Ruby is my miniature poodle. She is about five years old, the age when Chinese meat farm breeders find less use for their “cash cows” and sell them to the slaughterhouse. Ruby was rescued on her way to that slaughterhouse. Devoted angels on both sides of the sea enabled me to rescue her along with her poodle brother, Rusty, rescued from the streets of Shanghai, as well.
Ruby never knew life outside her cage, never held a toy in her paws. Now, she delights in collecting them…..She collects her own, her siblings, and visiting canine relatives who must relinquish all stuffed toys to her.
By day, Ruby sits by my side on the sofa while I read or knit. By night, my reading glasses, my entire knitted piece, a skein of wool, or just a few strands of yarn make their way to the sofa. Maybe it’s Ruby’s hoard. I have read accounts of trauma survivors who become hoarders. Captain George Pollard of the whaling ship “Essex” was discovered to have hoarded food in his Nantucket attic. Depression era survivors always had a well stocked pantry………just in case…….
How can I be angry at Ruby for being a thief in the night……..Perhaps the darkness of night heightens fears that she will once again face the cruelty of her past……When she first came to me, she flinched at every move my hand made to reach down and pet her fearful body. Now, there are still moments, when caught red handed, that she looks at me with fear in her eyes……Fear that I will act with cruelty and harm, not with love and understanding.
I love Ruby…..I smile when I see my reading glasses and yarn on the sofa. Maybe it is her way of making sure there will be a tomorrow, sitting on the sofa, next to someone knitting or reading, or just loving her……♥