Monday, August 11, 2014

Ruby Sue


It is no secret that I am, at my very core, a crazy dog lady.  If it weren’t for Mr. B, I would easily have fifteen dogs in the house and I would love every single one of them.

For eight years we’ve had our sweet mutt-princess, Daisy, whom we rescued from the Humane Society when she was just 6 weeks old.  I have always wanted to add another fur-baby to our family, but some convincing needed to happen.


Sweet Daisy Louise
We knew that if we were going to have another human-baby, the time was not right for another dog.  When that, unfortunately, didn’t work out, we decided maybe it was time to look around.  My criteria was that the dog be black (because of Black Dog Syndrome) and a rescue.  Mr. B's criteria was that it be a young female who could possibly be a hunting companion.  We both decided that we did not want a tiny puppy, because chewing and peeing indoors are not things we have patience for at the moment.

After much looking and lots of phone calls, we came across a 2-year-old female black Labrador Retriever named Allie who was up for adoption through our vet’s office.  She had been a county stray.  Mr, B hesitantly went with me to meet her on a Thursday.  Our vet staff is so fantastic that they took her out to the country to test if she was gun-shy, and had the whole thing on video for Mr. B to watch.

We both fell in love with her sweet personality instantly.  We changed her name to Ruby (Allie had only been a temporary name given by the vet’s office), had her micro-chipped and spayed, and said we would pick her up on Tuesday after Memorial Day.

I immediately bought her toys and a bed and delivered them to her so that she could be comfortable during her post-surgery weekend stay.

We were so excited for “Ruby Tuesday” to arrive that we could hardly stand it.  We decided not to tell 
Little K that we were getting another dog until we actually went to get her.  His reaction was, of course, not as I had expected.  But once the realization happened that we were, in fact, getting to keep this dog forever, he could not have been more excited.  He now tells people that he has one black sister and one black and white sister.

Ruby on "Ruby Tuesday"
Little K and Ruby on "Ruby Tuesday."
I love this picture because it looks like he's going to ride her into battle.
First day as sisters.
We quickly learned that Ruby had been someone’s pet at one point.  She was insatiable to touch and would absolutely not leave my side.  She knew how to sit and shake, was about 75% potty trained, and was immediately gentle with even the smallest of children.  However, she was very frightened of Mr. B at first, and appears to have been abused at some point, we think maybe with shoes.  She was terrified of small closed in spaces, and wouldn’t even step one paw into a bathroom.  Car rides were a source of huge anxiety for her.  It breaks my heart to think that someone hurt, locked up, and then dumped my poor black baby out in the country.  I don’t know how long she was out there but she was horribly afraid the first time we had a storm come through.

We were concerned about the possibility of running into Ruby’s old owners, but we’ve been assured that her adoption is a legal state adoption.  Our vet is excellent about advertising stray dogs when they have been found, and they keep them for twice the legally mandated time before allowing them to be adopted.  She is a happier and healthier dog than she was a few months ago, so much so that her old owner might not even recognize her.



Daisy adjusted quickly to Ruby’s presence and has perked up significantly since her arrival.  She has lost a few pounds, and has benefited greatly from our almost-daily evening walks.  The girls wrestle and run up and down the hallway together, and they sometimes even snuggle.
Ruby and Daisy after some playtime at the park.
Sister snuggle time.
Ruby kisses Daisy for as long as Daisy will let her, and then some.

In the 11 weeks Ruby has been with us, she has filled a void in our family.  Just looking at her sweet face makes me smile.  She became 100% potty trained after catching her peeing in the house only once.  She quickly earned the nickname “Large Marge” because she will eat anything in sight, including all of Daisy’s food, if you let her.  She’s very polite, though, and won’t bother our trash can or steal from our plates.  She loves her human brother, and has become quite protective of him.  She gives kisses as often as you will let her, has adjusted to car rides and isn’t afraid of bathrooms or closed doors anymore.  She thinks Mr. B is the bee’s knees.  She still is insatiable to touch, and sometimes has a weird aversion to certain men or older women with short hair.  But we are learning more about her daily, and she is feeling safer with us as time goes on.  She now sleeps through even the loudest of thunderstorms.  She still follows me everywhere I go, unless she decides napping is a better option.

Ruby has to be one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known.  She has a gentle-yet-playful soul.  I believe she knows she was rescued, and is therefore very thankful.  I can say, "Ruby, give mommy kisses." - and she will immediately kiss me right on the nose.  She has a deep snorty voice that she “talks” with, and it makes us giggle every time.  Nearly every time we walk her, someone stops to pet her and tell us how beautiful and shiny she is (I always make sure to tell Daisy that she’s beautiful too, so she won’t feel bad).  This dog LOVES to swim.  We have friends with an in-ground salt-water pool, and you cannot keep Ruby out of it.  One time I dove off the diving board and she went in after me to try and save me.

Large Marge
I am delighted to see her dance with excitement when we ask her if she wants to go for a walk.  While she seems to be on the small side for a lab, she definitely moves with quite a bit of force – particularly when excited.

This bed-thief clearly has no clue how big she is!
We have lost three Dish Network remotes to Large Marge.  At $20 apiece, we decided that keeping remotes stored up high is now mandatory, as well as keeping a large stock of rawhide bones for he chewing pleasure.

Can you spot Ruby in her chair?
I’m not certain that she will be a hunting dog for Mr. B, but he’s pretty determined to see if she will retrieve a duck for him.  She may turn out to be a 90 pound lap-dog, and I’m completely okay with that.  She will happily retrieve a tennis ball, or her beloved stuffed goose (that she sleeps with and snuggles at night).  Our only complaint is that the volume of her snorts seems to be directly related to her level of comfort here.  We have been awakened in the middle of the night by her snoring on more than one occasion.  It makes me laugh.

We are completely aware that her name is inspired by National Lampoon's: A Christmas Vacation.  We quite often say things like, "I'd hold off on that, Clark.  Ole Ruby Sue's got some sorta unidentified lip fungus."

90 pounds of lap-dog.
I've learned that sometimes that baby you prayed for is just a little furrier than you had originally expected.  Our family may not look exactly the way we had planned, but it is complete.
And it is perfect.
It's a big, big world out there.
I am thankful for my fur-babies for always (especially when I'm cooking, and even when I’m using the bathroom) keeping me In Good Company.

Like this post?  Try this one:
Daisy Louise

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