Sunday, June 21, 2009

I slept in this morning because it was Sunday. I lay in bed listening for Ray's whining. I figured if he wasn't whining, I wasn't getting up. He was whining. I guess I really didn't need that extra sleep anyway. 
When I got up and opened the back door, Ray wouldn't go out. He is just like the cats in that he doesn't like to go outside if you're not with him. They all want company, it's just more fun that way. I escorted him outside and watched him pee, walk 20 feet, take a dump, walk 20 feet and pee again. Good thing I got up when I did.  

Ray felt really good after all that and started tearing around in circles. When Sadie, the Australian Cattle dog lived next door, I would let her through the fence (I cut a doggie door in my fence so she could come over and visit every day) and she would do the same thing, tear around in big circles, running flat out and flying over obstacles. Ray's tearing around is a bit different. He runs kind of hunched up, probably so that if he runs into something it won't hurt as much. Also his front end seems to head in a different direction than his back end. He "saw" me, came gamboling up, tucked up his front legs and hurled himself in my general direction. He kept his paws aimed at the ground and was using his chest as a battering ram. He missed me and started another circle, tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth and flapping in the wind. I could tell he felt good to be alive.  

He came at me again and this time when he lunged, he didn't miss. I caught him and it was kinda like being hit with a spastic cannon ball. He was squirming all over, playing by trying to grab my arms in his mouth. He took off on his crazy flight path, this time behind me. I made the mistake of not turning around to watch him and the cannon ball hit me a glancing blow in the side. (NOTE TO SELF: keep an eye on the blind dog when he is in a playful mood. He can't see if you are facing him or not.) Ray was having a GREAT time. 

I fed Ray and went upstairs to feed the cats. Gregg was up and was in the kitchen making breakfast. I threw a couple of knitted bowls in the washing machine, then picked up my knitting and set it on the arm of the couch. The knitting made me miss the cats. Usually in the morning they sit on either side of me, like bookends, while I knit or read the paper. And weekends are family bonding time; they spend a couple of hours in the morning reading the paper with us. This time Ray climbed up on the couch next to me, doing his best to take their place, but a big goofy dog isn't quite the same. I wished we were at the point where we could all be in the same room at the same time. 

This morning we ate breakfast with Ray. Usually we put him outside so that he isn't hanging in our plates, but I decided if we were ever going to make the decision to keep him, we would have to figure out how to deal with him at mealtimes (at least until the trainer got here and showed us what to do to keep him away). Ray headed for Gregg who had the more interesting breakfast (it involved prosciutto). 
"Nudge him away and ignore him,"  I said, "Treat him like he's one of the cats." 

Moonie is really bad about trying to get what she wants from your plate. Hugo is very polite. He lays down, puts his feet out so they just touch the edge of the table and then waits to be noticed. But, he has food allergies and we aren't allowed to give him anything but his prescription food. It just breaks my heart to see him waiting so patiently for a piece of whatever it is that he wants. 

Gregg nudged Ray away and he walked over to see what I had on my plate (egg and toast). I nudged Ray away and he went back to Gregg. Gregg picked up his newspaper and opened it up in front of Ray's face, between the dog and the breakfast. Ray tunneled under the newspaper with his snout so that he was looking at Gregg again. Gregg nudged him away. Ray headed back to me and laid his head on my lap. I figured I could live with it and ate my breakfast with Ray's eyebrows doing a dance on his forehead every time I picked up my toast. 

I went to check on the washing machine to see if the knitted bowls were appropriately felted and when I got back to my seat on the couch, there was Ray with my ball of yarn in his mouth, a strand of it hanging coyly over one eye. I took it from him but didn't really blame him for picking it up. It's gorgeous stuff made out of silk and merino wool; it must have good mouth-feel.

After breakfast, Gregg took off to do errands and I took Ray for a quick walk around the block. I saw little plastic ziplock baggies on the ground in front of people's driveways and stopped to look. It was a notice from a local company trying to drum up business to paint addresses on curbs in front houses. They had weighted the baggies with small amounts of gravel so that they wouldn't blow away. As we walked, I noticed a crow up on a roof, picking apart a baggie. When he realized it was just gravel he flew off leaving the gravel spilling down the roof. I wondered if he felt like Charlie Brown at Halloween. "I got a rock." 

When Gregg got back from from his errands, he changed into his running clothes and picked up Ray's leash. (This is going to be the best exercised dog, EVER). He took him for a couple miler and said that Ray ran by a guy who was also running with a dog and that Ray had paid no attention. That doesn't happen when Ray is with me. Every time he hears a voice or smells a dog, he goes bonkers. Must be an alpha male thing. 

Ray was tired for the remainder of the day, until we started cooking dinner. Then he miraculously became very interested in what we were doing. I'm sure he must have been a chef in his previous life because I could feel him critiquing the way I boiled potatoes. I told Gregg (who was making a peanut, kale, chicken, and sweet potato soup - an African recipe) to take care of the potatoes while I took Ray for a walk around the block (I'm sensing a theme here). Gregg was happy because he wanted to cut up the chicken and didn't need the extra 'help'. 

We finished making our respective recipes (Gregg was making Monday's dinner, I was making a Salad Nicoise for the current evening) and went to sit on the front porch. Todd was walking up the street with Sasha. When she got even with the house, she laid down and waited with a big grin on her face. I went to get Ray but had a tough time waking him up and getting him off of the couch. All that exercise was working beautifully. He came outside not really knowing why he was there, when all of a sudden his nose went up and he headed straight for his favorite friend. They did their usual doggie dance on the end of their leashes, having a great time for about 10 minutes. 
Hugo, being jealous by nature, came to end of the driveway to watch what was going on. I gave Ray's leash to Gregg and went to pet the big black cat. Ray was oblivious but Sasha was verrrrry interested. Todd kept a tight fist on her leash (she's a good girl, but she is a typical Husky with a high prey drive). Hugo rolled around a bit, teasing the dog, then walked back up the drive. Sasha and Ray resumed their doggie play. It's so nice that he has made a friend in the neighborhood. 

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