By Gabriella Payne
Finding the perfect new home for a pet is no small task – but when it came to Ruby and Zeke, a pair of bonded great danes from Cockatoo, that task proved a little larger than usual.
This lovable pair of gentle giants have been on a rollercoaster of a journey over the last few months, after tragically losing their beloved owner Tina to cancer last year.
Mia Trigg, a dog trainer and friend of Tina’s who has worked tirelessly to help rehome Ruby and Zeke, said that the dogs had experienced “quite the journey” over the time she had known them.
“I first met Tina when Ruby was just a puppy, because she was looking for training,” Mia said.
“She had been in a pretty bad car accident before and had ended up with PTSD because of that, so Ruby was an emotional support dog for Tina really,” she said.
Tina and Mia quickly became friends and in October of 2019, after searching for a companion for Ruby for months, Tina found Zeke through the RSPCA.
But whilst going through the process of adopting Zeke, Tina went into hospital for a routine surgery – and it was only then that her doctors discovered she was living with undiagnosed cancer.
“Tina was told her she had six months to a year to live,” Mia said.
“It was a bit tricky, because she wasn’t sure if she should still take on Zeke knowing that she was going to go through all of that.
We talked about it and I said that yes, it would be harder to rehome two dogs, but Ruby was her everything, and for a while she was the reason Tina continued to get up and stay positive.
“So I said if Ruby has Zeke, at least they have each other when you’re gone,” she said.
Throughout her cancer treatment and her final months, Zeke and Ruby were by Tina’s side, and arrangements were made for Tina’s son to take the great danes to live with him – in Dubai.
“When she found out she had cancer, her son from overseas came back to look after her,” Mia said.
“And it was decided the dogs would go with him overseas.”
When Tina sadly passed away in August 2020, Ruby and Zeke were flown up to Sydney and were about to get into their specially built, extra large crates, ready for the journey to the United Arab Emirates, when some bad news came through.
It wasn’t until they were about to board the plane that Tina’s son was told that great danes are a banned breed in the United Arab Emirates, and therefore couldn’t go any further.
“It was heartbreaking, it was just such a shock,” Mia said.
Despite paying about $20,000 to transport the giant dogs and trying his hardest to get an exemption to the ban – Tina’s son had no luck and after two months of trying, had to ask Mia to help him find Ruby and Zeke a new home.
“From my experience previously rehoming dogs, I know it’s not always easy and it’s especially harder when they are two dogs – not to mention a giant breed,” Mia said.
“But I had said to Tina that if anything falls through and things don’t work out, I will find a home for them – so I’m really glad that it worked out in the end.”
After posting on social media and spreading the word throughout the local community, Mia received 17 applications for the two giant dogs, with four that looked really promising and after meeting with a few candidates, she found the perfect family.
“I think Tina would have loved to see that they have so much more space now, it’s beautiful, they are living on an acreage now and have their own dam,” Mia said.
“And I really truly think she would have liked the new family as well.”
Mia said that the new family’s own dog had died last year from cancer, so they had been looking for a new pet for a while.
“I did ask them why they wanted to adopt two dogs because it’s a big thing to take on,” Mia said.
“They told me that they noticed that sometimes with the one dog, that it just wasn’t enough for all the cuddles they wanted to give,” she said.
It’s safe to say with two great danes in the house – there will now be plenty of dogs for the family of five to cuddle.
Mia said that she’s happy to have been able to fulfill her promise to Tina and find Ruby and Zeke a new loving home nearby to her own, in Macclesfield.
“It was incredibly hard for me to let them go, I wish I could have kept them but it just wasn’t possible,” Mia said, as she runs her own doggy daycare business and has plenty of animals of her own.
“So I’m glad that they were able to stay local, so I can still see them from time to time,” she said.
It’s been a rocky road for this giant pair, but it seems that Ruby and Zeke have finally found their forever home.