Area author brings his beloved dog to Cambridge

in_bettendorf-1Pat Bettendorf was supposed to have Ruby the pit bull for just a weekend in 2003. But her personality and warm nature won over the family members’ hearts.

“She was like a politician,” Bettendorf said. “It was like she wanted to stay, and she was just plotting her takeover.”

The pup was put in obedience training and later became a therapy dog.

After many years, tons of stories and facing prejudice, Bettendorf, of Scandia, wrote his first book about his and Ruby’s adventures. He’ll bring his two books and Ruby to Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 23.

Ruby has shown the world how gentle pit bulls can be, Bettendorf said.

Bettendorf recalled Ruby’s play debut. She originally wasn’t chosen because of her breed, Bettendorf said. A black lab was chosen, but the dog kept knocking off props. Two weeks before Bettendorf and his wife were supposed to go on vacation, Bettendorf’s phone rang. It was the play director asking if Ruby could do the part. She floored the crowd with her improvisation of her role, which eventually grabbed attention from local papers.  in_bettendorf-2

The story of this lovable service pet went overseas with news agencies like the Associated Press picking up her story. Her international fame has sent her to 17 countries and countless cities within the United States.

One of Bettendorf’s fondest travel memories was their trip to Hollywood. The two were flown out because they were finalists for a Milk-Bone commercial. They were greeted with a limo service and giant dog treats because those running the auditions thought Ruby was a big dog.

The two have braved cancer, slipped discs, Cushings disease and more. Ruby’s story is far from over, but Bettendorf fears the inevitable.

“The chapter I don’t want to write is when she’s no longer with me,” Bettendorf said.

It’s no doubt that readers won’t want to read that chapter either. Ruby’s “successor” is Sugar. The two have adventures in the second book, “Ruby’s Road,” which explores Ruby’s journey after her stardom.

Scout & Morgan Books is located at 114 Buchanan St. N., Cambridge, and can be reached at 763-689-2474. More information on “Ruby’s Tale” can also be found at