My husband and I fell in love with Ridgebacks about 25 years ago. This affectionate, athletic, and handsome breed wriggled its way into our hearts in the form of Oscar, our first puppy. Bob and I got married right after college, at the tender age of 22. Our first years of marriage were rough, we moved away from family and friends for Bob’s job, and a series of miscarriages left me heart broken and aching to be home.
On my 25th birthday, I woke up to a tiny 6-week old puppy gnawing on my arm and pushing its warm little body up against me. Bob had made friends with a local breeder and thought the puppy would be a great companion for me during that difficult time. Boy was he ever. Oscar proved loyal and loving, always protective of me. His intelligent eyes could always tell when I was having a rough day. On those days he would linger by my side, pushing his weight into me as a loving nudge and reminder that he would always be there for me.
He was a constant companion for 12 years. He was with us through the births of all three of our children and guarded them even more fiercely than he did me. Oscar moved with us when we finally got to go home to North Carolina. He loved being in the mountains, always accompanying us on family hikes and rambling off into the woods after the kids. One day, we noticed he was shaking and looked at us despondently from his bed, unable to get up and eat. A visit to the vet revealed that he had incurable cancer that had already spread through his body. Sobbing we all held him and gave him our goodbyes. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Though my heart has never fully recovered from the loss of Oscar, a year after his death I was finally recovered enough to bring home a new ridgeback puppy. Sam, now 12, is a bit slower these days, but still enjoys trotting around with his canine siblings Jack and Ella who were both ridgeback rescues. Now that the kids are all of out of the house, we take our three lovable pups with us on long road trips all over the country in our RV.
This blog is dedicated to our love of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. We aim to chronicle our lives spent with these lovable pups including our current travels with them. We hope to spread awareness of the breed and provide information to those contemplating adding a ridgeback to their family.