|‘She was one of a kind – the best dog ever’|
|Written by Deborah Stone|
Ruthie, Willows Lodge’s beloved canine ambassador, has died.
The 12-year-old basset hound, who was a fixture at the Woodinville property, succumbed to lung cancer on February 13th.
“Ruthie had such a sweet and friendly disposition and she was always happy to see people,” says Janene Varden, director of sales at Willows. “She got along with everyone and was the perfect fit for the lodge. She always put a smile on people’s faces as soon as they entered. Our guests just loved being greeted by her and those that met her would always look forward to seeing her again when they returned.”
Varden adds, “Ruthie was a part of our family and she touched so many hearts. The response to her death has been overwhelming. It’s amazing how many people have responded about it on Facebook. She brought joy and brightened up everybody’s days, and she added such warmth to the lodge.”
The adorable basset’s activities, preferences, thoughts and emotions were dutifully expressed on daily Facebook postings by her closest companion, Rhanda Rosselot, marketing manager for Willows. Rosselot and Ruthie spent most days together and several times a week, Ruthie would spend the night at Rosselot’s home.
When at the lodge, she took naps and slept in either her bed near the front desk or the one behind it for more privacy.
“She got very attached to me,” says Rosselot, “and she was with me pretty much 24-7. I’d take her everywhere and she loved to ride in the car and stick her head out of the window to feel the wind and smell the air.” She adds, “Ruthie was very smart, incredibly patient and obedient. There wasn’t anyone she didn’t like and she was friendly with other dogs, the Herbfarm’s pigs and even with Ste. Michelle’s peacocks when they wandered over here. When kids came, she would let them put their hands all over her and never protest.”
Ruthie first came to Willows about six years ago after her original owner, one of the lodge’s employees, discovered she was unable to keep the basset at her place of residence. She was the lodge’s third canine ambassador, after her predecessors Preston and Gus passed away, and in no time, she became the darling of both staff and guests.
Her birthdays were always celebrated and on holidays, she would get to show off one of her many hats.
According to Rosselot, Ruthie adored bacon, baths and moseying around the gardens.
She liked to chase rabbits and would often have stare-down contests with the creatures.
“She really had a good life here,” notes Rosselot. “She knew she was truly loved and that’s all that matters. She was one of a kind – the best dog ever – and losing her is like losing a child, a member of your family. It’s heart-wrenching and the entire staff is in mourning.”
Ruthie is buried on site in the gardens at Willows and there will soon be a bench with a plaque in her memory.