Simba, Nala & The Captain’s Stories
Simba: Hi, my name is Simba and I am a golden retriever and Canine Ambassador at Ruffin’ It. I had a ‘ruff’ start with life as I was barely surviving on the streets of Chicago. I was so hungry I ate part of a basketball and ketchup packet which had to be surgically removed. I had heartworm disease and was barely hanging on when someone found me and called GRRoW (Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin). They had to shave me down to the skin because my hair was so matted. I looked quite pathetic, all emaciated- but my true golden personality survived and started to thrive when I met my mommy. We went through the heartworm treatment together (they said I may not make it, whatever that meant)…my mom hand fed me for the first six months because I ate so quickly I’d throw it right up. I gained weight, grew a beautiful golden coat and learned good manners. I now have the best life and am what people call ‘spoiled’ although I think every dog should be treated this way…that’s when I talked my mom into opening Ruffin’ It Resort…to make dogs’ dreams come true! Simba’s favorite hobbies include training younger pups how to be acceptably social in daycare and welcoming each doggie guest & their human.
Simba crossed the rainbow bridge but remains in our hearts as our inspiration to rescue those who are overlooked due to physical or emotional challenges; they need love the most and give it away with reckless abandon.
Nala: I’m an interesting-looking german wirehair who never grew my second coat (they say I look more like a shorthair). I’m also quite small; I top out at 34 pounds and was what they called ‘the runt’ of the litter. I was returned to the breeder when I was about one year old. It was a crazy place…lots & lots of dogs, hunting dogs. One day a nice man (who I now call ‘daddy’) visited and we had a pleasant car ride all the way from Iowa to Madison. I met my brother, Simba (who looks nothing like me so I’m unsure why our parents think we’re related). My mom was horrified at how thin I was. Initially, I had little interest in food but that’s definitely changed. I had (& apparently still have) a number of issues; what my parents term ‘the after-effects from my previous lifestyle’. I’m terribly frightened of loud noises, kennels and other dogs getting in my space, although I do have several close four-legged friends and I don’t mind them in my space at all. In fact, we play super fun games!! For some odd reason, I’m called ‘the criminal’…this label is used when I decide to redecorate the house while the family is away (just a pillow here or there, I have excellent design acumen) or when I eat my brother’s food or take his bone or dig in the yard…everything is all about me, after all, I don’t know why it’s taking everyone so long to understand this. I love to run and have a beautiful, graceful way about me (not to sound boastful, but I’ve heard the word around town a number of times). I’m also ‘absolutely gorgeous’ and often get stopped at the dog park while people folk admire me (don’t they know I’m busy ‘hunting’?)…if I wrote a book it would be called ‘the joy of running and how to get away with criminal activity’. It took me many months to bond with my family but now I’m a loyal pack member and decided I’ll keep them long term. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go on ‘Nala patrol’ and keep the squirrels in line.
Sincerely, the cute criminal, Nala.
The Captain: I’m a shih-tzu and also have a sad story with a fairytale ending. I was one of the Thyme & Sage Ranch rescues and was in horrible condition. I was basically bald, my skin was raw and full of sores/scabs, I had a terrible odor, and most of my teeth had to be removed. I also need physical therapy to learn how to walk again as my muscles were antrophied from years of being in a cage. The Dane County Humane Society was instrumental in my initial diagnosis and care. I was very confused and hid in a corner. No one wanted to adopt me because I looked funny and had that foul odor. I had to be bathed every day in a special shampoo for 6 months in an attempt to rid myself of mange. I also took all kinds of medications, some of which tasted awful and I’d ‘head for the hills’ when those came out! During this time a person began visiting me each week. She didn’t mind my unique look or smell. One day she took me home with her and told me she was my new mommy! A real home with a daddy and fur brother & sister. I didn’t know what to do. Everything was new for me. Grass, doorways, t.v.s, stairs, going outside…you name it, it was new. But, guess what?? My hair grew back (mostly, I still have some freckled spots) and apparently I’m ‘just darling’ and have a ‘cute walk’ and ‘the sweetest personality’ (how can I have a PERSONality when I’m a dog?). I play with toys now and pig ears are my favorite treat. I even have a friend…her name is Frances and I’m learning to play (I even ‘play bow’ which, for some reason, my mom is very excited about). I recently completed my PhD in Napping. This is the good life! May all dogs’ dreams come true!
The Captain crossed the rainbow bridge and remains in our hearts as a legend for how a rescue changes lives.
Love, your Best in Show Consulting Concierge, The Captain