13 Days of Gratitude: Day 3 | Ruby

Older pets make wonderful pets! It’s true. We have been so lucky to help some of our older guests find their forever home. What a blessing that is – not only for our senior dogs and cats but for their wonder humans as well.


Ruby was surrendered to WHHS when her elderly owner could no longer care for her. Rather old herself she settled in at the shelter as the office dog and spent her days wandering aimlessly around checking out all that was happening and taking comfy naps wherever she found suitable. Some wonderful volunteers offered to foster Ruby and she made herself at home there as well. Shortly after Mary called the shelter and without even meeting Ruby told us the old gal belonged with her … and the very next day she was! We are so glad that Ruby was able to enjoy her final year with Mary, where we are quite certain she was spoiled quite a lot! Mary sent us a few letters after she adopted Ruby:

August 3, 2015 – Greetings from Ruby. Ruby is a very sweet girl who has new friends in Piedmont now: Spencer (an 8 year old Border Collie), Maggie (a 9 year old Siberian Husky), and Diesel (a morbidly obese 10 year old cat.) Ruby says “thank you” to all of you at the shelter in Spearfish for taking such good care of her. Also, please let her former owners and the kind foils who took her in for foster care that she has a good home and is quite happy here. She gets along with them all. She takes short walks down my road and strolls around the backyard and front yard daily. She has a good appetite and the vet says she is very healthy. She just celebrated her 14th birthday in style.

December 15, 2015 – Ruby has a calm disposition and happy attitude. She is deaf and toothless and has beginning cataracts (or dogaracts, as the case may be.) She gets along well with her new pack. (The cat is on a diet). Ruby enjoys feng shui as a hobby. She rearranges the throw pillows on the couch where she naps by burrowing her head and shifting the pillows, often on the floor. She believes that this will bring good fortune to the household. Ruby still likes to wander in the front and back yards, taking time to inspect the vegetation or lifting her head to feel the breeze beneath her ears. Then it is back to the house for a nap. Ruby send her best to all at the shelter and wishes everyone a fur-ever home in the very near future.

When we contacted Mary to see if Ruby would like to be featured in our calendar we received the following message:

“I am very sorry to tell you that Ruby died late last month, 2 days after she turned 15. She had been dwindling over the month and was almost totally blind. She developed some intestinal problems and between my vet and me, we decided it would be merciful to let her go peacefully. She is greatly missed. I am so grateful for the almost 15 months that I shared with her. Deaf, mute and toothless, she enjoyed exploring the outdoors and tagged along with her much bigger brother (border collie) and sister (Siberian husky). She was a good eater and enjoyed a lot of naps during the day.”

Yes, old dogs are the best. When we adopt old dogs, we realize that they will leave us sooner than younger ones. But we realize everybody needs love. And, we have very good memories of them.

Ruby would have loved to see the calendar! I will show it to my cat and other 2 dogs. They will be suitably impressed.

“To Mary and all who have fostered and adopted senior pets – Thank You! The love of a senior is the absolute best….but you already know that!” – from all of us at Western Hills Humane Society



Western Hills Humane Society is pleased to offer a new program called Seniors for Seniors. Rediscover the joys of having a furry companion that is mutually beneficial and enriching. Our program matches senior dogs and cats (typically over 8 years) with senior citizens in the Spearfish, South Dakota area who are at least 62 years young.

Studies show that opening our homes to pets can give a sense of responsibility, increased alertness and sense of security, paired with unconditional love and affection which is impossible to calculate for the Senior.

Older pets make wonderful pets!

Would you consider making a donation today in support of the work we do? Also, if your children have a heart for animals, we have kid’s programs including a reading program and volunteer opportunities.

Donate online here – thank you!

We are incredibly grateful for each of you reading this today and look forward to sharing our stories of gratitude over the next 13 days.