Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people of all time – Dr. John P Ruffing. He would be 51 today and probably unwilling to talk about that fact.
Tragically, John died unexpectedly at age 41 in November 2007. He left a bereft group of family, friends and clients through his veterinary work.
I’ve blogged in the past about my relationship with John and how profoundly he impacted my life. As this month drew near, I spoke with his family about finding a way to make this year a little less awful as we anticipate acknowledging ten years since his death.
So, today, we announce the launch of the Dr. John R Ruffing Memorial Animal Care Fund which will be housed with the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania to provide care for the pets they serve. Our hope is to raise $10,000 by November and organize a celebration of John’s life that month which will become an annual event to sustain the fund.
John began his career as a veterinary tech while in college. He eventually worked as a phlebotomist until he finally pursued his dream and applied to vet school. That’s where he adopted Casey, not his first dog love but the one who got him through school and sadly outlived him. Soon came Jake, Mandy, Scooby and the rest of the crew as John grew more involved in rescuing his beloved Japanese Chins.
If you knew John as a veterinarian, from his regular perch at OUTrageous Bingo, from his days at California University or when he worked his way at Century III Mall to pay for school, please consider a donation in his memory. We hope to spend this year meeting his old friends, seeing photos that are new to us and collecting the memories of a good man who who was fiercely loved by a lot of people.