For a while I was convinced that Gilbert the shelter dog was meant to be ours. He was a border collie/Aussie mix, not at all the breed we were interested in, and he was all the way over in central Oregon. But I fell in love with his photos and video, and JB surprised me by agreeing that Gilbert seemed awesome, and I spent hours filling out the shelter application, which was surprisingly long and detailed, but I was like more room for me to convince them we’re the perfect family! and I wrote and wrote and wrote and the shelter director told me that they would collect all the applications and make a decision at the end of the week and we planned to arrive at the shelter towards the end of our vacation and then halfway through the week I got an email saying Gilbert had been adopted out the previous Saturday. File under great mysteries I’ll never solve: who got that dog, and how were they so amazing the shelter totally abandoned their whole ‘collect all the applications’ business? Ah well, at least Gilbert has a new home, and that’s what’s important (but also screw you, shelter, just a little bit?).

We visited a shelter where we met Bea, who was a sweet mixed breed who pressed her nose into my hands and I kind of loved her but she was over eight years old and it just didn’t seem right, she seemed like she wanted to be somewhere peaceful where she could curl up and rest without being bombarded by loud-ass children. Then there was Fred, the uncreatively-named yellow Lab I drove to Coos Bay to see, and I really really hoped that would work out but he was just too strong and rambunctious and at first I thought that would be okay, that we could deal with that as we worked on training, but I couldn’t keep ahold of the leash and he scared the kids and he knocked Dylan over and oh man I was so sad but I had to pass on Fred.

There were lots of other shelter searches (lord, so very many pitbulls and chihuahuas) and fruitless emails with breeders looking for adult dogs (my favorite was the snooty lady who wrote me that she was selling her male show dog for $6,000 and she doubted very much that was what I was looking for, I so wanted to pull a Pretty Woman on her — “Big mistake! HUGE!” — but, well, frankly she was right) and some eventual consideration of a puppy even though my puppy con list was like a mile long (meaning the cons vs the pros, as opposed to a puppy convention) (OMG PUPPYCON I WANT TO GO TO THERE and then come back home while someone else cleans up) and then, and THEN –

I am breaking that paragraph because my own run-on sentence was making me run out of air. Anyway, and THEN JB ended up talking to the Lab breeder who we got our former dog from, and like the time before, it just so happened that she had an adult female that she had been considering adopting out and since the previous situation had worked out so well she was happy to re-home this dog with us, and so JB drove up to Kent to pick her up, and you GUYS, may I introduce Ruby?


(Note stolen Minecraft Creeper.)



She’s three years old and she is the best.

(PS: If you’re wondering how the cat/dog dynamic is going so far, if you’ve seen this video you have the general idea.)


80 Responses to “Ruby”

  1. LD's Mom on July 31st, 2014 7:46 am

    Welcome home, Ruby!!!! So happy for you all.

  2. Katherine on July 31st, 2014 8:03 am

    As a family, we’ve been having a long debate (and I mean long as in years long) about getting a dog. This makes me want one even more!

  3. jen on July 31st, 2014 8:07 am

    She is a doll! So happy you found the right one for you. I don’t want another dog but you are making me want another dog!

  4. Nimble on July 31st, 2014 8:12 am

    Aww! And the camera loves her too. Happy for your fam.

  5. Christina on July 31st, 2014 8:19 am


  6. Kimberley B on July 31st, 2014 8:30 am

    I love the last pic, you are both so darn cute! PUPPYCON. Great idea. Also, I want to know where you bought your sunglasses, they are awesome and I need a new pair. Love your writing, always a treat when a new post from you shows up in my feed.

  7. Sacha (@zigged) on July 31st, 2014 8:33 am

    Thank you for sharing the story of looking for the right dog for your household. It sounds like everything worked out just as it needed to! Best wishes for a long, happy life with Ruby. She seems very sweet.

  8. Shannon on July 31st, 2014 9:14 am

    Ruby is beautiful and she looks SO happy to be with her new family:)

  9. Clarabella on July 31st, 2014 9:16 am

    She is SO smiley and happy! Good job!

  10. Lana on July 31st, 2014 9:32 am

    Ruby! She is so freaking happy to be home!


  11. laziza on July 31st, 2014 10:12 am

    Aw. I’m not Southern and have never even been to the South, and yet the comment that comes to mind is: WELL BLESS HER HEART IF SHE DOESN’T HAVE THE SWEETEST FACE.

  12. Joanna on July 31st, 2014 10:26 am

    Lucky dog! Where do I pick up my PUPPYCON badge?

  13. Courtney on July 31st, 2014 10:35 am

    Hi Ruby! OMG, your boys are going to have so much fun- as will Ruby. Life with rambunctious boys sounds like an amazing dog-life!

    Also, I’m loving you writing here more. You look great Linda!

  14. kristiina on July 31st, 2014 11:20 am

    She seems like she’s got some spunk! So happy for you and your family :)

  15. Krissa on July 31st, 2014 11:47 am

    The list against puppies is infinite!!! I love my dog more than is healthy but I will NEVER get a puppy again.

    Ruby is gorgeous.

  16. Victoria on July 31st, 2014 11:58 am


  17. Jeanette on July 31st, 2014 12:35 pm

    So cute! I’m excited for you guys!

  18. Patty on July 31st, 2014 1:43 pm

    Congrats on Ruby! Just for the record, I would totally attend Puppycon with you. So glad your back writing.

  19. Jenny on July 31st, 2014 2:48 pm

    I’ve got another Southernism for you, and that is: she is just precious. And her connection to Dog makes it sound like kismet.

  20. Melissa on July 31st, 2014 3:17 pm

    She has the best (friendliest, sweetest, cutest…) face. That last pic is fantastic.

    I’m sure all the other dogs were lovely, but aren’t you so glad now that they all fell through.

  21. sooboo on July 31st, 2014 3:55 pm

    Really smart move getting a young, adult dog. We got a kitten last summer and I spent a lot of time googling how to stop wanting to murder a kitten. Puppies and kittens are cute but so destructive and time consuming. Ruby is so beautiful, wise and kind looking. Have to add too that I have really been enjoying your pics on Instagram this summer. They are like a salve for all the bad news on the internet.

  22. Danell on July 31st, 2014 5:36 pm

    OMG LOVE!!! So happy for you all!! Yay for dogs! Yay for Labs!!

  23. Brenna on July 31st, 2014 5:38 pm

    Congrats on the new addition! She looks sweet.

    And as an aside, I never before realized how much a minecraft creeper looks like a green wang.

  24. Kate on July 31st, 2014 7:22 pm

    She’s adorable! We also have a retired breeder lab (a silver lab named Maya), and she is the best! That’s definitely a great way to find a dog. Congrats on the new addition, she is lucky to have found y’all!

  25. sandy on August 1st, 2014 2:52 am

    Happy smiling pup!! This post had me grinning like Ruby!

  26. Ter on August 1st, 2014 5:05 am

    Congrats! We’re Golden folks (does having 5 make us crazy?) but I’ve always had a soft spot for chocolate labs. She’s beautiful!

  27. Maggie on August 1st, 2014 5:53 am

    SO happy for you guys! She is beautiful. Smart idea with the older dog. We got a puppy last year and he almost broke me. I have to say, I am not a pet video kind of person, but that video you linked was hilarious! Cats are evil ;)

  28. M.A. on August 1st, 2014 6:05 am

    Hooray! You made my day with this news. (Is that sad or kinda creepy?!) Seriously, I am so happy you have a new Dog. Ruby is beautiful. That selfie of you two is perfect. (But I must say — I am behind — you have a cat now too? Where have I been…?) Love her face in the pic with the boys — what a happy, lucky girl.

  29. Janet in Miami on August 1st, 2014 6:31 am

    I had a very bad experience with our local shelter as well. I had picked out our dog, and they wanted me to come back in 4 days after they had given her the shots, made sure she was adoptable (yes, they don’t check until they have a snooker on the line like me), blah blah. I got the right size dog dishes, the collar, the toys, the bed, the whole bit.

    Called on the 4th day to make the appt to pick her up – and lo and behold – they tell me she had heartworms so they had to put her down.

    I know cruely to animals is a serious problem – but apparently cruelty to people, well, not so much. I have never been back there.

  30. Hillary on August 1st, 2014 7:30 am

    What a cutie! Hooray for a new dog.

    I’ve started looking online at shelters and rescues, but have not spotted the right dog yet. I miss having a dog so much.

  31. #6 on August 1st, 2014 3:46 pm

    Everybody looks SO happy!! (including Ruby)

    Couple of cautions… Labs are notorious fence jumpers so be careful and also, get one of those idog devices (Like Tagg that go on the collar so you can track her using your iPhone in case of her getting lost. You can even set it up to alert you that she has left the house or yard!!

  32. Kris on August 1st, 2014 6:58 pm

    Oh my sweet Jeebus – the look of love on her sweet little face in that last pic of the two of you. It has melted my bitter, angry, “I will never have a dog again EVER” heart just a tiny little bit.

    Congratulations on your new puppergirl – may she live a long, healthy life with you & your family. <3

  33. Mnerva on August 3rd, 2014 12:16 am

    So happy for you, Ruby & your family! She’s a beauty, and so neat that she has a tie-in to Dog.

  34. TinaNZ on August 3rd, 2014 5:59 pm

    What a lovely looking girl – we had a lab (black) and she was the perfect soft-hearted family dog, with a deep enough bark to deter intruders. I hope you get as many happy years with Ruby as you did with Dog.

  35. Kizz on August 5th, 2014 1:34 pm

    She’s gorgeous and I’m already excited for MORE RUBY but this post did make me nostalgic for Dog. Just a bit. RIP Dog. Welcome Ruby!

  36. Jillian on August 6th, 2014 6:37 am

    I had already read your two most recent posts in which Ruby features heavily, but when I read this and got to the first picture and the FACES on your boys and Ruby, I laughed so hard I cried. That’s a keeper.

  37. Ani on August 8th, 2014 8:52 am

    She is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! I can see her kind spirit in her smile!

  38. NancyJ on September 6th, 2014 1:08 pm

    Sorry so late to the store — SHE’S A BEAUTY!
    And she totally looks like she’s photo bombing the picture of the 2 of you and the one at the playground.

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