I remember when my husband and I were making our first plans to adopt a dog. We were going to have some respectable boundaries. We would not be called Mom or Dad; the dog would sleep in her own bed, not ours; the dog would eat high-quality dog food, but we weren’t going to be those people who cook for their dogs.
Fast forward to one week after we adopted Ruby, when I woke up right next to her scruffy 15-pound body snoring on the pillow next to me and rubbed my face into her and said, “Wake up little lovebug and give your mama some kissins!” Then I got out of bed and prepared her breakfast of freshly poached chicken. Organic, of course.
Growing up, we weren’t allowed to have pets, so I was unprepared for how immediately and intensely Ruby would become a full-fledged member of our family. Gone were the days of stopping by a happy hour after work. Now we rush home and burst through the door anxious for her squeaky exciting greeting. She missed us as much as we missed her! When I’m at work, I can and often do creep on her via our doggy cam, and coo at the screen while she naps all day in one of 4 dog beds that line our living room. We cancel plans on Friday nights to stay home and hang out with the dog on our couch. We feel so incredibly lucky that she’s in our lives.
I should mention that Ruby is not your typical dog. She’s scared of everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. She pancakes at strange noises, cowers from other dogs and plastic bags that pass her on the sidewalk, and if she’s approached by an unfamiliar human, she will hide or submit into a belly-up “please don’t kill me” pathetic surrender. We work with her daily to overcome her anxiety and have spent undisclosed sums of money on all the best schools (by which I mean in home trainers), high value treats (we’re very close with our local butcher), puzzle toys for enrichment (some would argue that there’s not room for a full dog obstacle course inside a 400 square food apartment but I have proven otherwise), CBD (why not?), and y’all I even tried essential oils (at least they smell nice). We will do anything for our little Ruby Goobins.
My parents–the same ones who wouldn’t let me have a dog while growing up–live 450 miles away. The first year we drove Ruby home for Christmas, we walked in to find they bought her a complete set up for their house–a brand new dog bed, toys, a crate, a water and food bowl set, and the most excessive pile of dog treats you can imagine. Upon further investigation, I discovered that while the same number of stockings were hung by the chimney with care, my husband and I had been relegated to share one, while Ruby now had a giant stocking all to herself. It was stuffed with even more treats.
The thought of us merely owning Ruby like property is laughable. If anything, she certainly owns our hearts.
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