Friday, June 19, 2009

End of Week One

Gregg was up early (0600). He fed Ray and let him out to do his business. Ray is a great dog in that he doesn't like to go to the bathroom anywhere except in his own backyard. It appears that he chooses a different spot each day and goes to that spot all day long. When I go out to clean up, I have to search for the day's designated poop-spot. When I find it, it's like hitting the mother lode. 

I didn't have to go to work, so after Gregg took off, I sat down for a quiet morning of knitting. Ray settled down on the couch next to me but only after he had tried to sit in my lap, (I was trying to be supportive, but really, my lap just isn't that big), raided the yarn bag, and tried to walk off with a skein of yarn. I took the skein away from him. He picked a knitted bowl off of the coffee table, scattered the contents, and tried to carry it away. I took it away from him. Usually he only tries to get away with something like that once (a day - he might try again tomorrow). 

Unlike the cats, Ray has a real love of yarn. My cats never bother the yarn or the knitting, although Hugo likes to bite the ends of knitting needles. Not the bamboo needles like one would expect, but the metal ones. He likes anything metal. One of the first things that Ray did when he walked through our front door last week was raid my knitting bag for a ball of yarn. I thought it was because it had possum fur in it, but Ray seems to like all yarn and has a special affinity for the knitted bowls. I can't blame him. I like yarn and the knitted bowls too. I'd love to make him a toy out of yarn but, boy, wouldn't that be starting down a slippery slope...

As I sat and knitted, a chipmunk came up to the sliding glass door. It was obvious that Hugo hadn't been out much lately. Usually, if we see a chipmunk around, it's dead munk walking. 

Gregg needed some things dropped at the dry cleaners so I got dressed in my training clothes, jammed Gregg's shirts into a backpack, clipped Ray to his leash and we started out. It's only about a mile to the cleaners and Ray wasn't going to daycare so I thought I'd get him started off on the right paw with a two mile (or so) round trip. 

It was a really beautiful morning, 74 degrees and not much humidity. I tried to get Ray to practice his heeling but, truthfully neither one of us was really into it. When we got to the busy street where the cleaners is located, Ray and I both felt a little nervous. Cars were whizzing by at high speed and although there was plenty of room between the street and sidewalk neither one of us liked the sound of cars approaching us from behind. I kept Ray on a short leash and he seemed perfectly satisfied to stay at heel. We reached the shopping plaza without incident, but decided not to go that route again. 

We stopped by the Karate school next to the dry cleaners to visit my old instructor (I use the term loosely, Mr. Jason MIGHT be 30, but I doubt it.) Summer day camp had started and a couple of little girls came out to see Ray. He did his usual wrist grab to see who they were then flopped over on his side. He was a little worn out. The little girls rubbed his belly and talked sweet talk. Ray was falling asleep so I pulled him to his feet, I didn't want to have to carry him home. 

We dropped the dry cleaning and headed home. Ray has already figured out curbs. For the first few days when I would take him for walk, Ray would trip whenever he had to go down or up a curb. Now when we get near one, he picks his feet up really high and does a kind of marching band walk. I can't figure out how he knows they are there. He's a very smart dog. 

As we neared our block, I saw Todd and Sasha on the corner. Sasha immediately lay down facing us, her tail wagging and ears pointed forward. Ray couldn't see her but as we got closer I could tell he knew she was there and got really excited. Sasha was beside herself. Todd still isn't comfortable letting Sasha play with Ray, he's afraid she is going to hurt the blind dog, but I'm convinced that Ray can hold his own. 

I turned Ray loose in the backyard and went in to shower. When I came downstairs, Ray was waiting at the sliding glass door with a rawhide chew in his mouth. It was one that they had given him at the vet's earlier in the week, and he had taken it out and buried it. I hadn't seen it since Tuesday. It was flaccid from all the rain; muddy and disgusting. It was supposed to be good for his teeth but in it's present condition, I had my doubts. 
Ray headed for the couch (newly reupholstered) shaking his head and slapping himself in the face with the nasty thing. I tried to head him to his dog bed but he dodged me, went around the opposite end of the coffee table and tried to get up on the other end of the couch. I slowly walked up to him  and gingerly removed the chew from his mouth. (ewwwwwww). I took it to his bed, placed it there and tried to coax him over. He picked up the chew and headed back to the couch. I took it and put it on a piece of newspaper and left it on the floor. He picked it up and headed back to the couch. I took it and threw it outside.  The end.

Gregg arrived home late and we sat on the front porch with our next door neighbor, Kirsten. Ray was in the backyard whining the whole time.
"I signed up to follow Ray's blog," she said, "I found it really funny that it said 'You are now following Ray the Blind Dog,' like some kind of cult or something. I was thinking of having a t-shirt made up that says 'I follow Ray the Blind Dog.'" 
We were all really laughing. I thought it was a great idea and told her I had some t-shirt transfers and would make one up for myself. It is quite literally true when I take him for a walk.

We went inside to order dinner and let Ray inside. He headed straight for the couch, jumped up and went to sleep. When Ray sleeps he makes sounds like an old man (not that I would know what an old man sleeping sounds like - maybe he sounds like and old man in the movies). He groans and sighs and grunts and farts. I can't imagine what he will sound like when he's an OLD dog. I had thrown an old blanket over the couch and although I could tell that Ray doesn't like it (he tries to paw it off the couch), it doesn't stop him from falling instantly asleep.
"Let's get him off the couch," I said to Gregg.
We each grabbed two corners of the blanket, picked him up hammock style, and moved him to his bed. He never batted an eyelash. That is one relaxed dog. 

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