Book excerpts

Samples from Ruby’s web page. [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Tale” at Amazon [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Road” at Amazon [Click here]

Buy  “Ruby’s Tale” at Barnes & Noble [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Road” at Barnes & Noble [Click here]

These are excerpts from “Ruby’s Tale”

“The journey of Ruby, who was found emaciated and abandoned as a pup, is worthy of Hollywood. It’s a story of rebirth and love that we can all learn from….Nothing short of spectacular…I loved this book!”
-William Hageman, The Chicago Tribune – August 21, 2011

It Was Only Supposed to Be for the Weekend!
Like a happy little flea, she sprang up onto the couch and flew off
repeatedly. Then she tore around the little reception room like a
dog gone mad, spinning as she ran. Her face smiled all the while. It
was walk time! Yippie! It was October 2003, and Lynn and I were
volunteers for St. Francis Animal Rescue. Because the animal rescue
didn’t have its own facility, it farmed out the dogs to various boarding
kennels, paying discounted rates for their keep. This kennel was
close to home, making it easy for us to visit twice a week.
We were known as the Rottweiler and pit bull couple. We had
fostered our share and adopted many over the years. So Rotties and
pitties were assigned to us. We had walked plenty of both breeds,
but this happy six-month-old dark brindle pit bull mix puppy named
Ruby caught our eye. There was just something extra special about
her infectious, boundless, happy demeanor!
Dogs can be emotionally complex little beings. Science is only
beginning to understand that fact, but anyone who has a dog as a
true family member already knows this. Rescue dogs are very special
cases. Many times, like foster children, they may have issues.
But, most often, a pet foster parent may not know anything about
the history of the animal unless abuse is obvious. Some rescue dogs
may be totally resilient and optimistic. Others, no matter how much
care, kindness, love, and structure they receive, have difficulty coming
out of that emotional black hole. Some never do.
Ruby was an optimist. She showed no outward signs of mental
or physical abuse other than starvation. Just a month or two before,
Ruby and her brother had been rescued from an abandoned house,
left like unwanted trash. Food and water were gone. Her fur had
been falling out in patches. Lynn and I had no intention of adopting
or fostering the little tyke. Yes, she was lovable, but we had
enough adoptees at home. We had to tell Ruby, “Walk’s over, goodbye
Ruby, see you next time.” If some spirit had descended upon
me deep one night saying, “You and the little dog Ruby will share
many adventures together, great and small. You will fly side-by-side
on an airplane to distant cities and appear on national television.
Her picture will be on the front of Milk-Bone boxes across the land.
Ruby will receive awards and accolades. The media will print and
broadcast many stories about her life and work. People in other
lands will be able to read about her. Ruby will become a certified
therapy dog, then someday your personal service dog. All of these
things will come to pass in due time,” I would have replied, “Give
me a break, and let me sleep! Go away! You’d have better luck with
Scrooge!” Little did I know all this would be true. But first we’d
have to be forced to bring her home……

Samples from Ruby’s newest book “Ruby’s Road”

The U.S.Navy and the Flying Pit Bull

Ruby was fast asleep, her head in his lap as the old gentleman with hands still as strong as steel tenderly stroked her fur. . . . Eyes closed, his mind racing back more than sixty-five years . . . back to the South Pacific. . . . Back to the island of Guam in the spring of 1946 and the little Pit Bull mix the sailors had named Poncho. . . . It was as if he were in some sort of time machine . . . he was a young lion again.

Bob Crabtree contacted me after reading Ruby’s Tale. He said he had a story he was excited to share and I was intrigued with the premise. . . . Something about a Pit Bull flying in his Navy plane during the 1940s. It didn’t take much convincing for Ruby and I to happily accept an invitation for coffee and rolls early one morning. It was the next Thursday when we knocked on the door of a large, comfortable-looking Victorian home. Bob’s gracious wife of many years warmly greeted us with kind eyes and a soft smile, instantly making us feel like family. Ruby‘s nose lifted slightly . . . bobbing in the air, tail slowly wagging. She detected a cat well-hidden from view. Once inside, time seemed to have stopped years ago, while the glory of the old mansion remained. Pictures hung on walls or scattered on tables spoke of a happy, fulfilled life. The furniture was old, timeless, and crafted in an America long past. I love looking at old houses and family pictures, but Bob suddenly arrived back from his morning walk and was anxious to get started. For a man of his age, Mr. Crabtree still cut quite a figure, and he kept himself physically fit. With our “Continental breakfast” soon out of the way, he started. . . .

World War II was barely over and the machinery of death was strangely silent everywhere as the jungle steam and salt air had already started to claim it. The cemeteries of the fallen Soldiers and Sailors on Guam, like so many others scattered on islands from Hawaii to the Philippines were mute testament to the violence and ferocity of history’s deadliest conflict.

It was into this strange mixture of paradise and war-scarred reminders that Bob Crabtree arrived by aircraft carrier. He had joined the Navy in January, 1945 while the war was still hot, and he expected to see action. But as things turned out there was a slowdown in training, and he didn’t become a radioman for the PB4Y-2 patrol plane until shortly before his arrival.

One of the first ‘sailors’ he met was Poncho, a friendly multicolored Pit Bull mix with the swagger of a Shore Patrol officer. Unaware that an astonishing number of pets were adopted by military personal as mascots, Bob was curious. “That one of the island’s dogs?” he asked an aircraft mechanic.

“Nah, he came over with the Marines during the war. He and some other dogs left with ‘em too—till the Commander aboard the ship a couple miles out said ‘no dogs!’ . . . and I guess he ordered all of them to be thrown overboard. Poncho here was the only one to make it to shore alive that we know of.”

Bob recoiled in horror. “What kind of bastard would do something like that?”

The mechanic shrugged, “Maybe he likes cats.” But he assured Bob that the dog had it good nowadays and that Poncho had the Squadron Commander’s blessings, including complete run of the base!

Bob was always a dog person and enjoyed watching the antics of the cocky little dog with the big heart. One of the first things that captured his attention was that Poncho was just one of the guys . . . always involved in everything and anything. He knew well the rhythm of the base and the base was his . . . moving easily between the mechanic’s shop, mess hall (his favorite place), the Commanders office, the beach, and anywhere the guys were just hanging out. Poncho was always up for a good game of ball and was an excellent outfielder—grabbing the ball and running off! “He just couldn’t understand why his buddies got so mad at him. Eventually he was semi-trained to retrieve the ball and bring it back . . . most of the time”. At a time before people knew alcohol was bad for animals, the little guy drank beer with the guys, and yes he got drunk and more than once staggered back to the barracks or some shady spot to sleep it off.

To Bob’s surprise, aside from the mess hall, Poncho’s favorite place was the flight line. “He just loved airplanes. No one knew when or why . . . the dog simply

Samples from Ruby’s web page. [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Tale” at Amazon [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Road” at Amazon [Click here]

Buy  “Ruby’s Tale” at Barnes & Noble [Click here]

Buy “Ruby’s Road” at Barnes & Noble [Click here]

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