Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


Me Time


This past Friday Ruby came home from daycare with a limp in her front paw. Her LA daycare mom said she had been playing a bit too hard. I didn’t get upset, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this would have happened in Vermont, where she was in a smaller group of dogs and watched carefully by that daycare mom. She also received obedience training in addition to daily off-leash hikes in the mountains. I actually questioned whether it was right to bring her back to a one-bedroom apartment in LA, where the only place she can run around is a dog park, to which we have to drive 15 minutes, 25 in traffic. But this is where we live. Unless I gave her up, she had to come back with me to the urban jungle.

Two days after we arrived, VT daycare mom texted me: Is she missing any dogs you think????

I looked over at the sleeping puppy. Was she dreaming about hiking and wrestling with her VT buddies? Both of us have been dealing with medical issues developed while traveling, and now she gets a nasty squirt of medication in her mouth every night. But despite this, the long car rides to and fro, and the fact that she has to walk on a leash again, she seems happy. It’s possible she misses Vermont, but here she is the center of my attention, doesn’t have to share the bed with four other dogs (and two people), it’s 80 degrees out and she hangs out at Venice Beach. I’ve also been training her more consistently than before we left and making sure she has plenty of exercise on the non-daycare days. It feels as if we have found our rhythm again and we’re both on the mend from our travel wounds.

That said, today is the first day since being back that I’ve been able to truly concentrate, partly because I put her in daycare instead of keeping her home with me. This morning I had to question whether it was worth the money. But if there’s one thing I confirmed in Vermont, it’s that I am a happier person when I’m writing.

My sister recently reminded me that our mother used to regularly go into her art studio and close the door. During this time, she was not to be disturbed for any reason other than an emergency. I know a dog is not a child, but she’s the closest thing I have at the moment. And as smart as she is, I don’t think she would understand, “Don’t disturb Mommy right now, she’s writing.”

Hence, she is in daycare on my day off (hopefully not playing too hard), and I am taking advantage of this Me Time by writing and strategizing my future. Time is of the essence.

Ruby in car