STEVEN AND RUBY, A LOVE STORY!
Steven was born with cognitive, balance and mobility challenges. He was confined to a wheelchair and the doctors told us that he would not walk independently during his lifetime. Gradually though, with physiotherapy, he walks with the assistance of a walker.
Then came Ruby, a beautiful Golden Retriever service dog from COPE. Together they have experienced the joys and trials of life for over five years now. Steven has a great affinity for animals and, somehow, he just knows their spirit and they understand his. Steven talks about Ruby at every encounter and is proud to introduce her wherever he goes. And Ruby is welcomed enthusiastically throughout our travels, especially where we are repeat guests. As we descend upon a favorite restaurant or our summer retreat at a hotel in Muskoka, the staff all know Ruby!
Ruby walks with Steven to ensure that he doesn’t go too fast or stumble. She opens the handicap doors which have buttons for her to push. She helps to pull off Steven’s coat or shirt. She gives him confidence and a reason to push himself to higher levels. To that end, we now see Steven able to travel short distances without any assistive device other than a leash and a bond between him and his dog, Ruby.
Recently, Ruby was re-certified as a service dog. Their relationship goes well beyond that of a service dog to include her intellectual, social, and emotional attributes. It is a phenomenal mystery enshrined in the very existence of life that we all cherish each and every day.