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Ruby

Female, 2.5 years old (Birthdate: 10/9/2021)

30 pounds, 18″ tall (small for a Border Collie)

Red and White/Tri

Excellent Health with special needs (epilepsy – See below for earliest blog entry for more details)

Reason in Rescue: Good Samaritan rescued from a less-than-ideal situation to help find the best home for Ruby.

Ruby is being fostered in New Berlin, WI. For more details, CLICK HERE to contact Ruby’s foster home.

If you are interested in meeting Ruby to see if you are a match, complete an adoption application with WBCR. This must be done before we can consider you to be matched with one of our Border Collies. Click the Adoption link and read the full application instructions.

July 11, 2024New medication started

Ruby started a new seizure medication called Potassium Bromide. It is predicted to make her quite drowsy and hungry as she adjusts over the next few days, weeks, and months. This medication has helped many dogs stop their seizures; It also may not have any effect on her as well. We will be patient, give it time, and see what difference it makes. For now, she is getting deep sleeps and wondering why I won’t feed her 20 pounds of food a day. The neurologist’s goal is to eliminate Ruby’s seizures through medication. We are looking for her forever family to go on this journey of being on Team Ruby. Her cuddles and cuteness are worth it.

July 9, 2024 – VIDEO Ruby eats carrots…

…and she is super cute while she does it. https://youtube.com/shorts/T0jRQWonbbE?si=zeo1QwpjaBcAIjPK

July 8, 2024A bored Border Collie

Ruby is a typical young Border Collie in many ways and at the same time she is her own unique self. She is typical in that she likes to be working and be busy. I make sure my garbage cans are out of reach and I try to avoid dangling electrical cords so they don’t become chew toys. She always has access to her toy box and she works for about an hour to get each meal.

July 6, 2024 – VIDEO She got the squeaker

Ruby likes to rip apart her stuffies to pull out the stuffing and/or squeaker. Here she is a winner: https://youtu.be/YrVf4TYIwWk?feature=shared

July 5, 2024 Stranger Danger

Ruby experiences some stranger danger from time to time. She is excited to see all people but sometimes she gets scared at the last moment and darts around not sure where to go. I take a few steps back with her so she can be less scared and assess the situation. I also find that it’s helpful to remind humans to not stare and to just ignore her for a moment to see if she wants to engage. I believe her stranger danger increased with the increase of her seizure medication. She wants a forever home who will help strangers set those boundaries.

July 4, 2024Fireworks and house construction

Ruby has been scared of the fireworks this weekend. My neighbor is also having some work done on his house so there has been a nail gun being used 8-10 hours a day the last few days. Her bathroom is schedule is off because she is too scared to leave the house and/or too scared to relieve herself. She had one accident one morning; we had walked around the block an hour before but she was too nervous to go #1 so she used the upstairs bedroom at one point. Otherwise she had been waking me up around 1am or 2am to go out once the noise is gone. I appreciate that kind of wake up call.

July 3, 2024New Doberman friend

Ruby made a friend with a 7 year old Doberman. They greeted each other politely on leashes and the Doberman let her know he wanted to play. He gave some play bows and put his paw on her back. She didn’t know what to make of that so she walked away. They walked around the block and then had some more time in a fenced-in yard. The Doberman tried to play again; Ruby gave two polite corrections and he backed off to give her space. It was a very successful meet and greet especially since he is about 3 times her size/weight.

June 30, 2024Ruby and her soccer ball

Ruby has many favorite toys. One of them is her soccer ball. When she goes to her forever home, this will be coming with her. She likes to chase it or chew on the straps. She finds both fun.

June 27, 2024Ruby makes a new friend

Video: https://youtube.com/shorts/8nAn1KdLJ0Q?si=G7iPB2KyispLeg02

Ruby has been adjusting to life as the only dog and has not shown a liking for the neighborhood dogs because they all bark, bark, bark at her. She met 5-month-old puppy Spike back in April when Ruby arrived to her foster home and she didn’t like the barky, jumpy puppy so we avoided each other since then. Yesterday we tried walking together and it was a grand success. Today we walked together again and ended with playtime in the yard. There was so much happiness between both dogs. Ruby loved to be chased and Spike wanted to chase. They wrestled and the smiles on their faces were endless. Cheers to new dog friends!

June 24, 2024Ruby’s Favorite Toy

In earlier blog entries, I have highlighted Ruby’s favorite toy…the rubber ball on a rope. See photos below. She had both of the her toys outside tonight for play time. Shortly after we came inside she was acting strange as if she was ill or severe depression…just not herself. After a few minutes I realized it may be her missing her favorite toy. We went to the backyard and instantly all was right with the world. I will make sure she or I bring those in next time.

June 23, 2024 – VIDEO Life with Ruby Video

“Life with Ruby” video link

June 21, 2024One Ear Up

Even when on full-squirrel-alert, Ruby only brings her right ear to attention.

June 19, 2024Current medication amounts

Levetiracetam (Keppra) 1125mg 3x per day (6am, 2pm, 10pm)

Denamarin (liver supplement) 1x per day (2pm)

Phenobarbital 64.8mg 2x per day (6am, 6pm)

Clorazdipot 15mg (after seizure care every 6 hours for 18 hours)

June 13, 2024 – VIDEO Brain Work

Ruby earns her breakfasts and dinners which makes for great brain work. Here are some videos of a few toys she uses: Large Kong Feeder and Green T-Bone.

June 12, 2024 Communication aka Barking

After the first few weeks of being in foster care, Ruby got more comfortable about communicating her wants. This means she barks to let me know she wants you to do something. It is a loud piercing bark at times so she gets me to figure out what she wants fairly quickly. So far it seems the things she wants are food (is there food on the table/counter), attention (are you looking at your phone too long), to go outside, overtired (make room on the couch or put her to bed), or there is a dog or turkey walking past.

June 11, 2024Dietary Restrictions

Due to Ruby’s epilepsy, she is on a no sugar diet. This means she gets the best treats and no-sugar-added peanut butter. She continues to be on a chicken-free diet which does seem to make her less itchy.

June 10, 2024 Likes and Dislikes

Ruby likes: toys to rip apart, time with humans, nap time, meal time, rolling in gross stuff, her orange ball, being told she is cute, squeaky toys

Ruby dislikes: barking dogs, being ignored, being brushed, long walks in the heat, dogs walking past, not being allowed to sniff smells on walks

June 9, 2024 Ruby’s Love Language

Ruby’s love language is touch! If you are interested in making Ruby part of your family, make sure you love to snuggle, pet, and scratch.

June 8, 2024Ruby’s Rules versus House Rules

House Rule: No dogs on the bed.

Ruby’s Rule: If the human is busy, is it really a rule?

June 5, 2024Napping photos

So many of my photos of Ruby are of her napping. I think that is the one time she isn’t moving and looking for something to do.

June 4, 2024Avoiding busy streets

Ruby does well when we are walking through my subdivision and doesn’t show much interest in cars that pass. When we want to cross the main, very busy street to go to other subdivisions, she wants to chase the cars. She can be distracted with a sit and treats but for the long term, it’s best to avoid walking along busy streets and stick to the quieter ones.

June 3, 2024Busted for begging

Ruby is cute even when she is begging and gets caught doing so.

May 31, 2024Toy destruction is fun and safe

Ruby loves to tear about stuffed animals to pull out all the stuffing. She doesn’t eat anything so she is allowed to destroy. You can find stuffed animals for $1-$2 at Goodwill so you don’t break the bank.

May 29, 2024Exercise for the heart and brain

I tried jogging with Ruby a few times but it seems to not be her thing. After a slow mile or two, she drags behind and would prefer to walk. We have gone on a 4 mile walk and she did great with that walking pace. She likes her sniffing breaks but who doesn’t. She doesn’t love the heat so we take advantage of getting some miles when the weather is cool each day.

I can wear her out with making her work for her meals (she has to sniff out each kibble from a toy or from around the room) and a couple walks. Currently we do about 1-2 miles in the morning and a half mile in the afternoon and another in the evening. She also enjoys her fenced in backyard to watch the birds, rabbits, and squirrels. She isn’t much into fetch currently. She will do it but she seems to prefer sitting with her orange ball which acts as a security blanket.

May 28, 2024Play dates

We still have not set up any play dates with neighborhood dogs. She likes to play rough so she needs a dog who will enjoy that and not get offended. For now, she seems happy getting all the dog love in the house.

May 27, 2024 Just kidding!

Ruby wants to know if you want a turn with her orange ball? But she follows that up with, “Just kidding!”

May 21, 2024Improving my yard work skills

Hi! Ruby here. I am getting really good helping around the yard. I make sure the squirrels and rabbits (and opossums – see May 14) stay away. Some birds try to come in too but not while I’m on duty. Today I helped plant flowers and I just watched the human. I don’t try to herd the lawn mower so I can be outside during grass cutting times. The other day I hung out quietly while the human napped in the hammock. I get excited when dogs walk by but just call me over with my orange ball or with some treats, and I can be distracted 95% of the time.

May 19, 2024My comfy crate

Ruby has been comfy in her crate while I am at work. I have a little camera on her so I can see what she is up to and if she would have a seizure. She sleeps all day long with a few stretch breaks.

May 14, 2024Opossum encounter

Tonight I went outside in the fenced yard to do my business and I found a big opossum. I didn’t know what to do so we just looked at each other for a long time. My mom thought I was peeing so she didn’t come over. The opossum rolled on her back and showed me all her teeth; I stood over her not showing mine. I gave a big bark and my foster mom came over with her flashlight. She picked me up and told me I was a good girl for being nice to our visitor. She checked me over and finally believed me that I didn’t make any contact because I am a good girl.

May 13, 2024Passing the time from Ruby’s perspective

It’s me Ruby! You may wonder what I do to pass the time. I like to tear about stuffed toys. I like to eat my meals from treat balls and toys that I have to think about how to get the kibble out. I like to nap. I like to spend time with my human(s). I like to follow my human around the house. I like to chase squirrels, birds, and rabbits. Today I saw a giant turkey and I wanted to chase that but I was on a leash. I like to play tug but I don’t like it when humans pretend to growl when we do that. I like to sniff and explore. I like to be cute and sassy.

May 7, 2024 Six-month check-up with Neurologist

Ruby had her second visit to a Neurologist for her six-month check-up. Ideally she will continue to get a six-month check-up to make sure blood levels are good, medications are working, and make sure questions are answered. We had a very positive visit. She was happy to see the staff. Ruby is going to continue her medication schedule of 6am, 2pm, 6pm, and 10pm because it seems to be working to reduce the intensity of seizures. Historically her seizures have been clusters of three but her last seizure was not a cluster and the single seizure was under a minute on April 28.

May 5, 2024 Dog Friends

There are some dogs in the neighborhood that Ruby likes and some she doesn’t. If they bark at her, she doesn’t like them. She could use some more socializing with dogs who like playing rough. Some dogs would not like this. The dog she lived with this winter really enjoyed Ruby and gave the rough play right back to her. A populated dog park would not be the best fit for her. I need to learn more about her play style and introduction manners…for now I know I have a lot of barking dogs for neighbors.

May 1, 2024“SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” says Ruby

When we are taking our walks and there is movement, Ruby wants whatever is moving. Squirrels seem especially exciting. I make sure to grab the leash tight so I don’t get yanked. We are working on distractions with delicious rewards.

April 28, 2024My shades of browns and reds

Check out all the beautiful shades of browns and reds on my face. My humans love the color of my eyes too. How many colors can you count? What about when I am running fast?

April 26, 2024 Snuggling after dinner please

After dinner, I want to come up on the human’s lap but sometimes even when I am invited, I don’t jump up. The last few days, I have barked at my foster mom, she makes room next to her, invites me up but I don’t jump up. She has figured out that if she picks me up and puts me on her lap, I melt and fall asleep.

Sleeping Ruby

April 24, 2024 Medication for Epilepsy

Ruby is working with an animal Neurologist to reduce or eliminate her seizures using medication. From October through April, Ruby was taking two medications twice a day (6am, 6pm). Starting today, she will be trying an increased dose of one of the medications. This means she will take pills at 6am, 2pm, 6pm, and 10pm. Currently that averages about $40-$60 per month. Ruby has been averaging one seizure every 4-6 weeks. All of us on “Team Ruby” are hopeful the new cadence will create even more stability.

April 20, 2024Ruby’s Daily Facts

  • Crate trained – Yes! Ruby sleeps soundly in her crate during times I am at work.
  • Bedtime – 8-9pm. Ruby’s off switch kicks in for her morning nap and her bedtime around 8-9pm. She puts herself to bed which is a dog bed or a couch to snuggle.
  • Morning Time – The first thing Ruby likes to do each morning is get pets or have some solo play time with her toys. She wants these before eating and going outside.
  • Cuddles – Yes, please. Ruby likes to go up to most strangers, sit perfectly still and invite them to pet her. She loves body rubs and face rubs any time of day.
  • Treat-motivated – Ruby makes training easy because she will do as you say for a treat. I use her normal kibble for training so she is working for her breakfast and dinner.
  • Favorite Toys – She likes to pull apart stuffed animals, toys that squeak, and spend time with her orange ball or pink ball.
  • Barking – Ruby barks when she wants to play with you and you aren’t engaging with her or when she is overtired. It’s like she is saying, “hey, can you throw something for me or find a toy for me to squeak.” Otherwise she is a mostly quiet dog at night, in her crate, and hanging out.

April 19, 2024 Taking Pills from Ruby’s View

Hi, it’s me Ruby. Time for me to brag about myself again. I am so good at taking my daily pills that are working to regulate my seizures. The humans put a little bit of cream cheese on them and I just eat it without any issues. Of course I sit first but then I take it gently from their finger. Yesterday, the neighbor came over when I was by myself in my crate. I met him a couple times earlier and like him because he gives great head scratches. He gave me one of my pills lightly dipped in cream cheese and was on his way. It was awesome.

April 16, 2024Ruby’s Vocabulary Comprehension

Ruby came in WBCR knowing a lot of words and she is continuing to build on that vocabulary. The last few nights she learned “Find It” which means she has to sit and wait while I hide treats around the room. Then she is released and needs to find all the treats. She did quite well and is gaining speed finding all the treats. Her other words include: Yes!, nope, sit, stay, come, down, touch, watch, wait, off, get a toy, leave it, let’s go, this way, front, in, backseat, and bedtime. She is smart and loves to work for a treat.

Playtime Ruby

April 14, 2024Love for her orange ball

Ruby’s favorite toy is her orange ball on a rope. If you look closely at the photo below of her sleeping, you can see it tucked under her shoulder. When you say “go get your toy”, it’s her orange ball that she wants to bring to you.

April 11, 2024Exploring the toy closet and other toys

If Ruby had to choose her second favorite toy, it would be this pink squeaky ball (photo below on right). She has an entire toy closet (see photo below on left) just for her but she likes her orange toy and pink ball best of all the rest.

April 10, 2024First jog

Ruby went for her first jog at her new foster home. She did great after the first block when a few squirrels and birds were there as distractions. She rarely pulled and just trotted along seeming to understand the purpose was to stay steady and stay the course. We are looking forward to exploring this more to see if she will make a great running partner. (Update: Ruby does not like to go for runs over a mile.)

April 9, 2024 No-cat recommendation

Ruby will need to be adopted into a no-cat home. Her prey drive seems to be strong when it comes to neighborhood wildlife. She is fast when chasing the rabbits, squirrels, and birds out of my backyard.

April 8, 2024From Ruby herself

I’m Ruby. I’m 2.5 years old. I am a pure bred female Border Collie. I was bred to be small, red, and cute, which I am. That means I’m fun to look at but my real charm comes out when I want humans to pet me and I want all humans to pet me. I get a stranger’s attention with a wag of my tail and my happy eye contact. Then I sit in front of them in a sweet and calm manner, so they pet me all over. I let my eyes get all droopy so they know they are doing it right. 

I have only been in foster care with WI Border Collie Rescue for a few days but I’m learning my new routine and new place real fast. Let me brag for a moment. I haven’t had a single accident in the house, I take my medicine, I play ball, I cuddle, I’m quiet in my crate, I walk fairly well on leash, and I am just so good looking. 

I will be ready for adoption around May 6 so keep coming back to see if I’m the one for you and you are the one for me. 

April 6, 2024Ruby arrives into WBCR.

Ruby arrived into foster care with WBCR. She has had quite a path to get her here. 

Ruby likes to play fetch for a couple throws:  https://youtube.com/shorts/oHI3zbyJOFg?si=ZlMqD2MWb61snbYH

September 2023-March 2024Life in foster care before WI Border Collie Rescue

In September 2023, Ruby came across an amazing human in the middle of a National Forest out west. Ruby seemed to say, “hey, I don’t want to be with these guys I’m traveling with and you look nice. Can I come with you?” They all discussed and the guys said the woman and her boyfriend from Wisconsin could take Ruby. For the next week Ruby traveled in the couple’s van. She was a great companion and seemed to know that she just got a first class ticket to a much better life. 

From October to March, Ruby lived with another dog. They played during the day and snuggled at night. She went to a small in-home doggy day care a couple days a week. Ruby liked to play with her foster sibling: https://youtube.com/shorts/fjAgj3B_dJU?feature=shared The couple knew they couldn’t keep Ruby so after a few months they reached out to see if relinquishment was possible. 

Ruby has Special Needs:

A few weeks after returning to Wisconsin, Ruby had a seizure. Over the next six months, her temporary home worked with the vet and neurologist to determine proper medication doses. A lot of progress has been made. WBCR will continue this path so Ruby can continue to be successful. Ruby’s forever family will need to give medications at specific times and monitor her epilepsy so it is stable. Currently she has had about a seizure every 5-6 weeks. The length and severity of them have declined the last couple months as medication amounts get adjusted and after she was spayed.

Ruby and WBCR are endlessly grateful for all the time, care, and resources Ruby’s first foster mom took to rescue Ruby and create Team Ruby by bringing together experts, love, and knowledge that will set Ruby up for success. We need more humans like Ruby’s first foster mom.

Seizure History since September 2023: October 18 @4am, December 3 @12am, January 12 @12:30am, February 19 @12:30am, March 17 @6am, April 3 @4pm, April 14 @5:30am, April 28 @2am, May 17 @10:30am, June 14 @3pm, and July 7 @5pm. We believe the uptick in April was due to the stress of moving to her new foster home.

More seizure details and updates can be found above in blog entries on April 24, May 7, June 11, and June 19.

Q&A about Ruby’s seizures:

What causes the seizures? The neurologist is not sure. We assume stress was a factor in April’s foster home transition. We know she had some when she lived out west with her original owners but she was an outdoor dog so they did not monitor her.

What role does Ruby’s human play during a seizure? The most important task is to recognize she is having one which is easy to do if you are with her. She is loud enough that it will wake you. Step two is to give a dose of her emergency medicine when she is conscious and can swallow. Step three which happens at the same time as step two is to stay calm, note the timing of how long the grand mal part of the seizure is, and keep her safe so she doesn’t wander. Noting the timing is helpful for the neurologist to determine if the medications need adjustments.

How long does a seizure last? Ruby’s seizures have been decreasing in length and severity so it’s tricky to say. On average, she has a cluster of three seizures that last about 30-60 seconds each and about 5-20 minutes in between. She is a confused or exhausted in between the grand mal episodes and for an hour or two afterwards. Afterwards Ruby tends to take it easy and sleep for the next 24 hours.

Is every seizure a grand mal? She has had some focal seizures the days following a grand mal. These seem to be a normal part of her recovery since they tend to be a face twitch or body twitch here and there. She might have had an absence seizure in June or she was in a very deep sleep. She recovered just fine.