10 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

10 things my dog has taught me

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!

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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me…

10 things you probably don't know about me

Holy smokes! I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last entry. Life has been crazy – I am in my 4th week in my new role – and I’m enjoying it very much but that means a lot of long, busy packed days so when I get home the last thing I feel like doing is writing. So, to ease back into things I thought I would share 10 things that you probably didn’t know about me…

1. I have a deep fear of fire – I can pinpoint the exact time I suddenly had a fear of fire, and it may sound ridiculous but it was after watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, when Kelly is at a fraternity party and a fire starts in the house. She ends up trapped in the bathroom and sustains burns. I realize this is just a TV show, but for some reason it stuck with me – and still does to this day.

2. My zodiac sign (Cancer) describes me to a “T.” Moody? Check. Fiercely loyal? Check. Emotional? Depends on what it is, but check. Basically the cancer zodiac definition should have a picture of me next to it!

3. My favorite food growing up – Cheeseburgers…my favorite food growing up was cheeseburgers. It was what I always wanted my mom to make for my birthday dinner, and it was what I always wanted her to cook if I was having a friend over for dinner. And, to this day a really good cheeseburger is a strong contender to almost anything else.

4. I have participated in 3 half marathons – I hate the process, dread race day, hate recuperation but yet I always find myself signing up for another race. The first time I signed up for one was to really challenge myself. I had just embarked on losing a lot of post-break-up weight and it was a way to supplement working out with my trainer. I think I continually sign up for half marathons because of what it symbolized for me back then. It does feel like an amazing accomplishment once it’s over though!

5. The scariest day of my life – Was the day my Dad went into surgery for his heart transplant. You kind of just don’t know what is going to happen. That day was the longest 12 hours of my life. Well, if I’m being inclusive – I’m sure it was the longest day of my family’s lives as well.

6. I see a psychic/medium on a semi-regular basis – I don’t tell a lot of people about this because I know so many people think that stuff is crazy, or witch craft or whatever, but I have a genuinely legitimate person I go to – and I’ve had friends go to her as well. I usually see her every year or two just to check-in…especially if I have things in my life I’m unsure of. If you want her name – let me know!

7. I was on the teacher route before I landed in my current career – Before I decided to stick to communications and writing I was well on my way to being an elementary school teacher, but decided that wasn’t going to be quite for me and chose communications/writing. So far it’s been a good, lucrative career, and I haven’t regretted that choice (yet).

8. I have to completely psych myself out before I speak in front of a crowd – I know, I know, I know – this seems weird, but my confidence is shot when it comes to having all eyes on me. I try to be very unassuming, I’m quiet when you first meet me, and it takes a while for me to warm up to you. I’ve even been told I’m somewhat unapproachable. So, as you can imagine getting up in front of a group of people to speak is often the last thing I want to do. But, I’ve also been told that once I’m up there doing it they would never have known I was freaking out leading up to it. Go figure?!

9. The oldest pet I ever had was 17 – It was my cat Allie aka Allie-boo-boo. By the time I had to say goodbye to her I was 30 or so and I had had her for half of my life! We rescued her from a neighbor’s garage. She had been abandoned and was the tiniest little nugget of a kitten. We nursed her back to health and she really became my baby.

10. I made/met some of my best friends in my late 20’s and early 30’s – This is not to say that the friends I still have from high school and college are any less important – I mean I still have relationships with a few – but the friends I have made in my late 20’s and early 30’s are most interesting to me because you really begin to come into who you are during that timeframe. I feel like the friends you make then are a piece of and a reflection of the life your leading. For example, the people I have run half marathons with – all friends I made in my late 20’s. The friends I travel most with now, I met in my late 20’s. I have seemed to have found my tribe over the last 10 years or so…

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