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Ruby made it through her bout with the disease. The virus took a lot out of her, but she survived, and she eventually returned to the same pup we’d known before. There was no doubt that she loved us, in an emotional and committed way. There was also no doubt that we loved her and would never give her away again.
As her strength returned, I decided that all of her innate talent should not go to waste. I taught her commands in triplicate, English, German (which I was learning in high school), and hand signals. She learned all of this effortlessly. If I told her to stay, or held up my hand fingers up- palm facing her, she would stay for as long as I left her. Sometimes something would happen and she’d forget, but not usually. If I got distracted and left her there, sometimes I’d find her hours later asleep in the same spot.
Her best trick was one that took a little more doing (she learned it in less than a day), and I honestly don’t remember exactly how I taught her. She would jump through a hoop if I held it up and said “jump.” But, if I took the hoop and crouched down, holding the hoop in front and over my head, she’d run, jump onto my back, and off my back through the hoop. She’d do it every time, and the very instant that I told her to.
Ruby grew to a little larger than her mother. A mutt that I dubbed a “Schnoodle-Wieiner,” she looked exactly like Benji (the 70’s movie dog), except a bit smaller. She had a dark brown tail, light red short hairs, longer somewhat curly blonde hairs that covered that, and sparser dark brown straight hairs. On the whole, she was a light brown color with darker brown ears that flopped slightly forward, shorter than a dachshund’s but similarly shaped.
She was a little neurotic. She’d lick things, mostly the carpet, in a compulsive manner when she was bored. And she was obsessed with having her chest rubbed. That was where she wanted to be petted most.
If I were in a chair, Ruby would walk up to my foot and move over it with her chest (between her front legs and under her head) and rub her chest back and forth on my foot until I would move my foot to rub it myself. If I stopped, she would back up, take her foot and paw my foot to tell me to start again. To her this was the best thing going. It was just something that we shared, and a way that she wanted to be petted.—Ryan