From RAD to RUFF: Baya’s Journey to Becoming a Ruffwear Office Dog

I have the best job. I’m an office dog at the Shangri-la for dogs: Ruffwear.

I don’t just visit with my two- and four-legged best friends at the office. I go out with my human and my best bud Rio on photo shoots, daily lunchtime romps through the woods, and gear testing excursions. We’re always doing something new. Whether it be pretending to snooze on a bed, trail running in a new harness, or skiing with a funny jacket on, I can always count on every day to be an adventure. I’ve noticed that my human seems to take a lot of photos of Rio and me. I’m pretty sure that might be what she does at Ruffwear, but I don’t really know. The photo-taking really never ends.

Photo taken in Spring 2018 on a hiking adventure in Eastern Oregon

My life wasn’t always this way. I don’t remember too much, as I was pretty young, but I remember the place where I started out wasn’t very fun. I remember feeling a bit scared and lonely. I journeyed from homelessness in Arizona to the Ruffwear world headquarters in Bend, Oregon via Ruffwear and Best Friends Animal Society‘s Ruff Adventure Dog (RAD) Adoption Program. Somehow, I made it.

Photo taken on day 1 with my new best friend at Sparks Lake
Photo taken at the Portland International Airport immediately after meeting my new best friend

The day I met Elena, whoa, that was a real adventure of a day. I rode in a big car with lots of other excited dogs, and then in an even bigger car that flies in the sky. It was wild! As soon as the sky car landed, I was put on a tiny little cart that drove me to a big warehouse where I first saw Elena. In that moment, I had a feeling that this person, who wouldn’t stop staring at me through that thick glass window, and I were supposed to meet. I remember thinking, maybe that lady is going to be my friend! Sure enough, just a few minutes later, they released her into the warehouse and she grabbed me — well, my crate. I won’t lie, as soon as we got to her car, I was a little nervous to come out of my little home I had been in all day. I was pretty content where I was and I wanted to just stay, but Elena had such a big smile with tears rolling down her cheeks, I decided that I’d come out and say hello. And oh my goodness, as soon as I was out of my crate, I realized something. I really like this lady! And I think she really likes me too! I decided I wasn’t going to be shy anymore and smothered her with lots of kisses.

As we started driving, the travel day started to wear on me, and I got sleepy. Luckily, Elena had made me a nice bed with lots of treats and toys right in the front seat next to her and I was able to get some rest. I let Elena know that I was really thankful to meet her by resting my paw on her hand for the entire drive.

Photo taken after a long trek into a fire lookout

It was a couple hours later when the car finally stopped moving. We walked into this house where I met Mister Rio, an older dog who immediately was very interested and curious who I was. He sniffed, he smelled, and then we PLAYED! What a day! I like this new human, I like this new dog, I like this new house!

It’s been almost two years in my new home with my family. My human, Elena, used to go away every day for work, and Rio and I would really miss her during the day. We were happy, but I just really love Elena, and I enjoy being around her all the time. Last year, things got even better. Rio and I starting coming to work with her at the most amazing place I’ve ever been. A place where there are just as many dogs as there are humans and it smells like treats. A place filled to the brim with happy, smiling faces. A place many people know as Ruffwear. Ruffwear is truly a dreamland and I now have an extended family here. I get visits from my closest 2 and 4-legged neighbors all throughout the day, belly rubs, treats, trail runs, a comfy bed, and my favorite, more time with Rio and Elena.

Ruffwear Headquarters

My journey from being a puppy without a home in a far away place to becoming a Ruffwear office dog was an unlikely one. I don’t know why I was chosen for this journey, and I may ever know. What I do know, however, is that my human Elena and those people who saved me, Best Friends Animal Society, probably had a lot to do with it. I’m forever grateful for them, giving me a life I never knew I could have or deserved. I will spend the rest of my life showing the love through my wiggles, my growls, my stare-offs, my snuggles, my relentless early morning wake ups and my kisses.


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