Feb 19, 2012

Stick around

Starting last October, Ruba "more attitude than hair" Gonzalez started a new habit. At least twice a day when we walked her, she picked up little sticks and brought them back into the house. At first very obvious, with the sticks sticking out of her mouth like very fancy thin cigarettes or thick cigar stumps. But when after the third stick we no longer allowed her to bring in more, she became much more stealthy with this, storing sticks in her cheeks or under her tongue. Although the stick was invisible, we could still recognize if she was collecting by a change in her behavior; rather than the usual sniffing around and side stepping from tree to tree, she became very focused on getting back home without once looking at you or ever opening her mouth. Once she understood that we were on to her again and her behavior gave her away, she started further perfecting her stealthy hobby. And with 3-4 walks a day, of which 2 in the dark, she had plenty of opportunity to become the expert collector. She brought in over 40 sticks that we know of, and chewed/swallowed about 7 that we know of. What finally stopped her was the cold; a hairless dog that needs to do its business below 30 degrees F clearly has other things on her mind and butt than adding another stick to her collection. We thought all the effort, all the searching and sniffing, all the perfecting of the stealth skills, deserved attention. So we framed her collection, and are pretty pleased with the result. A dog's attempt to stick around.

We dropped her off yesterday at her foster home for a week-long sleepover. Although her heart was racing when we left, I did see her pick up another stick from their garden and bring it up to the door. Bless her precious little collector's heart...............
GABROEN on behalf of Ruba


  1. Love this story...Ruba is adorable!

  2. What a very clever idea!


  3. Ha! a collection! how fun that she participates in your art projects this way. Perhaps she would like that you would bead them.

  4. Hi Gabriƫlla en Jeroen,
    Toen ik in September bij jullie was had Ruba ook al die rare tik. Gek beest! Nog even en jullie kunnen de openhaard aanmaken met al die houtjes. Love Marianne.

  5. Hoi kids,
    Wat een kunstwerk van al die stokjes. Enig idee.
    We hebben het meegemaakt dat Ruba stokjes verzamelde.
    Heel aparte hobby.
    Groetjes Tine