week was terrible for her.  She hates the loud noises and is a complete nervous Nelly.  Happily we have a fantastic vet.  She had read my Facebook feed and saw that Ruby was having a rough time and prescribed a “anxiety” med of sorts that was really helpful to her.  She knows Ruby and knows she would benefit from it.  We so appreciated that.

This week on Monday she was noticably uncomfortable.  She just overall seemed sad.  She would follow me around more than usual then lay at my feet and look at me very pleadingly.  I don’t know how to describe it.  Then she would occasionally start shaking like she does with fireworks.  I made a note of it in mind and really kept a closer eye on her.

Tuesday came along and she was still doing it.  It wasn’t particularly serious but she did seem “off”.   The childcare kids tried to play with her and she looked frustrated so I told them to leave her alone.  They they suggested that they play that she had puppies and I said – No playing with Ruby at all.  She can’t “have puppies” or “get married”.  They were to play on their own without her.

I started cutting up a cantelope for lunch and they went into the living room to play.  Then I had a funny feeling and went in the living room to check them.  One of the oldest kids had Ruby’s paws in her hands and was physically trying to pull Ruby up on the couch.  I was very frustrated.  I told her to stop and sent her straight to time out.  Well I think something more happened to Ruby and I feel sick about it.

After that, Ruby was noticably worse.  Now she had her tail down and tucked between her legs.  She was shaking a lot and she didn’t look good.  As the day went on, she got worse.  Kalissa came to pick up Carver and she looked at her.  Both of us were confused.  Was her tail the problem?  Did she have the same problem she had before with an inception (serious intestine problem that requires surgery).  I was so confused.

Kalissa ended up calling in and setting up an appointment for the next day….at first they couldn’t get her in then but Kalissa insisted as Ruby really wasn’t good.  Kalissa and I questioned the kids asking if anything happened to Ruby and one looked rather guilty.


The next day…Kelli to the rescue.  She came and took Ruby to the vet.  Ruby is an awful car rider so this was especially appreciated.  Here she is getting sedated for x-rays.
The final outcome was this…

She had full anal glands which on a human would be bad hemorrhoids…and she had a badly sprained tail.  There was swelling at a few vertebrae.

I’m really frustrated with this…the tail part especially.  I don’t know what to do with the kids.  I don’t know if I have to ban them from playing with her.  It’s so hard…she really enjoys it.  I just feel sick that they hurt her on my watch.  Ruby is super special to me and I let her get hurt.

In the end, she’s going to be okay.  She’s got some pain meds to help her through the next few days.  I’m thankful for that.  I’m also super thankful that it wasn’t the intestine problem again.  I am also really thankful that both Kalissa and Kelli were around to help me with her.  She’s a pretty special dog to us all.

21 thoughts on “Ruby”

  1. This is not related to this particular blog entry – rather a general query….I was thinking the other day that we haven’t heard anything about “neighbor girl” lately. I hope she is OK.

  2. Hope she feels better soon! I worry sick every time one of my cats is hurt or sick. On a slightly funny note (now that over 30 years have passed). Long ago, I had a pet Texas red rat snake. Beautiful little creature. I had no children then, but the neighbors’ little ones would visit. One day before I could stop them, they got into a tug of war over who got to hold the snake. You can guess the outcome!

  3. Lynne Nicholson UK

    Poor Ruby.
    Maybe she needs a puppy pen so the children can’t get to her when you are busy elsewhere. Hope she soon heals.
    Personally i wouldn’t trust pre school children left alone with dogs, and dependent on the child and dog probably wouldn’t allow them alone together until they were at least eight but probably more likely ten or eleven.
    I think it’s time to sit down and have a story time that reflects the problem. That’s what i do with my 3⅓year old grandson and have done since he was 18 months old. I make up a story so when he was being a bit rough i made up a story where two cars were playing too rough and one got hurt and had to go to the garage to be mended. More recently he has started using a word we’d rather he didn’t so I’m trying to get him say buffer instead and will strengthen that with a story about a train. Sometimes stories get through much better. Hope you get through to the children not to pull Ruby round. Poor girl needs to learn to growl so the children know when she’s had enough.

  4. Poor Ruby, glad you were able to get her in and see what the problem was. I have no advice with the child care kids, maybe they just need to know that her tail got hurt when they played to hard with her and she had to see the doctor because of it. Ruby is special and many times it makes me smile when the kids fall asleep and there is Ruby right in there with them. I think they love her too.

  5. Poor Ruby! Poor Jo! It’s so hard when the fur babies don’t feel well and can’t tell us why! I’ve always heard that their tails are sensitive. Do you have different kids at the daycare during the summer? It seems like that regular crowd has always been so good with Ruby. I hope you can figure it all out. Hope she’s back to her regular self soon!

  6. I don’t know dogs and my youngest kid is 15, so I won’t give you advice in that direction. I’d ask the vet for advice. If she follows you on Facebook, she knows about the situation. I hope Ruby is feeling better soon.

  7. Poor Ruby! Fred, Pelli and Lacey (our dogs) send get well soon wishes to Ruby… tell her to take it easy and snuggle in one of your quilts, she will be better soon! Hugs to you, I know you feel responsible, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Better days are coming for both of you!

  8. So sorry about Ruby.
    I think she needs to take priority and the kids need to learn boundaries and “no”, especially outside their own home, someone,else’s rules.
    Ruby is your family, and I think she is most important.
    I hope she feels better soon.

    PS. I live just outside NYC, and I really appreciate and admire your blog, your quilting (I’m a quilter too) and your close-knit family and community you live in. I don’t know where you find the time and energy to do all you do. You rock Jo

  9. Bless Ruby’s heart. Not feeling good and can’t tell you where it hurts. Good thing you are do in tune with her that you knew something was wrong. Glad she’s going to be okay. You will have to sit the kids down and explain that ruby doesn’t feel well and she’s not a toy but a very special 4 legged friend and can’t be rough with her.

  10. Mary Etherington`

    I am thinking about you and Ruby – I am upset all the time these days and when the dogs aren’t well, I am a nervous wreck. If it were me, I’d give Ruby a crate that is her safe place – when she’s in there, the kids know she’s off limits! As if you need something more to watch and worry about!!!

  11. Poor sweet little Ruby, it pains me to know that she has been hurt on top of having a gland problem. I feel that she wasn’t hurt on purpose but maybe play got a bit out of hand since Ruby wasn’t her normal happy self. And as you said someone was acting a bit guilty so that little one is the main child to have a chat with or like Lynne said above has said, make a story about it and maybe say it happened to Ruby before when you used to do child care. I feel your pain and your guilt Jo, I have 3 Boxers and love them like I do my grown kids. When they are sick, so am I (with worry and wonder if it was something I missed or didn’t do). You can’t be everywhere all the time and be all knowing and seeing, don’t be too hard on yourself.

  12. Awww, poor little Ruby! Hope she’s better soon.
    She’s so gentle and patient with the kiddos…she doesn’t even protect herself by barking or crying out when they hurt her. Most dogs would snap or growl…but not Ruby. I think you’ll have to consider her like an infant you’d keep…watch extra careful like she’s a baby when she’s with the kids.

    When I had my dog (who’s now passed on) I was always over-protective of her…and kept her close to me when kids came into the house. I knew if a kid was mean to her or hurt her and she snapped at / bit them…the dog is always to blame. And I knew the trouble that comes with a dog that gets a reputation of being a biter. Once I actually caught a boy kicking her. I not only saw it, but I heard it. It sounded like he’s kicked a football. It made me sick and mad as hades! Oh sorry, didn’t mean to lecture. I just hate when a helpless animal is abused. I’m sure you’ll find a solution.

  13. Talk to your vet, but a crate might be the answer. It becomes a safe place Ruby can retreat to and the kids are not allowed to bother her there. They need to understand she needs time to rest just like they do. Your laundry room could also work if there is space for a bed there.

  14. I want to second the crate vote. It can be a safe space for her where the kids do not go. In your home it will be draped with a beautiful quilt! Our crates are almost never closed and both dogs use them as their favorite snuggle place. I know Ruby is gentle, but a dog in pain can sometimes snap if they are pushed and that would be really bad for everyone. Sounds like one of the kiddos is pushing (or pulling?) a little too hard.

  15. I would talk to the parents of the kids who were there and let them know what happened. Then talk to the kids and let them know that they won’t be playing with Ruby because they hurt her. Everything has consequences and it’s a good learning experience for the kids.
    Ruby should take priority in her own home. She shouldn’t have to be crated because she didn’t do anything wrong. The kids did. Good luck to sweet Ruby.

  16. I’m glad it was nothing reallyreally serious! When we had a beagle, we had to take her in for glands about every 18 months, and just found out cats can have the same problem :-/ I agree that a place Ruby can go when she’s had enough of kids is a good idea. Or let the kids play only during certain times or only when they won’t be left un-supervised? Can she be trained to follow you when you leave the room?

  17. I hope Ruby if feeling a bit better now. For the other commemters, if I remember correctly she does have a crate that she can go to when she doesn’t want to play.

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