A few weeks ago, I wrote about the unspoken connection that binds our family with others similar to us. Today, I want to share with you another unspoken connection - but this time its of the canine variety! You and Ruby have a very special bond my dear. Let me tell you about it.
It all started many moons ago just after our big move from New York to Texas. You, Gabe, dad, and I were of all things waiting for Clara to finish up cheerleading camp. Yep, that Clara. Yep, cheerleading camp. True story. But, I digress... let me back up.
Ruby the Coonhound was born in the sweltering Texas heat on June 25, 2013 - 4 short days after our beloved beagle Jackson died. Ironically, we still lived in NY, and were about to embark on the next stage of our gypsy lifestyle moving to Texas. So while we were in NY, sadly mourning the loss of our good ole' boy Jackson, Ruby was being dropped off at the Fort Worth Animal shelter with her brothers and sisters. Neither her, nor us knew that our paths would soon cross.
A few weeks went by. Sad, scared, and timid, Ruby waited. Surrounded by a metal cage, cold, scratchy newspapers, loud scary barks of the big dogs, and watching her brothers and sisters being taken away from her one by one (adopted), Ruby waited. And waited.
Meanwhile, we were settling into our new home and Texas life - without Jackson. One Saturday, big sister tried her hand as a cheerleader with a day camp at the local high school (a fad that lasted... oh... that one day). While we were waiting, something grabbed daddy, and out of the blue he suggested going to the animal shelter - just to "look".
Ha. Ha. I am sure that some people can do that, but your daddy isn't one of them. I knew we were adding a new family member that day, even if he didn't. Honestly, I wasn't ready yet, the loss of ole' Jack-dog still fresh, but of course I went along with it. Little did I know that one look into Ruby's sweet brown eyes would ease the pain, and importantly, what a great addition she would be to our family. That skinny, stinky mess of a hound was instantly part of our OTOD - no more cage for her. She was ours.
Let me tell you something Addie. Dogs are amazing animals! In fact, they have such extraordinary senses and ability to learn that they are often used as therapy dogs for many, many different reasons.
Now, just to be clear, our Ruby somewhat lacks a fair share of those "therapy dog skills". She's the perfect picture of a hot mess in Black and Tan. Seriously. She's as crazy as they come, which actually just seems to blend well with the chaos of our daily life, so it all works out.
She jumps on everyone she sees (like she thinks everyone who comes to our house did so for a personal hug just from her), smelling them excessively like they have beef jerky in every pocket. She runs around the yard like she's being chased. Just to be clear, she is not being chased. She begs constantly and just in case you don't notice her staring at you, she'll paw at your leg to remind you that she too would like a bite of whatever it is you're eating. Literally. Whatever it is. She barks all the time and thinks the poor old cat is her own personal fluffy toy.
Let's just say she wasn't top of the class in puppy school (literally - we tried), but all that aside, she has an AMAZING connection with you my dear, and an incredible protection for all of "her kids". It truly is extraordinary. If fact she doesn't even lay down to go to sleep at night until all 3 of you are peacefully dreaming away. Then when the time comes for her to drift into her own slumber, don't be fooled - if anyone in the house stirs, she is up immediately to investigate, and, when necessary, to wake dad and I.
One night recently, I let Ruby out to take a midnight potty break. She came in no problem, I gave her some fresh water, then headed back to bed. 15 min later she comes back in my room scratching at my bed - very persistently. Not again - come on girl! What in the world! Why?!?!?? Go away. Go sleep with Clara. I know you don't have to go out. Go bug dad. Ugh. Come on. Seriously. Arghhh. Fine.
I figured she must have left her bone outside or something. So, I get up, and we head out of the bedroom to go downstairs. Only... she turns right to go to your room instead of left to go downstairs. This is where I discovered you had gotten sick all over your room. Everywhere. Awesome. It was literally everywhere. Dad would have likely had a stroke had he seen it. Good thing he didn't wake up - thanks babe :). Meanwhile, you were sleeping curled up in a ball on her bed. Just the saddest sight.
Ruby may drive me bonkers sometimes, but she's one heck of a good dog! And she loves "her kids". That night, she even laid in the hallway until I was done washing you up and cleaning your room. Once you were comfortable and clean, only then did she go back to bed. This my dear is only one of many ways that she has proven her endless love and loyalty to you.
She follows you everywhere. She's even been known to climb a rock wall and sit next to you in a swing set fort, only to nervously go down the slide after you when you decided it was time to come down. I guess swing sets aren't just for kids after all ;)
She's aware of your every move - your very own, personal, four legged, furry shadow. Seriously, how cool is that? It's like you're Peter Pan, but your shadow doesn't really look like you... ok, maybe not.
So Addie, we are extraordinarily blessed to have found our sweet Ruby. She may not be "therapy dog" material, but she's definitely "Addie" material! Little did we know that when we went "just looking", we'd find so much more than just another family dog.
You were meant to be together on this journey and that you shall be.