Ruby Has Rallied

After a bleak week where we practically had the priest around administering the last rights, Ruby has rallied.  What a fighter.

The story is that after her recent oral surgery the vet told me she was worried about the thickened tissue inside Ruby’s mouth and that it looked cancerous.  She took a biopsy of the tissue and sent it to pathology.

Ruby comes to live with us

Ruby, the puppy, comes to live with us

I was told the results would be back in a couple of days and as time marched on with no word, I assumed the results were negative and there was no reason to be alarmed.

But then came the phone call from Ross, Ruby’s vet, and he told me she had a highly malignant melanoma in her jaw and that that is the worst place for a dog to have a tumour and that there is no treatment and that it is highly aggressive and that it will spread to her lymph nodes and her lungs.

Adoption day

Adoption day

That knocked me around.  I knew she was hesitating when she was eating and she didn’t look very happy but I had no idea things were as bad as he stated.

That was Thursday.  By Saturday she had dived downhill and I needed to collect some pain relief and antibiotics from the vet for her.  I wasn’t able to get there before they closed so the vet said he’d leave them in an after-hours box for me to collect.  After work, I took the 50-minute drive to the vet’s practice, opened the white box and can you believe, it was empty.  I turned around and drove home again and 45-minutes later had eight people for dinner.

Ruby and her puppy, Rosie

Ruby and her puppy, Rosie

By Sunday Ruby was looking really dreadful.  She hadn’t had anything to eat or drink and there was a lump on the side of her face where the tumour is.  I took her to the emergency vet who gave her some antibiotics and pain relief but said she had very little time left as the tumour was so aggressive.

The next morning I took her to see Ross, who apologised for the missing medication in the white box.  He said the pathologist had been to collect some samples and had accidentally taken Ruby’s medication with him.  Disaster!  He checked Ruby and said she looked extremely unwell and suggested the time was nigh.  But the children hadn’t yet said their goodbyes and so understanding my predicament, he gave Ruby a general anaesthetic so he could check her mouth and clean up the tumour so she wasn’t biting down on it when she tried to eat.

A beautiful puppy

A beautiful puppy

I collected her later that day and he said that what he had done would last about three days.

I spent the next few days sobbing.  It was just such a shock.  In December I was told she was in such great shape we’d have her for three or four more years.  Then last Thursday I was told she had cancer and by Sunday I was being told she needed to be put down.  It was difficult to comprehend.

So loved

So loved

But Ruby has always been a very tough and resilient young lady.  All week I watched for signs I would need to take her to the vet for that final visit.  I knew if she stopped eating and drinking, that would be the time.  Here at Hotly Spiced it’s been like feeding a toddler where you cook up all this amazing food only to have it rejected.  And what’s enjoyed one day won’t be eaten the next.  And then there’s the business of trying to get her tablets into her and I’ve tried grinding them, crushing them, chopping them and disguising them.  Anything to get her to have her pain killers.

Ruby red flowers for Ruby

Ruby red flowers for Ruby – thank you, Annie

Meanwhile she’s been so loved and adored.  She hasn’t had a minute alone.  I’ve barely left the house and if I do I take her with me.  She’s been taken on her favourite outings like a trip to the beach, and we’ve taken her to our local restaurant where dogs are allowed if you’re at an outdoor table.


Nearly 15 years old

I think all the love and attention has been very therapeutic because we thought today might have been the day.  When I told her we were going for a ride in the car she enthusiastically ran to the front door with her tail wagging.  That was a little too cheery for someone marching off to their execution.

Ross couldn’t believe how good she was looking.  Yes, her mouth is very sore but she was walking around the surgery and sniffing all the smells and when she was put on the scales she hadn’t lost any more weight.  He said that with the way she’s looking she should have a couple more weeks left in her.  As long as we can keep her pain under control.

Ruby my darling

Ruby my darling

He showed me how to give her injections so I’ve come home with a packet of syringes and some medication for her.  She’s slept most of the day but has surprised me by eating two platefuls of finely chopped barbecue chicken (the livers sauteed in butter then mixed with chicken stock and blended in the Nutribullet were rejected).

So Ruby remains in a very serious condition and her prognosis is terrible, however, she has given us a beautiful surprise by rallying.  And that’s good because we’re loving every minute she’s with us.

Rosie's love for her mother

Rosie’s love for her mother

A mighty thank you to everyone for your beautiful messages in my previous post, Ruby.  They were comforting to read and it’s lovely to know just how much love we all share for our four-legged friends.

Christmas Photo, 2014

Christmas Photo, 2014


  1. How wonderful that Ruby has rallied, a time to cherish and for everyone to love her just a little more. GG

  2. With 2 dogs of my own and having memories of many dogs taking chunks from my heart as they have left our family, I am so very happy for you all that you are able to share more time with your beautiful Ruby. A special gift!

  3. So glad to hear you have a bit more time with ruby. This is such a hard time for you all. Wishing you all the best ! Xx

  4. What a trooper – she obviously doesn’t want to leave you just yet. How lovely there’s time for more cuddles x

  5. Oh that’s wonderful news, a little more time with your precious friend. 🙂
    Take car Charlie, thoughts and prayers are super strong for you this evening. Xx

  6. That’s a wonderful reprieve to have these extra days to say goodbye. Love has an amazing effect on the body and the spirit.

  7. That’s lovely! Liz xxx

  8. Danielle says:

    Your love for Ruby has kept her going, long may she rally!

  9. Ruby is very lucky to be surrounded by such love and care. You sound like you are doing everything you can to enjoy your time with her and make her comfortable. Warm wishes.

  10. Awww, that’s such a wonderful post, Charlie. I’m glad you have more days with your darling Ruby. I pray she can stay pain free.


  11. Their percerverence is amazing isn’t it? They just want to stick around for you, their love is so great. I am very happy and relieved that she has more zest left in her. I recall when our bunny Dustie had such pain and the first time I tried to give her pain medication — what a nightmare! But then, it was as if a little bunny lightbulb went off and she realized that it helped! After that she almost gobbled down the dropper!
    About a year or so before Dustie’s actual passing, after a not so promising diagnosis (kidney failure), I found an American website selling herbal remedies to help recover Dogs with terminal cancer, which could also help bunnies by strengthening their organs. I ordered some and administered it over that year and I firmly believe it gave us another year with our precious Dustie. I tried looking them up a couple of years ago but sadly they were defunct, but I’ll send you the info by email.

  12. im so thankful that you’ve been given more time with Ruby. Blessings to you and your family. -April

  13. What a news to start the day with! Your love pours through and that has given a zest to the little trooper. May this turn into many more weeks, miracles, and lots of tail wagging.

  14. Ruby is not ready to go yet.
    She is staying alive by “PURE unequivocal LOVE.”
    xx hugs from MN.

  15. Oh Charlie, what heart-warming news! Go Ruby Go! What a girl!
    Please do give Ruby a cuddle and kiss from me.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

  16. What wonderful news. Especially as it seems like all the love and care has worked this miracle. I had mistakenly thought that she had already passed … I’m glad I was wrong. I hope she continues to rally.

  17. I missed the last post. So sorry to hear about Ruby. What a dear she looks. It’s so hard to let go of our dogs.

  18. I am so glad you have been granted a little more time. It must still be very hard knowing she is so ill, but it sounds like you are all making the most of every minute and she surely knows how loved she is.

  19. I’m so pleased that you have a few weeks to shower her with love and attention, and say a proper goodbye when the time is right for you all.

    My heart is with you, tears in my eyes as I can relate to the pain. She sounds like an absolutely lovely dog, you are lucky to have had time with each other.

  20. Oh, love all those memories of your family and Ruby – enjoy your time together – don’t you love dog friendly cafes:)

  21. Ruby sure is a fighter, with all the love she is receiving, one never knows, she may just be around for couple more months instead of couple more weeks. The photo of Ruby and Rosie is so precious.

  22. I’m so glad Ruby is feeling a bit better Charlie. What a lovely gift of time to allow you to say your goodbyes and come to peace with the tough time ahead. Ruby must feel enveloped in love with all the attention she’s been getting, what a blessing indeed 🙂 xo

  23. Good news Charlie, thank you for the update on your beloved puppy xox

  24. Enjoy every minute of every day you have to share together! When it is Ruby’s time to depart she will go to sleep at the end of a very long and beloved life! As long as she is comfortable . . . quietly love one another! And I do not think I have cherished any of your ‘offspring’ photos as those of today. Just beautiful !!!! . . . with love and good wishes . . . .

  25. So sorry to hear about Ruby. Glad to hear she has rallied – your love sounds like it has been great medicine! Wishing you and your family all the best x

  26. So glad to hear that you have a little time to say goodbye to Ruby! She was very lucky to have you as her family. Hugs coming across the big pond. I know this is so difficult.

  27. Oh Charlie, I know how much Ruby means to you and I’m so sad that she is unwell. She has lived a wonderful and very well loved life. I hope that when the time comes, it isn’t too hard on her and you and your family xxx

  28. I am so so so proud of Ruby!! She is a little warrior 🙂 I know it’s never easy to say goodbye but at least she’s been so well loved all her life. Take care Charlie! I’m thinking of you and your family xx

  29. The power of love is incredible.

  30. Oh, Charlie I have tears in my eyes reading how much joy Ruby has to you and your family. I hope she surprises you and gives you all the time you need before she slips away. Sending all the strength you need during this difficult time. XO

  31. Love the photos! So glad you have more time to love and enjoy Rosie. She looks like such a sweetheart.

  32. The photos tell a lot about Ruby’s place in your family. Oh my gosh, Charlie, but this tears at my heart. I’m sure that speaks for everyone who cares about you and the family, and for those of us who have made our pets part of our extended families, we really do grieve what’s coming. But at the same time, how wonderful to have this precious last bit of time. She knows she is adored, and that’s the best gift to give any living thing. Sending my love your way to be shared with precious Ruby. ox

  33. Oh Charlie…sorry to hear about Ruby, but glad that you have more time to enjoy her company…sending my thought across the miles to you and your family…

  34. I’m so glad that your beloved Ruby has rallied and that you’re able to manage her pain right now. XO Wishing you all comfort and many beautiful memories with her in the time you have left.

  35. This is bringing me to tears. Glad you still have a bit more time with her, she is just so beautiful! Enjoy every moment of it!

  36. Oh my what a dear. I do hope she is with you for a while longer.

  37. We feel with you Charlie, and what a special gift Ruby gave you all. Wishing our best to Ruby 🙂

  38. Go Ruby!!! You had me in tears with the first post but luckily I had seen the title to this post so I knew all wasn’t lost. From one dog lover to another I’m sending you a tight squeezy cuddle (I’m famous for them). You are really lucky to have this time to say goodbye to her…my 14 yr old Labrador, my hubby & I’s first baby, went from fine to having a stroke, losing his sight and balance so he was sent to doggie heaven in a few hours. She’s one lucky dog to have had so much love….Jan x

  39. Such terrific news! So happy for you! The title of this post made my heart leap when I saw it!

  40. My heart goes out to you all – I am so glad that Ruby has rallied. We lost our dog two years ago, and my brother just recently began the cycle of life again with a new puppy.

  41. I’m so glad you have a little more time with Miss Ruby. We were going through the same thing about a year ago—such an emotional time. xoxo

  42. Just catching up. Sorry to hear you are all going through this.

  43. Yay! Hip hip hooray! Amazing what a lot of TLC, favorite foods and a few outings can to do =) So happy Ruby is still here <3

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