TOPEKA, KS—Saying that she could tell he had already made the mental calculation based on the hesitant tone in his voice, local dog Ruby confirmed that her owner does not consider her to be worth the $3,000 necessary to treat her gallstone condition, the 12-year-old golden retriever reported Wednesday. “Once he heard the cost of the surgery and asked the vet how sure he was that the procedure would even work, the writing was pretty much on the wall,” said Ruby, who recalled how it took her owner a week last fall to decide she was worth the $500 to have a benign growth removed. “I know he cares about me, but the fact that he keeps patting my belly and telling me we’ve had some great times together certainly isn’t encouraging. Plus, he can’t even make eye contact with me right now, which is definitely not good news.” At press time, Ruby was wincing as her owner told the veterinarian that an ultrasound was not going to be needed.