But just then a car drove up and frightened the dog, which had been abused -- his eye kicked-in and paws bloody from running. But the next morning early before work, Kim again spied him. Trembling, it approached.
"When I brought him into the yard and I looked in his eyes ... "Kim said, pausing as she remembered what felt like a heaven-sent connection, "I've never seen that look in my life, and I thought, 'I can't move him on.' "
But during the couple's traditional long distance conversation that night, her husband firmly rejected the idea of taking on another homeless animal.
"I said, 'He has a look' and Jan said, 'No he doesn't!' " Kim said with a smile, recalling his clear-cut feelings. "He said, 'Honey, you'll find him a good home.' "
Even though Kim was very drawn to the dog, almost a spiritual connection, she totally understood the logic about not taking on one more pet -- another mouth to feed. In agreement, the couple said their sweet goodbyes across the miles.
Then in the wee hours of the morning, the landline rang. It couldn't be Jan; he always called her bedside cell at 7 or 8 in the morning. As Kim raced to the phone, her mind reeled at unexpected news.
" 'Honey, I want you to keep that dog.' " Kim recalled her husband's shocking words, how he said he was restless and couldn't sleep all night. And then he had added, ' "I can't believe I'm saying this.' "
It was a decision that would be easy to regret: veterinarian bills, a dog constantly escaping from the yard, handmade outdoor furniture torn to shreds and more.
"Nobody wants the front of their house chewed off and it was noticeable," Kim said about the 12 feet of ripped siding. "I told Jan on the phone that there's damage, but when he got home he never said a word."
It was Jan's first time to meet Ruckus, who had been aptly named. But Kim's mom saw the dog's goodness the moment she met it.