>We Just "Get" Each Other
She’s not my baby (anymore), she’s not my partner, but she’s my soulmate.
Ruby was my first dog ever. We got her in 2003, spontaneously in a mall. Missy picked her out, but I was in love immediately. I took her everywhere including restaurants (in my purse), bars, road trips, street fairs, etc. We have a bunch of dogs now, and though I love them all, I swear there is something special about this dog. It’s like she’s a human trapped in a chihuahua’s body. She listens to me and knows exactly what I’m talking about. And she talks back. Everyone who has ever met her has recognized that there is something special about her.
The best part about her though, is that she’s funny. I swear she has a sense of humor. And sometimes she doesn’t mean to be funny, and when we laugh at her, she gets embarrassed. If you hug her too much, she growls under her breath as though to say “enough, mom, I get it, you love me,” like a teenager might. She’s cranky but sweet. She’s bossy and maternal. She loves people and can’t understand why someone wouldn’t love her, she gets offended if you don’t pet her. She loves massages. She’s too civilized to eat out of dog bowls on the floor, so she carries mouthfuls of kibble onto the couch or bed and eats it there, then goes back for another mouthful. She can hang out outside without a leash, because she listens. She can attend our parties (and came to my baby shower which was out of the house) because she’s social and well behaved. She’s loving and cuddly, but also has an independent streak, she likes her alone time.
I almost lost her once. She has severe allergies, we got her allergy tested and she has a laundry list of allergies, some worse than others. In July of 2007, we had a house guest who chose to ignore that, and fed her rice on more than one occasion. Over the course of a week she got sicker and sicker, and we had to take her to the vet. Her intestines were shutting down, she needed to be hospitalized, put on a special diet, and a course of antibiotics. This was the same day as our bridal shower, so after we dropped her off, we started driving to New Jersey. I was partially there when I got a phone call. They had given her the penicillin shot, and she was allergic to that too and her heart stopped. It was actually the vet tech that noticed…. they had put her in a cage in the hospital wing and the tech kept visiting and noticed that her health was rapidly declining. She got lethargic, got labored breathing, and eventually passed out, so the tech ran and got the vet. They were able to bring her back – and called me – and I turned the car around in hysterics. They told me there was nothing I could do for her, it would be touch and go for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t care, I needed to see her, I couldn’t imagine life without her. They told me it may be traumatic for her to see me and have me leave, but I didn’t care. I walked in, and she lit up in her cage, she started wagging her tail and I could see love in her eyes. The tech told me it was the most life she had seen in her eyes in hours. We were a few hours late to our own bridal shower, and I showed up with puffy eyes, but Ruby recovered and we were sent home with an epinephrine shot for her in case of an emergency. We’ve never needed it.
In one of the greatest ironies of my life… I got allergy tested many years ago too, and I’m allergic to cats, dogs, dust, mold, sesame, and tuna. My cat and mold allergies are severe, but my dog allergy is manageable with meds (and I seem to be more allergic to some dogs than others). And Ruby’s list of allergies includes: beef, rice, wheat, trees, grass, mold, pollen, and humans. My best friend and I are literally allergic to each other.
Ruby is quirky, funny, and imperfect. And in my eyes, perfect. She’s gotten a little old (she’s 7), her peach colored eyebrows have faded to white, she’s a little chubby, and a little crankier each year. But she’s the best dog I’ve ever met, we just “get” each other. I love her.