There is something about films based on dogs that makes them worth taking a look at. Or maybe it’s just the dogs. Either way, there was never a dog film that wasn’t good, right? We won’t judge you if you disagree. However, “Rescued By Ruby” will certainly bring a smile to your face. The film is not a straight-up dog film but about the relationship between Daniel (Grant Gustin) and Ruby (Bear, a female half Border Collie) and how they help each other to be a better version of themselves.
‘Rescued by Ruby’ Plot Summary
Daniel is a state trooper who dreams of being in the K9 Search and Rescue Unit. But he has been failing the test for the last seven years and his commander, Zarella (Scott Wolf), holds his restlessness responsible for it. Zarella also tells him that the office doesn’t have funds for a K9, so Daniel will have to find a dog by himself. This brings him to a dog shelter where a lady by the name of Pat Inman (Camille Sullivan) shows him Ruby, a half-Border Collie, and she is just as energetic and restless as Daniel himself.
Although Daniel has a hard time training her, support from his wife Melissa (Kaylah Zander) helps him to not give up and Daniel and Ruby manage to pass the test and become a provisional K9 squad member. However, Daniel goes back to square one when he misjudges Ruby’s instincts on a mission. He ignores her, and she runs away from home. Daniel later finds out that Ruby’s instincts were on point and finds himself guilty. After a lot of searching and some self-analysis, Daniel ultimately finds Ruby and himself.
On their next mission, they successfully locate a missing child who turns out to be Pat’s son, the very woman who brought Daniel to Ruby at the shelter. Zarella gives them the K9 badge, and they are promoted to a full-status K9 unit.
Despite being one and a half hours long, approximately, “Rescued By Ruby” doesn’t seem rushed or incomplete. It is a feel-good film that upholds the relationship between Daniel and Ruby. The film is a journey for them both, from being “all over the place” to helping each other rise above themselves and trusting each other completely.
The scenes in the beginning continuously shift between Daniel and Ruby, showing how both of them are trying to be better, but circumstances aren’t allowing them to. On one hand, we see Daniel struggling to pass the K9 test for the eighth time. On the other hand, we see Ruby, who just isn’t able to cope with her owners. And it is exactly halfway into the movie that Daniel decides to give Ruby training at home, which basically is the point at which their chemistry begins to take shape.
At one point, Daniel tells Ruby to “be the solution. Not the problem.” This is after Ruby is caught stealing food from an officer’s plate inside the department, and Daniel has to lock her inside the departmental compound. His words seem to be directed at himself as much as to Ruby. This is because he knows that for whatever bad behavior Ruby is showing, he will be held accountable. In other words, he will be “the problem.” But he cannot be the problem. He wants them both to be the solution to his job and his family.
Slowly and steadily, Daniel and Ruby catch up, understanding each other the right way. They pass the tryouts and the final test and become a provisional K9 team. Then comes the real test for Daniel and Ruby. She has to sniff out a murder victim. While Ruby does reach a spot, Daniel doesn’t find anything there. Daniel thus breaks down, losing all hopes of being a part of the K9 unit because he knows that commander Zarella will pull him out of Search & Rescue as Ruby has failed to do her job. A broken Daniel ignores Ruby to the extent that she runs away from home. Later on, Daniel is told that Ruby was right. The dead body was buried under the deck, upon which Ruby sat and signaled, covered in three inches of concrete. Thus, it was Daniel who made the wrong call by not trusting Ruby. Then, while searching for Ruby, Daniel offers a lift to Seamus Brady, a retired scout whom he has known for some time now.
In the car, Daniel accepts his faults and tells Seamus that he did to Ruby what everyone did to him, i.e., underestimate. Underestimation has given birth to two opposite qualities in Daniel. One is to work hard and to prove that he isn’t the “hyperactive kid who couldn’t read.” And the other is self-doubt. While he is qualified in other trooper specialties like hostage negotiating, EVOC training, peer-to-peer counseling, honor guard, beat team, dive team, and more, his inability to cope with failure stands on the pillar of thought that he is not capable. And maybe this is what keeps him going. After all, there is a reason why he has been taking the K9 test for eight straight years.
It is very rare to see such an ironic dynamic depicted so clearly. However, this nature of Daniel’s backfires when he vents his self-doubt and incapability on Ruby (which can also mean that Ruby has become a part of him). And Ruby, too, understands that she has let Daniel down and thus leaves home quietly. But while Daniel has his wife to make him understand, Ruby has no one. Maybe this is something that the writers of “Rescued By Ruby” wanted to show. When we are at our worst, we need someone who understands us. For Ruby, this “someone” is Daniel. She was very happy all this time, knowing that she had finally found a home, but then realized that she didn’t deserve the home because she hadn’t been able to “prove” herself. And clearly, Daniel is having these same feelings. And while it seems that Ruby is lost without Daniel, Daniel too is lost without Ruby.
What happens next is certainly a wink from above. Daniel gets a call from his commander, Zarella, that a child is missing in the woods. He arrives at his department for the mission briefing but without Ruby. However, when he comes out, he finds Ruby standing in the rain. The scene hits hard as we see Ruby waiting for Daniel to take her back. She knows that Daniel is probably at the department, so she waits there. Daniel is overjoyed to find Ruby, hugging her tight finally. The weather has been used as a symbol here. It was raining all along while Daniel was searching for ruby. Rain has been used to symbolize sadness. While Daniel wanted Ruby back and hated himself for not trusting her, Ruby, too, was sad and stayed away on her own. But the moment Daniel finds Ruby, the sun shines bright on them, a symbol of hope. The scene is indeed well-portrayed.
Upon reaching the scene, Zarella sends them into the woods to search for the kid, and thankfully, the duo finds him. When Daniel checks the time on his watch, when they find Michael, it shows 2.23 am. And the number on his trooper uniform says 223 as well. In other words, this is his moment, and he has to make it count. But not without Ruby’s help. While Daniel is able to bring Michael back from his unconscious state, he is unable to call for assistance on his walkie since they are out of range and deep in the woods. It is Ruby who understands the situation and starts barking loud enough for the troopers to follow the direction of her bark and arrive at the spot.
Froth starts to come out of her mouth due to the continuous barking, but she doesn’t stop. This is proof of her never-give-up attitude, one she shares with Daniel, which thus nails their bond. Soon we find out that the kid is the son of Pat Inman, the very lady at the shelter who brought Daniel and Ruby together for the first time. Ruby was supposed to be put to sleep when Pat brought Daniel to Ruby, and Daniel brought her home. So he saved her life. And Ruby saved Pat’s son’s life. So, this circle of saving is now complete with Daniel and Ruby being made a full status K9 unit by Zarella himself, the perfect achievement for a duo that has finally proved their worth.
“Rescued By Ruby” Ending: Daniel And Ruby Continue to Serve
At the end of the film, we are given facts about Daniel and Ruby, who have been partners for ten years and continue to serve the Rhode Island State Police Force. Ruby was named the US Search and Rescue Dog of the Year in 2018. Also, Bear, the dog who plays Ruby, is a shelter dog who was also rescued by trainers. Daniel lives with his family, with Ruby as an integral part of it. They are happy, they trust each other, and we can easily say that they share the perfect “click.”
“Rescued By Ruby” is a 2022 Drama Comedy film directed by Katt Shea.