She’s been with Erin and her daughter, Alexis, since she was a pup. When Alexis competed in gymnastic competitions in high school, Ruby was there, cheering her on. On the rides home, Ruby would routinely curl up next to a dead-tired Alexis and sleep with her.
Now 10 years of age, Ruby is still very active, and still expects to go everywhere with her human friends. And she does. “My dog is part of my family,” Erin said. Ruby travels with the two, stays in hotels, vacations, and anything else that comes up.
Just as you would expect, on a summer day, Ruby was enjoying a family outing of a two-mile hike followed by a swim in the creek. Ruby thrived on activity and that day was no exception. But the evening of the same day, Erin noticed Ruby had become very lethargic. She slept continuously and refused food.
Alarmed, Erin took her to the vet, who found that Ruby’s heartbeat was a scant 45 beats per minute (BPM). The normal rate should have been 90-100 BPM. Erin blamed herself, saying she shouldn’t have let Ruby run and play or swim in the creek.
Her vet reassured her that she had done nothing wrong. As with people, it sometimes happens. He then wisely recommended that Erin take Ruby to see a cardiologist, which she did.
The news wasn’t good. The little dog had a third degree heart block and needed a pacemaker. To Erin’s horror, this cardiologist recommended just letting Ruby “fade away,” putting Ruby down when she got too lethargic. Erin had no intention of doing that to a member of her family.
Fortunately, she found the University of California-Davis Veterinary School. They took one look at Ruby and said, “No way this dog should fade away!” They recommended a pacemaker for her, but there was a catch. Because the pacemaker only came in one size, seven-pound Ruby would need to have hers surgically implanted.
When Erin heard the cost of the surgery and the pacemaker, she knew there was no way she could afford it. With her daughter starting her first year of college, money was tight, and it was about to get tighter. Erin got word that she lost her job.
Terrified, she had no idea how she was going to manage the expense of saving Ruby’s life, but terror does not mean she gave up. The distinct possibility of losing her dog motivated Erin into action. She got on the computer and started searching, applying to many animal organizations for financial assistance.
But she didn’t stop there. Erin also started an online fundraiser. This helped but it didn’t put a dent in the amount of money she needed to save Ruby’s life. Each day she checked her email for positive news that her case had been accepted for financial assistance.
Each day the answer was the same. NO.
When Erin got the green light from us, she was shocked. In fact, she had forgotten she had applied to The Mosby Foundation because she didn’t think we would help. “I was so used to getting no’s,” she told us.
“Darlene contacted me in her sweet southern accent. I was so happy! She has been the sweetest, kindest person in all of our interactions, even the way she speaks to you in her voicemails.”
Care Credit also approved her application, and Dylan’s Hearts, another non-profit, provided some financial assistance. Incredibly, on the day that Erin scheduled Ruby’s surgery, she got a very good job.
By the time Ruby was wheeled into surgery, Erin was filling out her new-hire paperwork. That was one major hurdle overcome. Now Ruby had to win the fight for her life.
Because of Ruby’s tiny size, the pacemaker had to be inserted through her stomach, with two stitches holding it to her heart. After five long hours in surgery, Ruby made it through without any complications.
Post surgery for two weeks, Ruby could not enjoy any of her usual activities. It was critical for the pacemaker to settle into her body. Finally, the little dog’s confinement was complete and Ruby got to go for a full-length walk. She loved it!
We’re thrilled to say that Ruby improves daily. What a fighter! As for Erin, she told us, “It was a blessing that The Mosby Foundation was there at that time in my life. You stand behind the message that pets shouldn’t have to be put down because of finances.”
Because of you, our dear donors, Ruby Two Shoes, gets a new lease on life. Your contributions also sparked a new awareness for Erin. “There are options, and it’s important to donate to those options because you never know when you might need those services.” And that is what Erin intends to do.
Just like Ruby, she knows that good things come in small packages.