Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet Ruby

There's something really magical about the way a dog comes into your life--a sense of the divine at work. You don't actually pick a dog as much as the universe sends one to you. And it is always the right one.

Take Tuendi, for instance. I knew I wanted a Westie puppy, and that puppy had to be female because I'd already decided on her name. Tuendi is the Hungarian word for fairy (pronounced Toon-dee), and it was a name I'd grown to love while I lived there. I made a deposit on a female puppy, and the breeder said that she was due to have two litters, and I could pick whichever female I wanted. Ten puppies were born to the two mothers--nine were males. So the universe picked out Tuendi for me, and she was exactly what I needed. She is/was so fantastic, that she was responsible for my mom and I rescuing three other Westies.

Sammy I found on petfinder.com, right in the middle of my own time of stomach troubles. Something about a dog with similar issues drew me in, and I knew I needed him in my life. We got well together. And watching him blossom into an athelete always inspired me to become more active myself.

Enter Ruby. Her breeder had several litters of puppies--Westies and Cairn terriers--and I had no idea how I was going to pick one, since I was open to a puppy of either sex or breed. The pressure to get the "right one" was intense, and I had many, many sleepless nights wondering how I'd find the right dog. I knew what I wanted (or more to the point, what our family needed). It had to be an energetic, friendly, adaptable, affectionate dog, with a natural affinity for children. It could not be too dominant or too submissive. And it had to get along with Tuendi and our two cats. I should have calmed down. The universe was working on it.

A week before we left on our trip, I emailed some last minute questions to Wanda, the breeder, and asked her which puppies were still available. She wrote me back that she still had some male Westies, but that there was a little female 9 week old red brindle Cairn terrier that she was holding onto for us to see. I got the impression that Wanda was a little lukewarm about the idea of us getting one of the Westies (even though a male Westie was what Sam was asking for specifically), not that the male Westies weren't great, but because the Cairn puppy was so much better for our family. So I said we'd take her based on Wanda's recommendation.

We decided to call her Ruby, even though Tom and the boys preferred Mavis. I had too many French classes in college, and to my discerning ear (haha), it sounded too much like mauvais (which means bad or wrong--not exactly the sentiment I was going for). Also the name Mavis seemed a little subdued, a little too formal, too dark and mysterious for my liking. I suggested Ruby. It's a down-to-Earth name (perfect for an Earth dog), it doesn't take itself too seriously, and it sounds fun and playful. It's also a little nod to her red brindle coloring, and the Wizard of Oz (the ruby slippers), which wouldn't be complete without the Cairn terrier, Toto. I liked the name and so did the boys (because of the cartoon Max and Ruby). So we were decided.

When the boys first met Ruby, she barreled across the room and showered John with kisses. It was love at first sight.

She is a great dog, and her personality is a tick list of all the qualities I was looking for. She managed the extraordinarily long drive from SC to NY like a seasoned pro, is adaptable and happy-go-lucky. Spunky, all terrier, smart as a whip, highly energetic and playful, loves everyone in the house (Tuendi and cats included), and even though we've only had her since Saturday, it feels like she's been here all along.

Potty training is going well, and she sleeps well in her crate so long as she can see us (her crate is sitting on my nightstand). As puppies go, she's a piece of cake.

Tuendi, surprisingly, shares the same sentiment. Last night, when I took Ruby to the vet for her first check-up, Tuendi sat at the fence keeping vigil until I got back. She looked happy to see me, but when I opened the crate and let Ruby into the backyard, she broke out into a big doggie smile and looked much, much happier (and dare I say it, relieved).

It would seem that everyone is happier with Ruby around.


  1. it really is true that the dog picks you. our lucy sure did at the spca. enjoy the puppy love!!!

  2. welcome Ruby! cute little video. I love how puppies follow older dogs around. Molly still follow Isabelle around like a little sister. Thought my two are giants compared to your little ones!


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