Apr 26, 2013

Someone is getting some sun

I don't think many people know this, but our fifteen-and-a-half (writing it out in full is only fitting for such a respectable age) year old Mexican Hairless has a last name. Actually, she also has a first name; Ruba is just her given name, given by GABROEN when we got her, now fifteen-and-a-half year ago, as we didn't picture ourselves calling her by that pedigree name: Girassol Gonzalez.

I'll first explain how we got from Girassol to Ruba. When we got her as an 8 week old little gremlin, now fifteen-and-a-half years ago (repeating this so often is only fitting for such a respectable age), the little hair she had on her head was as orange reddish as a carrot. Girassol, Spanish for sunflower, just didn't seem right. She was a redhead, a red dog, which would be 'rode hond' in Dutch. Oddly, 'rode hond' is also the Dutch name for rubella, one of the childhood diseases characterized by red spots. The origin of the name 'rode hond' has nothing to do with dogs whatsoever; it is derived from the old Dutch 'huin' meaning impurity or blemish. Apparently there was an old English word 'hun' with the same meaning. Anyway, we liked the reference to 'red dog', but thought that naming a puppy after a childhood disease, in particular a puppy that looks like a gremlin with many pimples and zits, is a bit awkward. So we ended up abbreviating 'rubella' to make it sound friendlier, e voila: Ruba. Certainly has a better ring to it than Girassol.

Her pedigree last name, Gonzalez, turned out more fitting than we thought fifteen-and-a-half years ago. Reminiscent of her fellow Mexican cousin, the cartoon mouse Speedy, Ruba turned out to be surprisingly fast. Now that she is fifteen-and-a-half, she lost most of her speed. She hasn't lost her love for sunbathing, and moves around the house with the turning sunlight. So perhaps Girassol wasn't such a bad name after all. Also, she hasn't lost her pigmentation, and still tans incredibly fast. So fast, that even the little winter sun in Illinois apparently has some effects on her. We only realized that when we took her shirt off. At her respectable age, she has outgrown her gremlin looks. Instead, she now looks like a Tour de France cyclist.

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