When it comes to love, some people are willing to go the distance.
Jewel Black and Brian Rundle fell in love with a street dog, they call Ruby, on a recent trip to Aruba.
They arrived home and realized how important Ruby is to them, so on Friday Rundle flew back to rescue her. He found Ruby, and is now waiting for her to get examined by the vet in order to bring her home.
Black and Rundle’s first encounter with Ruby happened while out for dinner, when Ruby and one other dog wandered up to their table in search of food.
“They were both obviously street dogs, skinny and scrawny, filthy and crawling with fleas and ticks,” Black said.
They gave both dogs food and water, and afterwards the other dog ventured off uninterested when there was no more food left, but Ruby stayed.
“I have fed lots of street dogs before and I’ve never fallen in love with one like this,” Black said. “For some reason, I felt instantly connected with Ruby. I can’t put it to words.”
After dinner, Black and Rundle began walking back to their bed and breakfast, and Ruby followed them.
“When we got to our gate, I looked down at her as she looked up at me, and I couldn’t close the gate. I couldn’t leave her out there,” Black said.
They let Ruby stay the night with them, fed her more food, made a bed for her, and then walked her back in the morning to where they first found her.
Throughout the trip, Black and Rundle began going out and finding Ruby regularly, spending more and more time with her by taking her for car rides and letting her sleep in their room.
But soon enough, time ran out on their trip and they had to leave her behind.
“Since being back home in B.C., I thought that maybe my desire for her to be with me might lessen, but the opposite has happened. I miss her more and more every day,” Black said. “So I have made up my mind, I will use my savings to go back for her.”
Black has been in contact with a woman in Aruba who has helped transport other street dogs to Canada, and is working to bring Ruby here.
Jesse Adam, founder of RainCoast Dog Rescue Society which has an international dog rescue program, said in his experience, it is not overly difficult to adopt a dog from another country and bring it back to Canada, but it depends on each countries regulations.
RainCoast Dog Rescue Society has rescued dogs from multiple countries including the U.S., Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan over the last 10 years.
“There are animals in need all over the world, and I think we have enough room and love to give, within reason, here in Canada,” Adam said.
The rescue generally focuses on local dogs, but Adam believes it’s important to rescue dogs internationally as well.
“I think it’s good to open our mind and our hearts to the rest of the world, and all dogs deserve a chance at a kind life,” Adam said.
Adam said on top of making sure the dog is in good health and has all its vaccinations, it is important to be cautious and responsible when adopting from another country, especially in cases like Black and Rundle’s where the dog isn’t being rescued from a trusted centre.
“When you are bringing a dog to Canada from somewhere else, you should make sure it’s exactly what you want and that you’re not just going to give the dog up as soon as there’s a problem,” Adam said. “Rescue dogs go through phases, so I think the owner just has to be prepared to handle anything. It takes a lot of time and patience but love will heal all.”
This is not a worry for Black and Rundle, as their hearts are committed to Ruby.
“We love Ruby, and and we will do whatever it takes to bring her home to us,” Black said.
Black said she thinks about Ruby constantly, and regrets that they didn’t have enough time to arrange to bring the dog back with them the first time.
“It kills me that she didn’t understand why we didn’t visit her anymore, and know that I won’t be happy until she is back safe and sound with me,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has been started, to help cover the costs of vet care, medications, vaccinations, and a flight home for Ruby. To donate, visit gofundme.com/BringStreetdogRUBYhome.