Handiwork by Ruby
Ruby doesn’t have opposable thumbs. Therefore, she is unable to open the screen door from the outside (she can open it from the inside but she uses her nose). Since she can’t let herself in she has learned that a loud and highly irritating scratching frenzy gets her immediate access to the house. She refuses to bark because the scratching is so effective.
You know why I’m not planting any flowers this year. So I figured I’d try some herbs. Ruby kept un-planting them and I’d find them chewed up and spit out all over the yard. It was really frustrating because some of them weren’t even in their pot for an hour! As I’m moving on to plant the next pot she’s undoing the last one. She’s not even doing it behind my back.
I tried covering the pots. That didn’t work. She was able to slide the crates out of her way. But I am always one step ahead of her (and hopefully one idea smarter). I gave the crates a little extra weight by placing a metal and glass lantern on top. She’s afraid of the whole contraption now. I’m not sure why. It looks so beautiful.
My brother said these were perennials and not to worry. They’d be back next year.
Remember how she eats everything? Rocks, aluminum siding, bees. In the fall of 2014 the sedum were flowering. There were 4 plants across the back of the house and they were beautiful. The bees thought so too. One flower can attract several bees. Each plant has many flowers. By my math, there were a lot of bees. There were so many buzzing around it was like Christmas for Ruby. They were there just for her. She leapt at them and snuck up on them. She must have actually gotten a couple, but a few stings wasn’t enough to spoil her holiday. She kept at it. She’s very diligent. I tried to warn her.
I keep checking on her and I see she’s finally out in the yard away from the flowers. She’s on a break. Thank goodness! The next thing I know, we’re flying to the vet for an emergency appointment. They’ll be ready for us when we get there. She’s unresponsive. Breathing shallow and fast. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t decided if I loved this dog yet (remember the biting?) but I certainly didn’t want this to be the end. And she appeared to be near death.
As we’re driving, I can see her eyes are beginning to focus a bit. She’s trying to lift her head. The nurse met us in the parking lot and we got her on the gurney. She’s rushed in and attended to immediately. An hour or so later the vet brings her to an examining room and says she had been in anaphylactic shock. She’ll need an epi-pen! She’s never prescribed one before but she’s sure we can get it at our pharmacy. And, we’re not out of the woods yet. She’d like to observe her for another hour or two.
I had plenty of time to decide that I must love this dog! Why else would I have been so upset and scared? I wanted her to be OK. When I got home I cut back all the sedum. This summer I have no flower pots. I guess I do love her.
A girl gets tired after all that digging!
Some dogs bury their bones. Some hide them. Some dogs are diggers and others aren’t. You can see which category Ruby falls into. Of course.
When the ground is covered with snow it is amusing to watch her fling it aside, create little mounds, work off a little energy. When the snow is gone and the spring ground is wet, it is less amusing. MUCH less amusing.
I figured someone would have some advice about how to curb this habit so I went to my usual places. My neighbor with the puppy doesn’t have this problem so she was no help. The experts suggested creating a “digging area” such as a sandbox. That didn’t appeal to me because I didn’t want it to be a large litter box for the feral cats. Somewhere else I read that perhaps she’ll grow out of it… I think she’s grown into it. Her holes are larger each time and she can make one in a flash.
She is the sweetest thing when she’s sleeping. Because then she’s not eating something she shouldn’t! As the snow is melting Ruby is finding ALL sorts of things in the yard to sample. The rock patio is within her reach if she stretches all the way to the end of her line. So she does. These are river rocks about the size of a flattened golf ball. She chews them but, luckily, doesn’t actually eat them. There are pieces all over the yard.
She also thought the aluminum siding might be good. Outside there was this weird noise that needed investigating. And on the porch she’s pulling the corner of the siding away from the house. After a closer look I see she has already chewed some of it off. It’s missing! Not in the grass with the river rocks!