Lifestyle

Future rosy for special needs dog

Gavin and Sally Smith, with sons Martin (blue shirt) and Simon (red shirt), and dog Mya and new family member Ruby Rose (front) enjoying a surf. Photo: supplied
Gavin and Sally Smith, with sons Martin (blue shirt) and Simon (red shirt), and dog Mya and new family member Ruby Rose (front) enjoying a surf. Photo: supplied

BORN deaf and blind in one eye, Red Kelpie Ruby Rose's future looked bleak when she was surrendered to the RSPCA's Tweed Heads Adoption Centre last year.

Instead her new owners are not only embracing her special needs - they are teaching her to surf.

Ruby's eye was removed by the centre because of a medical condition.

And a University of Queensland hearing specialist confirmed she was completely deaf because of damaged nerves between her ear and brain.

Regardless, Gavin and Sally Smith fell in love with Ruby Rose when they saw her on the RSPCA Adopt a Pet website.

Mrs Smith said she had a feeling about Ruby and thought she was lucky to have made it so far, given her special needs.

"We just knew she was right for us and she has settled in perfectly with our two children and older Border Collie cross Kelpie, Mia."

The Smiths want Ruby to be an example of how positive an experience adopting a disabled pet can be.

"People are surprised that we knew Ruby Rose was deaf and blind when we adopted her.

"She is a very happy and extremely loyal dog.

"We just did lots of research and it helped that we had experience with breeding dogs.

"You can't be a lazy dog owner," she said.

Adoption Centre staff and Ruby had some help learning hand signals from experienced deaf dog trainer, Robyn Adair.

The Smith family also had to learn to communicate with Ruby Rose through hand signals.

They speak to her so she can learn to read facial expressions and use lights to get her attention in the dark.

Ruby Rose even became a learning tool with the Smith's two sons when she was taken to school to teach four-year-olds about bullying and being different.

"Ruby Rose did a great job," Mrs Smith said.

"All the kids were giving her thumbs up (a good dog sign).

"The children were fascinated with her and loved learning about her special needs."

Ruby Rose enjoys a lot of normal dog activities including sleeping, going for long runs with friends and other dogs, playing frisbee and has enjoyed starting surfing lessons.

"She went for her first surfboard ride last month - I think she is a natural," Mrs Smith said.

Topics:  dog kelpie rspca



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

What follows the big tree at St Patrick's?

HEARTBROKEN: The iconic poinciana outside St Patrick's Church fell victim to last week's storm.

After icon felled in storm, Gympie looks to the future

Give the best gift of all and adopt-a-family this Christmas

GIVING SEASON: Julie Miller and Major Brian Smith from the Gympie Salvation Army are asking the community to help those most in need.

We need your help to make a difference this Christmas

Event promises a very Mary Christmas

FESTIVE SPIRIT: Faye Jefferson, Craig Skennerton, Bev Evans and Karyn Palmer from Red Cross Opp Shop at last year's event.

Mary St gears up for Christmas bonanza

Local Partners

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Event promises a very Mary Christmas

FESTIVE SPIRIT: Faye Jefferson, Craig Skennerton, Bev Evans and Karyn Palmer from Red Cross Opp Shop at last year's event.

Mary St gears up for Christmas bonanza

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!