Wednesday, June 17, 2009


On Tuesday morning Ray took me for my interval training and taught me about recycling. He likes water bottles and managed to find one on our jog around the block. He brought it home for the recycle bin. I turned him loose in the yard and watched him dig up his bone and bury it again for the 100th time since I brought him home. 

Then we had our second vet appointment. They took a sample to test for heartworm and while we were waiting for the test results (negative), Ray found the office cat and tried to play with it. The cat put up with his pawing for a second before she decided that Ray was just a little too rough. Ray got his vaccines and I got a certificate saying so. I wanted to take Ray to daycare (so that I could get back to work.) and needed proof that Ray was up-to-date on his shots. He was now good to go. We were making progress.

When we arrived home there was a message from the trainer. I immediately called him and found out that training was $490. It covers as many sessions as needed to get the dog under control and comes with a one year guarantee (for more money, you get a lifetime guarantee). Any time you need for the dog to have more training to get his problems solved, you just call them and they come out to help (sounds good on paper anyway - we'll see how it is in reality). And since they are located all over the country, the guarantee works in different cities and states. I thought this would be an excellent selling point for Ray if things didn't work out by the end of the month. 

Ray was acting up while I was on the phone, first whining at the front door pushing at the screen (which I had just replaced) with his head, then when I closed the front door, trying to dig his way through it; then pacing around in circles and whining. I kept telling the trainer to hold on while I reprimanded the dog. Finally I told the guy to hold and dragged Ray to the back, pushed him out and closed the sliding glass door. Ray was whining and trying to dig through the glass. I asked the trainer (who sounded very nice) if he could give me a discount on Ray's training since we might only have him for month, that he had some medical expenses coming up, that he was a rescue dog, and that (obviously) he REALLY needed training. The guy explained that it just didn't work like that. It took a bit more convincing but he finally agreed to a lower price and I made an appointment for the following Wednesday. 

I let Ray back into the house and went to clean the cat boxes.  Even though we hadn't seen the cats downstairs since Hugo and Ray's run-in on Saturday night, they still managed to make it to their cat boxes. Hugo had been out on the roof of the house watching Ray and Sasha meet and was pretty interested in that but not interested enough to come outside with us. 
Ray followed me into the dining room where he'd had the run-in with Hugo and while I was cleaning the cat boxes, Ray peed on the rug where Hugo had stood up to the dog. I screamed at him, dragged him to the backdoor, kicked his butt outside (not literally), and went to clean up the dog pee. 
Ray hadn't been in the dining room since "the incident" he would go to the door of the room, take a step or two in, then think the better of it and head back out. I guess he figured with reinforcements there, he could show that cat exactly what he thought of him. 

I had to run some errands so I left Ray in the back yard, told Sandra to keep an ear open for Ray's baying and headed out. I bought a grille for the front door and looked for a doggie door to install in the back screen (couldn't find one). When I got home Ray was playing quietly in the back with both of his bones, chewing them and tossing them around. I got out the drill and installed the grille without letting him know I was home, then went up to spend some time with the cats. I wrapped a towel around Moonie and brought her to the cat box so she could pee (she feels safer with a little camouflage), then carried her to the front yard for some sun. Baby steps, I thought, baby steps.  

That evening, Ray settled down on his bed in the hallway (we move it into the kitchen and block it off at night). I brought Moonie down and settled her on the couch next to Gregg. Hugo showed up and lurked around on the floor. Ray had no clue they were there. At night, his vision keeps Ray in place. He settles down fast and doesn't move until Gregg clips a leash to Ray's collar and leads him outside for his late night pee. I guess there are some advantages to having a blind dog. 

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