Already reeling from the loss of a husband and father, a Minnesota family is now seeking a beloved dog who hasn't been seen in over a week.
Ruby, a nine-year-old female German Shepherd, disappeared from her home in the area of Isanti and Anoka counties on Thursday, February 17:
According to a news release from The Retrievers, a Twin Cities volunteer group that helps reunite missing dogs with their owners, Ruby "uncharacteristically chased something out of her yard and did not return."
"In all our years together she has never run off. She is very attached to me," said Ruby's owner via an email from The Retrievers.
Ruby is microchipped and wears a collar bearing her family's phone number.
"She may look thin as we normally keep her body condition score lean per our veterinarian’s recommendations due to a hip issue. She may walk with a limp."
Ruby's owner says that the family adopted her "through a series of serendipities" eight years ago, around the time they learned that her husband Mark's cancer had returned and was now incurable.
"Ruby had previously suffered severe separation anxiety so it suited her that we were home a lot and she could always be with us," the email says. "She immediately became a beloved member of our pack."
She went on to describe how Ruby helped the family through Mark's battle with cancer:
She watched over Mark as he endured awful cancer treatments, accompanied our boys on adventures around our hobby farm and was my faithful hiking companion. Smart and loyal, Ruby always wants to be a part of whatever I am doing. As Mark’s health faltered she stayed by my side. After he died she started sleeping in his spot on our bed, filling that terrible emptiness. And on the darkest days of navigating life without him it was her gentle nudge that got me up. Her unwavering enthusiasm for our morning walks gave me momentum to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.
Her disappearance came just two months of Mark's death, The Retrievers say.
They're asking people in the Oak Grove, Cambridge and Isanti areas to check doorbell cams and trail cams as well as "places on your property that she could be hiding."
"Ruby may be in survival mode so if you see her, do not approach/chase/try to catch her...please just call so her mom can get there," the group says.
Anyone who sees Ruby is asked to call 612-270-9192.