I knew exactly what I wanted. A male dog definitely, one with long hair, as I never was a fan of short haired breeds. A collie was very much at the front of my mind as i'd grown up with them and knew they were very intelligent dogs. So that was the plan. Unable to afford to buy a puppy, I'd search the rescue centres until I found the dog of my dreams.
Sounds fairly straightforward right? I lost count of the amount of rescue centres I visited. I saw in total two collies. One hated everyone and I was advised not to go near it as it had been badly treated, and the other had clearly lost its mind and was systematically bouncing itself off the kennel walls. I saw Staffies by the hundred, Rotweillers, Huskies, small unidentifiable yappy things. I saw those that played to the crowd, up against the bars, barking their attributes at everyone, hoping to get picked, others who just barked profanities and then, right when I was beginning to think I wouldn't find one, I drew level with the next kennel.
In it were two dogs, both about the same size, one looked like a staffie cross whippet and the other, sat at the back of the cage ignoring everything was a tan coloured dog, another cross staffie but crossed with what was anyone's guess.
As I stood there, she slowly turned her head and I was trapped in the gaze of the saddest pair of eyes I had ever seen. As she saw me, she got up and walked to the front and got up on her hind legs to take a closer look. Next she poked her paw through the bars and with little mumbles she gently tried to catch hold of me to pull me closer.
No need to go through the embarrassment of explaining what a complete wreck I was that she'd chosen me, no need to dwell on the fact that she was the complete opposite of what I'd been so determined to get. I'd been chosen!
After completing all the paperwork, I was pulled away from the centre by my new owner and she flopped into the back of my car like she'd been doing it all her life. On the way home I explained to her that her name was now Ruby, that I was in fact the alpha in her new pack, that she was to behave when we got home, that she had a new bed, new toys and everything waiting for her and, glancing in the rear view mirror, I was certain that the smiling face meant she understood everything.
She went through the front door like a bullet from a gun, tore down the passage, which wasn't easy as the laminate flooring meant she had to run twice as fast to get half the distance and she proceeded to bounce on each part of the sofas in turn. Clearly dizzy with excitement, she did the same journey back again to inspect her new bed, even while I was wasting my time pointing at the multicoloured bed in the living room. I followed her to the bedroom to see her running in very small, very fast circles on my bed. She evidently approved. She then bounced to the kitchen, recognised a water bowl when she saw it, took a long drink and then I quickly showed her the garden before she got any ideas.
This was over three years ago now. They had told me she was two when I got her, the vet said nearer to three, so I go with that. She's six now and she infuriates me with her dirty protests every time I go out, drives me crazy in the night, I don't think I've had a full nights sleep since i got her and barks for absolutely no good reason, usually just as I'm dozing off to sleep.
She's also been my lifeline, my confidant, my rock, my warm cuddle when I've needed one, is always pleased to see me. You're going grey around the snout now old girl but then again, so am I xx