EDITORIAL

We should learn from Ruby’s example

Posted 5/18/22

The passing of State Police K9 Ruby is indeed something to mourn.

Ruby’s story, inspirational enough to land her national acclaim and a Netflix movie that came out this past March, is one of …

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EDITORIAL

We should learn from Ruby’s example

Posted

The passing of State Police K9 Ruby is indeed something to mourn.

Ruby’s story, inspirational enough to land her national acclaim and a Netflix movie that came out this past March, is one of those rare examples of a heartwarming story with no ulterior or cynical angle. This dog, who was about to be given up on and euthanized, would go on to become a dutiful officer and actually directly save a teenager’s life — the son of the very same woman who had tried to keep her from being euthanized in the first place. You just can’t make it up, and it rightfully tugs at the heartstrings to see that her story has ended.

But the lessons we can and should learn from her story do not have to end with Ruby’s passing. State Police Col. Carnell Weaver said it best himself in a statement following the announcement of the somber news.

“She became a symbol of hope for all shelter dogs, showing the world what a shelter dog can do when just given love and the chance to shine.”

That symbol does not need to apply only to a lovable pup with a tearjerking story. Given the right conditions, support and motivation, we would posit that humanity would be much better off if more people were given “love and the chance to shine.”

It is easy for us to rally support behind homeless dogs finding homes anAd a purpose, but you find far more disagreement and cynicism when discussing problems associated with homeless human beings, and how the blight of homelessness should be dealt with is discussed often with a backdrop of pity and judgment rather than one of optimism and potential.

The same can be said for a slew of issues regarding our most vulnerable fellow people: the handicapped, the mentally ill and victims of substance abuse, those experiencing abject poverty, and on and on. When we see a defenseless and helpless animal, our brains naturally slide towards empathy and a desire to help. When we see the same traits in a human, a natural tendency is to wonder where they went wrong, or how cumbersome and expensive and difficult it is to accommodate those individuals into our “normal” society.

This is a national shame — one that is not the fault of any one individual or group, but at the same time it is a responsibility to be borne by all of us as a collective society. We must be judged not by how successful some of us can become, but by how effectively we help out those who languish in the margins of society, and how meaningful our efforts are to ensure they are not tossed aside and forgotten, like Ruby almost was.

Everyone can do their own small part to make this change, and if enough people do, we can celebrate more stories like Ruby’s in our own neighborhoods, among our own fellow human beings.

Ruby, editorial

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  • umpwuggly

    I believe institutions must be brought back with more modern and focused training, treatment and when necessary guidance. First find out who has what issues. There are way too many panhandlers standing on street corners scamming people. This is well do***ented if you do a quick search on the web.

    If people are homeless, then shelter in the way of a barracks will be provided. No drugs or alcohol permitted. If they are intoxicated they will be brought to the State Hospital, a cot and water will be provided a doctor and nurse will monitor. This will not get anyone out of work the next day.

    If jobless work in the form of cleaning and maintaining the living area and then training. Everyone can do something. What is needed is focus and the willingness to do what's needed.

    What I described above may sound impossible, yet your example of Ruby with help of an officer that did what was needed, not necessarily what the dog wanted, worked.

    Monday, June 13 Report this