In Memoriam

Judge-Dees-Ruby-Begonia

Court Administration mourns the February 8 passing of pet therapy dog Ruby Begonia. The beloved bullmastiff of Luann began her nine-year career as a therapy dog by visiting Hospice houses and nursing homes. Later Ruby Begonia helped children gain confidence to read aloud through a school reading program, visited with children at Sarasota’s Child Protection Center, and assisted children in court through both the State Attorney’s Office and later as one of the 12th Circuit Court’s first pet therapy dogs; Ruby Begonia helped usher in the use of therapy dogs at local children’s emergency shelters.

“I adored Ruby and her drooly affection. The kids just loved her, too,” said Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner, upon hearing news of Ruby Begonia’s passing. Manatee Juvenile Court Judge Teri Dees said, “My heart is heavy. [Ruby] was an amazing dog who made a difference in a number of people’s lives – mine included.”

Ruby Begonia was a sweet, gentle giant who never met a stranger. She will be missed but never forgotten.

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