Shauna Darcy initially acquired Ruby as an emotional support animal to help her cope with her anxiety, depression, and fear of public spaces. Right from the beginning, Ruby proved to be an extraordinary companion and emotional support animal, demonstrating unwavering devotion.
Shauna shared with The Dodo that during Ruby’s training as a service dog, she noticed the canine paying attention to changes in her pulse and responding in unique ways, such as pawing at her, seeking her attention, or climbing onto her. Intrigued by Ruby’s behavior, Shauna decided to heed her cues and visited a doctor. To her surprise, she received a diagnosis of a rare heart disease called vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which she had not previously known about. It turned out that Ruby had sensed something was amiss even before Shauna realized it, prompting her to shift her focus to Shauna’s cardiac issues as a service dog.
On a daily basis, Ruby assists Shauna in various ways, including monitoring her vital signs and heart rate, providing support during panic attacks, and retrieving necessary medications during emergencies. Additionally, Ruby helps Shauna by carrying groceries, retrieving dropped items, and reaching objects that are difficult to access. Ruby is even trained in deep pressure therapy, which involves applying pressure to Shauna’s body until she feels better. According to Shauna, when she becomes unresponsive, Ruby quickly responds by licking her fingers and face until she regains consciousness.
Ruby offers continuous support to Shauna, even when she doesn’t realize she needs it. Just last week, Ruby detected an issue, though Shauna wasn’t sure what was wrong. Despite feeling fine, Shauna trusted Ruby’s instincts and called for an ambulance as a precaution. It turned out that Shauna’s heart was in distress, and by the time the paramedics arrived, she was in considerable pain and barely conscious.
Upon being brought to the clinic by the paramedics, Shauna realized that Ruby had been her unwavering companion throughout. While doctors worked diligently to stabilize Shauna, Ruby refused to leave her side. Even when Shauna was unconscious, Ruby lay next to her, pressed against her on the single bed, providing comfort through her presence.
During their time at the clinic, Ruby became quite popular with visitors. She always appeared stylish when accompanying Shauna, yet she never strayed too far from her side, demonstrating her deep affection for her companion. Even the clinic staff developed a fondness for Ruby.