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.






  • How do small dogs make so much noise?! Harry is exactly the same!

    Love this dress – in fact, I've seen a lot of pics of you in dresses, Miss I-live-in-skinny-jeans-and-vests! Of course, I highly approve! 😀
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Ob-la-di ob-la-da! =-.

    July 13, 2009
  • Kathleen


    "Like a furry clutch." Oh dear, that's funny! Rubin is so fussy…he seems fussier than a human baby sometimes.

    July 13, 2009
  • I'm fairly certain Rubin and my mom's dog Minnie were separated at birth. I've even arrived at my mom's while she was in the front garden and Minnie was tied to the porch, jumping vertically and crying like someone had just washed her favourite toy. Also, I love your curls! And the dress! And shoes!
    .-= Amanda Nicole´s last blog ..the weiner =-.

    July 13, 2009
  • Oh I sympathise! I have had to do weeding, cooking and vacuuming with a toddler tucked under my arm, Rubin-style. Tedious work becomes a tough work-out.
    .-= Rachel Pattisson´s last blog ..Tantrums at Teatime – Upsy Daisy =-.

    July 13, 2009
  • Those shoes… tell me more about those shoes… please!
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..The backyard renovation has begun! =-.

    July 13, 2009
  • Stephen


    I hate gardening too – methinks a Rubin would make it much more enjoyable though.

    And I'm almost scared to ask – just how many pairs of shoes do you own?

    July 13, 2009
  • Hm one thing I'm wondering about… How can you buy shoes on a Sunday? Aren't all shops closed on Sundays?
    .-= Nina´s last blog ..Today, I am happy =-.

    July 14, 2009
      • Wow! Am really jealous right now. In Germany (almost) all the shops are closed on Sundays…
        .-= Nina´s last blog ..Secondary translation: you’re doin’ it wrong! =-.

        July 16, 2009
        • I was wondering where you lived Nina, I take Sunday shopping for granted. I can remember when Sunday shopping was first introduced here in New Zealand (sometime in the 90's if I remember right) – some saw it as a sign of the total downfall of society, apparently we were all going to hell in a handbasket!
          .-= Selina´s last blog ..Today's nail: Color Club Fast Woman =-.

          July 17, 2009
          • Yeah I live in cold old Germany 🙂 Where people would seriously riot if there was something like open shops on Sundays… you have to remember that the leading party here are the christian democrats… sigh
            .-= Nina´s last blog ..Secondary translation: you’re doin’ it wrong! =-.

            July 17, 2009
  • Love the thought of you carrying your Rubin clutch around the garden, that will keep me smiling all day!

    We have a child gate across the bottom of our stairs to stop the dogs going upstairs because if they do manage to get up there they bark at the cats and also eat cat poo out of the kitty litter box.

    They. Eat. Cat. Poo.
    .-= Selina´s last blog ..Today's nail and also yesterday's nail =-.

    July 14, 2009
  • Sonya


    Oh wow, my dog, a standard schnauzer does this too… the incessant whining. At cornerstores if I ever go in for something, she just goes nuts, yowling and screaming angrily, she makes me look like the worst pet owner in the world. I am so jealous of those calm golden retrievers that sit there happily and smile. On the bright side, I guess no one would kidnap her or I'd notice right away.. and who would want to? But when we go CAMPING? OH, it is awful. In the house, she's fine, but camping means we're Outside, so she assumes we are supposed to be playing all day long. Every time someone goes in to ask for directions, or pay a fee, she whines. If we are cooking food, she whines, or setting up a tent, etc… Until she is tucked in to sleep, she will not cease. She is like a baby that always needs to be bounced on the knee. If you are not somehow petting her, she gets bored and starts up. It's easy to call it seperation anxiety or whatever else, but that doesn't make it any easier to live with, and I doubt it is fixable. Some dogs are just born that way. Sigh… At least she doesn't pee in the house, ouch!

    July 15, 2009
  • Rubin looks like he’s coveting those shoes

    June 10, 2014