Our weather this past weekend was not as spring-like as I had hoped, with quite a lot of chilly wind, but there are some undeniable signs cropping up that warm my spirits: grass-stained paws, shedding horses, new foals, tiny purple flowers emerging from dormant ground. Ruby and I spent a couple of days among friends, family, and playmates in Peyton and Colorado Springs. After our usual stop at the feed store we ventured on to my former riding instructor's home for some tea, writerly chat and equine shenanigans. Ruby's second-favorite labradoodle lives there; he and a gingerly corgi fellow play with Ruby in shifts allowing much-needed breath-catching and drool-drying time (for them, not Ruby, who ran laps around the yard by herself while the others watched). Ruby is so happy in the company of other dogs - it's made me all the more excited for our Bahamian Potcake to arrive!
The humans spent some time observing the humorous antics of Pippi the mini-mule and Bhim the mini-horse, who would like you to know that he is very tough, very fancy and very brave - little king of all he surveys. Bhim is a rescue horse from Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue, in training with my friend (although with his vibrant personality we have to wonder who is training who!) He is yet another example of the resilient spirits of second-chance animals. He just happens to be my favorite colorway, too. I think he and Ruby could put on a real dog-and-pony show! Even though Ruby was outdoors with her dog-friends, it was endearingly flattering that she kept her eye on me the entire time we were in the horse pens. She immediately curled up in the backseat after we said reluctant goodbyes and continued on to visit my own horses and brush whirlwinds of black and white hair into the swirling gusts.
Ruby spent the evening playing and relaxing with her cousins at my aunt's house while we went out to a delicious Spanish tapas dinner. This was a wonderful treat for me since I'm coming up already on the one-year anniversary of my trip to Spain. The next morning, Ruby showed off some of her tricks for my grandmother. I've been working on changing the cue for her hind leg lift to the far more amusing "how do boys pee?" and my grandmother got a big kick out of that. My aunt and I went out to breakfast and visited some estate sales, where characteristically my only purchase was a dog dish. Ruby slept all the way home, and my dad who had come down for the weekend said he had never seen her so subdued! She snoozed away the rest of the afternoon and evening.
On Sunday we had a quiet day at home catching up on laundry and cleaning. I took Ruby into a nearby vacant field where she likes to dig on the hillside and we saw a large, healthy garter snake! Ruby was definitely curious but appropriately cautious, which I was glad to see. Some of the hiking areas near us are prime rattlesnake country. Ruby was remarkably still tired and I took full advantage of a lazy day, reading Plenty In Life Is Free. This slim booklet is a new favorite, and one that speaks so deeply to my personal philosophy about our relationships with animals and our ethical duties to them. I feel so lucky to live in a time when we are constantly having conversations about doing better, and that I have a dog like Ruby whose sensitive, complex nature is a daily mirror for my own progress.
P.S. If you would like to see even more pictures of Ruby in various states of adorable, follow us on Instagram!