19 May 2017

Seventeen years.

Ruby was seventeen. Seventeen years is a long time for someone to be with you.

We hadn't owned our house very long, seventeen years ago. I'd just thrown in the towel at being a fancy dotcom graphic designer, was teaching at a couple junior colleges, making art projects in my garage, and had just gone back to riding part time to help a friend at a small training business she'd started. I went to the beach every single day.

Seventeen years ago, we had survived the y2k, nothing exploded. I bought my first dog crate after 9-11 happened the next year, figured if we had to evacuate somewhere from beach hating terrorists blowing up our neighborhood, I could put Timmy and Ruby in it. That eventually became Ruby's crate, and she learned to ride in the car in it. But she always liked to ride on the console, that's how Ruby preferred to roll. Otterpop has Ruby's blue plastic dog crate now, it's faded and coated with all those years of stickers, layers on layers, lots peeling off. I left her bed in there, so she feels like she's riding with Ruby.

First thing when I get up I always get Ruby up. Last thing before bed, I always take Ruby out. All the timing of my schedule, based on I gotta get home for Ruby. How's Ruby? So many phone messages, can you get home for Ruby? How's Ruby? When I sit on the couch, I can see Ruby in her blue chair, and I noticed last night how many times I always look over at Ruby, to see if she's ok. I know she's just sleeping, but I always got to check her. Over and over, how's Ruby? But she's not there.

I have thousands of pictures. Ruby smiles in maybe, six of them. She was serious most of the time. If she was a Game of Thrones cast member, she wouldn't have been a princess, or a warrior. She would have been an espionage agent for the Wildlings, blending secretly and silently into the forest, moving through shadows, but getting shit DONE. Fast and under the radar, brilliantly effective, but camouflaged perfectly into her surroundings. She would have some kind of weird, psychic skills, that nobody really understood. But she would have done anything for the cause. She loved pancakes and chicken more than anything. But not as much as she loved me.

Ruby was like a piece of my arm, a piece you don't always have to think about, because it's just part of you. A section, always there. A piece you need, you don't worry about, it's your arm. But when it goes, something like an arm, then yeah. You realized, how much you need it.


Striker said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Laura. I have enjoyed reading about the adventures of your dogs for many years. Hugs!

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