In my 20’s, my rule of thumb for how long it took to get to know someone was three months. By my late 20’s, it had grown to six months. And by my 30’s, it was a year.
In my 40’s, I tend to have an idea pretty quickly about the integrity or character of a person, but remain somewhere in between the six months to a year to really get to know more about them.
Apparently, an adult rescue animal falls in the same time frame. Magic can happen as you approach the year mark. Animals aren’t nearly as complicated as humans, but bonding with a dog who had fairly limited human contact in the racing world can take a bit more patience and time.
Ruby and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on Saturday. We brought her home on August 22 from her prison training stent. She has made great progress from the skitzy, unsure girl she was in that year—both at home and at work.
It hasn’t been long since it has just been she and I trying to figure out what is next for us, but the connection we have developed in that short time has been amazing. She is even finally making some connections with my friends and their dogs along with the guys at the Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP). The guys there have been very patient and have helped her to understand that attention is really ok.
She is a sensitive little soul with a lot of love to share, and it warms my heart to see her start to express it more and more, as she trusts me more and more each day. She trusted Duke to lead her and now I think she is starting to trust me too.
I called her Rubicon without knowing for sure what the word meant—it means bridge into the unknown, which is certainly what life feels like without the likes of Duke and Amore in it for me.
I am not sure I have ever had a better hostess when other dogs come to visit. Saturday on our anniversary, she got out what she knew were her elder dog’s favorites from her toy bin. She is gracious and quirky, and I love all of that about her.
Ruby and I are going to be ok. I wasn’t wrong about her. I am grateful to have her and she is teaching me so much already. She will never be Duke or Amore, nor would I want her to be anyone other than who she is. But like her, I am just gaining trust and getting to know her likes and dislikes. I imagine only more magic as we move forward together into whatever is next for us.
In Duke’s honor, the staff at HEP are gathering up dog donations for Dog Day (which is officially tomorrow August 26) to go to the Greyhound Advancement Center’s prison training program where Ruby was trained (and interestingly enough, her soul sister greyhound who also works at HEP went through training). I love that Duke lives on and that now he is passing it on to his sister.