If there's one talent Ruby's cultivated from day one, it would be her excellent behavior while shopping. The raiser who was at the other end of her leash loves to shop, so Roo did get a lot of practice in those days...
...and for us, it was always equal-opportunity shopping!
Where she really shined, though, was the supermarket. Aside from a very early puppy fascination with licking the wheels of the cart as they spun – which was REVOLTING and I put a stop to IMMEDIATELY – she was fantastic.
I wrote a post back in August 2009 about one of baby Roo's adventures in food shopping. She was fearful of big boxes, but we worked through it that day and never had a problem again.
Now that Ruby's moved on to advanced training, I'm lucky to have been receiving photos from Sue, a very thoughtful person whom I have never actually met. She has photographed some of Ruby's advanced sessions and outings, and I am grateful to Ruby's advanced trainer and to Sue for giving me this window into Roo's education.
The photos are always a surprise. I never know what Sue's going to send me and I've never requested a specific shot...except one. I asked Sue if there was ever the possibility to snap Ruby training in the market, it would mean the world to me.
It's funny. I took thousands of photos during the time I spent with Ruby, but grocery shopping was such a part of an ordinary day, I never even thought to shoot one of the hundreds of trips we made to the store as she grew older. Walking the aisles with Roo beside my cart plays like a movie in my memory, though, and there was something about the familiarity of our routine that made our market trips so special.
That's why I was thrilled to receive this photo:
I get choked up each time I look at it; the gentle beauty of her training and how far she's come.
I don't yet know if Ruby will go on to graduate and assist someone with everyday tasks such as shopping at the market. But if she does, I can only imagine the love and partnership the two will share, how comforting their routines together will be.