The concept of a service dog may be confusing to those who don’t have one. Sometimes you really need to see these working pups in action to fully understand how necessary and important they are.
Take Ruby for example. Ruby is a gray and white Pit Bull/Staffy from Australia who’s also an outstanding service dog.
She started training as a therapy dog in 2017, two years after her mom Shauna Darcy adopted her.
Ruby’s initial duties were to help Darcy with her anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. Turns out she had a few other tricks up her metaphorical sleeves.
Darcy told The Dodo how Ruby started to pick up on changes in her heart rate and alert her about it.
“While she was training to be a service dog I noticed that she started picking up on changes in my heart rate and would act funny — for example, paw at me, try to get my attention, get on top of me, etc.”
Darcy responded to Ruby’s cues and went to see the doctor. There, she learned about health issues she had no idea she had before, including a rare heart condition vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Ruby detected something wrong with Darcy’s heart before she could.
This sort of work would become Ruby’s focus. She continued to train as a service dog.
Darcy’s condition makes her prone to fainting, and Ruby always knows what to do if that happens.
“When I pass out she gets on top of me and applies all her pressure on me and licks my hands and face until I come around.”
Ruby even got a new, updated vest to explain her actions if her mom does pass out.
Ruby is really good at sensing trouble before it happens.
About a week ago, she started alerting her mom but Darcy felt fine and had no idea why. Trusting Ruby fully, she decided to call an ambulance anyway. That was the right move.
“It turns out my heart was going into atrial fibrillation. By the time the paramedics came, I was in pain and barely conscious.”
As she was on her way to the hospital, Darcy realized that her best friend had saved her life.
During Darcy’s hospital stay, Ruby insisted on being by her side at all times. Her skills as a therapy dog really came into play as she squeezed herself into her mom’s hospital bed, making sure she knew she was there.
This is more than just a working relationship. This is love, and its incredibly strong.
“I wouldn’t be alive without her.”
I think after hearing Shauna Darcy and Ruby’s story, it’s hard to doubt how important a service dog is to its person.
And of course, the feeling is mutual. When Ruby’s not doing her job, she enjoys playing and snuggling with her mom just like any other dog. She’s just multitalented!
Follow Ruby and her mama on Instagram for continuous updates on the little hero’s service!
H/T: The Dodo
FEATURED IMAGE: @incredibullruby/Instagram