Pet-Peeves: Motorcycles, and bad sounds from cars humans can't hear
Favorite Toy: her booda bone
Favorite Food: all of it
Favorite Walk: Queen Creek (dry creek bed)
Best Tricks: Talking people talk
Arrival Story: They say all things happen for a reason, and of course, we didn't have our laundry hooked up for the first few months, so every week or so, I had to load up and schlep to Globe to the closest laundromat.
Our first visit, we found a handwritten note on the Central Heights Laundry bulletin board, advertising a "Queensland Heeler." The title was actually "Free Dog."
I called and got a call back a few days later. The dog was in Winkleman, about 30 miles away, and we agreed to meet so I could see the dog, back at the laundromat.
I got there, and an older, white Chrysler minivan circled the lot a couple times, presumably, I'd like to think, to look at me me and make sure I wasn't in the habit of selling puppies to vivisectionists, or a vivisectionist myself. Father, son and little sister got out of the van with the dog.
The father was wearing what looked like an oil cloth duster that had seen better days, with a well used hat. He had a beard and mustache and looked like he worked his farm or ranch hard for a living.
The son looked like a normal teenager in jeans and a black t-shirt, but his little sister, who looked 3 or 4, was just a little angel, in dirty purple fluffy slippers and T-shirt, and cartoon flannel pajama pants. She had shoulder length almost white blond hair, and the biggest blue eyes you could imagine on a child.
The dog had no collar, but was on a lease that had the length threaded through the loop to make a noose around its neck.
I asked the dog's name, and was told, "Escape." I asked how she got that name and was told, "Because that's what she does." I asked if she was housebroken, and told, "don't know, she ain't never been in no house."
When I said, "so this is a Queensland Shepherd," the son corrected me and said, "Heeler, not shepherd." I took a picture with the phone and sent it to Jim. (We have since found out she is actually an Australian Cattle Dog. Other names for Ruby's breed are the Queensland Heeler, or Red/Blue Heeler.)
All Jim had to say was, "So you gonna do it?" So I did.
I took the wrong end of the leash, so I had the dog secure, and the family piled back into its van.
As the door shut, I heard the anguished shrieking, "Where's my doggie?" that deteriorating into screaming and sobbing as the little blond angel was driven away without the dog.
I still hear that screaming sometimes when I dream about finding the dog.
The dog survived the trip home in the Festiva, with a stop at Walmart to buy a collar, a tie out, dog food and treats, such as I thought appropriate. I had to lift her up to put her in the car, she was obviously not used to being around people and certainly not treated as a pet. But she had a sweet friendly disposition, but her tail tucked securely between her legs.
Got her home, and used the tie out to secure her, she was going to be our security dog.
Jim and I decided to call her, "Ruby."
Ruby managed to chew through her tie up on the second or third night, and we woke up to find her proudly sitting with the loose end in her mouth. Chewing became our torment for the next few months, until we found the right chew toys to keep her busy.
We have also restored the fence so we don't have to worry about tying her up. Being on the chain or cable is now only a short term punishment, for when she leaves her yard to go investigate the mine, or go to the Chicken Lady's house to steal her cat food bowls.
Ruby has wormed her way into being a house pet, too. We have gone from "no dogs in the house," to dogs only in the house sometimes, " from "dogs don't sleep in the house," to dogs sleep in the house sometimes, but not in the bedroom," to, "well, they can sleep in the bedroom if they really need to."
Bio: Ruby guarded us in the coach every night, and fended off the javelinas to keep them from eating our prickly pear. She scared off a few coyote as well, and kept the local wildcat population at bay.
She also was exceptional in discovering and alerting us to skunks, usually by barking followed by the presence of a strong odor. The first time it happened, it was in the middle of the night, I had just happened to get up for a drink of water, and looked out the window.
Ruby was lying on her bed like a little doggie angel and the next thing I knew was in the air, and then amid lots of snarling, she had something black and furry in her mouth and was furiously shaking it. I was terrified that she had got a hold of our neighbor, Aurora’s, black persian cat, so I jumped in my sneaks, grabbed a broom and headed out to defend the kitty.
I got about six feet from her when the wave of spray hit. This was not a Kitty Cat….. it was a POLE CAT!!!!! Fortunately, I was only hit by the odor, not the spray itself. Ruby was not so lucky.
Tomato juice doesn’t work. A small box of baking soda, a bottle of peroxide and Dawn detergent worked well. But the Pet Odor remover PDQ works just as well as anything and you can simply spray it on and work it in.
However, this has happened so often, that we just don’t even bother with anything anymore.
Ruby licks. We haven’t been able to stop her licking everybody. It is her special way of greeting friends and loved ones. She licks everyone she can get her tongue towards. We had hoped that taking Ruby off the chain and into the fenced front yard would help curtail her tendency to get skunked.
Wrong. Those little guys seem to be able to worm through the fence and get in like nobody’s business. Ruby seems to have negotiated a truce with those critters, most of the time. But though she doesn’t chase or attack them anymore, she is friendly and curious when they come through the yard.
But remember what I said about her special way of greeting friends? Got her into trouble, and the way I figure that it had to happen, she was sleeping out in the grass, and a skunk wandered by, used to the dog so guard was down. Ruby happened to wake up just as the skunk wandered by, its butt right by her face.
Well, what could be a friendlier thing for a dog to do to another, but lick its butt? This, however, so startled the skunk, that it delivered its full load, immediately and directly into Ruby’s mouth.At first, we thought she had simply taken a direct hit in the eyes, as her face swelled up and she was rubbing her face on the ground. She gagged and spit out mouthful after mouthful of foam.
We didn’t know if we needed to rush her to an emergency vet, so we ran to the Internet, and found out that while she would be miserable, it wouldn’t kill her.Couldn’t let a miserable dog spend the night outside, thus the house and bedroom dog began its more pampered life.I rubbed her down with PDQ all over her face the next morning, and while her fur smelled normal, every time she opened her mouth, we would be hit by a wave of pungent skunk aroma. She had swallowed it.
I learned there is nothing you can feed a dog that will take skunk breath away.
I learned it takes six weeks for the skunk smell to go away from dog breath.
I learned to accept skunk breath as a household odor.