Ron King, Co-Founder of Ruff Ranch Sanctuary

Ron King— co-founder of Ruff Ranch Sanctuary, which seeks to find homes for aging or other hard-to-place dogs while aiming to help military veterans, who will become the chief caretakers of the dogs—explains how his lifelong kinship with dogs began as a kid. 106169989He discusses how that affinity has become a through line of his life, through multiple decades and various careers, very much including his stint as a dog trainer. King recounts the details of working with a key canine client, Bubba, and her human, Linda Baker, describing the profound shyness and other challenges the11817241_334156516754744_3136813328471645699_n dogs was contending with. He notes that Bubba became a healthy dog—while he and Baker became a couple, and then married. Running parallel to the blossoming of that romance, King—a Vietnam veteran—and Baker, a longtime devotee of dog rescue, hatched the idea for Ruff Ranch Sanctuary. King outlines the Ruff Ranch mission, which includes plucking difficult-to-adopt dogs (some of whom, he says, experience a form of PTSD…notable, given that 104130328_scaled_288x142some of the veterans they’ll be paired with via Ruff Ranch also experience PTSD) from shelters and working with them, placing them in foster homes and other measures in order for those dogs to find a forever home. The big picture plan, King says, involves developing a property that will become the Ruff Ranch Sanctuary, on which veterans will live in cabins, either individually or with their families—and live with the dogs they will care for. (

COMEDY CORNER: Jackie Kashian “New Dog” (

MUSIC: Aimee Mann’s “Labrador,” instrumentals (A technical glitch prevented us from playing the customary opening song, Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme.”)

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Frank Sinatra’s version of “Fly Me To The Moon”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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