Gardening with Rubin

I hate gardening. And, yes, I know, I’ve already made my point about that, thanksverymuch, so don’t worry, this isn’t going to be YET ANOTHER POST about how much I hate and resent the fact that I work hard all week, and then on the weekend, instead of relaxing, or doing something nice, I have to do hard, manual labour in the freaking GARDEN instead.

Well, to be fair, it kind of IS about that. But it’s mostly about Rubin. Because Rubin is insane. And as much as I hate working in the garden, I’m pretty sure Rubin hates it even more.

You see, Rubin hates being parted from Terry or I (or my parents, or Terry’s folks, or whoever his “humans” happen to be at any given time). On Saturdays, Terry goes hillwalking with his friends, which means it’s just me and Rubin, therefore I am the chosen human who mustnotbeleft. Unless, of course, I leave the barrier at the top of the stairs down by mistake (Terry had to make a “barrier” to place at the top of the stairs, to stop Rubin going down and peeing on the washing machine. We call it his “perimeter”. As in, “Quick, Jack, set up a perimeter!”), in which case he will be more than happy to leave me all by myself, while he goes downstairs to pee on the aforementioned washing machine. And sometimes the sofa.


So, Rubin and I are alone together, and I go out to GARDEN. (Did I mention how much I hate… I did?) Rubin cannot be left in the house, or he barks the place down. (Note: he doesn’t do this if we leave him to actually go somewhere. He’s fine with that. It’s only if I go outside and he knows I’m rightthere but he can’t get at me. Then he barks like a crazy thing. Which, of course, he is.) So I have to take him with me. This is OK while I’m working in the back garden. There are a few horrified minutes when the lawnmower gets switched on and Rubin reacts with shock and awe, but after that he will relax and go about his business, leaving me to go about mine.

(Unless The Man is out in the garden behind ours, because if Rubin can see anyone AT ALL while he’s in the garden, he will start barking at them like a crazy thing, and when I come out to bring him back inside, he will run away and force me to chase him.)

When I go round to the front, though? All hell breaks loose. I can’t take Rubin into the front because the garden there isn’t fenced in, so he could – and would – run out into the road. Having him on the leash isn’t an option while I’m operating a lawnmower, and you can’t tie him to something stationery either because he would freak out. So I leave him in the back garden. (I’ve tried putting him back in the house at this point, but he knows I’m out there and he gets hysterical. Like,REALLY hysterical. And he tries to climb the furniture so he can get out of the window.) But the back garden has a wrought-iron gate. HE CAN SEE ME. But… he can’t REACH me. And so he goes hysterical. You would be amazed by how much noise a small dog can make when he really puts his mind to it. The whole time I’m working in the front garden, Rubin will be barking. He will not stop. He will not take it down a level. No, he will remain utterly hysterical for as long as it takes for me to return to him. And then he’ll start up all over again when I return to The Front to pick up my gardening stuff.

Solution? Well, I can’t very well leave him barking like that, so this time? I had to pick him up and CARRY him with me. Like a clutch bag, basically, with him tucked under one arm, while I used the other to pull out weeds and people walked by going, “Who does she think she is, Paris Hilton?” . Rubin was perfectly happy with this. He just sat there like a little lord, gazing around the street like “Yoos better not mess with me, right?” And all was calm once more.

(And I know what you’re thinking: I could just have waited until another time, when Terry was home to look after the dog, but unfortunately you can’t really do that in Scotland – if you get a brief window of dry weather, you have to grab it before it’s gone.)

And that was how I passed my Saturday morning: carrying Rubin around like a furry clutch bag while I weeded the garden.



On Sunday, though? On Sunday I bought shoes: