A Match Made in Heaven

Adopter Heidi Weber has always had a soft spot for seniors.  In January of last year she made her first trip to Animal League America from her home in Maryland, and she gave Ruby the loving home she had been sorely missing. Sadly, in August Ruby developed pancreatitis, but her end of life was spent as a beloved and cherished companion.

Heidi remembers, “After losing Ruby, I contacted Jenna at Animal League America and asked, ‘Who is waiting for me?’ I really trust Jenna and her team and I was so excited to meet Blondie based on their recommendation.” Once again driving up from Maryland, this time it was a senior golden Lab mix greeting Heidi upon arrival, and again it was a match made in heaven.

“Blondie is the most gentle dog who adjusted to my life and schedule with ease,” Heidi said. “She loves being around other dogs and people, and yet she also loves her quiet time. I nicknamed her ‘the Gazelle’ because she has this graceful jump that she exhibits when she’s at the dog park and happily running around.”

Heidi encourages everyone to consider welcoming an older dog into their home: “Adopting a senior dog is such a rewarding experience. They bring so much love, and in Blondie’s case, she has also helped me to heal.”

Where is my human? Nothing made sense to Ruby, an eleven-year-old Labrador mix, who suddenly found herself amid the other dogs at North Shore Animal League America. Adopted from Animal League America as a puppy, she lived a happy and comfortable life with her family until early this year. Ruby’s owner passed away, and his wife entered a nursing home and was unable to care for her.

Mournful and confused, Ruby struggled to acclimate to her new environment. Our staff and volunteers reported that Ruby would “owner search” every time she was out on a walk. She checked out every person and car that drove by, desperately looking for her missing piece. When Animal League America National Spokesperson, Foster Parent, and Board Member Beth Stern heard Ruby’s story, she jumped into action. Beth posted to her Instagram followers: “We are still accepting applications for Ruby, the sad, 11-year-old lab mix whose owner just passed away. She waits all day and night for her human to come and get her and it’s utterly heartbreaking.” Included was a photo of Ruby looking off into the distance.

Meanwhile in Maryland, Heidi Weber was grieving a personal loss of her own. Her beloved senior dog, a Beagle also named Ruby, died earlier that day. Though Heidi had not planned on bringing another dog into her life so quickly, she happened to see Beth’s plea. It felt meant to be. After contacting Beth and Animal League America, Heidi drove all the way from Maryland to meet Ruby.

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The bond was immediate. Ruby zoomed around like a puppy, showing off for her new mom. “Ruby is very smart, loves people, and is enthusiastic for life,” says Heidi. And now Ruby even has celebrity status — a story in People magazine and her own Instagram account — as her story captured hearts everywhere.

Your support makes new beginnings possible for senior dogs like Ruby and their new families. Every day at Animal League America, we mend hearts, create new bonds, and bring pets and families together.