Everyone that knows me will know that it’s been a long road with my rescue springer Ruby from the whirlwind of destruction to the less than desirable behaviours. She loves people but especially loves children and playing water cannons over the fence with the four year-old next door has been our salvation during lockdown.
We’ve attended puppy classes which were actually weekly public humiliation sessions for me when we were permanently in a timeout when Ruby constantly mine swept every other dog’s treats. We’ve had a number of trainers none of which seemed to work for various reasons so it was pure luck when we met Ruby’s new best friend and awesome trainer, Gemma on a field one early morning when she was exercising her impeccably behaved detection dog Jackpot.
Ruby thinks detection work is the greatest game ever and gets to play it with her best friend plus she gets rewarded with her favourite thing in the world; a tennis ball. When I first saw the videos I couldn’t believe that was my dog in them and in fact, I wondered if she had been substituted by a stunt double. Of course, she’s never quite as well behaved when she’s with me; refusing point blank to get out of the river on her weekend jaunts preferring instead to sit there like Billy No Mates. Not to mention she’s more than a little partial to rolling in fox poo or worse!
In fact she takes her work so seriously that when we go out as I’m locking up and collecting all her paraphernalia (anyone notice when you take a dog out they generate as much stuff as a baby) she’s diving under the car unsolicited and checking my wheel arches for an incendiary device. Fortunately that’s not too much of a problem here in rural leafy Devon.
Ruby is a very much loved pet firstly and foremost a fact that I was painfully reminded of when I had the embarassing task of pulling the remnant of one of my socks out of her rear end; very much like a magician producing a string of handkerchiefs from his sleeve whilst all the passengers on the number eight bus looked on no doubt traumatised by the experience and many glad, unquestionably, that they weren’t dog owners. For me and Ruby though it was just another day in normal dog paradise.