Rubine’s Story – From Hell in a Cage to Heaven at Home…

Rubine’s Diary… from hell to heaven…

Rubine started life in a living hell, stuck in a small cat cage with her mum and 3 siblings from birth.

Never having the space to run or stretch or be like a normal dog, her legs were bent and she didn’t know how to walk properly.

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Then one day, after many visits to Rubine’s owner failed to encourage him to provide the dogs with more humane living conditions, AFJ was able to free Rubine and his remaining siblings Ruchie and Rufo.  (Her mum and another sibling had been sold.)

For the very first time, Rubine found out what it was like to live a life free of the cage.

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For the next three months Rubine left behind her life behind bars and began adjusting to a normal happy life at the dog sanctuary, waiting for the right person to come and love her.

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She learned to run and play, how to eat and pee and poop  in the way a dog should be able too, not squashed up and on top of the other dogs, her life experience thus far.

Then one day AFJ got an email from Ella.  She’d read about Rubine’s life in a cage and fallen in love with Rubine’s photo.  Ella and her husband Patrick decided then and there that Rubine was the one to complete their family.  Ella and Patrick already have a small son  Nael and they wanted him to grow up with a four legged friend just as Ella had when she was a girl.  She didn’t mind that Rubine was not a special breed and her legs were bent.  She didn’t want to buy a dog from a breeder, she wanted to support a dog that needed rescuing and Rubine’s eyes called out to her as she read her story on the AFJ fb site so she’d filled in the adoption form and sent it in.


After the AFJ adoption team had read her application, Ella was cleared to the next stage of the process – a home visit from the AFJ Adoption Team.    AFJ visited Ella, Patrick and Nael late the next evening and they turned out to be the most perfect candidates for Rubine’s new family.  They live in quiet neighbourhood where others also have dogs and the landlord and neighbours are dog friendly.  The house is also perfect as they have a small fenced yard and carport, the perfect size for a small dog like Rubine to play in. They plan to live in Jogja permanently but if in the future things change and they have to move, then just like Nael, Rubine will come along.  No way would they leave him behind – a dog is part of the family.  They also agreed to make sure that Rubine has regular vaccinations and worm and flea treatment,  and they will feed Rubine the way she likes to be fed at the AFJ sanctuary or slowly transition her to dog food when she’s ready.

So with all the boxes ticked, it was agreed that Ella, Patrick and Nael could come and meet Rubine for the first time.  Sometimes a photo is different from the real deal so they needed to come and meet Rubine to see if they were meant to be a family or perhaps another dog would suit them better.

AFJ location is kept secret and is not open to the public to protect the animals there and also to prevent people dumping unwanted pets so Ella and Patrick had to sign a secrecy agreement before the visit.  They had already transferred the fee to cover the spaying operation and vaccinations that Rubine had already had, then on the 17th of November, they arrived at the sanctuary.  Nael was a little nervous at first seeing so many dogs barking and jumping around.  AFJ’s dogs are not in cages but large enclosures where they can run free but are still safe inside a boundary fence.

Rubine was ready at the gate with Anun her carer but she was very nervous about being on a leash.  She’d done a little behavioural training with Sophie one of our volunteers, but she didn’t really get the idea that the leash meant freedom, she was still traumatized by her cage experience and she still needed some encouragement to walk.


When Ella saw Rubine it was love at first sight.  From the moment she held her, Ruben nestled into her arms and put her head under Ella’s chin as if to say, she’s my new mum, I think I will stay here.  And so she did.  Ella spent some time learning how to encourage Rubine to walk by giving her treats and pats whenever she took a step, but she’ll need some more training at home.

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Nael was a bit apprehensive but by the end of the visit, Rubine was eating snacks out of Nael’s hand. 

Then they took Rubine for a quick walk to say goodbye to her brother Rufo, and his house mates Pickles and Celine and the cats.


Patrick was really happy to see Nael, Ella and Rubine happy together and he also encouraged Rubine to walk and play with Nael but he also had other ideas.  You see, when they arrived, the other dogs all came to the front and Patrick fell in love with John.  He asked Ella, how about taking John too?? Hmm, maybe later Ya??


And so it was time for the happy family to go home.  Ella had brought her adoption form and transferred the subsidy fee for vaccines and spaying.  Then it was time to jump into the car.

Rubine joined Nael and Ella in the back while Patrick drove them to Rubine’s new home.  Who knows, after a few months, John may get to see Rubine again…

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See you in a month for a homevisit Rubine…



Rubine is adjusting so well in her new home.   For the first few days at her new home, Rubine didn’t eat much of the food Ella cooked so she decided to try her on dry dog food for puppies, and it turned out she liked it. So since then she’s been eating dog food.   Rubine and Nael are best of friends now.  It took some time for Rubine to want to walk on the grass outside, she only wanted to be inside, but now she is happy playing outside and in.  Nael takes her for walks and they always play together.

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Often Nael just sits near Rubine when she eats, accompanying her.   So cute.   When Nael wakes up and comes out of the bedroom, the first thing he does is look for Rubine and to play with her. One day, Nael suddenly cried after his nap and Rubine came for him and rolled over on the floor, which made Nael instantly laugh.  Ella and Patrick are so glad they get along very well.   But they still haven’t managed to make her like the leash.   Whenever Ella or Patrick come to her with the leash, she lies down and won’t move.   So for now she walks without a leash, just to introduce her to the activity of walking together with the family.   Fortunately she stays close and they only walk around the housing estate where there is little traffic, but it will still be safer if she takes to the leash.  For now they will keep on trying.

Update 23/11/14

Here’s an update from Rubines adopter Ella:

“ I hope I don’t send you too many emails, but I’m excited to tell you Rubine’s latest update.  I was so happy when Rubine finally wanted to play voluntarily in the yard! She really enjoyed her time there, especially when she met a frog and got very excited, (don’t worry, we’ve made sure that the frog was not dangerous). Now she’s brave enough to go outside alone, even sometimes enjoying her time just laying down there. And she’s more playful now! I was afraid she was stressed because she was so calm as AFJ said she was playful.   Nael is so into her right now, he always wants to play with her, which makes us happy.   Rubine is so nice and sweet, she never chews anything else except the big bone I gave her since the first time, and now she started to go potty on the yard! I couldn’t be happier to have Rubine as a family member.”


Update 02/01/15

On 2 January, an AFJ volunteer from the Adoption Team went to visit Rubine to see how she’s doing with her new family.  She was at the door with her new best friend Nael.  They are the closest friends and it shows in the way they interact.  Rubine was happy and playful and looked right at home with the family.  She still doesn’t want to walk with a leash but she walks nicely alongside Nael and Ella and Patrick around the neighbourhood.

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Life is good for Rubine now…

AFJ would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Ella, Patrick and Nael, you are Rubine’s real life rescuers…

If you’d like to be a true rescuer and Adopt not Buy a dog or a cat, you can read about the process on or email and we’ll send you a form.

Adopt don’t buy – find a loyal friend and save a life at the same time…



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