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Ruby & Azibo

Once you let a Ridgeback into your life no other breed of canine will do!

My beloved ridgeback girl Flo had reached 13 years of age and I felt it was time to investigate the possibility adopt a new member of the Rhonehurst pack. To keep my other Ridgee Wicket warm in the winter. Janice suggested I might like to meet Ruby who was up for adoption through no fault of her own. Ruby was being picked on by another dog in the house. Janice described her as a small Ridgeback bitch which did not faze me as I had always described Flo and her mate Wicket as pigmy Ridges.

So on Good Friday 2014 my friend Rach, Wicket and I went on a road trip to Yorkshire from darkest Berkshire. My initial reaction was “That’s not a Ridgeback” as Ruby checked me out over the low fence. All I could see was a dark brown/blackish mask: now greying around the muzzle. Her most outstanding feature was her warm amber eyes.

Ruby’s size was a surprise (22 inches or 57cm) she had a stocky stature like Staffie. As Ruby turned away to follow her owner into the garden her ridge became obvious and her last quirky feature was reviled: a kink at the bottom of her tail.

RubyThe introduction with Wicket was trouble free as Ruby treated him with complete indifference. After sizing him up she soon thawed and allowed him to play. Wicket as usual decided to try his tried and trusted plan of domination: she put him in his place. Ruby was the girl for me.

What Ruby lacks in stature is compensated for by her personality. In the first month she did everything at 100 miles an hour and at times shared the characteristics of a bulldozer. Ruby was and is extremely vocal with a large repertoire of sounds. At walking and feed time she has more spring than Tigger and bounces up and down like a demented beach ball.

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and Wicket didn’t read the script. Unfortunately after only month of Ruby’s adoption Wicket was put to sleep after a two week battle with bone cancer. After I came to terms with my loss I phoned Janice who was supportive and understanding and agreed that she was happy to consider me as a possible adopter again.
So into my life came Azibo. I had no idea what to expect when I met Azibo as the Ridgeback Rescue did not have time to assess him. There was such a short time between his owner’s painful decision to put him up for adoption and the owners’ new posting abroad with the British Army

AziboWow! Azibo was drop dead gorgeous, substantial red wheaten male ridgeback. He carried himself well and moved across the ground powerful seemingly without effort. It was love at first sight.

He was alert, obedient and willing to please. He was calm in the house. Once he mooched around the living room he came to checking me out and gave me a lick. It was like being kissed by a cow: his tongue had a touch of roughness and it covers a large area.
Azibo had been well trained by his previous owner which was obvious when it was time for his tea. He sat obediently and waited. I put the bow down and he didn’t move he stayed like a statue. When I said “ok” he didn’t move. I had a vision of still being stood there until morning unable to find the release command. In the end “ok” was going to be the new command word and I led him to the food. He looked for reassurance and then ate very slowly.

Azibo has a zest for life and once in any large open space runs about for the sheer joy of life at full tilt dodging and turning. His favourite activity is rolling, on grass, on the sand gallops and huge piles of straw lying on harvested fields. He runs along the line of the straw at half speed then dips one shoulder. Then slides into the heap of straw and disappears in explosion of wheat stalks and legs. He likes a quiet life when comes to the pecking order he’s happy not to be the alpha ridgeback.

As the year turns into 2015 Zibo and Ruby have a strong bond.

Zibo and Ruby

As for Flo (Ridgeback in the middle) she has beaten the odds and at 14 years is still one step ahead of the Grim Reaper.

Azibo, Flo and Ruby

As for me it’s a battle sometimes to find sofa space…

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have guardianship of these two fantastic canines and providing companionship for Flo in her twilight years.

Jayne B & Flo (2014)

January 2015

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