Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ray has Fun

Sunday was beautiful. I woke up early, got Ray out of bed and had him take me for my interval training. When we got back to the house, I fed him and gave him his leftover rawhide bone. Ray immediately wanted to go outside. I let him out back and went to watch him from the dining room window.
Ray was wandering around the far back yard which is filled with shrubs, groundcovers, and perennials. I watched the dog dig a nice hole and cover his bone with leaf mulch. Then he ran to the back door and demanded entry. I let him in. Ten minutes later, Ray wanted to go out again. I let him out and watched him disinter his bone and rebury it in a much better spot. He came to the back door and I let him in. Ten minutes later he wanted to go out again. Again he dug up his bone and reburied it. By 9:30 in the morning Ray had buried his bone four times. I didn't see its final resting place and found myself hoping that Ray had written it down somewhere.
My sister, Kathy, and I noticed while driving up to Virginia that Ray might be better off with a bath, so while shopping for dog supplies, I had picked up some dog shampoo with oatmeal in it. I led Ray to the driveway, hooked the hose to the faucet in the laundry room, and threaded it through the garage so that his bathwater would be pleasantly warm. 
I could tell that Ray enjoyed his bath. After his initial tendency to try to lick the oatmeal shampoo off his back, he stood relatively still; the lack of privacy didn't seem to bother him at all.
I was drying him with a large blue and red beach towel, with tasteful anchor motif, when one of my up-the-street neighbors walked by with her daughter's chihuahua on the end of a string (she was dog sitting). The chihuahua saw Ray and started spitting high-pitched insults at the sweet-smelling dog. Ray took the abuse as long as he could. He broke free of my hold and ran off down the street after the tiny dog, the blue and red towel flowing from his shoulders like Superman's cape. I kicked off my flip-flops and dashed down the street after him. I caught him just as he reached the chihuahua (he REALLY wanted to play apparently he likes chicks who treat him badly), then dragged him back up the street and through the house to the backyard to brush him.
Just as I turned him loose in the yard, I noticed that the back gate was open. Ray immediately took off for it (HOW DOES HE KNOW???? HE'S BLIND) and ran out front. I kicked off my flip-flops and followed in hot pursuit. This time Ray ran UP the street toward the sac part of the cul-de-sac. I ran out the gate, saw our two-doors-down neighbor, Charlotte, in front of her house, and called to her.
"Charlotte! Call Ray!" I yelled. 
Charlotte called Ray and walked quickly into her garage. Ray headed right for her. She grabbed a dog treat to lure him and nabbed his collar as soon as Ray got close enough. Charlotte lent me a leash and I led Ray back home. He was prancing happily, thrilled at his escape. I was putting him in the house just as Gregg got back from the grocery.
Gregg carried the groceries into the house leaving the front door open. He had forgotten that Ray had broken through the front-door screen on his first day here. Ray took off through the flapping screen and headed out front again, this time at a brisk trot across the street. I ran out of the house after him. I noticed my across-the-street neighbors, Dick and Sandra, saying their goodbyes to their son John and his new girlfriend, Kendra. 
"Dick! Sandra! Call Ray!" I yelled. 
They both called to the dog, and Ray happily headed right for them. I ran across the street and once again, nabbed Ray's collar. A broadly-grinning John offered to take Ray and drop him in South Carolina on his way home. I thought it was a nice offer considering he lives in North Carolina, but declined. I dragged Ray home who by this time was grinning as broadly as John. My feet hurt.

Later that day, my BFF, Joanne, came by with her husband, Mark. Ray did his usual, jumping up to snuffle their faces and taking their wrists in his mouth to get a taste. Mark did his dog whispering thing and had Ray lying down on his side, stretched out, totally relaxed while Mark rubbed his belly. Ray was having a really, really good day.

The afternoon and evening were quiet. We gave thanks.

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