riding bitch

The life of a writer and survivor of loss.


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Puppy update

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Believe it or not, these medications are all for the puppy. And she’s not even sick. She has a skin condition, an eye ailment, an issue with her right hind foot which she developed on one of our hikes and, as of yesterday, a small gash across the bridge of her nose because another older (probably unhappy) dog snapped at her in doggie daycare. With this cut on her face, her swollen eye and the small bits of hair missing from her coat, she now actually looks like a stereotypical fighting pitbull-in-training. Which couldn’t be farther from the truth, but I can’t explain that to everyone who sees her. This morning a woman saw her coming and crossed the street to avoid her. Little does she know my Ruby is a wanna-be lap dog, who happens to play rough and have delicate skin.

I must admit, I am not pleased about another dog biting her at daycare. I know things happen between animals but this is the second injury she’s sustained there since coming back from Vermont. I wrote about the first one a few weeks ago, the day she came home with a pronounced limp in her front paw. The limp healed and so will this cut, but still it’s annoying. Is this how mothers feel when their kids get hurt at school? Like, why isn’t someone watching these kids better? Sometimes I wonder if I’m being overly protective. I keep reminding myself “she’s a dog, not a child.” But I can’t seem to make the distinction. She might as well be my child, one with four legs and fur. She’ll never read or write or go to college, but I’m still investing in her education. She might not talk, but she definitely talks back. She’s willful and stubborn and oh so smart. And I swear she has a sense of humor. I feel like raising her is actually teaching me things that will make me a better mom to the potential human child I might one day have to beg, borrow or steal.

Anyway, the good news is she won’t be going back to this daycare again, at least for a little while. I had been wanting to find a cheaper solution for her during the day even before the face bite. And today, I think I did, via an old friend of my late husband.

Big B has a house with a fenced-in yard in Santa Monica, and an older female pit named Lacie. Lacie has white hairs around her muzzle and a waddling gate due to her big belly. When she wags her tail, her whole body sways to and fro. I’ve left Ruby with Lacie and Big B a few times, recently while at dentist appointments. Today Big B said I could bring her by any time. “Really?” I said. “Really,” he smiled. And that was that. We discussed specifics and agreed to take it one day at a time. But come Monday, we’re going to Big B’s for daycare. It will add another 30 minutes to my commute, but whatever. At least she’ll be outside running around with one dog, not inside all day with 20. And it will save me some money. So, fingers crossed.

Now, I just need to remember to give her all these medications, soak her back foot in the solution they gave me and put the ointment in her eye twice a day. And write.


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Class Picture

The owner of the doggie daycare in Johnson, Vermont just sent me this picture of Ruby and her friends. It’s like a doggie “class picture”! Hilarious.

Ruby is front and center. Izzy is near the back, in front of the Great Dane.

photo by Christine Bradley, Mountain Dog Daycare, Johnson, VT

photo by Christine Bradley, Mountain Dog Daycare, Johnson, VT


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Riding Bitch

I figure if you’re following this blog, you’re not offended by curse words. But just in case, here is your official warning: this site will sometimes use adult language (including curse words) and discuss adult subjects. No offense. It’s just how I talk and write.

Today is about the name of this blog.

Originally, “riding bitch” was the phrase my late husband Kaz used to describe being a bike passenger. I thought he made it up but, apparently, this is common slang in the motorcycle world. For example, in the photo of our shadows above, I am “riding bitch.” When I told my brother (also a motorcyclist) that I was going to travel to Kaz’s memorial on the back of a Ducati with his ashes in my purse, my brother said: “So Kaz is going to be riding bitch on his bitch.”

The phrase also refers – in a tongue-in-cheek way – to the fact that I am a newbie motorcycle rider and can sometimes be a bitch – rather, sometimes be bitchy (like any woman).  But “Riding Bitchy” just doesn’t sound right.

I’m also a Writer, but “Writing Bitch” doesn’t sound right either.

Now that I have a new dog (Ruby), it occurs to me that the phrase could have an entirely new meaning, because eventually she will be riding with me – in a sidecar (riding sidebitch?).

So, there you have it. I have no idea how this name will play out in the long run, but that’s where the name comes from.