Veruca Salt

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The many dogs who live and visit the ranch are also a part of our extended family. Veruca Salt, "Ruca," is my closest canine companion. She is a wonderful and insightful assistant. She has a knack for showing up at the right time--for instance, just when a little girl stomps her feets and announces, "I want to have fun and play!" - Ruca is there to skitter across the arena in a crazy, ground-hugging run.

Ruca is initially cautious towards people and loves it when strangers let her sniff their hand before politely petting her on the chest at first greeting. However, she quickly solidifies her friendships. One time she even climbed into the car after a person's first visit to the ranch. This person had admitted to feeling depressed, even suicidal, but Ruca's offer to accompany her home gave her a sense of strength and support that went beyond words.

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