The other night, I had a dream about Ruby. She stood on a dock over a brilliant lake, eager for the water but timid to dive in. I encouraged her and she jumped, but then disappeared below the surface.
In the next image, I was watching her as if I were underwater too, but she couldn't see me. Her paws were still and she drifted straight down, her yellow coat fading against the darkening grey as she sunk. But she was more stunned than afraid, I thought. I wasn't able to call to her, yet I wasn't worried. I waited, then suddenly she found herself and paddled with all her little might, straight to the surface. Once she got there, she just kept on swimming.
The thin symbolism of the dream was no mystery, of course. But the timing of my subconscious was ironic – I received the first "official" email about Ruby from her organization, Canine Partners of the Rockies, the very next day.
So...how are you doing, little bathing beauty?
Making good progress! The notes said that Ruby loves to learn and she picks up new cues quickly. Her eye contact is great, she's very comfortable in public, always checks in with her handler, and her training on city buses went very well.
Our plucky Roo is holding longer down stays in meetings, great news! But she does need a little work on improving her chill skills.
She still has some issues with dog distraction (no surprise there); only time and maturity will tell. She also shares a litter trait with her crew – they all have some alarm/alert barking issues. I can't say that she was much of a barker when she was with us; she usually deferred to her big sister, Kiva, who always makes sure to have the first and last woof on strangers and bunnies.
What else... Oh, Ruby likes to get her toes done. Such a girl.
Most importantly, Ruby is ready to begin working on all cues while her trainer is using a wheelchair. Thanks to thoughtful Sue who often sends me Roo photos, I was able to get a glimpse of this training.
Whether Ruby ultimately becomes a service dog or she takes another path, this beautiful shot of her learning makes me so happy and proud of her. Will share more as I hear it!