We recently decided to take in a couple of dogs from Chilliwack Animal Control. Ruby is the second dog. Ruby was clearly a puppy-making machine. Her vulva is huge and her nipples almost touch the floor. She is small for a Shihtzu so she may be crossed with something. This dog was used up until she was no longer able to have babies. She was then callously discarded. Her teeth were so rotten the infection ate through her jawbone so she doesn’t have one on the bottom. All of her teeth had to come out so her little tongue pokes out. She had been kept in such filthy conditions that she actually has dirt embedded in her skin. She had surgery to fix the hernia and was spayed at the same time.
Ruby is quite independent. She doesn’t need anything from humans except food. She does not seem to have experienced the comfort and joy that dogs get when they interact with people. When I pet any of our dogs they almost immediately roll over for a belly rub. Ruby does not. When I pet Piper or Zoe I get happy dog noises. Ruby doesn’t make these noises. When our dogs are scared they come to us. Ruby goes to her door less crate.
Ruby loves food though! Every time she goes out to pee her entire body starts to vibrate in anticipation of the ‘Beggin’ Strips.’ She comes in and her tail starts to wag furiously and her mouth opens waiting for someone to guide as suitably sized piece of treat to her mouth. Yesterday she tasted ham for the first time. I thought she was going to fall over from the pleasure. Ruby eats with gusto.
Affection is something different. She really does not expect anything. I have started to give her massages at night. It is really important when introducing physical touch that it be firm and purposeful. Light touch actually annoys dogs. Last night, before going to bed I spent about 10 minutes massaging her and talking to her quietly. Eventually she started to really enjoy it. She gave me her belly for a bit until Piper came over and then she moved. She actually started to make some happy noises. I will do this for the foreseeable future. She will, in time, start to seek out affection.
It is dogs like Ruby who break my heart. She should have been someone’s pampered pet not a moneymaking machine for humans. Dogs give us all so much already; I can’t imagine how anyone can think it is ok to breed them over and over again until there is nothing left. Actually, I don’t think there is ever a reason to breed a companion animal. With so many dogs waiting in shelters and rescues all over BC it is preferable to adopt rather than buy.
We will make sure that Ruby knows love. We will make sure she knows that not all humans are evil. She will get to know the life of being a pampered pet and she will, at some point, get excited at the sound of our voices knowing that we will make her feel good. And we will do it all on her terms, respecting her wants, needs and desires.
 Ruby loves her crate. She has a nice soft bed in it. We took the door off because she does not need to be contained in it. I wish she didn’t feel like that was her safe place but she does.
 She is remarkably house-trained it seems or else we are just putting her out enough.