Ruby Adrolf's already got a dog, and it's a pretty good one.
Stella, a big black lab, makes a brief appearance in the video below, popping up momentarily just off Ruby's right shoulder; Stella does a good, collar-jingling shake, and plods off.
Stella also features in the question and answer session that plays out between Ruby and her mom, Angela Ardolf. Angela asks her 12-year-old daughter her "favorite thing about Stella."
Ruby gives this serious cosideration, then says, "When her paws are wet."
She clarifies: "From the rain."
And suddenly you feel that dumb, clumsy heart of yours get going again. If not in that moment, maybe the next.
Angela: "Who is your favorite person?"
Angela and Ruby, who live in the suburb of Lakeville, became two of the local internet scene's favorite people late last week, after the mother posted this short clip to Instagram. It went viral to a degree that Ardolf later admitted on Facebook "caught me totally off guard."
"There have been so many kind comments from people telling me Ruby has helped them see a new perspective on disability, made them smile for the first time in so long, or just melted their heart," Angela wrote. "There have also been many cruel comments from people who have nothing better to do than put other people down. The beauty and positivity have far outweighed the negative. It has been a crazy wild ride."
Angela decided to try riding the wave of attention by starting a GoFundMe page to help pay for specialized training of a guide dog for Ruby. There, she explains Ruby's plight more fully: Her daughter has Stromme Syndrome, a "rare genetic condition" which affects brain development, digestion, and body size.
How rare? Angela says Ruby's one of 12 known cases in the world. Ruby's very survival is itself sort of a miracle, according to her mom, who writes she's proven wrong the predictions of "many doctors" over the years.
Angela's planning for Ruby's near future. In specific, Stella, their beloved black lab, is also 12 years old, and Angela wanted to bring a fully trained guide dog into the home before "Stella passes on." She started her GoFundMe on Thursday, May 18, and sought a fundraising goal of $15,000. As of this morning, they'd hit their goal.
Just a guess, but let's give credit to their quick success to Ruby's outstanding performance in this interview.
Ok guys! Here's round two of your Q&A with Ruby. We both had a blast doing this and I was very pleasantly surprised by some of her answers. 😍 Please remember that everyone has their own unique ideas, dreams and abilities! Next time you see someone with a disability, speak to them directly. You never know what they might have to say! #kidssaythedarndestthings #kidsofinstagram #qanda #askruby #disabilityawareness #disabilityisnotinability #personfirst #specialneedskids #specialneedsmom #ilovehersomuch @laurenpuncochar @sjodisneygirl @fidget6934 @unicornlover_55 @sam.98x @rocker21211