Oliver, by Ruby

This is Oliver.  I think we are cousins (maybe twice removed or something).  Yesterday was his second birthday and I believe he got that bear as a gift from his mama and dadders.  He seems to like it but, at the same time, he appears to be sticking his tongue out at them.  Doesn’t he?  It’s as if he expected something bigger.  Something better!  Perhaps Puppy Paws?

I hope I’m not speaking out of school here, cause, he’s huge!  And cousins or not, I don’t want to be on his bad side.  I’ve never met him and I want to be in good standing when I do.  But, that tongue thing is looking a little like ‘giving the finger’ by someone without fingers.  I hope I’m wrong.  He’s only two and so cute in the picture otherwise.  Maybe he really is happy with that toy and I’m just projecting my desire for Puppy Paws onto him.  Yes, that’s probably it.

Good boy Oliver and Happy Birthday cous!


When do dogs stop chewing everything?  My flip flop, the door mat, her Elizabethan collars, plants…?  Ruby is now 19 months old.  Everyone I ask says 2 years of age is the magic number.  I know that when she turns 2 the new number will be 3.  I will probably have a 9 year old dog that still behaves like a puppy.

When I tell my dad that she is a very obedient dog he wonders why I say that if she’s still chewing everything.  It’s because she IS a very obedient dog- sits on command, walks well on the leash, comes when called, etc.  It’s her behavior that isn’t great yet.  She looks like a dog but still behaves like a puppy so it’s getting harder to use the “puppy behavior” as an excuse.  Only 5 more months!


This was today’s little surprise.

That mat was supposed to hide the green cord and keep her from wiping out when she jumps from the 3rd step onto the linoleum floor in the basement.  She’s only allowed to be down there when I am with her but today I was on a business call as she was shredding the mat and I couldn’t excuse myself to stop her.  Wonderful.  I’m sure now she thinks it’s OK to chew carpets.   Only 5 more months.

First choice

Just looking back…  Ruby was one of 9 puppies.  There were 5 females in her litter.  2 were red and 3 were blonde.  They were all cute and it was hard to pick just one.  My nephew suggested a blonde male to be named Max.  Or a blonde female to be named Maggie.

Having first choice of the litter seems great but I couldn’t decide.  My brother did some research regarding color.  Maybe that would help. He learned that lighter dogs usually have more dander.  I’m actually allergic to most dogs but can survive if I diligently wash my hands after petting them.  Therefore, it made sense to select one of the 2 red puppies.  So I could breathe.

That narrowed it down to 2 but which one of THEM do I take?   Neither one of them was giving me any indication that they wanted me to take them home.  You know how some people just “know” which one they’re supposed to take?  Doesn’t the ONE just come to you?

I didn’t know.  I wanted the best one.  The cutest one.  The calmest one.  The one that would be the easiest to train.  The one that would be healthy.  The sweetest one.  The prettiest one…

I guess I thought too hard about it.


Here she is the next day, after I made my final selection.  Look carefully.  She’s shoving her sisters out of the way for my attention.  I got the bully.  The “dominate bitch”.  The beast.

My brother reminds me that I had first pick of the litter!




Yes, we attend obedience classes.  We are actually in ADVANCED obedience class at the farm.  Ruby is an average student.  Not the best, not the worst.  She is close in age to all the dogs in class (I was secretly hoping she was younger).  And she is an obedient dog.  She sits when told to.  Comes when called.  Walks well on the leash.

But she isn’t a well behaved dog- yet.  She is still a puppy and will steal your sock or counter surf.

And hide when she gets reprimanded..





Puppies are really sweet and cuddly and cute until they aren’t.  With the change of seasons came a big change in Ruby.  She developed an attitude and began growling and viciously biting me.  I have an attitude too and I wasn’t going to let this beast win.  I wasn’t afraid but I WAS getting angry at her.  Who did she think she was?  Pretty much everyone said she had to go, that she’d be gone if she bit somebody else.  But I did not want to admit defeat…  To a dog.  A Golden.  Plus, way too much money had been spent on her and it would be fiscally irresponsible to give her up now.  I guess she could be sold (she has papers) but who would actually buy her?

We needed professional help.  So I asked my neighbor with the puppy what she would do.  She said we needed Professional help.  The woman who owns the farm where we attend obedience training said she could help.  She knows Ruby from class and HER dogs don’t bite.  Perfect.  After describing Ruby as “a dominant bitch” she put us on her schedule for a 1 hour session at home.   She was sure she could help.  She was right.  90 minutes after arriving at our house Ruby was a new dog.  The trainer gave valuable advice and explained how to improve on a few things.  It was a miracle. All we needed to do now was implement these suggestions and Ruby would be good to go.  Uh huh.  No getting down on the floor to play with her.  She couldn’t give her paw anymore.  She wasn’t allowed on any furniture.  Everything was designed to show her that she was NOT the boss.  Stay firm with her, be taller than her, stay above her at all times, don’t give her an inch because she’ll take a foot, maybe literally.

Does she look like she still has an attitude?

Ruby in the yard