ÖRuby is my dog – a boxer we’ve had for 4 years. Ruby isn’t our first boxer; Jessie preceded her, when Jessie passed away we agreed that no dog would enter our home until we could talk about her without crying. It took almost two years – Jessie was special part of the family. Ruby was located searching breeders on-line – we ended up meeting the out of town breeder in the parking lot of a motel about 50 Km’s from home. It was a toss up between Ruby and “Peanut” – the runt of the litter. For a brief moment of insanity we considered taking both; in the end we settled on Ruby.

Ruby is a unique animal; perhaps the tail-gate in a motel parking lot should have set off some alarm bells, but we were oblivious to reasonable thinking – none of us cried at the mention of Jessie, it was damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. She refuses to “do her business” when it’s raining – we live in a rain forest Ruby! Proficient at being sprayed by a skunk; she shares the experience without fail, by rubbing her skunk face on my bedroom carpet. She barks with wild abandon at the vacuum; but only when the power head isn’t attached – the hose drives her out of her mind. Absolutely terrified of a “Slinky” – she refuses to look it in the eye – her head faces the dreaded toy , frozen with fear, her eyes strain for a far away corner of the room. Her face was split open when she ran full speed into a tree while looking back at a dog she wanted to play with. She has a fondness for used feminine products – consuming them any chance she gets.

One night I came home late from work opening the front door into a dark hallway. I thought she was playing with one of her stuffed toys. It was a hot night so my husband had the back door open onto the patio – a patio surrounded by trees full of squirrels. I flicked on the light and started to scream. She had caught a squirrel, and there it lay on it’s back with a pink squirrel boner pointing at me. Perplexed and rather annoyed when my son rallied and extracted dead squirrel from our hallway. My brother is a trapper,  later explaining the boner was a result of where she broke it’s back. Yikes. Another time she presented me with a dead rat.

“Fetch” is a concept that eludes her. This game goes one of two ways – either we throw the ball and she plays “keep away” or I throw the ball and she runs to my bedroom window, dropping it outside. The first time this happened I ran outside, retrieved the ball and threw it again. Three times I ran outside until it dawned on me – she’s playing “fetch” with me!

We blame ourselves ; much like the parent of a wayward child would beat themselves up. I try not to dwell on it too much – it’s stopped raining and I have to take her for a walk.