We’re Just Mad About Ruth

Canine Companions dogs hovering over person

At the Jean and Charles Schulz Campus in Santa Rosa, California, Thursday is also known as “Ruth Day.” Staff and dogs alike listen for the sounds of Canine Companions volunteer Ruth, her voice rising over the buzz of a Dremel tool as she travels from office to office throughout the morning giving puppies and dogs their weekly nail care.

History with Canine Companions

Ruth Schomaker began volunteering at the Schulz Campus when it was built in 1996, though she had been generously giving her time to support our mission for nearly a decade prior. Over the past 32 years, Ruth has worn many hats: breeder caretaker, puppy raiser and office volunteer. She has been a mainstay in the National Veterinary Clinic for over 20 years, initially helping the office run smoothly with administrative tasks like filing and making copies. However, it wasn’t long before she offered to take on the role of trimming dogs’ nails for graduates coming into the clinic.

Canine Companions graduates and breeder caretakers know they can make appointments to come see Ruth every Thursday. “All the dogs love her and can hardly wait for her to arrive with her Dremel and tiny pieces of dog biscuits,” shares Dr. Philip Lin, national veterinarian.

Between appointments, she pops into offices to trim the nails of all the graduate dogs, puppies and pet dogs who spend their days on campus with staff. The dogs wait patiently, knowing Ruth will soon be down on the floor, cradling them and offering them “halfway treats” after two manicured paws and lots of enthusiastic praise.

We are grateful

Ruth is generous with her time and her financial support, quietly making gifts to not only the Northwest Region, but also to capital needs across the country. In 2017, she and her husband, Bruce, sponsored the Northwest Region’s signature gala, Sit Stay Sparkle, and purchased six new climbing structures for the kennel play yards. Along the way, Ruth has earned the respect and friendship of countless people in the Canine Companions community. We are so grateful for her years of dedication and support.