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National Rescue Dog Day is May 20 — and in honor of the special occasion, the husband-and-wife team of SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, co-founders of the Godwinks brands and based in Massachusetts, shared an engaging story of personal hope and a dog's big heart with Fox News Digital.

It's among the stories included in a forthcoming book the couple are writing.

"We all need more light. We need more positivity. We need family and faith, hope and strength — that's what these stories are all about," the couple told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. 

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They also said about the story at hand, "We can see why this one was destined to be a favorite family movie on Netflix — it begins with two main characters with their backs to the wall and ends with hope."

SQuire Rushnell is the New York Times-bestselling author of 12 Godwinks books, six of them co-authored by the pair. 

Godwinks team of SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt are co-founders of the Godwinks brand of books and movies and are based in Massachusetts. They shared a life-changing story of faith, determination and rescue with Fox News Digital.? (Gail Daman Photography)

The couple are executive producers of the popular Hallmark "Godwink" movie series, and their first film for Netflix, "Rescued by Ruby," premiered as the network’s No. 1 family movie worldwide — recently ranking as the top "dog movie" of all time on Netflix.

Here, by special arrangement, is the story of a law enforcement officer and an incorrigible dog — or so everyone thought.

Last-chance pair

Rhode Island Trooper Dan O’Neil, struggling since childhood with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was facing his last chance to get into the canine unit after he was rejected for seven years in a row.

The dog was playfully romping through the shelter yard, oblivious to her fate.

At the same time, a rambunctious rescue dog named Ruby — returned by seven different adoptive families and labeled "unmanageable," as well as having "legal liability" written into her record because of issues with nipping — was playfully romping through the shelter yard, oblivious to her fate. 

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In just two hours, she would be euthanized.

Pat Inman, a trainer at the Providence Animal Shelter, had been desperate to find Ruby a home before the clock ran out. She had exhausted appeals to her boss to give her 24 more hours. 

Ruby the pup

The rambunctious rescue dog named Ruby was returned by seven different adoptive families and labeled "unmanageable," as well as having "legal liability" written into her record because of issues with nipping. (Dan O'Neill)

She'd also pleaded with her husband to let her bring the dog home. 

But he put his foot down. "No more stray animals, Pat," he told her.

Inman felt heartsick. She’d grown to love Ruby.

"We are all looking for hope."

Then, as these things tend to happen with divine alignment in life, the first "Godwink" unfolded at the 11th hour.

"Godwink means an event that seems like a coincidence, but you know it comes from a divine origin," Rushnell and DuArt previously told Fox News Digital. "We are all looking for hope, and we all have doubts … that someone is paying attention to us."

‘Could she be a K-9?’

State Trooper O'Neil walked through the door of the animal shelter, asking if they had any German shepherds, knowing the breed to be curious and energetic. 

Inman said no but introduced him to Ruby, a smart Australian shepherd/border collie pup.

The trooper and Ruby locked eyes. A secret communication was taking place.

Rudy and Trooper Dan O'Neil

Ruby was soon leaving the shelter straining the leash of Officer Dan, as he was known, as the shelter worker held her breath. (Dan O'Neil/RISP)

"Do you think she could be a K-9 dog?" asked O'Neil. 

"She could be anything," replied Inman, feeling a glimmer of hope for the first time.

Minutes later, Ruby was leaving the shelter straining the leash of Officer Dan, as he was known, as Inman held her breath and attempted to stifle tears of joy.

"She hasn’t had a stable home for her first eight months of life and is in desperate need of love and stability."

But for anyone who thought the happy ending had just arrived and that everything would be a piece of cake — think again. 

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The next six months were grueling for Officer Dan. Ruby, it appeared, was incorrigible.

"厂丑别’蝉 an absolute wreck," O’Neil told his wife, Melissa. "She hasn’t had a stable home for her first eight months of life and is in desperate need of love and stability."

Melissa O'Neil, steady as a rock, was a constant source of encouragement. And prayer.

Dan and Ruby

Officer Dan O'Neil and Ruby — who rose to become top dog in the Rhode Island State Police K-9 Unit. (Chris Roslan)

One day, the penny dropped for Ruby. She apparently decided that being a search and rescue dog was a job she liked. Moreover, she now had purpose. 

She received her State Police badge — and from that moment on, Ruby rose to be top dog in the Rhode Island State Police K-9 Unit.

As Pat Inman said earlier, "She can do anything."

‘We hear Ruby barking’

Fast-forward several years. It was a cold October in Providence. The nights were freezing. 

A boy became lost in the dense woods near his home for 48 hours. 

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Local police searches were unsuccessful.

Running and trying to keep up, Officer Dan found Ruby at the bottom of a ravine.?

It was nightfall when Officer Dan and Ruby were called to join the other K-9 partners and commence their search. Instantly, Ruby bolted into the darkness. 

Officer Dan, running and trying to keep up, found Ruby at the bottom of a ravine. 

She was curled up, trying to warm a boy with severe lacerations to the forehead and a faint pulse.

Ruby licked the boy’s face to open his breathing passages, filled with blood, as Officer Dan radioed the other first responders. He gave them GPS coordinates. 

Ruby with a badge

Ruby, former shelter dog rejected by multiple families, is shown wearing a badge that reads, "Ruby: Rhode Island State Police K-9." (Chris Roslan)

But soon they radioed that the coordinates were not working because they were in a ravine. So Officer Dan commanded Ruby to bark. 

A voice crackled from the radio, "We hear Ruby. Keep her barking!"

Before long, the boy was placed on a stretcher and rushed back to a waiting ambulance.

Their boy appeared to be stabilized and was en route to the hospital.

Ruby settled into her spot in Officer Dan’s police vehicle, and in the dim light of his truck’s headlights, the officer greeted the parents who came out to thank him.

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He advised them that their boy appeared to be stabilized and was en route to the hospital.

Through tears of gratitude, the mother earnestly thanked Officer Dan. 

Then, she asked, "Officer, have you ever heard of a dog named Ruby?"

Officer Dan paused and said, "Ma’am, Ruby’s my partner. She found your boy."

Pat Inman and Ruby

Pat Inman together with Ruby, the former shelter dog who changed the lives of multiple people once she found her God-given purpose. ? (Dan O'Neil)

The mother cried again and said, "I’m Pat Inman. I worked at the shelter and advocated for Ruby — but I never knew what happened after that."

Officer Dan squinted to see her face in the faint light and finally recognized her.

"Oh my gosh, yes. That means the dog you saved just saved your son!"

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Ruby, meanwhile, was jumping up and down in the truck. She had caught the scent of her first love — Pat — from years before. The pair had a joyous reunion. 

Ruby's ripple effect

In March 2022, the Netflix "Godwink" movie based on this story, "Rescued by Ruby," premiered as the No. 1 family film in the world. By its first anniversary, the movie reached over 100 million viewers.

Sgt. Dan O’Neil, now the head of RISP K-9 Operations, reported that the number of young recruits who say they’ve been inspired to enlist in police academies because of "Rescued by Ruby" is extraordinary.

Rescued by Ruby poster

"Rescued by Ruby," a Netflix film, premiered as the network’s No. 1 family movie worldwide — grabbing over 100 million viewers in its first 365 days. It recently ranked as the top "dog movie" of all time on Netflix. (Netflix)

After the movie’s release, Ruby loved the celebrity attention and was honored in many ways. She won an American Humane Hero Dog for Search & Rescue — and weeks after the film premiered, she and Sgt. Dan were honored at Fenway Park for the Opening Day of Baseball 2022.

"She continued to work daily as my K-9 State Police partner until the very day she graduated to dog heaven at 11.5 years old," said Sgt. Dan. 

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"She showed us that we each can achieve great things no matter where we started out in life."

Ruby's story was first told nationally in SQuire Rushnell & Louise DuArt’s book "Dogwinks: True Stories of Dogs and the Blessings They Bring." 

The book led to the Netflix film, "Rescued by Ruby."

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DuArt was the one who advocated for Ruby to be played by another rescue dog. 

The trainers were hesitant. That was a tall order. 

Dan and Ruby actors

Actor Grant Gustin, far right, as Sgt. Dan, along with Bear as Ruby. SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, executive producers of the film, are at left.? (SQuire Rushnell)

But, through more divine alignment, they found Bear — who, just like Ruby had been, was in a shelter and scheduled for euthanasia. 

Bear became the star of the movie along with Grant Gustin, who played Trooper Dan.

Anyone can learn more about the Godwinks projects at www.godwinks.com

Maureen Mackey of Fox News Digital, as well as Frank Miles, contributed reporting. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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