Love For Life Program – Ruffus

Love For Life Program - Rufus

“Ruffus came to live with us at one of the lowest points in our lives.  His family that he’s known and loved his entire 14 years of his life turned their trusted companion in to the county shelter.  Maybe due to his age, being overweight or because he had health problems.  We will never know.  But the moment I saw his post on Facebook, I knew he would be the perfect addition to our family, and especially a companion for my two other GSDs, 11 year-old Malak and 1 year-old Foxiee Rose.  Athena, another young GSD, joined us shortly after Ruffus. Together they form our ‘F.A.R.M.’ (Foxiee, Athena, Ruffus and Malak), and life has never been so good.

Ruffus was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), which is a progressive neurological disease of the spinal cord in older dogs.  Onset can not only be hard of our loyal canine, but it can lead to become emotionally exhausting. There are three stages to the disease, and sadly for Ruffus, he is in the beginning process of the late stage.  His paws are starting to knuckle down, he trips over his own paws and he slowly is losing the use of his back legs and the rest of his body.  We hoped we would have Ruffus beyond his 6-month life expectancy, and we have!

When Ruffus first arrived in our home, he was very confused and was not too sure what was going on.  He wanted to lay down and not do anything.  He only got up to go to the bathroom and eat, but the rest of the day he wanted to be left alone, yet still wanted to be in the same room as us.  He was sad and hobbled to our backyard gate looking and waiting for his family to pick him up.  We had a conversation with Ruffus that day at the gate and explained to him that his family wasn’t coming back and if he’d accept us as his family, we would care for him and love him.  As the weeks went by, Ruffus started to come out of his shell and started showing his true colors.

We like to refer to Ruffus as Sean Connery, so distinguished and very handsome.  He has our heart.  He is a very loving, happy and intelligent.  His expressions will melt your heart and make you want to do anything and everything to give him a long and happy life.  The smallest of the F.A.R.M. pack, Foxiee Rose, is his protector.  She has to supervise whenever someone comes near him.  Along with his buddy, Malak, who likes to start a ‘woofing’ session.  Ruffus has a lot of obstacles to overcome, but with his pack and us, we will make sure Ruffus will never do this alone.

Ruffus likes barking with the pack, eating snacks and going for rides. He also enjoys pool therapy, hanging out with his family, ice chips, and chewing on a favorite toy while laying out on the cool grass.  He also likes playing catch with a squeaky ball, belly rubs and body massages, baths, kisses and sleeping. He loves being pulled around in his wagon, but he also has a special cart so he can walk around with assistance for his back legs.

To Ruffus, just know how proud of you we are for not giving up.  There were lots of times that you could have.  But you have surpassed the 6 months we hoped for, and we love you.”

–Dianne M. Barraza-Mooney and Tyler J. Tomjack

Wish List:

  • Food (senior)
  • Joint supplements
  • Pee pads
  • Shampoo
  • Smaller full body harness