Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Marathon Dog

Exhibit A, Ruby in repose. Ruby Rubinskaya is mostly in love with three things. One of them happens to be the ball that she is gripping between her front paws.

Another one is her "puppy," a series of soft stuffed animals in the shapes of various dog breeds that usually last about a year until someone punches a hole in it. Her current "puppy" is a pug that resembles her boyfriend who lives just up the street--Bandit.

The third thing that Ruby is in love with is her own leash. I think it might just be her favorite chew toy. Last night by the time I got home from work (Mr. Bump got home 2 hours before I did) my loving husband had taught the dog how to walk on the treadmill on her leash. There she is, haltingly trying to keep up with the belt, which was down at about .5 mph, all the while complacently chewing on her own leash.

Later that night there was something of a disaster when she tried to hop on the treadmill with Mr. Bump and without her leash. She just couldn't get the hang of continuing to walk forward. She slid off the back once and off the side. Finally she just gave up to watch, which thankfully is what she does when I'm going 4 mph on it.

Now if you're thinking that our treatment of Ms. Ru is cruel and that we were doing it just for kicks, then you clearly have not been watching my favorite animal show of all time, "The Dog Whisperer." Not only do I have more than a little crush on Cesar Milan, but nobody loves the sweet combination of a happy ending and a happy dog more than I do. Anyway, getting back to our dog Rubix, Cesar often puts dogs on the treadmill to tire them out if they have too much energy. And boy does Ruby Tuesday have excess energy. I'm not sure that it is something we'll do on a regular basis to run her batteries down, but it was funny to try.

This morning I really, really did not want to get out of bed and come to work. It was warm, I hate my job, and Ruby has this way of curling up behind my knees when I'm lying on my side that effectively pins me to the bed so it is easy to blame my slack on her. But she's so warm, and she looks at me with those deep brown eyes which seem to say "you're not really getting up, are you?"

Mr. Bump tells me that she doesn't want to just snooze when he stays home from work, either because he's sick or just has a day off. But she's more than willing to do it when I'm still in bed. Do you suppose that dogs pick up on our base desires? That they are tapped in to some high frequency whine we put out, hovering above what we say we want, or what we should want, or what we do, or what we say we ought to do?

Then again, maybe they're just dogs. She has always been allowed to crawl all over me, sleep on my hip (it's a pretty solid one). Maybe she's telling me what to do, when she would never dare do that to Mr. Bump. But if the truth be told, right now I'm looking for someone to tell me what to do. If no one else is going to, is it so wrong to take advice from the dog? That's her there, she's the one complacently chewing on her own leash.

This is a picture of Ru on my hip (the lump below her) with her puppy. Vive la Ruvolution!

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