Happy Ruby Tuesday! I am so lucky to have every other Friday off, but even those long weekends go by too quickly. Ruby and I enjoyed three days of playing, photo sessions, an unexpected visit to a dog park, and visits from family. We have been trying to go to a nearby baseball field on Friday mornings to meet up with Cosmo the Chug, but this time there was a school employee parked on the field with the gate open. We asked if we could close the gate in order to let the dogs run around and were told that no, another truck was on its way. With some hesitation on my part, we decided to try the dog park just down the road. I have a dog park within walking distance of my house, but have stopped going as there are too many big dogs and too much chaos, and I feared that it was contributing to Ruby's reactivity.
I decided on Friday that we could at least take a peek - it was still fairly early in the morning on a week day and I hoped there wouldn't be too many other people. We met one dog walking from the parking lot to the enclosure, and Ruby was her usual spinning, ferocious-sounding self. I'm sure the person wondered what I was doing with her at a dog park, but as soon as we got through the gate Ruby did wonderfully. There were about seven other dogs, a nice mixture of large and small, and Ruby immediately made some friends. She bounced around with a labradoodle, got chased by two Shih Tzus and pestered a young yellow lab. I was so proud of her! She raced around the perimeter at top speed many times - she is so fast that none of the other dogs had a chance at catching her. At one point the white Shih Tzu had a hold of the black Shih Tzu's tail as they were both in pursuit of Ruby - it was hilarious! She came along nicely when it was time to go, although we did encounter two more dogs on the way to the car. I have a lot of reservations about dog parks, and still prefer the baseball field which we normally have to ourselves, but I think it's good for Ruby to have some socialization in small groups and she proved that she can handle it. That particular park will be a nice backup plan on the off-hours if the baseball field is in use.
Knowing Ruby would be good and tired out for the rest of the day, I took the opportunity to run some errands for the afternoon, including a stop at a wonderful local pet store in my old neighborhood. Ruby got another gross thing to chew on (beef tendon) and two new toys: a replacement Walk-e-Woo tug and a Cycle Dog dino. Lucky girl! She gave them both a try when I got home.
|That blur would be her tail.|
Since receiving our Wag Pac along with a selection of foods from The Honest Kitchen to try, it was time to make some room in the dog cabinet. I'm still hanging on to the last leashes and collars that Lasya and Freya wore, but for the most part I don't think I'll have need for the big dog stuff anytime soon. I put together a bag of items to donate and organized the rest of Ruby's things. A friend gave me a ticket to an equestrian theater performance in Golden, so I again left Ruby with my dad and had a solo afternoon at a horse show. The Foothills Animal Shelter just happened to be right next to the fairgrounds, so I was able to drop off my donation there. The pretty weather had returned, so Ruby got several walks on Sunday and even my elder-cat, Nina, spent some time in the sun on the patio. The window film continues to be effective - although I do worry that she is listening harder now - and my house is so much more peaceful without barking eruptions at the window. We started Day 6 of the Relaxation Protocol, which introduces opening a door - Ruby maintained her stay through each instance of sliding the patio door! She had two breaks elsewhere in the tasks but I think we'll be able to complete it in two or three more attempts. Ruby crashed early that night, evidence that she had a fun-filled weekend.