I adopted Ruby about 3 1/2 years ago. I was looking for a cat on Craigslist, not a dog, but there she was all scruffy and rescued and she had to be mine. I think I’ve written about Ruby in the past, but she has more attitude than any one dog should ever be allowed to have, and she for sure belongs to me! Anyway, I thought I would list the 10 things that my pup Ruby Sue has taught me over the last few years.
1. Unconditional love – and what it really means: We have our families who HAVE to love us, and we have our closest friends who choose to love us, but our dogs they SERIOUSLY love us. Ruby loves me when I’m laid up in bed with flu, she loves me when I haven’t showered in two days, and she just generally loves me, as I am. How can you not appreciate that? And, how can you not learn that unconditional love like that goes a long way, even in your personal life? I need to take more tips from Ruby’s ability to love that’s for sure.
2. Sometimes you just gotta get dirty: Ruby has an, albeit annoying habit, of digging in the dirt and then shoving her face and beard right into the hole she dug, drool and all. But it’s made me wonder…she just goes for it, all out, giving zero f*cks, and maybe I need to recognize that. Either that or she enjoys getting her beard wiped down with a baby wipe every night (insert eye roll here). Whatever it may be, it makes her feel good in some way, she enjoys it, and quite frankly doesn’t care if she’s going to get in trouble after the fact. I have learned you just gotta do what YOU want to do sometimes.
3. Just because you’re smaller doesn’t mean you’re less strong: Ruby has been, and always will be the smallest dog in the Delucchi clan. But she can keep up with any dog bigger than her, and between me and you I think she prefers to play with bigger dogs. She can give them all a run for their money. Just because I’m 5’4″ doesn’t mean I’m any less tough than the dude at the gym looking like Thor.
4. Being vocal is always a plus – even if you sometimes annoy the people around you: If you have never heard a terrier bark, it is the most obnoxious thing. I mean, honestly. I asked the vet about her barking and his response was, “She’s a terrier.” Ummm…great! But, I’d rather her give me that “whoa whoa” growl when I enter the house every night then nothing at all. But her issue with the UPS man is something I haven’t quite figured out yet. Nonetheless, I have learned from Ruby that I’d rather have the hard conversations with people in my life than stay quiet, I’d rather bring something up that maybe we don’t want to talk about because it’s better than leaving it unsaid.
5. Being fiercely protective of your family is normal: I have always been fiercely protective of my family. As a matter of fact, it comes out so naturally when you aren’t even thinking about it most times, but Ruby has shown me that when you find your pack, you have it, you protect it, and you love it unconditionally, just as she does with me and my family.
6. Sometimes you fight with your siblings, but they still love you: Sadie (my mom’s rescue) and Ruby have had a couple of tussles in the past. Some resulting in hurt feelings in which they separate from each other for a couple of hours and give each other sideways looks. But, they always put it aside quickly and get right back to being pack buddies. I’ve learned it’s best to forgive fast when you have ups and downs with your family.
7. Going on a diet sucks – even for dogs: Ruby and I sat in the vet’s office sadly hearing that she was overweight. I want a healthy dog that will live the longest and fullest life so I took it seriously. Poor Ruby eats very rationed portions twice a day, no more random toss of a french fry anymore, she’ll get a slice of apple instead. She has lost weight! And her hard work has paid off, but it’s also taught me that the struggle is real, but just like us supplementing the good for the bad does make a difference.
8. But the hard work paying off is always exciting – especially when people notice: Since Ruby has lost the little bit of weight she clears the ottoman between the two couches and my mom swear’s her legs don’t touch the ground when she’s running at the park. Even her park buddies have noticed she’s lost weight. She feels better and that’s all that matters, but I’ve realized that taking care of yourself and your health really does make a difference in how you look, feel and perform.
9. We all need to be snuggled, held, touched and loved: Ruby has a tendency to either sit RIGHT next to you, all weight leaning in, or not at all. There is also the occasional belly rub that she will initiate by rolling on her back and of course don’t get me started on the butt scratch. I mean, who doesn’t love a good butt scratch? Anyway, she reminds me that we all need to be snuggled, held and touched, whether human or dog – it warms the heart and soul.
10. If you love someone, show them: Ruby has distinct welcoming noises and reactions for certain people in my family. For me it’s this uncontrollable cry/whine and if the other dogs want to say hi to me first that is a no-go. She even sounds like she’s talking sometimes, it’s strange. She also has the same uncontrolled reaction when my 5 year-old niece comes over. Those two are almost, if not just as connected as Ruby and I are. And, boy does Ruby let us know. It’s a good reminder for me to show people how I feel about them, even if it’s through uncontrollable whining – HAH!
Bottom line is this – my dog is my furbaby. I would do just about anything for her, and she gives me the opportunity to think deeper about the things that she unapologetically does. Yes, yes, I realize she’s a dog and not a human, but still she makes me stop and think and for that I’m grateful to have her goofy butt in my life. Cheers to Ruby Sue!