No fooling here - it's Ruby Tuesday! Ruby and I had a lovely, if too-short weekend - aren't they always? Our biggest news, aside from my fostering announcement that I made yesterday, is that thanks to Jessica of My Imperfect Dog, I've finally found a harness that I'm pleased with for Ruby. I've spent a small fortune trying nearly every variety there is: front clip, no-pull, easy-walk, etc. and maybe it's from my background in horses, where fit and function of equipment is of the utmost importance, or maybe I'm just extremely picky, but I was disappointed in each and every one. The front-clip are a nice idea in theory, but unless the leash has a very tiny (worryingly flimsy) clip, it's banging on the dog's chest, and the leash ends up between the dog's legs more often than not. Additionally, I found that Ruby seemed very uncomfortable with the chest strap always constricting her shoulder span, and she walked in a twisted sideways manner. Some front-clip harnesses are easily escapable so I needed to jury-rig them to her collar with a carabiner, thereby inhibiting the side-pull mechanism and putting stress back on her neck which defeats the purpose. More traditional harnesses would fit around the barrel but not across the chest, and I felt they were always riding up on her shoulder blades. When Jessica expressed those same woes in finding a harness for Silas, and we compared notes on our quirky dog-twins, I decided to give her recommendation - the Lupine Roman Harness - a try.
Despite Ruby's skeptical side-eye, I am thrilled to report that this harness is perfect. It's extremely adjustable, fits snugly across her chest and appropriately around her barrel, is easy to get on and off, doesn't choke her, and I think it is secure enough that it doesn't need to be attached to her collar. In fact, I've ordered an adorable matching ID tag for the harness itself. The orange is...unmissable, and brighter than I'd like, but it was the best color to match my new favorite leash, the Alite Boa Lite. I put together several of the rejected harnesses and donated them to a local shelter, though I kept the Sense-ible (her first harness) and the Freedom that sort of fit. Ruby's leash-walking manners leave much to be desired, so I did take her on a little refresher jaunt back in her Halti, something I plan to do once in a while. It does make a big difference, but feels like cheating. I've started being very conscious of keeping slack in the leash by changing direction or simply stopping until she checks in with me, and I am noticing some improvement. The swarms of rabbits that inhabit my complex don't help one bit.
On Sunday, Ruby met her chug chum at our usual ball field; however, there were already about six other dogs there. Several large, rowdy ones, including a chocolate lab that was acting pretty aggressively through the fence, and what appeared to be two Shar-Pei puppies but what I think were actually Shar-Pei/Pug mixes. I didn't like the energy and could tell that Ruby was going to get overwhelmed immediately by the big dogs so we left in search of a quieter setting. We were able to find another empty ball field nearby, and although there were a few gaps in the fencing I thought as long as the dogs were focused on playing it wouldn't be an issue. Ruby ran laps with her flying disc in her mouth before giving it up for some fetching. She doesn't catch it mid-air, instead waiting for it to stop moving before she goes after it, reminding me of my non-athletic self in grade-school P.E. She and Cosmo even played tug briefly, although Cosmo is not big on toy-sharing. Ruby's energy is boundless and I think she would have been happy to stay there for another hour, but I had a brunch date downtown.
April should be a lively month with more and more beautiful weather and the arrival of our foster potcake dog! We are also looking forward to trying yet another subscription box, courtesy of a Bugsy's Box giveaway from Lapdog Creations. I'm excited to see all of the creative posts from those of you taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, and hearing about your springtime adventures!