Sometimes, we hear stories that seem so far-fetched they must be fiction. This tale is one of those stories. A series of events that led to a life-saving mission by a cop and a dog in the woods seems like a Hollywood tale, but it’s not. Let’s start at the beginning. We want to introduce you to a dog named Ruby.
Ruby was in a shelter in Rhode Island, and she was considered unadoptable. Ruby was so hyperactive she was returned to the shelter five times. Luckily, a worker at the shelter, Patricia Inman, refused to give up on the Australian Shepherd, because she noticed the dog was also very smart. While Ruby was in the shelter, she gave her a ton of attention and training.
Sadly, though, in cases like these, if someone doesn’t come for the dog, the shelter has no choice — they have to put them down. Ruby only had about two hours to live, Patricia knew if she didn’t come up with a plan, she would lose this dog. Then it hit her and she hopped on the phone to State Trooper Matthew Zarella.
Officer Matthew showed up to meet Ruby and see if there was anything he could do. As soon as he spent a few minutes with Ruby, and realized how smart she was, he hopped back on the phone. You see, he knew that there was someone else on the force, Officer Daniel O’Neal, and it was his lifelong dream to have a k-9 partner. The cop was excited.
Officer Daniel showed up, met Ruby, and decided then and there that his dream would finally come true. He had no idea what he was in for.
The first time he took Ruby into his home, with his pregnant wife, toddler, and another dog, she left Officer Daniel “a present.” It took quite a while for the cop to get her trained.
But soon, she showed incredible progress. As soon as Ruby had some direction and a way to get rid of all that energy, she turned the corner and earned her badge.
COP TRAINING: SEARCH AND RESCUE
Since she earned her badge, Ruby has been involved in ten search and rescue operations — she even found three of them alive. You probably think this is the end of the story, but you are wrong. It gets so much better.
Officer Daniel and Ruby got a call about a missing person. A teenage boy has been reported missing. As soon as the partners entered the woods to search for him, things felt a little off. Ruby seemed even more boisterous than usual.
“We were a mile and a half into the woods when Ruby all of a sudden quickly darted,” explained Officer Daniel.
Finally, Ruby stopped at a figure laying on the ground. She started to lick his face to attempt to wake him up. Right away, Officer Daniel called for backup. When they arrived, though, the first responders couldn’t find Ruby, Officer Daniel, and the missing boy.
TELL HER TO KEEP BARKING
The backup officers and first responders radioed Officer Daniel and he asked Ruby to bark. She obliged happily. The other responders told Officer Daniel to have her continue to bark. Before long, the two groups were united and the rescue was a success.
And here’s where things get really interesting.
Remember, when Ruby left the rescue, the officer that took her from Patricia Inman was Officer Daniel’s colleague. Officer Daniel had never met the lady responsible for saving Ruby’s life and helping him realize his dream.
You can imagine his surprise, then, when he went to inform the victim’s mother that the boy was going to be okay and she asked, “do you know a dog named Ruby?” When he told her that Ruby was his K-9 partner, both the officer and the mother nearly hit the ground when she revealed who she was.
You see, the boy’s mother is Patricia Inman, and the dog she saved all those years ago had just saved her son’s life.
How’s that for a coincidence, huh? Patricia took a chance on a dog that she couldn’t even keep, and it paid off in ways no one could have imagined.
Watch the full video about the story below.
And there you have it. Of course, saving the lives of animals may not always pay out this well, but that’s not the point. Everyone involved in this story led with love helped a dog in need, and the reward was sweeter than anyone could have dreamed.