Remembering Ruger Goodwin Healer, brother, and friend.
Ruger was such a special dog that I find it hard to come up with words that are adequate to describe him. He was a true friend, and a true brother, to so many. Daily, he humbly asked little or nothing of me and offered me his humor, his wisdom, and so much more. When we adopted Ruger, Ari had been an only dog for a few years. She had been bullied by other dogs at a communal dog walking area and had become insecure with other dogs. With Ruger by her side, she regained her confidence. Now I know that wasn't a fluke, that's just what he did. When we brought Abbey into our home years later as an out of control and scared 1 year old, he took her under his wing too. Later, he took on Gabriel as if he were his own pup.
Ruger was an essential part of Way of the Wolf Dog Training. He assisted me in so many appointments. He patiently taught nasty dogs to be nice, and fearful dogs to come out of their shells. He truly was my business partner.
Ruger was a kind soul. Everything I could think of to say about him is better said by these pictures. When Gabriel weighed 15 pounds, Ruger would "let" him knock him over, then lay on his back while the puppy bounced all over him. He tolerated Gabriel tagging along and imitating everything he did, and patiently taught him everything he knew. I selfishly hope Gabriel remembers everything Ruger taught him and grows up to have the some of the same qualities.
Ruger was a pushover at all the right times, and a big strong man at all the right times. He never took a good meal or a memory foam bed for granted. Having been a stray in rural Florida, and then having been bounced out of 3 or 4 homes before we adopted him at age 3, he was grateful for absolutely everything. Every rainy day, he slept in bed with a smile on his face because he knew he wasn't out in the weather. I often woke up in the morning with him smooshed up against me in bed, and that's all he wanted out of life. Well, and cheeseburgers. And some bacon. Mostly bacon. Luckily, we found out he was dying in time to feed him bacon and cheeseburgers every day for a month.