Wednesday, August 26, 2009
From the Beginning
I would like to start my blog from the beginning..."Bringing Home Baby Ruby"
It all started with a piece of pie. Our family was sitting in a diner just outside of Napa. My brother Tim looked at his piece of rhubarb pie, and suggested, “How about Rhubarb, Ruby for short?” We all smiled. Ruby was perfect. We now had a name for our new puppy.
Forever Tim, my sister Becky and I had pleaded with our parents to get a dog. Our mother had been easy to convince, but our dad, he was tough. Dad always said that if we got a dog that he wouldn’t pay any attention to it, and it would have to sleep in the basement. Finally, after months of research and more convincing, we decided to get a puppy, and we decided on a vizsla. Vizslas originate from Hungary and are bird hunters. With reddish hair, slim bodies, and medium frames, they are adorable. Vizslas are also known for their mellowness and love of attention.
Our breeder lived in Napa, and twice before we got our puppy we went to visit the whole litter, in order to find which dog was right for us. The visits were a time when the breeder could get to know us, in order to give us the correct dog. Our breeder told us we needed a certain category of dog for a family like ours with kids of our ages twelve, nine and six (my age): gentle, playful, and calm, but still with a lot of energy. She also said that a girl would be best. I remember walking into the room with the puppies for the first time. They were all bundled up in a circular brown dog bed. All I wanted was to hold them. I was told that I could not even touch them because they were too young. Most of the puppies were the same size, about two fists put together. However, one was bigger, by about twenty percent , and because she was bigger she looked older. She had a purple collar and was called Fatwa.
The next time that we went to Napa, we got to play with the puppies. Becky, Tim and I all got to hold the little vizslas on our laps. At one point, I ended up being covered with little vizsla puppies that were licking my face and climbing all over me, like they were little kids and I was the jungle gym. I wanted them all, and couldn’t imagine having only one. By the end of the second visit the puppies were narrowed down to two choices, not that we had any choice in which we got. It was between the playful and peppy Fatwa with the purple collar, and the calm, gentle, light blue collared girl. Finally, we were told that our puppy would indeed be Fatwa. Fatwa, the cute, “big” puppy, that seemed so little to me. Fatwa soon became our Ruby Rose Jomo. We didn’t care if she was bigger than the rest; we were so excited to have her as a new family member.
The departure from the house on the third visit was an emotional event for the dogs. I can only imagine what it would be like to be taken away from my family. I felt guilty for taking Ruby away from her family, yet I could hardly stand the excitement for her to come home. We held a mini goodbye ceremony as we left. We sat on the cracked leather seats of an old gray Volvo station wagon nicknamed Sven. Her mother sat sadly, and watched us drive away. Our parents were extremely paranoid, and had us lay out white bath towels across our laps, so Ruby would not pee on us. It was a sort of silent competition. We all knew that Ruby would lie on top of the sibling that she liked the most. Who would it be? I was lucky to be sitting in the middle, something that was usually considered a negative, because I was always next to Ruby and could always be touching her. Thus, I could claim that Ruby liked me the most. Which, of course, she did.
The ride home from Napa was the first one-on-one bonding time that we had with Ruby. I had no idea what to expect from Ruby, and I was infatuated with her. I was only six, and she was my first pet. Her ears were the softest things that I had ever touched. Now, if I touch something soft I compare it to Ruby’s puppy ears. Nothing comes close. I’d rub her ears against my cheek, and gently fold them and twist them. She had not grown into them yet, and they were as big as her head. She had a wrinkly nose that she would curl back when she was mad. Ruby’s teeth were pointy and sharp. Like any human baby, she teethed. She would gnaw on my fingers, and pull hair ties out of my hair. Immediately, Ruby was given a number or nicknames: Ru, Ruru, Princess, Duby and everyone’s favorite, Baby. Ruby started crying on the way home and to calm her down we ran our fingers up and down her nose. It comforted her, and she closed her eyes. To this day it still works.
The first day we got Ruby, I felt like she was part of the family. Right away I recognized her unique personality. She was tremendously social, and her attitude was not like attitude was not like any dog that I had met before, but more of a spoiled human’s. She thought that she was the boss of everyone, and did things by herself. Always, she had to be touched, and if you stopped petting her she would object with a long moan or a high-pitched bark. I remember being upset because she would not let me hold her for very long, she just liked to lie down next to me. When she was happy, she would pull her fleecy ears back so you could see the white insides. I recognized her different barks for different things that she wanted. I felt that I knew Ruby, like I knew many of my friends. Although she can be super annoying, I cannot imagine my life without Ruby. She keeps me company, comforts me, and loves me.