It was approaching 9 pm as the plane hovered somewhere over the Lower Mainland, the view outside Heather Ferguson’s window obstructed by a wall of white fog. The captain came on the intercom and let out a resigned sigh. “Sorry, folks,” he said, “it looks like the fog in Victoria is too thick for us to land. We’ll have to spend the night in Vancouver.”
Thwarted travel plans caused by finicky Canadian weather are a hassle for any traveler. But Heather had an extra worry on that night in October 2013 – two dogs, one a puppy in a crate, were waiting for her at home in Oak Bay. What was a pet owner to do?
Heather has long been a lover of dogs, from Barney, the Golden Retriever and Trooper the Border Collie cross of her childhood, to Marley, the beloved Rescue Golden she and husband Cameron Turner welcomed home in 2000. Today, Cameron and Heather have two Goldens, three-year old Tilly and 10-month old Peter. Acquired from two different breeders in Ontario and BC, the two dogs have very distinctive personalities. “Tilly is our corporate lawyer, very intense, very focused,” Heather says, but “Pete is our partyboy, always up for fun, a perpetual smile on his face. He’s the guy who dunks his face in the water bowl and blows bubbles. You can hear it from across the room.”
On that late-night Air Canada flight, however, Heather wasn’t thinking of Peter’s love for blowing bubbles, but about the dogs being all alone. Heather and Cameron had booked a Ruffin’It dogsitter, Chelsea, to care for the dogs when they were out of town. Thinking she would be back on time, Heather had let Chelsea go home earlier that night, and Cameron was in Toronto visiting family.
What to do? As soon as her plane landed in Vancouver, Heather called Steven and told him about her predicament. Steven immediately hauled himself out of bed and stayed with Tilly and Pete overnight.
Heather and Cameron had been clients of Ruffin It since they moved to Victoria in 2011. They knew they would need a service that provided ample exercise for the highly energetic Tilly, and Ruffin’It’s Adventure Hikes fit the bill perfectly. Heather decided on Ruffin’It for Tilly’s care when Steven invited her along for a walk. “While on the walk with about 7 dogs, we approached a road and Steven managed to get all 7 dogs, including Tilly to wait patiently behind him while he checked for cars before crossing,” Heather recalls. “I was so impressed I gave him the job of caring for Tilly right then and there.”
Heather is grateful for the care Steven gave to Tilly and Pete when she couldn’t make it home on that foggy night last autumn. She says this is proof of how Ruffin’It will bend over backwards to care for other dogs. “I can’t thank Steven and Jennifer enough for that. They were there when we needed them. That is why I use Ruffin’It.”