Ruby lifted me out of a dark place

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Feature -

Get­ting a dog ut­terly trans­formed day-to-day life for busi­ness­woman Syl­wia Po­lak. “She just bonded with me straight­away and she brought so much hap­pi­ness into my life,” re­calls the 27year-old who lives in Tralee, Co Kerry with her part­ner and five-and-half-year old res­cue dog, Ruby, who is part col­lie, part huskie. “I was a bit de­pressed be­fore I got Ruby. I was go­ing through a rough patch in my per­sonal life, and there was work stress as well. There was noth­ing ma­jor wrong, but I just felt a bit down. “I de­cided that when the op­por­tu­nity arose I’d get a dog. I was think­ing about a puppy but when Ruby came along she was just per­fect. I fell in love with her. Now, 18 months af­ter Ruby, then aged about four, en­tered her life, Syl­wia, a Pol­ish na­tional who moved to Ire­land about 12 years ago, says she’s hap­pier, more con­fi­dent, phys­i­cally fit­ter, and has lost weight. She’s dropped from a dress size 16 to a size eight, pri­mar­ily she be­lieves, be­cause of all the ex­er­cise she takes with Ruby. To en­sure the big dog gets enough ex­er­cise, Syl­wia, who re­calls that she pre­vi­ously took taxis al­most ev­ery­where, walks or skate­boards up to 5km sev­eral times a week with Ruby lop­ing along­side her. “I have al­ways had cats but my re­la­tion­ship with Ruby is much closer and more hands-on,” says Syl­wia, man­ager of Tralee’s Euro­giant store. “When we’re out we’re meet­ing peo­ple along the way and they al­ways stop for a chat. I’ve met a lot of peo­ple that way and made friends — just from walk­ing my dog. “When you look into her eyes you just feel the loy­alty, love and peace, and you can­not help but love her. “Ruby has lifted me out of that dark place. It’s about the com­pan­ion­ship. We rely on each other.”

Pic­ture: Dom­nick Walsh

LOYAL FRIEND: Syl­wia Po­lak says her dog Ruby has trans­formed her life, help­ing her to get fit and to make new friends.

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